I spend a lot of online time in communities of autistic people and, this being the holiday season, lately there have been a few people in crisis posting to the forums. As an Aspergian I always hesitate to respond to someone depressed because…well, we’re known for being socially inappropriate, right? Every time we open our mouth, a friendship is on the line and that’s tough enough. But when it is someone’s mental state or their life on the line, the stakes are a bit higher and I become paralyzed with fear that I’ll say the wrong thing and make the situation worse.
As most of you know, I’ve been asking people to boycott Autism Speaks and their major sponsors such as Home Depot and Toys ‘R’ Us. But I want to know in such matters that I’m making the right stand. As a rule I try to always entertain the possibility that I’m wrong and listen to opposing views with an open mind. But on something like this I feel I need to do a bit more due diligence so in my spare time I’ve been reading through the Autism Speaks web site and materials. Tonight I downloaded a couple of their toolkits. Sadly, I found nothing to dispel my negative views of that organization. To the contrary, the “toolkits” reveal the extent to which the organization’s bias is ingrained. After reading, I’m even more concerned for the welfare of autistics under their treatment than I was before.