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: "80% of parents of children with autism get divorced." [emphasis in original]
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.
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?"