29 responses

  1. AnneC
    September 23, 2009

    Another thing that occurred to me is that — if I’d seen that video as a kid (and known I was autistic), I’d probably have been terrified people were going to start sticking pins in me or something, given the “voodoo” reference. Obviously these people were NOT considering the effect that the video’s statements could have on the (often highly literal) autistic kids who might end up seeing it.

    Really, though, I suspect they probably don’t think “real” autistic people even know they’re autistic to begin with, and that even if we do know, we can’t understand what’s being said about us. Which is ridiculous — I can’t imagine any psychologist, even, agreeing with the notion that “no autistic person has any comprehension of what is being said in their presence”.

    So, the only option remaining is what I suspect is more likely true — that “Autism Speaks” simply doesn’t *care* to consider autistic people in crafting their messages. Talk about a lack of empathy!

    Reply

  2. codeman38
    September 23, 2009

    So, the only option remaining is what I suspect is more likely true — that “Autism Speaks” simply doesn’t *care* to consider autistic people in crafting their messages. Talk about a lack of empathy!

    Hah, yes. They say we’re the ones with no empathy, and yet…

    Reply

  3. Synesthesia
    September 23, 2009

    OK, so I finally, while waiting on hold watched a bit of that video and can only think, THE HELL?
    My brain splutters over how annoying it is…
    To turn autism into a personification of doom and gloom when they are not helping the situation one bit.
    This is an organization that probably works with other organizations who charge folks a ton of money for things like chelation that could be potentially dangerous!
    And yet somehow autism is the bad guy in this?
    Don’t even get me started on the images of autistic people, doing their own thing, with that ominous voice playing. ARG!
    There’s nothing about, well maybe this child has trouble going to parks and churches because there’s something there that disturbs and frustrates the child. So instead of addressing that it’s just that old, evil, horrible boogyman that is AUTISM.
    It’s dehumanizing as hell!
    Are they just trying to annoy us?

    Reply

  4. AnneC
    September 23, 2009

    I don’t know that they’re trying to “annoy” us.

    “Demoralize” might be closer.

    Because they know they can say all this crap and all the most powerful people will likely fail to do anything about it or criticize them. And then with any luck we (that is, actual autistic people) will just shut up and go away and stop being so inconvenient. Then they can continue to run the Pity Party Industry as they see fit, complete with gala balls and glossy flyers and sad, sappy music playing in the background.

    It really is totally, disgustingly, unethical.

    Reply

  5. Club 166
    September 23, 2009

    Thanks for the transcript. I heard the “voodoo” thing the first time through and thought I couldn’t possibly of heard that right. And yes, the similarity in language to the Ransom Notes thing is too weird. They haven’t learned a thing. Perhaps they will now.

    Joe

    Reply

  6. Debby Bruck
    September 23, 2009

    If you want to support a more positive outlook on autism, I suggest visiting Carol Boyce’s film project that is in desperate need of more funding. She has given her time and energy freely to beat this disorder and restore families. http://www.savingalostgeneration.com

    Debby
    Homeopathy World Community

    Reply

  7. codeman38
    September 23, 2009

    @Debby Bruck: You have read my other posts, right? My issues with this video don’t end with the fact that it’s a negative outlook; it’s also worth noting that there are many who don’t think autism is something to be ‘beaten’, but rather something that needs to be accommodated.

    Also, I’d have a lot more sympathy if the video, or anything else on the site, actually recognized that there are people on the autism spectrum who are over age 18. Even the execrable Autism Speaks video at least showed footage of an autistic adult.

    Reply

  8. David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E.
    September 24, 2009

    I just wish that Autism Speaks would shut the fck up.

    Scare-mongering shits with too much fckng money.

    Their activities have consistently made life worse for
    autistic people since the bastards set themselves up.

    Reply

  9. codeman38
    September 24, 2009

    (Sorry, David, but I have a policy of keeping comments on this particular blog at the equivalent of a PG-13 or BBFC 12 rating for a number of reasons, including keeping these posts as widely accessible as possible via overzealous proxy servers like the one my high school had. I don’t, however, redact on postings elsewhere, such as LiveJournal and DailyKos. And I decided in the end to just disemvowel the words in question rather than bleeping them out entirely, because I wanted it to be as transparent as possible while still throwing off said proxy servers…)

    Reply

  10. Vince Steele
    September 24, 2009

    You know, we have 3 boys on the spectrum and nothing in this video even comes close to the joy we get from them, and the pride that we have for them. They aren’t a burdon. They aren’t causing us to have a broken relationship. They aren’t going to cause the known universe to collapse around us all. They are our children, and we love them just as much as we love our nt daughter. Autism Speaks obviously knows nothing about the mind of a person with Autism, or they wouldn’t have been so quick to pigeon hole Autism into such a steretyped category. Each person on the spectrum is as individual as each person who isn’t on the spectrum. That’s why it’s classed as a spectrum!!!! There are so many different ways for the brain to function with or without Autism. It’s not a disease, it’s a condition in the brain. For some it can be managed better than others. No two Autistic people are the same. Personalities shine through! We love our kids!!! We hate this video!!!

    Reply

  11. DaisyDeadhead
    September 25, 2009

    I absolutely agree that muting it seems to send the opposite message! All I could think was, what a positive disability-rights commercial it could have been.

    It really is a matter of the narrative making the whole difference.

    Reply

  12. Spedconsult
    September 25, 2009

    In all of the consulting I do, I preach that the self-actualized life of a person with autism may look very different from the NT version but it is no less wonderful. When some parents seem very upset at the diagnosis of a fairly high-functioning person, I go ahead and mention, hey, I have most symptoms of Asperger Syndrome but I was never diagnosed because the diagnosis did not exist until I was already in college. In a college honors program. I wish I’d had much more social skills assistance but in a way, I’m glad I have been able to work it out on my own because some of those programs are torture in the wrong hands. Lunch Bunch or Circle of Friends, for example, can turn into making the child with Autism/Asperger Syndrome think these people are REAL friends when they’re really just peer helpers. But the reaction of some people is sickening. No you can’t have that because you’re successful. What, the goal of therapy for a person with more severe symptoms isn’t success? Thanks for posting this information. I haven’t the stomach to watch the video.

    Reply

  13. codeman38
    September 25, 2009

    @Spedconsult: I wasn’t diagnosed until late in high school, myself– as a straight-A student in honors and AP courses. So I can very much understand.

    Reply

  14. Jan
    September 26, 2009

    it’s horrible – my son has Asperger’s as do I, and he has meltdowns and can be overstimulated & overstimulating to others …but it hasn’t ended my marriage (in fact I am re-married to an amazing man who is fathering him eventhough he isn’t the biological father)

    I haven’t the stomach to watch the video, reading the transcripts was enough!

    I don’t need to be cured, but accepted for who I am

    Reply

  15. Colleen
    September 28, 2009

    Thank you very much for the transcript, I am going to link back to your blog so that others may have the opportunity to read it.

    Reply

  16. David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E.
    October 5, 2009

    “Lunch Bunch or Circle of Friends, for example, can turn into making the child with Autism/Asperger Syndrome think these people are REAL friends when they’re really just peer helpers.”

    This is, SpedConsult, one of my more serious concerns with programmes like those… it doesn’t really mean that real friendships will result from anything that happens during the time the programme is being implemented. And it is a danger… self-esteem can be quite brittle for the Asperger-autistic kid.

    Reply

  17. Steve Ingram
    February 16, 2010

    Hey Codeman,

    I read your article with great interest. I think the errors with the video began at the planning stage. I agree with you, my expectation was of highly a anticipated video which sends a powerful message on behalf of the Autism community.

    Thank you for transcripting the video. I too watched and got the feeling of a sinister evil descending. I then tried to put a positive spin on the video by analysing the purpose, audience and delivery.

    If the purpose was frightenig the audience into taking notice or infuriating parts of the Autism community, then this was acomplished. One problem, the video doesn’t indicate clearly the intended audience. Was the delivery for policy makers or heads of Government? I understand it may not be for people with Autism or their relations; but why wasn’t this clearly addressed at the planning stage.

    I wouldn’t describe the video as edgy, more misguided.

    btw, i don’t follow Autism speak (or really know who they are), so I’ll read up on your posts.

    Cheers
    Steve

    Reply

  18. Lu Ann Mentzer
    March 29, 2012

    Hi.. Great site!! I’m a mother of an autistic child. Have a new site online (autism-mom.com) and am looking for some support from the community! God Bless you.. Lu Ann

    Reply

  19. Lu Ann Mentzer
    March 30, 2012

    Thank you very much!

    Reply

  20. Roland Breslin
    August 11, 2016

    Excellent post , Incidentally , if your company wants a NY DTF ST-140 , my kids found a fillable version here http://goo.gl/alygvd

    Reply

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