FUCK Autism Speaks.
The organization known as Autism Speaks was started by Bob and Suzanne Wright –apparently out of LOVE for their Grandson. It was soon made clear however, that their love only went as far as their financial interests when they released a press statement disowning his mother (their daughter). See, she went public about how vaccines injured her child and how biomedical treatments, including diet, were HELPING HIM TO HEAL. They were quick to inform the public that their daughter had no involvement with the organization that they founded to HELP HER CHILD –and that her views were not their views… persnickety little fuckers!
If those were my parents they would never get to see their grandchild again.
Autism Speaks quickly phagocytized many other leading autism organizations and declared themselves King of the forest! They took over the “Walk far for NAAR” walks among many other donation streams for the cause. They hold walks all over the country where well meaning, but ignorant, fools collect money from your home town and use it to fund their “research” organization.
–Sounds good right??? Not really. Trust me, your home town needs that money more. And once you take a look at their financials you will surely agree.
This came to light a couple years ago when some geek who loves to look at tax forms AND knows how to make flashy videos exposed the insanely high salaries of their staff, their extravagant offices, fundraisers that lost money and just how much of that money actually went to research and families. (AND SHITTY, USELESS RESEARCH AT THAT!)
Watch the video here, and then come back to see how what happened in the following year.
( I am also a fan of this one –it’s got a nice beat, I can dance to it. I give it a 10!)
Ah! But poor, poor Autism Speaks… even the King of the Forest was hit hard by the recession (though I have HOPE that their decrease in donations was from people like me telling people like you to not give them any more money). So they released a statement saying that since they were on such hard times they would not be able to award any grants the upcoming year… *soft weeping* Feel bad for them??? Want to pass the hat for them??? Hmmmmm Let’s take a look at their 2009 taxes form, shall we?
There are a few things here that catch my eye –While “revenue” dropped by over 20 million dollars, salaries only dropped by 1 million. How did they make up for the loss? By cutting research funding by 17 million dollars! WOW!! They really care don’t they? Let’s see what they have to say about all this:
“Autism Speaks was forced to make some very difficult cuts which reduced expenses across every department including reducing staff by over 40 positions and withholding salary increases for all employees. Every expense category in 2009 either approximated 2008 spending or showed a decline … [snip]… [In years when] revenues were increasing substantially, a higher share of our revenue growth went to fund additional grants”
I also found it interesting that it was their President, a man who pulls in damn near a cool half-million every year, did their own 990 form. Just seems fishy to me, maybe a conflict of interest –I don’t know.. I don’t know “money” I don’t know “taxes” –just seems to me that doing it yourself allows for some serious fuckwittery and no checks and balances. I don’t know –maybe he felt that he OUGHT to do SOMETHING to earn that paycheck –other than to send me emails begging for money.
Bottom line… this Organization is ONLY out to keep themselves in salaries. You pay for their first class, royal fucking treatments, and their Park Avenue office, and their Hollywood elbow rubbing mixers that lose money, and research into the eye gaze of fruit flies (not shitting you) every time you put on your walking shoes, play a round of golf or straight up toss out cash for Autism Speaks.
Look, the hatred over the uselessness of Autism Speaks –hell… uselessness is too nice… this is robbery … this is the rape of your community –this hatred IS THE ONLY THING that my autism-recovery community has in common with the “Neuro Diverse” crowd (who point out that a vast majority of AS’s research is going into pre-natal screening which will likely lead to increased abortions of “autistic” fetuses). Nobody likes Autism Speaks except those who are ignorant to the facts.
If you want to help the cause… I will gladly accept cash. So will every other family out there with an autistic child. We never have enough of it. Such families can make $10,000 a year or $50,000 a year or $1,000,000 a year – every last penny goes to the child and it is never enough. If you rather make a donation to an Organization give to the National Autism Association they have a grant program that directly helps families in need, or The Autism Research Institute a group that gets REAL, USEFUL information out to parents and supports research that helps our children –not fruit flies, or Generation Rescue which offers grants for families who want to try to ACTUALLY ADDRESS THE MEDICAL ILLNESS that their child has! Fancy that!
*EDIT TO ADD* Taca!! Talk About Curing Autism!! They help families too! When I was a broke law student a friend of mine sent them my name at Christmas time and I got clothes for the kids, and awesome goodies for me, and so much love I can’t even remember it all. Very sweet people. They have other programs for families as well!
Please stop pissing on my child by giving money to Autism Speaks. If you didn’t know before, now you do and now you no longer have an excuse.
P.S. even the Better Business Bureau lists them as not meeting their standards for Charity Accountability. Take the hint.
UPDATE FOR 2012: Since last year AS now DOES meet the BBB standards, but I find that hard to figure out considering they have to give over a certain percentage to the cause, and looking at the tax returns tells you that they don’t. Also, there has been more than one article surface recently that YOU CAN BUY your way to a better BBB rating. Lovely.
–If you know of other groups deserving of donations please add them to the comments! And tell me… what has Autism Speaks done for you lately?