Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Neurobigotry at Ohio State

On April 1 and 2, the Autism Speaks chapter at Ohio State displayed approximately 100 posters on the campus lawn, a spectacle they described as "autism awareness." Each sign read 1 in 110 on the front and sported slogans on the back, many of these slogans perpetuating fear and myths about autistic people.

An Autism Speaks sign that reads "Support Autism Research: Disturb the Sound of Silence"

Several members of ASAN-Central Ohio and Ohio State happened upon the signage while walking across campus and became visibly upset by them -- especially as they overheard other students and passersby concluding that autism is "scary" because, according to Autism Speaks, it's more prevalent than "diabetes, AIDS, and cancer combined" and causes an "80%" divorce rate among parents of autistic children.

A sign that reads "More children will be diagnosed this year with Autism than with diabetes, AIDS, and cancer combined."

A sign that reads: "80% of parents of children with autism get divorced." [emphasis in original]

A sign that reads "Autism knows no race, ethnicity, social boundary, family income, lifestyle, or education level"

A sign that reads "For every locked mind there's a key to find." Also pictured is a drawing of a key and Autism Speaks' iconic puzzle piece.

ASAN-Central Ohio/OSU strongly opposes the characterization of autistic people as having "locked minds," as needing others to "disturb their sound of silence" with eugenics. Autism Speaks continues to portray autistic people as disembodied numbers, numbers meant to instill alarm in the Columbus community.

Several Autism Speaks signs on the South Oval lawn

In response to such ableist rhetoric, ASAN-Central Ohio/OSU will be holding a counter-demonstration on Tuesday, April 20 from noon to 3pm on the South Oval (the lawn behind the new Ohio Union). We welcome anyone and everyone to join us as we protest neurobigotry in all of its forms. We will have signs on hand (though feel free to bring your own), including some alarming facts about Autism Speaks, its eugenic aims, its fear-spreading propaganda, and its unrepresentative leadership.

Additionally, ASAN-OSU began its own ad campaign on April 1, distributing flyers that dispel popular myths about autism and autistic people. Some examples of our flyers appear below.

Flyer that reads: "Myth: Autistic people don't have emotions. Fact: Non-autistic people often make us feel like crap."

Flyer that reads: "Myth: Autistic people need your pity. Fact: Every time you pity an autistic person, a kitten dies."

A flyer that reads: "Myth: Autistic people will never go to college. Fact: Who do you think made this sign?"


Anonymous said...

Good luck on the protest, and I hope everyone who saw those signs is all right. I would have dropped out of that school and gone to another one over that crap.

r.b. said...

Fear sells. Love doesn't. You guys are ruining the attempted gravy train for thousands of "autism experts".


Anonymous said...

and talking about eugenics isn't a scare tactic used to induce fear in people who are pro-life to be against Autism Speaks?

Your arguments have holes.

Myth: Autistic people need your pity. Fact: Every time you pity an autistic person, a kitten dies.

Most of the signs produced by Autism Speaks seem to be based on REAL facts, whether you want to believe them or not.

Haddayr said...

Sorry I'm late to the party; someone just sent me this link.

What I love about "anonymous"'s comment is that ignorant people claim autistics don't understand irony, and here is this "normie" who clearly doesn't understand irony.

I love your responses; they're wonderful. Also, the 80% figure for divorces is a made-up statistic. No one has been able to find the original data for it, and in trying to recreate it, they have found that our families have similar rates of divorce to everyone else.

aspie182 said...

Worth pointing out, too, is that the rate at which diabetes is diagnosed has escalated dramatically since 1988. In 1988, one in a hundred people were diagnosed with diabetes, and one in a thousand were diagnosed with insulin-dependent diabetes.

Today, the Asstralian Institute of Health and Welfare says that one in seventeen people are diagnosed with diabetes.

Unlike autism, there is actual evidence to back up this change in rates. When people are diagnosed with diabetes, they leave a paper trail a mile wide and a lifetime long. The amount of paperwork that goes into filling their prescriptions for insulin alone is enough to account for a forest. So when Autism Speaks For Normie Assholes claims that "more children are diagnosed with autism than diabetes, cancer, or AIDS combined", we should not be telling the world how bigoted this is. We should be demanding that either ASFNA prove this, or compensate us for their fraud.

Whilst we are on the subject, there is no evidence, not an iota, that the number of people in the world who are autistic as a percentage has changed since the horse and chariot age. It was one in 150 when Albert Einstein was a baby, and it is one in 150 now. We do ourselves a massive disservice by repeating the CDC's paid-for-by-ASFNA jack-up of the rates. When the CDC says "one in XX! donate to ASFNA!", we should be there in droves, challenging them to offer their evidence.

Because when Diabetes Australia says the rate of diabetes in the world has increased manifold over twenty-eight years, not only are they challenged to prove that, they do in fact prove it. Since 1980, probably earlier, every person who has been diagnosed with diabetes has had the fact jotted down in a pile of papers about them, which in turn gets stored by hospitals. The amount of evidence that is available that demonstrates diabetes is running rampant is in itself enough to charge ASFNA with fraud.

I have had diabetes for twenty-eight years. I will kiss the ground the person who makes a working cure for diabetes walks on. I would gladly hand them my norti bits. The people who come to my door saying "come with us, we are going to make you not have the autismz anymore, hyuk!" are going to be in the morgue with their norti bits shoved down their necks.