This is not a defense of Autism Speaks. Not at all.
But I do have to say that Autism Speaks is becoming something of a strawman for neurodiversity activists. Pro-neurodiversity writings rather give the impression that all ableism against autistic people can be traced to them. And that’s just not true. Frankly, if it were, the mission of working towards justice for autistic people would be significantly easier if it was.
When we condemn Autism Speaks in hyberbolic terms, we risk not being taken seriously. There are many legitimate criticisms of the organization. There’s no need to resort to hyperbole and caricature in explaining why it is not an organization that people should support. We need to keep the facts on our side.
When we describe them, it should be in terms of ableism, silencing, fearmongering, condescension toward those they claim to serve, and a eugenic bent. Do not use words like ‘genocide.’