If any of the flashblog readers take away only one message from the meaning of #ThisIsAutism, I hope it’s this:
Autism Speaks’ Suzanne Wright's language choice in her op-ed was a deliberate stab at Autistic Activists. She understands quite well that Autism Speaks continually experiences PR nightmares and their harshest criticism over their "kidnapping & epidemic" campaigns; yet she made sure to drench her writing on the same pattern of negativity which she knows full well is offensive to the Autistic community.
What does that say about a person and their organization when they purposefully target Autistic people with insults?
Don’t underestimate the impact of John Elder Robison’s resignation. John commented yesterday that he was having difficulty with people celebrating and rejoicing over his decision to leave Autism Speaks. I believe he might misinterpret why Activists are ecstatic over what he experiences as profound disappointment.
From the vantage point of Autistic/Disability Rights Activists, we have had John’s involvement with Autism Speaks thrown in our face, and used against us as if we are the cause of the continued divisions within our community, because we will not concede to joining forces with an organization which we understand to have blood on their hands.
I don’t consider it a far stretch to state emphatically that now is not the time to get complacent. A steady approach to holding Autism Speaks accountable for their unethical practices and continued attacks on the Autistic community is vital.