I just read a press release from the United Nations on a 'World Autism Day Resolution';
Member States should break the “barrier of shame” of people suffering from autism and raise international awareness of the importance of early diagnosis and treatment of the brain disorder, which was estimated to affect 35 million people worldwide, Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, Permanent Representative of Qatar to the United Nations, urged this afternoon during a Headquarters press conference.
Qatar shares the concerns of a number of countries about the high rate of autism in children in all regions of the world,” Mr. Al-Nasser said.
Well, I'm not sure what 'barrier of shame' means in this context. Perhaps he is trying to adopt the social model of disability and explain that people are treated shamefully for their autistic differences and suffer from a lack of acceptance, understanding and accommodation.
There are calls for the UN to designate April 2nd as a UN autism awareness day. It's a shame that these efforts are appropriated by organisations like the badly named Autism Speaks.
Joining the Ambassador today was Bob Wright, co-founder of Autism Speaks, a United States-based non-governmental organization that works to raise awareness of autism and fund research for its causes, prevention and treatment. “Combating autism is going to require worldwide effort. It is not politically, geographically or economically centred. It is an equal destroyer,” he said.
This is the organisation the UN chose to represent the interests of autistic people. Autism Speaks make no secret of their eugenic aims and trumps them at every opportunity. Notice that they make no mention of funding services, training, or living support for autistic people. This is the group that proudly displays a photo of Bob Wright and James Watson on it's website, along with a quote from Watson saying, 'Autism is the worst thing that can happen to a family.'
It's claimed that;
In the United States, children diagnosed before the age of three and then properly treated had a 50 per cent chance of graduating from public school at an appropriate age level. However, many African-American and Hispanic children, and children from non-English-speaking households, were not diagnosed until age seven.
Many children who are diagnosed very young as autistic, particularly as mildly autistic, lose the label as they get older. It is important to help all children as early as possible so that they receive the understanding and appropriate education (not treatment) they deserve and so their parents can learn how best to interact with them and encourage their communication. Many children, like Duncan, are unlikely to be able to graduate from a school at age appropriate level, no matter what 'treatments' I could have foisted on him when he was younger, and he was diagnosed at just over 2 years old.
Suzanne Wright, also co-founder of Autism Speaks, said 1.5 million people had the complex brain disorder in the United States, and a new child was diagnosed with it every 20 minutes. An immediate global response was needed to address the epidemic, she urged.
Ah yes, the 'autism epidemic'. That would be the epidemic which dates from the time the diagnostic criteria were widened to encompass many more people, the epidemic that coincides with the falling numbers of people labelled as 'retarded' or 'learning disabled', ie diagnostic substitution. It's disingenuous of this organisation to harp on about a non-existent epidemic, which they must know is false, to raise their profile and funding.
And get that scary statistic about another one 'diagnosed every 20 minutes', they're like Body Snatchers...
Also during the press conference, Jacqueline Aidenbaum Brandt, a mother of an autistic son, shed light on her personal experiences, including the misconception society had of the brain disorder and the concerns of parents of autistic children. She said people often mistook an autistic child for an unruly or poorly behaved one, blaming the parent instead of the disorder for the child’s behaviour. Caring for an autistic child was complex, as parents were left to grapple with whether the child would one day be independent, and how he or she would be cared for after the parents had died or were no longer able to do so.
It's a pain when strangers are critical, misinformed and lacking understanding about autism. Autism Speaks make no efforts to help here, choosing to paint autism as entirely horrible, devastating and the 'worst thing that can happen to a family.' The NAS however have at least made some good efforts to educate the public in the UK with its 'Think Differently' Campaign.'
The mum quoted above worries about her son's future, perhaps she will be canvassing the charity that claims to speak for autism, about whether they intend to change their emphasis somehow to supporting autistic adults to live as independently as possible.