I ate at Joe's Crab Shack today - Autism Speaks campaign

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SoftwareEngineer
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13 Apr 2014, 12:26 am

Hi Folks,

Today, I ate at the Joe's Crab Shack in Tempe, AZ. They had the Autism Speaks stuff up all over the place and they are doing very active fund raising. I like that business and I'm certainly not slamming them, but the campaign is an obvious failure. When I told them I am autistic, they couldn't believe it. They were all under the impression autistic people are entirely disabled and barely potty trainable. You would think Autism Speaks would provide a bit of information to Joe's, so they understood the concepts. I don't expect the people of Joe's to spend hours and hours studying autism, but a quick five minute overview about the diversity of the spectrum would be in order.

Regards,
Rob



Feralucce
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13 Apr 2014, 12:31 pm

That's because Autism Speaks doesn't actually represent Autistic Spectrum Individuals... and they push for a cure...


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Bodyles
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13 Apr 2014, 5:15 pm

To be fair, those reactions, expectations, and levels of ignorance aren't particularly surprising, even if they are disappointing.

Moreover, Joe's Crab Shack is a franchise, & the partnership with Autism Speaks is at the corporate level.
When franchised corporations work with various charities the franchises never get trained about the charity, as far as I know.
If a particular franchise owner was interested and educated their staff they might know something about it, but otherwise it's not like corporate is going to waste money training their workers about the organizations & issues surrounding their various charitable & promotional relationships. :roll:

Feralucce is correct in pointing out that Autism Speaks portrays autistic people the way the staff at Joe's treated you and rarely acknowledge those of us who can and do speak just fine for ourselves, thanks.
Autism Speaks does this to generate fear, pity, and anger towards autistics & autism in general so they can show how terrible it is for the parents & families of autistic children & massively guilt middle class families into giving them tons of money for their research into eugenics & neurobutchery in a twisted effort to 'cure' autism.
As an organization, Autism Speaks isn't interested in educating people about the realities of autism, it's not interested in providing services to autistic people, it's not interested in listening to autistic people to find out what we need, and in fact it isn't interested in assisting autistic people at all in any way whatsoever.
Autism Speaks is only interested in helping the poor burdened parents & families of autistic children deal with the fact that their children are in fact cypers/lost/gone/monsters and researching ways to 'cure' autism so no one will have to bear the terrible burden of an autistic child or family member again.

Thus most of the mainstream autism pubilicity & money & education is controlled by an organization of allistics, for allistics, which does nothing for actual autistics and in fact has a stated main goal of eliminating our entire population through a 'cure'.
Ironically enough then if Joe's corporate did, unlikely though it seems, have Autism Speaks 'educate' its franchises, it's likely that you would have received the exact same reaction as that is the image of autism which Autism Speaks actively promotes.

Autism Speaks could be the most powerful advocacy tool we autistics have.
Instead, it's a bunch of self-righteous allistic shmucks talking about us like we're not in the room as if they were in a position to understand autism because the have a child or family member (read:horrible burden on the whole family/non-person) who's autistic and they feel like that fact makes them, not actual autistic people, the experts & the ones who should get to decide the fates of all autistics, how autistics should be portrayed in the media & to the public in general, and where the lion's share of the money given to charity for autistics is spent (certainly not on heping autistics!).
/rant

@OP:
If we want people around us to be factually educated about Autism, I'm afraid we're probably going to have to educate those people ourselves.
No one, especially not Austism Speaks, is going to do it for us, that's for sure.



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13 Apr 2014, 6:07 pm

True.