Autism Speaks is untrustworthy and widely influential, but it only came on the scene in 2005. Ableism toward autistic people has been alive and kicking forever, and ableism towards people diagnosed autistic has been around since the first diagnosees. The rhetoric of tragedy, the failings of both the moral and medical models, the general discrimination, Autism Speaks didn’t invent any of that. Autism Speaks isn’t the only “charity” out there - not even the only autism-related charity - that isn’t a real charity, nor is it the first. Additionally, autistic people have had their lives fooked up operating under faulty promises of recovery for xyz before Autism Speaks. It’s really not been around very long.
Blaming Autism Speaks for everything is nonsensical. Autism Speaks wasn’t around when I lived through the harshest points of my life, and I say this as a woman barred from immigration as of 2012. Autism Speaks does promote “awareness” that portrays us as tragedy, and that does make people’s lives harder, but they’re not the first to do this, even though they are more widespread than a number of so-called non for profits that came before. Most of us are old enough that the majority of our lives were not influenced by Autism Speaks itself, so come on, you can attest to discrimination not being something they invented.
They’re a crappy organization. They’re not, much as they would like to be, a be-all and end-all.
They may help us in some ways. I like bigotry in the open, where I can see it.