ASAN Condemns White House Autism Proclamation


The Autistic Self Advocacy Network has voiced opposition to the President’s autism proclamation and participation in Autism Speaks’ “Light it Up Blue” Campaign. The President’s support for the biomedical approach to autism is oppressive to the autistic community.

“…the current research agenda is already heavily and disproportionately skewed towards biomedical research and away from the research that has the most potential to help autistic people. In 2012, the last year for which data is available, 55% of NIH autism research funding went towards research on the biology or causation of autism. Less than 2% of NIH autism funding went towards research on services, and less than 1% went towards research on the needs of autistic people across the lifespan. The President’s emphasis on medical treatment and “cure” threatens to narrow those tiny slivers of the pie chart even further – and his plan to cut funding to the NIH will certainly shrink the size of the pie.”

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  1. Another way to waste the taxpayers’ money, since autism is likely also primarily a syndrome with doubtlessly more than one potential cause. One thing the Blue Light guys won’t be studying is how prenatal and early natal chemical exposure affects infants- bad for the chemical industry and business if that were true.

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  2. So glad to see Mad In America recognizing the natural allies in the Autistic rights movement and the neurodiversity movement! Autism is still considered a “mental illness” in society just as much as people who hear voices or who have extreme states, and these sorts of proclamations are the same result. I’m excited to see our communities collaborating more in the future.

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  3. The “biomedical treatments” for “autism” would very likely make people’s problems worse and cause new problems of their own. The drugs used in the “treatment” of autism, including neuroleptics prescribed for “irritability” in “autistic” people, have suppressive effects that make people more withdrawn, not only in interacting with the world but also perceiving it. It’s good that ASAN would oppose such treatment. I think it’s also a double standard that “autistic” people would be drugged, whereas irritability would be seen as “normal” for “normal” people.

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