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How Autism Speaks Hijacked World Autism Awareness Day

Anything But Blue


In 2007 the United Nations decided that, starting in 2008, April 2nd would be declared World Autism Awareness Day. While the UN in their press release describes autism as a disorder, and although they made the unfortunate decision to include Autism Speaks as a sponsor, the idea behind their resolution was to strengthen our human rights and support ‘efforts in raising awareness and eliminating stigma [...] and highlight the importance of a better understanding.’

These goals are quite different from those of Autism Speaks, the world’s largest anti-autism organisation, who scare parents and others into believing that autism is a terrible tragedy that takes their child away, claim that there is an autism epidemic, and who have the declared aim of eliminating us.

In 2010, for the third World Autism Awareness Day, Autism Speaks initiated their ‘Light It Up Blue’ campaign (blue was chosen because it is their corporate colour, based on the fact that more boys than girls are being diagnosed). Using their influence and money they managed to involve a lot of government and public buildings besides reaching a large audience worldwide. In the public opinion ‘Light It Up Blue’ and Autism Speaks became synonymous with World Autism Awareness Day, and its purpose of strengthening our rights, raising awareness, eliminating stigma and highlighting the importance of a better understanding are now replaced with Autism Speaks’ fearmongering and their futile and degrading search for a ‘cure’.

Autism advocates around the world counter this event with calls to light it up in other colours, such as gold or red, and demand not only autism awareness but autism acceptance.

Lighting it up blue means silencing autistic individuals and organisations, spreading fear and ignorance about autism and rejecting the concept of autism acceptance.

Lighting it up any other colour means supporting diversity, our right to speak for ourselves and the concept of autism acceptance.

© 6258 RT (2017 CE) by Frank L. Ludwig