codeman38: Osaka from Azumanga Daioh surrounded by Japanese kana, translated as 'Get it together!' (get it together)
Cody B. ([personal profile] codeman38) wrote in [community profile] asperger2009-09-22 10:38 pm

Autism Speaks reaches a new low

So today Autism Speaks revealed its latest PSA, titled "I Am Autism". Originally announced back in August, the press release at that time encouraged families to submit videos of autistic individuals for a PSA that would "shine a bright spotlight" on autism.

So what did the video end up being?

This monstrosity.

Since the video isn't captioned, I'm bothering to actually listen to the whole thing, painful as it is, to transcribe it here. (Hopefully I got the genders of the speakers right; some of them were hard to tell...)

man: I am autism. I'm visible in your children, but if I can help it, I am invisible to you until it's too late. I know where you live, and guess what? I live there too. I hover around all of you. I know no color barrier, no religion, no morality, no currency. I speak your language fluently, and with every voice I take away, I acquire yet another language. I work very quickly. I work faster than pediatric AIDS, cancer, and diabetes combined. And if you are happily married, I will make sure that your marriage fails. Your money will fall into my hands, and I will bankrupt you for my own self-gain. I don't sleep, so I make sure you don't either. I will make it virtually impossible for your family to easily attend a temple, a birthday party, a public park, without a struggle, without embarrassment, without pain. You have no cure for me. Your scientists don't have the resources, and I relish their desperation. Your neighbors are happier to pretend that I don't exist, of course, until it's their child. I am autism. I have no interest in right or wrong. I derive great pleasure out of your loneliness. I will fight to take away your hope. I will plot to rob you of your children and your dreams. I will make sure that every day you wake up, you will cry, wondering 'who will take care of my child after I die?' And the truth is, I am still winning, and you are scared, and you should be. I am autism. You ignored me. That was a mistake.

woman: And to autism, I say...
man: I am a father...
woman: A mother...
woman: A grandparent...
man: A brother...
woman: A sister...
man: We will spend every waking hour trying to weaken you.
woman: We don't need sleep, because we will not rest until you do.
woman: Family can be much stronger than autism ever anticipated, and we will not be intimidated by you...
woman: ...nor will the love and strength of my community.
man: I am a parent riding toward you, and you can push me off this horse time and time again, but I will get up, climb back on, and ride on with the message.
woman: Autism? You forget who we are. You forget who you are dealing with. You forget the spirit of mothers...
all: ...and daughters, and fathers, and sons...
(crosstalk: several people calling out "We are" and the names of different countries)
all: We are the United Nations.
man: We are coming together in all climates.
woman: We call on all faiths.
woman: We search with technology...
woman: ...and voodoo...
woman: ...prayer and...
man: ...herbs...
man: ...genetic studies...
woman: ...and a growing awareness you never anticipated.
man: We have had challenges, but we are the best when overcoming them.
woman: We speak the only language that matters:
all: Love for our children.
woman: Our capacity to love is greater than your capacity to overwhelm.
woman: Autism is naive.
woman: You are alone.
man: We are a community of warriors.
all: We have a voice.
woman: You think that because some of our children cannot speak, we cannot hear them. That is autism's weakness.
woman: You think that because my child lives behind a wall, I am afraid to knock it down with my bare hands.
man: You have not properly been introduced to this community...
all: ...of parents and grandparents, of siblings and friends and schoolteachers, therapists, pediatricians, and scientists.
woman: Autism, if you are not scared, you should be.
man: When you came for my child, you forgot:
all: You came for me.
woman: Autism: Are you listening?

...I have no words. Gah. This is worse than the Ransom Notes ads, and it's from an even bigger organization.

But this kidnapping-style rhetoric is, amazingly enough, not the most bothersome part of this ad to me, as bad as it is. No, the most bothersome part is... well, remember that press release I linked to above? Yep. The entirety of the video footage accompanying this rhetoric is made up of those reader-submitted video clips. I wonder how many parents went in thinking this would be a fluffy, "we are the world"-style thing, only to find out that this is what their videos were attached to...

Edited to add: Left Brain/Right Brain and Cat in a Dog's World both have some wonderful commentary on this. And Kowalski has an utterly brilliant parody idea...
iamshadow: Picture of knitting needles with the caption Knitting Yet another socially acceptable way to stim (Autknit)

[personal profile] iamshadow 2010-04-28 02:41 pm (UTC)(link)
Christ. That's awful.

I don't have a disease. I'm neurodiverse. I'm not a savant, I don't have an eidetic memory, or calendar skills, or the ability to recite pi to eleventy hundred places. I'm just a bit different.

I'm not any more worthy or less worthy than anyone out there. Neurotypical, savant, Kanner or Asperger or PDD.

I'm autistic, and that's not wrong, or removable, it just is.
iamshadow: Still from Iron Man of Tony Stark blacksmithing. (fuck off)

[personal profile] iamshadow 2010-04-28 02:51 pm (UTC)(link)
I don't think I've seen something so horrible and scaremongering without actual information since the Grim Reaper ads of my childhood.