Friday, June 24, 2016

What You Need to Know About Autism Speaks

This blog is aimed at helping churches support families who have autism. I know that one of the things that church members like to do is pass on resources. That is fine, as long as the family gives you permission.

However, I want to give you a warning that people outside of the autism community are unaware of. There are many people with autism who do not support and even strongly oppose an organization called Autism Speaks. This will seem strange because if you visit their website, you will find all kinds of very helpful resources and information. It all looks so good. I have shared information from this site.

So why do some people dislike Autism Speaks so much? There are a number of reasons, but one of the main ones is the feeling that Autism Speaks does not speak for people with autism, nor do they give voice to those with autism. You can read this blog post for one opinion on the issue.

I will be honest and say that I do not have strong feelings either way. I have heard some concerning things about Autism Speaks but have also seen some good things. I'm not prepared to endorse or condemn.

I share all of this only to say to well meaning church people that you need to be very careful when talking to a family with autism about Autism Speaks. There are all kinds of baggage that go along with this organization that is not found with others. Just be aware that it is a hot button topic within the autism community and act accordingly.

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