As you probably have figured out, with my numerous references to it in other articles, I'm a #Disability rights advocate. In case you're wondering, I have cerebral palsy and epilepsy. I also have many friends and relatives with autism. Which is why I can say with total sincerity that I have zero sympathy for Suzanne Wright, founder of Autism Speaks.
Suzanne Wright's legacy
Now I have no illusions about the fact that everyone who reads this will have an immediate urge to rant about respecting the dead. However, I never really believed in the idea of respecting the dead for its own sake. I believe the amount of respect, if any, should depend on what they did. And judging by Autism Speaks, she doesn't really deserve that much.
Autism Speaks has claimed to speak for autistic people. However, until fairly recently they didn't have a single autistic person on their board violating what is perhaps the #1 principle of disability rights: Nothing about us without us. Her organization has spent most of its money on research for a cure and very little on things that autistic people actually need. Many people with autism don't want to be cured at all. In fact, they just want to be accepted. While you would think that would mean the organization's various awareness campaigns would reflect that idea you'd be wrong.
Instead they put out things like Autism Everyday where in a stunning display of callousness and hatred for the disabled, featured a board member openly talking about wanting to kill her autistic child while said child was right in front of her. This promotes the exact sort of nonsense that prompts parents to murder their kids and whine and cry to a judge and an overly sympathetic media that they were just oh so overwhelmed. Not that Autism Speaks is putting much effort into alleviating that. Most of their money goes into research, a lot of which has been awful.
Autism Speaks' biggest problem
The biggest problem comes from the fact that they have a history of getting into bed with the worst human beings imaginable. For a long time, Autism Speaks was an anti-vaccination organization, albeit more polite than most. They funded a lot of research trying to prove a "link" between vaccines and autism. People on their board have sat on boards promoting anti-vaccination nonsense. A seemingly legitimate organization pushing this theory gives politicians, such as Donald Trump the green light to endorse these dangerous theories that are reviving diseases like measles. This is far from their worst sin.
The organization has been caught promoting the Judge Rotenberg Center. For those who don't know, JRC uses a horrifying "treatment" method: giving autistic kids skin shocks. In theory, the staff is only supposed to do it as a last resort and they say that it's only supposed to be mildly painful. In reality, JRC uses shocks several times more powerful and painful than the FDA allows and according to testimony from former students and staff, for every minor thing. If Suzanne Wright cared about the lives of autistic people she would've called everyone at the JRC a child abuser and sided with the autistic people trying to get the facility shut down, not get her organization in bed with them.
Autism Speaks will likely use Suzanne Wright's death as an excuse to raise money. I encourage you to donate money to organizations that actually help the disabled. #News