Deconstruction of Autism Speaks | Town & County: Autism’s Angels | Part 1

“Deconstruction of the Autism Speaks” is a new series I started in honor of “the month” in April 2021 on InternationalBadassActivists.org. This breakdown article from Town & Country will be included there as well.

Each article in this series will take an Autism Speaks press release, or an article, and use my Autistic perspective to break it down and illustrate the patterns I notice. These articles will be tagged “Deconstruction of Autism Speaks” and added to the Autistic History archives.


Town & Country Magazine

August 2006

Special Report: The Latest On Autism

Autism’s Angels

The devastating disorder is inexplicably on the rise, and some visionary families have joined forces to promote awareness — and to find answers. 

By Diane Guernsey



QUOTE

David Slatkin is irresistible: a meltingly adorable seven-year-old who, with his thick, golden-brown hair and angelic face, might have stepped out of a Ralph Lauren ad. Take one look at his photograph and thoughts bubble up – maybe someday he’ll play soccer or lacrosse, he’ll love math or music or computers. Maybe some he’ll go to one of the Ivies or take a year off before college and travel. Maybe someday …

Learn more about David and those thoughts die away.

David has autism.

“David doesn’t talk; he’s never said Mama or Daddy,” says his mother, Laura, a thoughtful, soft-spoken woman who is the founder and president of the Candela Group, a New York-based home-fragrance manufacturer. “And he doesn’t understand language; we talk to him, but he doesn’t comprehend it. He’s very hyperactive. His twin sister, Alexandra, sits ont he bed while I put on my makeup, and we’re together. But if David is in the room, he’s jumping all over, climbing on everythign and putting things in his mouth that he shouldn’t. I love him so much, but I can’t be with him unless I’m devoting all my attention to him.”

David’s father, Harry, who is the president of home design for Limited Brands, joins in, speaking with the total honesty that he and Laura have chosen to use when they talk about David. “We’re lucky – at least he’s not eating his feces or smearing them on the wall. But he wanders off at the drop of a hat. We’ve put locks on all the doors, high up so he can’t reach them. One night we forgot, and the next morning the kitchen door was open, and all the glasses were smashed on the floor.

BREAKDOWN

  • Autism’s Angels are Autistic children
  • Devastating disorder, autism prevalence
  • Families joined to promote autism awareness
  • Find the answers to autism
  • article by Diane Guernsey
  • David Slatkin is an Autistic child
  • David Slatkin looks like an angel, looks like a Ralph Lauren Model
  • David appears typical until you know him
  • David is Autistic
  • David is non-speaking
  • David’s mother is Laura Slatkin
  • Laura Slatkin is Founder and President of Candela Group
  • Laura uses hand signs to communicate with David
  • David doesn’t understand spoken language
  • David is hyperactive
  • Davis has a twin sister, Alexandra
  • David needs 100% of Alexandra’s attention if in the same room
  • Harry Slatkin is David’s father
  • Harry Slatkin is president of Limited Brands
  • Harry feels fortunate his son doesn’t eat or smear poop
  • David wanders and special placement of door locks needed.
  • David breaks things when unattended

QUOTE

When David was diagnosed, at 17 months, his parents responded with a textbook-perfect swiftness. They immersed him in an intensive, fifty-hour-a-week home-based educational program called Applied Behavioral Analysis, or ABA, along with other therapies, hoping that this multifaceted approach would help him, as it does many children, to overcome his cognitive and behavioral limitations and regain a more normal development path.

“I call that first year our year of hope,” says Laura. “Harry and I took a journey on lands we’d never been to, reading, talking to so many wonderful doctors and therapists, learning about all the educational methodologies and therapies. We brought in a number of different doctors and groups to oversee his programs. After nine or ten months, I said to one doctor, ‘It’s been a while now; where would you say David fits on the spectrum of autism? Is he more challenged or less? And he said, “I would say that your son is severely autistic.” Laura pauses, then says, “That was a dagger through my heart. That was the day when I knew we weren’t one of the lucky ones. It rocked my world. I had to leave the room and go cry. When you have a child, you have all these hopes and dreams — and that’s when it all unraveled.”

Even with his intensive programs, it took David three years to learn to dress himself, and he still needs supervision to do so. On weekly supermarket trips, he picks up cans as Laura points to them, then bites them instead of putting them in the cart.

Basic communication is a struggle. Unlike many nonverbal children, David doesn’t understand how to use picture cards to convert his wishes. His parents have taught him hand signals — “I’m hungry” is touching his lips with two fingers; “I’m thirsty” is rubbing his throat with one hand; “I need to use the bathroom” is tapping the knuckles of both hands together. But the system isn’t foolproof. “Someone still has to take him to the toilet every thirty minutes,” says Laura. “And if we’re on a trip and he has to go, he doesn’t signal. We’re hoping that, maybe three years from now, he’ll be able to signal ‘bathroom.’ 

This is a crucial goal, not just for David’s future but also because he gets frustrated by his inability to communicate, he will bite his hand viciously — or he may turn on others.

“One day at the supermarket, he was in such a vile mood, lunging and scratching,” Laura recalls. “When I leaned down to pick him up, he bit my shoulder really, really hard. I couldn’t disengage him except by doing the most effective thing — which was to grab his hair at the back of his head and pull very hard. People saw that, and as you can imagine the looks they gave me! We had to give up and leave.”

Even when David is calm, it’s a double-edged sword. “David can walk along with us in New York, and he looks like a normal kid,” says Harry. “We try to project that, because we don’t want him flapping his hands and howling as he goes down the street. Our friends say, ‘Oh he looks so great and normal!’ But he is not. How many times has it happened that we’re standing with David on a corner, and he’ll put his hand up a lady’s dress? Those are the things that we live with all the time.

BREAKDOWN

  • David was diagnosed Autistic at 17 months
  • David’s parents responded to the diagnosis quickly
  • David was placed in 50 hours a week home-based Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA)
  • Hope was the multi-faceted approach would help David overcome cognitive and behavioral limitations, regain a more neurotypical development path.
  • Laura calls first year after David’s diagnosis a year of hope
  • Laura and David spoke to doctors and therapists, read books
  • Laura is told David is ‘severely autistic’
  • The diagnosis devastated Laura. She lost all her hopes and dreams for David.
  • Laura and Harry weren’t one of the lucky parents
  • Even with ABA, David took 3 years to learn to dress and still needs supervision
  • David helps his mom shop at the grocery store.
  • David interacts with the canned goods by biting them, instead of putting them in the cart
  • Basic communication is a struggle for David
  • David doesn’t use PECs, but does use some hand signals
  • David can hand signal: I’m hungry, I’m thirsty, I need to use the bathroom
  • David needs support using the restroom and trips every 30 minutes to prompt
  • Laura hopes with ABA in three years David will signal when on a trip use the hand signal for bathroom
  • David is frustrated by his inability to communicate
  • David might bite his hand when frustrated
  • David might hurt others when frustrated
  • David will lunge, scratch, bite and pull other’s hair when frustrated
  • Laura has had to forcibly disentangle from David before, causing passerby’s to give looks
  • Laura had to remove David from the store and wasn’t able to finish shopping trip
  • When David is calm he can pass as neurotypical
  • Harry says they try to project that David’s neurotypical in public and don’t want him to hand flap, howl
  • Friends comment on how normal David appears
  • David is socially inappropriate and doesn’t maintain other people’s body boundaries
  • Harry states these are the things that they live with all the time.

QUOTE

The Slatkins do everything they can to help Alexandra, David’s sister, cope with his disorder. Since she was 18 months old, she’s been seeing a psychologist to help her articulate her responses and feelings. “We wanted her to be proud of David for who he is but also to know that it’s ok to feel angry when she has friends over and he starts to scream and howl,” Harry says.

When Alexandra tries to hug David, he pushes her away unless the Slatkins hold him. “Recently he’s been very lovey-do very, and if I walk into a room, he’ll come over and kiss me,” says Laura. “That’s when our whole world changes. Harry and I live off those snapshots of reality, when we see what he’d be like if he were a normal kid.”

Does she ever imagine how different their lives would be if autism could be cured? “It would mean the world to have my son back — not ‘back,’ because I never had him, but to have David turn and say, “I love you, Mom,’ or ‘I want chicken for dinner,’” says Laura. “It’s crushing; it just takes a huge chunk out of you not to be able to communicate with your son.”

At times the pain has been almost unbearable. In a documentary entitled Autism: True Lives, Harry describes the very large pond next to their house in the Hamptons. “We put locks on all the doors leading outside because we didn’t want David possibly going into the pond. But there were times when” — he stops, then talks through his tears — “you hoped he did, because you wouldn’t want him to suffer like this all his life.”

Everyone urged the Slatkins to cut this from the documentary, Laura says, but they left it in. “Since then, we’ve spoken to many families who say, “We all share that hidden, dark thought.’”

Later in the documentary, Harry describes coming to terms with David for who he is and no longer feeling so tormented. What haunts the Slatkins now, they say, is fear for the future: “We worry all the time, how are we going to take care of David when he’s 20 or 30?” says Laura. “We can’t talk about it; it’s too painful.”

“Autism is so devastating,” she says quietly. “People really don’t understand.”

BREAKDOWN

  • Harry and Laura do everything help David’s non-Autistic twin, Alexandra, cope
  • Alexandra has been seeing a psychologist to help Alexandra articulate responses and feelings
  • Harry and Laura want Alexandra to feel proud of David
  • Harry and Laura want Alexandra to know it’s OK to feel angry when her friends are visiting and David screams and howls
  • David pushes Alexandra away when she tries to hug him, unless Harry and Laura hold him
  • Recently David has been more approachable and has given Laura a kiss
  • Harry says those moments are a snapshot of what David would be like if he was neurotypical
  • It would mean the world to Laura if David could be cured and she could have him back but not ‘back’ because she never had him
  • It would mean the world if David could speak in full sentences “I love you” “I want chicken for dinner”
  • Laura says autism is soul crushing due to inability to communicate with David
  • The pain of autism is almost unbearable
  • Documentary, Autism: True Lives interviews Harry Slatkin
  • Slatkins live in the Hamptons near a big pond
  • Slatkins are worried about the drowning risk if David wanders out of the home
  • Slatkins put locks on leading outside so David couldn’t wander
  • Harry admits to hoping maybe David would drown so he wouldn’t have to suffer his whole life
  • Slatkins were urged to remove this part of their interview from the documentary, they left it in because they ‘all share that hidden, dark thought’
  • Harry states in documentary that he now accepts his son is Autistic and no longer feels so tormented
  • The Slatkins are haunted now by David’s future after they die
  • The Slatkins worry about how to care for David as an adult. They fear for his future.
  • The Slatkins can’t talk about it more because it’s too painful
  • Autism is devastating


Comparison Table

What They SayWhat I see
Influencers/Influenced

– Town & Country Magazine publishes the article “Autism’s Angels” in August 2006
– Author: Diane Guernsey

Audience/Demographic target: Non-Autistic


Interviewed

– Laura Slatkin
– Mom to an Autistic child and non-Autistic child

– President of Candela Group

– Imagines if her son wasn’t Autistic it would mean the world to have him back.
– Wishes to have better ability to communicate with Autistic son

– Appeared in documentary “Autism: True Lives”
– Chose to be ‘honest’
– States Autism is devastating and people don’t understand
– Has hidden dark thoughts of son dying to prevent a life of disability














– Harry Slatkin
– Father of an Autistic child and non-Autistic child

– President of Limited Brands
– Founder of Slatkin & Co.
– Now President of Slatkin & Co.
– Owner and chairman of HomeWorx
– Co-founder of Next for Autism
– Creator of NYC Autism Charter School

– Appeared in documentary “Autism: True Lives
– Chose to be ‘honest’
– Has hidden dark thoughts of son dying to prevent a life of disability















David Slatkin (parent’s interviewed)
– Autistic child
– non-speaking
– hyperactive
– immersed in ABA 50 hours at week at 17 months
– Hurts others when overwhelmed
– Has socially inappropriate behavior
– Doesn’t express love spontaneously with family
– For twin sister to get hug, parents must hold David down
– Looks like from a Ralph Lauren Ad
– considered ‘severely autistic’


Alexandra Slatkin (parent’s interviewed)
– Non-Autistic child
– David’s Twin sister
– Seeing psychologist since 18 months to help her with brother being Autistic
– Parents hold brother, David, when she wants to hug him
– Knows she’s allowed to be angry at brother when friends are over and he’s displaying inappropriate social behavior.






– Town & Country Magazine publishes the article “Autism’s Angels” in August 2006
– A company of William Randolph Hearst
– Author: Diane Guernsey

Audience/Demographic target: Non-Autistic

Interviewed

– Laura Slatkin
– Non-Autistic Mom to an Autistic child and non-Autistic child David and Alexandra

Founding member of Autism Speaks
– Board of directors from 2005 – 2018

– Founder of NEST Fragrances
– President of Candela Group
– Co-founder of Next for Autism
– Creator of NYC Autism Charter School

– Served on Board of Directors at Columbia University Department of Psychiatry
– Served on Hunter College Autism Research And Policy Board
– Served on board: Henry Street Settlement House
– Served on board: The New England Center for Children

– Interviewed in documentary “Autism: True Lives
– Chose to be ‘honest’
– States Autism is devastating and people don’t understand
– Imagines if her son wasn’t Autistic it would mean the world to have him back.
– Wishes to have better ability to communicate with Autistic son


– Harry Slatkin
– Non-Autistic father of an Autistic child and non-Autistic child David and Alexandra

– President of Limited Brands
– Founder of Slatkin & Co.
– Now President of Slatkin & Co.
– Owner and chairman of HomeWorx
– Acquired Belstaff with Tommy Hilfiger and Labelux Group
– Chief Executive Officer of Belstaff

– Co-founder of Next for Autism
– Creator of NYC Autism Charter School

– Contributing editor at Elle Décor Magazine 
– Appears regularly on QVC 
– Guest appearances on such shows as CNNThe Martha Stewart Show, Extra TVE! NewsCNBCABC and Comedy Central.

– Partnered with Weill Cornell Medicine and Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons to open Center for Autism and the Developing Brain

– Appeared in documentary “Autism: True Lives
– Chose to be ‘honest’
– Has hidden dark thoughts of son dying to prevent a life of disability

David Slatkin (parent’s interviewed)
– Autistic child, diagnosed at 17-months
– non-speaking
– hyperactive
– immersed in ABA 50 hours at week at 17 months
– Hurts others when overwhelmed
– Has socially inappropriate behavior
– Doesn’t express love spontaneously with family
– Is not allowed body autonomy
– Looks ‘normal’ until you know he’s Autistic
– Autism and what co-morbidities?


Alexandra Slatkin (parent’s interviewed)
– Non-Autistic child
– David’s Twin sister
– Seeing psychologist since 18 months to help her with brother being Autistic
– David’s body autonomy is ignored when a hug is wanted, as modeled by the parents.
– Knows she’s allowed to be angry at brother when friends are over and he’s displaying inappropriate social behavior.





Topics/
– Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA)
– 50 hours a week
– overcome cognitive limitations
– overcome behavioral limitations
– Develop along a more ‘normal’ development path


PECS
– David is not able to communicate with PECS

Hand Signals
– Hungry
– Thirsty
– Bathroom

– Elopement, wandering
– requires extra vigilance
– requires extra safety precautions

– Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA)
– 50 hours a week
– overcome cognitive limitations
– overcome behavioral limitations
– Develop along a more ‘normal’ development path


PECS
– It’s not a tragedy that an Autistic child can’t use PECS. PECS is part of the ABA system.

Hand Signals
– No mention of American Sign Language (ASL) being a language option for David.

– Elopement, wandering
– requires extra vigilance
– requires extra safety precautions
Marketing & Language Used


– Autism’s Angels
– Parent perspective of Autism

Person First Language (PFL)

– normal, try to project normal, reduce/halt flapping and other traits of being Autistic

– violent, destructive, screaming, yelling

– autism prevalence, autism awareness, cause of autism,

– Alarming, hyperactive, devastating, hopes/dreams lost, not one of the ‘lucky ones’, vicious, tormented, hidden/dark thoughts, crushing, fillicide, haunted, suffer, painful
Autism’s Angels
– Non-Autistic parent perspective of Autism
– dehumanizing, autism myth
– Written for non-Autistic population
– Written as if Autistic people would never read the article

– Autistic Culture uses Identity First Language (IFL)

Promotes Autism myths and misinformation

Promotes ABA/conversion therapy in effort to project or be ‘more normal’ and halt stims

Uses:
– Tragedy Narrative
– Fear/Violence Narrative
– Cure/Eugenics language
– Fillicide, Better off Dead Than Disabled

Summary

In August of 2006, the oldest lifestyle magazine in America, Town & Country, ran an article titled, “Autism’s Angels.” It began with interviews from non-Autistic parents Harry and Laura Slatkin. They have twins David and Alexandra. David is Autistic; Alexandra is not.

At the opening of the article, David is described as irresistible. He has the looks of a Ralph Lauren model, and can pass as ‘normal’, that is until you know David is Autistic. According to his parents, David was attacked by this devastating disorder and diagnosed as a toddler. He is non-speaking and doesn’t comprehend much spoken language either.

David is hyperactive, gets frustrated by his inability to communicate, and when overwhelmed can scream, howl and become destructive or violent. David’s dad is grateful at least he doesn’t sensory seek by eating or smearing feces, like some Autistic kids. David’s parents lost all hopes and dreams for him when he was diagnosed with Autism, and they placed David’s twin sister with a psychologist at 18-months to learn to articulate and express her feelings, and learn to cope with having an Autistic brother.

The only hope for David was early intervention with Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA). David was immersed in this home-based therapy starting at 17-months-old for 50-hours a week. David isn’t capable of communicating with PECS, but can use some hand signals for when he’s hungry, thirsty or need to use the bathroom. Laura hopes her son will be able to communicate his need to use the restroom more consistently with ABA. Even with ABA it took David three years to learn how to get dressed.

Harry and Laura Slatkin participated in the documentary, ”Autism: True Lives.” They gave themselves permission to be painfully honest when describing their experience raising an Autistic child.

Laura describes feeling like they weren’t ‘one of the lucky ones’ when she learned her son was considered ‘severely Autistic.’ Both David’s parents have moments when they imagine him as ‘normal.’ Laura states it would be great to have David back if he was cured, well not really back, but to become neurotypical and have the ability to verbally communicate. David can be very socially inappropriate in public and it makes others stare or question his parent’s ability to parent. Laura describes autism as crushing.

Harry and Laura do everything in their power to help daughter, Alexandra, cope with her brother’s autism. When Alexandra wants to hug David, they hold David down to accept it.

To keep David safe from drowning in the nearby pond, or eloping and becoming lost, his parents installed locks on all doors going outside in their home. Though, his dad admits that there times he has hoped David would drown so he wouldn’t have to suffer a life of disability. It’s said this is the hidden thoughts all parents of Autistics harbor.

Harry has come to terms with his son’s autism now and no longer feels so much torment. However, both parents are haunted by what will happen to David after they die. David’s future without them is too painful to think about, so they don’t.

From the start, this article is jam-packed with tragedy narrative builds up the tension with fear and violence narrative before the big confession by David’s parents, where they admit to thoughts of filicide and then state that all parents of Autistics have these dark thoughts.

Now, Harry and Laura have given themselves permission to be direct and honest. They participated in the documentary “Autism: True Lives” in that manner. I suspect they were rewarded with “how brave of you” from other parents of Autistics for their confession. Really, why else would they exploit their child’s most private moments and share something so vile as thinking about the possibility of their son drowning to end his suffering of living Autistic and disabled?

Is this a selfless act on the Slatkins’ part to educate the world about autism and at their own personal expense? No, I don’t think so. Let’s remember the Slatkins are not just any parents, they are also founding board members of Autism Speaks, plus co-founders of NEXT for Autism and the NYC Autism Charter School. Laura is a founder of NEST Fragrances and president of the Candela Group. Harry is president of Limited Brands.

David’s parents are blessed with privilege, money, connections and power. They support the Combating Autism Act that was introduced in ‘05 and then signed by President George W. Bush in December of 2006. This bill was not supported by the Autistic community and Autistic people’s voices were muted. Then the parent-led Autism Speaks became the loudest voice for Autistic people in the nation instead.

The Slatkins aren’t the only Autism Speaks affiliated parents to share dark thoughts of fillicide or murder/suicide with their Autistic child on a national platform. No, this dark thought has become a hallmark of the Autism Speaks tragedy narrative throughout the years. The Slatkins‘ ‘honesty’ is really them giving themselves permission to exploit their Autistic child’s most private moments to the public in an effort to push their agenda.

Today, murder and fillicide are incredible issues in the Autistic community. Often the murderers are given sympathy with the excuse of ‘raising an Autistic child is so hard.’ The Autistic and disabled community have a yearly “Day of Mourning Vigil” to remember the victims.

As a parent of Autistics and non-Autistic, I assure you, never have I ever once thought about the early demise of my children being for their own best interest. Never. And if I did, I’d wouldn’t share about it on a national platform and would instead seek help with a professional.

To note: Unlike what the Slatkins say, these “dark, hidden thoughts” of filicide are not normal. They are dangerous and a symptom of mental illness. If you are having these thoughts about your child, GET PROFESSIONAL HELP NOW.

It doesn’t make you a bad parent for having the thought. It makes you a parent that needs help, and it’s your responsibility to get help before you lose insight and become a danger to your child and self.

I’m astounded the lack of respect for David’s body autonomy described in the article, and the force used to make him accept a hug from his sister. Just what the hell? This violation of body autonomy is abusive, and it sets Autistics up to be an even easier target for predators. The social rules being created (like my body is not my own) will affect an Autistic for their entire life. I’m also shocked by how much “othering“ David’s parents do to him, and how hard they get him to appear ‘normal’ and mask his Autistic traits. In the entire first segment of this article, I can’t find one positive mentioned about David.

As an Autistic and a parent of Autistics, I am astounded by what these parents find tragic. Keeping an Autistic child safe and meeting their needs with adaptions like locks on doors so they don’t drown in the nearby pond, or elope and find themselves in danger, is not traumatizing. Trauma would be the death of my Autistic child due to drowning or elopement. Implementing appropriate safety precautions to meet the needs of a child, Autistic or not, is simply basic parenting.

The focus in this article on bathroom routines was absurd. Autistic children do not develop the same as neurotypical children. Yes, diapers and pull-ups for my kids were needed long after other parents had their non-Autistic children potty trained. Still not a trauma. Timelines for this milestone, and many others, are vastly different for Autistic children. It’s the parents that need to adjust and adapt their preconceived expectations, and keep the child’s best interest centered instead.

As stated in the article, The Slatkins don’t adapt. Instead they put their Autistic toddler into 50-hours a week of ABA to help ‘normalize’ him. This is the equivalent of working full-time plus overtime for an adult. Autistic people have fought the inclusion of ABA in therapy for us since Autism Speaks, and other non-Autistic-led autism organizations, started lobbying legislation to get it covered by insurances and Medicaid. 

ABA is a myth originally sold to parents that it would keep their Autistic child out of an institution. Today, parents are told that with early intervention therapy their child will either be less Autistic or no longer Autistic by elementary school, and can be mainstreamed in typical education classes. ABA is very expensive to pay out of pocket. Essentially, Autism Speaks has justified the big price tag up front will offset the overall burden on resources for an Autistic’s lifetime. The recommendation for this therapy is 40 hours a week for children and toddlers.

The original study that showed the success rate of ABA to be at 50% has never been replicated. In fact, the study of ABA by United States Department of Defense was denounced as a failure. Not just once, but multiple times. Simply stated: ABA doesn’t work. In study after repeated study: ABA (conversion therapy) doesn’t work. 

What more recent studies do show: Autistics who experienced ABA therapy are at high risk to develop PTSD and other lifelong trauma-related conditions. Historically, the autism organizations promoting ABA as a cure or solution have silenced Autistic advocates’ opposition. ABA is also known as gay conversion therapy.

The Town & Country article uses tragedy and fear narrative to describe autism with descriptions like alarming, crushing, tormented and devastating. This type of marketing has been incredible in driving donations to “cure” autism, which funneled money out of local communities, never to return, while at the same time harming Autistic people, and diminishing our quality of lives with increased stigma and abuse.


Also from 2008, An Activist Messages Me About The Dangers Of Autism Speaks. Harry and Laura Slatkin included.

A screenshot of an Autistic activist that messaged during my first “Autism Awareness” campaign in 2008. This is the year I learned the ugly truth about Autism Speaks and their work.

Message Text (links are originals):

abfh has left a new comment on your post “Beyond April: Blogging and raising money for autis…“: 

If so much as a penny goes to Autism Speaks, count me out. They are funding research to develop a prenatal test and expect to do so by 2015, as discussed by one of their leading researchers, Dr. Joseph Buxbaum, in an interview on MSNBC.com. (note: the group NAAR, mentioned in the article, merged into Autism Speaks)

Alison Tepper Singer, a vice-president of Autism Speaks, publicly fantasized about murdering her child in the Autism Every Day film; two Autism Speaks directors, Harry and Laura Slatkin, said that they wished their child would drown in their backyard pond. See the Autism Speaks: Don’t Speak for Us Petition to read more about that.

Suzanne Wright, founder of Autism Speaks, said in a January 2008 interview with Parade Magazine that her goal is to “eradicate” autism.

In short: Autism Speaks is a hate group masquerading as a charity.

I suggest contributing to The Autism Acceptance Project, a charity that promotes acceptance of, and accommodations for, autistic people in society. 

Posted by abfh May 4, 2008 10:55 AM


Archive | e-Speaks: Autism Genes Discovered; Environmental Innovator Award Recipient Publishes New Data; Autism Speaks Visits the Middle East | Circa May 1, 2009

Text:


Autism Speaks Board Members Ring NASDAQ Closing Bell

In honor of Autism Awareness Month, Autism Speaks Board Member Laura Slatkin, Harry Slatkin, president of Home Design for Limited Brands and of Slatkin & Co., and their nine-year-old son David, who has autism, rang the closing bell at the NASDAQ stock market on April 27, 2009. Read more.

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