Good autistic charities and positive autistic posters

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HolyDiver
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31 Mar 2009, 7:13 pm

Does anyone know of any ethical charities to donate to? A sorority on campus has begun to support Autism Speaks, and has even hung a poster in the student union building. Even looking at that thing makes me grit my teeth in rage. The fact that Autism Speaks has stepped onto my home turf makes me feel threatened. I know the sorority has a good heart and is trying to give back to the community, but I need to not only set them straight, but offer an alternative. Any good charities?

Also, if they do not take the poster down, I will NOT attempt to force the building to remove it. That would make me no better than Robert Wright and his Autism Speaks Goons. I will instead make a counter poster right next to it promoting Neurodiversity and Autism Acceptance. Any ideas on designs?



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31 Mar 2009, 7:19 pm

HolyDiver wrote:
Does anyone know of any ethical charities to donate to? ... Any good charities?

D'you mean ... one that takes less than half of the donated funds for parties, luncheons, and the personal expenses of their organizers?

Nope. Not a one.

HolyDiver wrote:
... I will instead make a counter poster right next to it promoting Neurodiversity and Autism Acceptance. Any ideas on designs?


A series of posters featuring clean-cut, happy, attractive Aspies having fun, over a caption that reads:

"Autism Speaks Does Not Speak For Me!"
"My name is ________, and I have Asperger's Syndrome."


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31 Mar 2009, 8:06 pm

That's terrible!

Positive charities in my opinion are the Autism Society and Kindtree.org. Kindtree runs camps for autistic people, sells our artwork, etc. and they are based in my area. Their whole intent is for a positive focus!


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31 Mar 2009, 8:20 pm

I'd do a series with a common immediately recognizable theme, like a picture of Einstein, and across the bottom the single word, "Autistic."

Then do the same with Yeats, Michelangelo, Mozart, Tesla, Mark Twain, the usual suspects.

Probably want to put their names above the pictures, because a lot of people wouldn't recognize some of those people by their faces.


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4pawsforjudemom
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31 Mar 2009, 9:39 pm

We're currently fundraising for 4 Paws for Ability. My son has been accepted for an autism assistance dog. Some other agencies that I checked into wouldn't consider giving my son a dog, since I'm also on the spectrum. 4 Paws was just fine with that & were very positive and accepting. We decided to pursue getting an autism assistance dog for Jude because of a number of reasons. One reason is that he has trouble making friends, but has a real strong desire to have one. Another big reason is that Jude has little sense of true danger and has a tendency to wander off, so the dog that he's going to get will also be trained in search and rescue. We pledged to raise $13000, now I realize that may seem like a lot. However, Jude's dog will receive 500+ hours of training and it will be trained specifically for Jude's needs. For every $1 we raise "In Honor of Jude Bell", we receive 1 point. When we receive 13000 points, 4 Paws will begin training Jude's dog. We could really use the help in fundraising. Due to my difficulties with social interaction, it makes it a real challenge for me to do the "in person" fundraising. We really need to throw a fundraiser, but even the thought of doing that makes me stressed. So any help spreading the word that anyone wants to give will be GREATLY appreciated. If you want more info, you can check out our website . I can't post it yet, because I'm still fairly new here, but it will likely be the 1st result if you do a google search for "4 Paws for Jude". You can also send me a direct message at the site through the contact page, or DM me here.
We'd also love to have people show their support by joining our facebook cause, "Help Jude Get a Service Dog". I'm the creator of the cause, so you can add me as a friend
Any help or advice would be really appreciated! Thanks!! ! :D



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31 Mar 2009, 9:49 pm

4pawsforjudemom wrote:
...We decided to pursue getting an autism assistance dog for Jude because of a number of reasons. One reason is that he has trouble making friends, but has a real strong desire to have one...
Erm, you do realise, don't you, that a dog is just a dog, it isn't a proper substitute for real friends. In fact, surely, it would hamper your son, because if he became attached to a dog, then he wouldn't make as much effort to make real friends with other people? :?



HolyDiver
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31 Mar 2009, 10:54 pm

That sounds like a rather interesting and original idea. Service Dogs for autistic kids could be a possibility. I could mention that to the sorority.

What about Wrongplanet as well? Perhaps the money could go towards advertising the website so that parents and those the spectrum can talk with us for advice, for meeting people and relating to others. Perhaps I could send an email to Alex aboout this. Forums and websites like these need all the funding and help that they can get, considering the fact that the well connected and finannced Vice Chairman of G&E founded Autism Speaks.

English Lulu, see your point, but sometimes I better relate to the dog than people. I can certainly relate to people well and can "chill" with them if I have to, but animals are just cooler.



Last edited by HolyDiver on 31 Mar 2009, 11:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

HolyDiver
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31 Mar 2009, 11:02 pm

perhaps I could also make a picture of men in suits with the name "Autism Speaks" on them restraining and gagging a well built fellow with the name "Autistic Community" on it (perhaps we could use the little green alien as the basis... possibly), while Robert Wright says:

"It's time to listen... because we sure as heck won't"

The picture would portray that we strong, but we are being over powered in numbers and money, and we need people's help.



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01 Apr 2009, 4:24 am

EnglishLulu wrote:
4pawsforjudemom wrote:
...We decided to pursue getting an autism assistance dog for Jude because of a number of reasons. One reason is that he has trouble making friends, but has a real strong desire to have one...
Erm, you do realise, don't you, that a dog is just a dog, it isn't a proper substitute for real friends. In fact, surely, it would hamper your son, because if he became attached to a dog, then he wouldn't make as much effort to make real friends with other people? :?


Dogs (and other animals) can help to increase skills and social interaction. Having an interest in the dog can also lead to sharing conversation with others about it. Taking care of a dog also develops certain skills.



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01 Apr 2009, 7:19 am

outlier wrote:
EnglishLulu wrote:
4pawsforjudemom wrote:
...We decided to pursue getting an autism assistance dog for Jude because of a number of reasons. One reason is that he has trouble making friends, but has a real strong desire to have one...
Erm, you do realise, don't you, that a dog is just a dog, it isn't a proper substitute for real friends. In fact, surely, it would hamper your son, because if he became attached to a dog, then he wouldn't make as much effort to make real friends with other people? :?


Dogs (and other animals) can help to increase skills and social interaction. Having an interest in the dog can also lead to sharing conversation with others about it. Taking care of a dog also develops certain skills.


Yes. But:

A) Is he the one taking care of the dog? Or the parents?
B) Do you really need to spend 13K on a conversation piece? Or ask other people to help pay for it?



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01 Apr 2009, 7:24 am

HolyDiver wrote:
Does anyone know of any ethical charities to donate to? A sorority on campus has begun to support Autism Speaks, and has even hung a poster in the student union building. Even looking at that thing makes me grit my teeth in rage. The fact that Autism Speaks has stepped onto my home turf makes me feel threatened. I know the sorority has a good heart and is trying to give back to the community, but I need to not only set them straight, but offer an alternative. Any good charities?

Also, if they do not take the poster down, I will NOT attempt to force the building to remove it. That would make me no better than Robert Wright and his Autism Speaks Goons. I will instead make a counter poster right next to it promoting Neurodiversity and Autism Acceptance. Any ideas on designs?


Also, just to add. It wouldn't be all that good to approach the sorority about fundraising for a forum, or personal crusade. Those tend to be not so popular (unless the personal crusade is a matter of life or death).

If you must, choose a small charity in your area that has day-programs/services for autistics. Those tend to be the most popular, followed by large-scale national charities.



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01 Apr 2009, 10:18 am

www.autismspeaks.net.tc (no its not the actual Autism Speaks site) go on that, hover over "Links" and click "Good Autism Charities".

You can also use that site for anything you might want to do involving spreading the word about how bad Autism Speaks is.



outlier
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01 Apr 2009, 10:39 am

Katie_WPG wrote:
outlier wrote:
EnglishLulu wrote:
4pawsforjudemom wrote:
...We decided to pursue getting an autism assistance dog for Jude because of a number of reasons. One reason is that he has trouble making friends, but has a real strong desire to have one...
Erm, you do realise, don't you, that a dog is just a dog, it isn't a proper substitute for real friends. In fact, surely, it would hamper your son, because if he became attached to a dog, then he wouldn't make as much effort to make real friends with other people? :?


Dogs (and other animals) can help to increase skills and social interaction. Having an interest in the dog can also lead to sharing conversation with others about it. Taking care of a dog also develops certain skills.


Yes. But:

A) Is he the one taking care of the dog? Or the parents?
B) Do you really need to spend 13K on a conversation piece? Or ask other people to help pay for it?


The taking care part doesn't have to be taking care of most of the dog's needs. Developing a bond with an animal and simply caring about its welfare is more what I had in mind (e.g. learning to feel and/or display empathy), which can be accomplished with either a normal pet or a trained animal.

It's about more than a simple conversation piece (though that can sometimes make the difference between not interacting and wanting to approach others). That was just one example of how animals can improve communication. An animal can make a big difference for some people in terms of well-being, independence, and communication skills. This can be gained from having normal pets; however, it depends on the individual case and the approach taken as to whether a service dog would be worth the expense. Some people might benefit more from a trained animal, which provides certain services/skills. Others might not.



4pawsforjudemom
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01 Apr 2009, 4:43 pm

Wow! I never expected to spark this much conversation on this topic, but I'm quite glad. This is a subject that I feel very strongly about, and the best way to spread the word is by getting people to talk about it. There have been a lot of interesting points mentioned, so I'm not going to quote specific ones. Instead I will better explain my stand on it & why we made this decision for our son. Please excuse me if it is a lengthy post.
This wasn't a decision that we made lightly, in fact my husband & I researched and discussed it for more than 2 years. We wanted to give our son a chance to explore the world as unabated as possible for as long as possible. However, that entails some risks. Now, the risks outweigh the benefits. Jude, my son, is not safe with his own life or lives of others. He is very smart and has a very sweet nature. However, he often gets quite overwhelmed by things out of his control (i.e. people wearing buttons - which he has a strong sensory aversion to, or kids in school not drying their hands enough after washing - another aversion). When he becomes overwhelmed, he has a strong fight or flight tendency. Now we've been fortunate thus far that nothing serious has happened to him or another person - but it's likely only a matter of time. I truly want what is best for my son, and I believe this is it. We've worked very hard to try to teach him about safety (his own & others) and have engaged in a lot of behavioral therapies to help. He is on some medication, which seems to help him focus better, but I'm very strict in this area - I don't want my child to be a zombie so that he's safer. An autism assistance dog from 4 Paws for Ability will be trained for Jude's specific needs. One of which is search and rescue. He has ran away numerous times, we've just been fortunate that we or someone else were able to catch him. Just imagine how much more successful that dog would be, than one from a local police department, in finding Jude since he is the only person it'll be trained to find. Also, the dog will be trained in behavior disruption, when can be utilized when he is partaking in an activity that is unsafe. Safety is our #1 reason for hoping for this dog for Jude. Another reason is for him to have a friend. Now, I'm not dumb. I know there is a huge difference between humans and dogs. I also know that to know that you're loved unconditionally by some other being is a HUGELY wonderful thing. I am on the spectrum, I know how isolating it can be. I, often times, don't want to be around other people, but I work very hard at including both of my children in the world around them - people and all. Yes, it'd be safer to keep Jude home & school him there - but that would isolate him. The school has been wonderfully accommodating, but I know how scared they must be for Jude & the other kids. As one person pointed out, a dog can be a great gateway into conversing with other people. How wonderful it will be to see Jude talk to others about something that he is comfortable with & confident in! Some have questioned before whether or not having a dog will handicap Jude by making it obvious that there is something different about him. But there is something different about him, & it's already obvious. But I wouldn't change him for the world. We've always tried very hard to teach him that everyone is different & to be proud of who you are no matter what. He knows he has Autism, and he also knows that it's just part of what makes him the amazing person that he is. So I hope this better explains my stand. If I could pay for this myself, I would. I actually don't like asking others for help in this way, but I don't feel like I have much choice. I do have one thing to say to those of you who had negative comments. It is obvious to me that you didn't look at our website, and read what I've written there or look at the links about other families who have autism assistance dogs. If you're going to make such strong, hurtful statements about someone's intent - you might want to try to see what that intent is. There is nothing written here, that isn't written on the main page of our website. I don't mind questions, and I even accept that people may have a different opinion, but I'd appreciate if they tried to listen to what I have to say before telling me that I'm wrong. Please feel free to contact me if you wish to discuss this further, I will listen to another point of view but I ask that you consider mine. Again, if you'd like more information you can do a google search for 4 Paws for Jude & our website will likely be the first link on the results page. Thanks for hearing what I have to say & please consider spreading the word about Jude if you support what were doing. I appreciate any support that we receive, not just financial support! - Colleen



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01 Apr 2009, 4:50 pm

So it's the search-and-rescue and safety training that will really cost a lot. I guess a lot of us were worried that you were being gypped by being offered basically a well-behaved pet; but a dog trained to keep a person safe makes more sense.


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