Autism Speaks
|5 min read
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Published: March 19, 2008



The Charity


Deviants have spoken, and thus we will listen. The poll shows that the majority of you would like to go with Autism, and so from this point forward all of our donations will be directed towards Autism Speaks. Some of you have expressed concerns about the fact that is isn't an international charity, but part of their organisation is to fund research into the causes, prevention, treatments, and cure for autism, and that benefits everyone.

What is Autism?


Some people are uncertain as to what Autism really is.

"Autism is a complex neurobiological disorder that typically lasts throughout a person's lifetime. It is part of a group of disorders known as autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Today, 1 in 150 individuals is diagnosed with autism, making it more common than pediatric cancer, diabetes, and AIDS combined. It occurs in all racial, ethnic, and social groups and is four times more likely to strike boys than girls. Autism impairs a person's ability to communicate and relate to others. It is also associated with rigid routines and repetitive behaviors, such as obsessively arranging objects or following very specific routines. Symptoms can range from very mild to quite severe." *Taken from the Autism Speaks website

From Wikipedia "Autism is highly heritable, although the genetics of autism are complex and it is generally unclear which genes are responsible. In rare cases, autism is strongly associated with agents that cause birth defects. Other proposed causes, such as childhood vaccines, are controversial and the vaccine hypotheses lack convincing scientific evidence. Most recent reviews estimate a prevalence of one to two cases per 1,000 people for autism, and about six per 1,000 for ASD, with ASD averaging a 4.3:1 male-to-female ratio. The number of people known to have autism has increased dramatically since the 1980s, at least partly due to changes in diagnostic practice; the question of whether actual prevalence has increased is unresolved.

Autism affects many parts of the brain; how this occurs is poorly understood. Parents usually notice signs in the first two years of their child's life. Early behavioral or cognitive intervention can help children gain self-care, social, and communication skills. There is no cure. Few children with autism live independently after reaching adulthood, but some become successful, and an autistic culture has developed, with some seeking a cure and others believing that autism is a condition rather than a disorder."

It isn't fatal, it doesn't kill... but it does cripple. Living with Autism is hard for the parents, harder for the children and adults who have it.


Donations


Now is the time for new donations! If you feel inspired to do a deviation based on Autism even better!

Also, I plan on cleaning up the gallery here once more. I would like to take out the older deviations and replace them with newer, fresher pieces. I also have an idea to do limited release prints from your favourite artists, so hopefully I will get support for that!


And as always, thank you all for your continued support. Without your help, this all would come to nothing. :heart:

switchbladeserenade








Recommended Journals
The Trading Post
08.12.18. Now that the Trading Post has been operating for exactly a month, we'll be making some changes in response to some problems that have arisen since it's introductions. Comments can no longer be edited after a certain amount of time, so we ask that you post ONE strudel per comment, so that you can hide the comments after it has been traded off. Posting multiple in the same comment causes confusion if you cannot hide just one strudel in particular. ALSO if your strudel is not on the masterlist, please post to the Can't find your strudel? entry on the StrudelCupboard (https://www.deviantart.com/strudelcupboard) to help us find any missing babies! We're super quick about updating!
Art Trade (OPEN)
Very sorry I wasn't able to respond quickly to the last batch, ATs are open for a short while but I will be moving soon so it might be subject to some delay, for the same reason I might also not be able to do too many trades qq ATs are accepted based on  -How I like your art style (not necessarily skill related)  -How I feel able to draw your character  -Character designs and how they might inspire me  -Will do anything for good friends This following section is important! Please read this section even if you don't read the others! * Please understand that I do not accept every offer. I accept trades based on "how I need you style f
art challenge event [open]
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Comments (31)
NurseBoobies's avatar
Autism Speaks: The biggest hate group of autistics in the world
Reply  ·  
klingonpixie's avatar
As someone living with mild autism, I ask that you please choose a different charity. Autism speaks is an organization run by those "putting up" with people with autism, and their propaganda is partly responsible for the low self-esteem of many of my fellow people on the Autism spectrum. They treat it as a disease, an epidemic, something which makes those affected by it less of human beings. Their "autism awareness" campaigns are fearmongering and cruel, and do nothing but worsen public perception of us. Finally, they assume that we cannot speak for ourselves, because if we were "really" autistic, we wouldn't be capable of any communication.

I suggest, as an alternative, the Autism Self-Advocacy Network, at [link] They support education, programs, and policy changes to help both the skills of autistics and the public perception.
Reply  ·  
Kiki-Ghibli's avatar
I agree with you they make autism sound like such a bad thing it's not i know someone who has mild autism and i thinks it's more amazing than bad so yeah i agree with you.
Reply  ·  
jekkal's avatar
I appreciate that you want the funds to go to Autistic Causes, but PLEASE can you donate it to something other than Autism Speaks / Cure Autism Now?

They're not a good charity. Almost all of the money is spent on administrative purchases / PR stunts for more money, and the rest is in long-term "research". Very little if any of it goes to help currently living autistic individuals, or to help cover treatment options for them or their families.

I'll see if I can find a good alternative Autistic charity for your group to donate funds to. But please, Autism Speaks is not something you want to support.
Reply  ·  
switchbladeserenade's avatar
switchbladeserenade|Hobbyist Photographer
What proof do you have of this?

Everything that I read on it spoke well of the charity.

In order for me to even consider changing our charity, I would need proof of your allegations.
Reply  ·  
jekkal's avatar
I could just tell you about how every single Autistic individual I have ever spoken to seems to hate the "charity" with a passion. But since you want proof...

Much of their "education" on Autism is deliberately demonizing Autism / Asperger's Syndrome, which as you can imagine is the last thing ANYONE Autistic actually needs. Their most famous video, Autism Every Day, even features a mother who admits in front of her autistic daughter that she had contemplated carrying out a murder-suicide because of her child's Autism. (Ironically, only a few days after the video's release, one mother did just that to her own daughter.) Links are [link] and [link] for proof if you like.

There are no Autistic members in any controlling position of Autism Speaks, only parents and other related family members. As you can imagine, the divide between "Being Autistic" and "Putting Up with someone else's Autism" is a BIG difference, given how social slights and other communication issues are part and parcel of Autistic behavior, even though it doesn't have to be. As a result, with such lopsided representation, they can hardly presume to speak "for" Autism in any sense. [link]

There is a very vocal contingent of Autistics online who are appalled with Autism Speaks right down to the choice of logo (They don't appreciate being called "Puzzles", thanks.)
[link]
[link]
[link]
[link]

In fact, even MENTIONING Autism Speaks will spark flame wars in Autistic Communities. The following links are all from the Asperger LJ community, comprising 1400 individuals all either diagnosed with some form of the Autism Spectrum or seeking diagnosis.
[link] <-- an explanation for the collective loathing of Autism Speaks by real Autistics
[link] <-- This one's in response to LJ hosting ads for Autism Speaks on the Asperger's LJ group. (Oh, the irony!)
[link] <-- Everything the Asperger's LJ group has written about Autism Speaks.

Fortunately, there ARE alternative charities which would have a far better impact. The Autistic Self-Advocacy Network is the best I can recommend to you.
[link]

Please consider them as your charity to support instead of "Autism Speaks". I assure you, Autistics prefer to speak for themselves.
Reply  ·  
switchbladeserenade's avatar
switchbladeserenade|Hobbyist Photographer
Just to keep you updated, I have started a dialogue with Ari Ne'eman, and hopefully will be able to start working with them via emails and donations.
Reply  ·  
switchbladeserenade's avatar
switchbladeserenade|Hobbyist Photographer
As the mother of an Autistic child I rather resent the tone that you've taken in your explanation. The attitude that I cannot understand or speak with understanding about what it is like to live with Autism. (Example: "They don't appreciate being called "Puzzles", thanks.")
I understand it very well as I live with it everyday, thanks. I may not have to BE it, but I can sense my son's struggles, and my heart breaks with every hurdle he has to come up against. And I grew up with a mother with Asperger's even though no one understood what was going on with her until very recently. I have a good idea of life with Autism

However, tone aside, you have made some very good points, and your sources are well quoted. I will take some time and look deeper into this. I am highly disturbed in particular by the links regarding the 'Autism Every Day' video, as I would never want my child to be shown in that light, and I'd sure as hell never even think let alone SAY that I considered murdering my child. I'm appalled by this, as well as outraged on the child's behalf.

I will do my best to make contact with The Autistic Self-Advocacy Network and see if I can start a dialogue with them.

Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I wouldn't like to be a part of anything which shows the Autistic Community as anything but the beautiful, special people they are.
Reply  ·  
codeman38's avatar
I'm not exactly the most active DeviantArt user (just look how stale my account is :p), but I had to add my two cents.

I wrote a blog post a while ago on why I, as an autistic, can't support Autism Speaks in anything resembling good faith; it can be found here: [link]
Reply  ·  
TB-Samurai's avatar
TB-Samurai|Hobbyist Digital Artist
I completely agree. Autism Speaks is no good.
Reply  ·  
Lilyas's avatar
Lilyas|Professional General Artist
I'd love to submit to this project! :heart:
Reply  ·  
ArtistsForCharity's avatar
If you want to donate us one of your artwork send us a note with a link or thumbnail to the deviation that you want to donate and then we'll give you further instructions :aww:
Reply  ·  
Lilyas's avatar
Lilyas|Professional General Artist
I have sent a note to `switchbladeserenade.
Reply  ·  
ArtistsForCharity's avatar
that's fine then :D
She'll answer you soon :aww:
Reply  ·  
moroswen's avatar
This is wonderful. My younger brother has severe Autism.
Reply  ·  
DanielHovdahl's avatar
DanielHovdahl|Student Digital Artist
I actully have Aspergers!
I think what you are doing here is great, keep it up!
Reply  ·  
YOSHIMETAL's avatar
YOSHIMETAL| Photographer
:wave: Today I'm covering the WAAD (World Autism Awarness Day) in the UN headquarter in New york, followed by Art Exhubition of Autistic people. This is a useful journal for Autism and I'd love to donate some of my pictures for this purpose. I'll upload few pics of today's meeting, hopefuly they would increase the awarness of this illeness. Thank you for your efforts.
Reply  ·  
ArtistsForCharity's avatar
:thumbsup: Looking forward to seeing what you get to us!
Reply  ·  
catluvr2's avatar
catluvr2|Hobbyist General Artist
As a person with Autism/Asperger's, I applaud your choice of causes. :clap:
Reply  ·  
melyanna's avatar
Keep up with the awesome work! :-)
Reply  ·  
synthes's avatar
synthes|Professional Interface Designer
:#1:
Reply  ·  
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