Honestly, we should be getting used to this now. Yet another "public service" announcement, yet another batch of people having prejudicial statements thrown at them, all in the name of awareness. The impression I got was that they were accusing autism of being a serial killer or a supervillain… Really. I’m not kidding. But don’t take my word for it; read the transcript for yourself.
It really speaks for itself, doesn’t it?
I don’t know that I can say more. I’ve said it a hundred times already; autism isn’t the enemy, I’m not a walking tragedy, and I most certainly do not want people trying to "battle" something that I consider an integral part of myself.
Nobody, especially little kids who haven’t learned to defend themselves yet, should be portrayed in such a vicious manner; and don’t believe it when they say that little kids don’t hear or know that their diagnosis is being compared to cancer and AIDS, because they most certainly do–and it doesn’t take the ability to produce speech to understand speech. I am quite sure that if I had heard this ad as a literal youngster, I would have been quite convinced that I was going to die; that is what cancer and AIDS do to you, after all, and autism is supposed to be worse!
Parents with newly diagnosed children, feeling scared and alone, shouldn’t have this sort of hateful propaganda coming straight into their living rooms, telling them they will lose their marriages, their hope, their savings, and even their acceptance into society. And they won’t have it any better when their neighbors have heard this, too, and know no more about autism than that it is a nameless, faceless horror that stalks a family and ruins their lives.
It’s not autism that isolates a family or pursues an autistic child; it’s ideas like what Autism Speaks is promoting.
Awareness, on the whole, is a noble goal. I’d like it if people knew what autism was, so they would know what to expect from us and stop being so hesitant to include us in their world. But this kind of "awareness" can only hurt us.
At this point, it seems that we can only hope that Autism Speaks will become so egregious in its obvious bigotry that the general public will pick up on it; because it seems that they have set their course firmly on the path directly opposite to that which an autism advocacy organization ought to travel.