Written by Eric Warwick
In 2006, then President George W. Bush signed a law–the Combating Autism Act (CAA)–at the behest of Autism Speaks and their allies in congress. The law would appropriate .950 billion dollars of money to the National Institute of Health (NIH) to search for the following things: find the cause of Autism, search for a genetic trace-marker for pre-natal testing and selective abortion, find a way to make Autistic people be non-Autistic–a “cure.” There was also an appropriated 2.4% of funding to improve services for Autistics and families with an Autistic child. Those services are largely Applied Behavioral Analysis–a technique once used to “cure” people of homosexuality. The Combating Autism Act passed unanimously in the Senate after it was introduced by the frothy mixture of lube, fecal matter, and semen Senator Santorum and Senator Chris Dodd. In 2009, President Obama signed the Combating Autism Re-Authorization Act (CARA) which appropriated a similar, but higher, amount of money towards research.
The Combating Autism Act is designed to remove Autism from America. It is designed to find ways to suppress Autistic behaviors such as stimming and our unique forms of communication. In function, it has given government legitimacy to the idea that I am a part of a Autism Epidemic. My own government invalidates the possibility of my humanity, since I am Autistic. It lends credence to idea that rather than my being Autistic meaning I simply experience life in a different way, with different access needs, that does not lessen the inherent value of my life or any other Autistic–verbal or not–that, instead, I am diseased, a scourge that must be eliminated. Although there is an understanding that Autistic adults (or teenagers in my case) exist in some vague form–this act is about preventing a new generation of Autistics. In the words of the majority opinion of Buck v. Bell: “three generations of imbeciles is enough.” I am not a person; I am a disease. I am not a person; I am part of the apocalyptic Autistic Tsunami that will destroy the lives of my parents and burden society. To my government, that is me, because I am Autism–I am Autistic. Look no further than its name. I need to be combated.
In 2011 with Republican control of the House of Representatives, the United States Federal Government passed legislation that cut the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP/Food Stamps) by a comparable amount of money of each CAA and CARA. Countless impoverished Americans grew hungrier and saw their social safety net shrink. The questionable use of money in CARA continued. This is not justice. The pangs of hunger exploded on a nation reeling from an economic catastrophe that is comparable to the Great Depression and Autism is the epidemic. The epidemic isn’t stagnating wages or high rates of suicide and murder in transgender communities of color–it’s Autism. It’s a neurology difference that people find “strange” and therefore must be eliminated. That’s the real issueto my government. My government could care less about the rape, exploitation, and murder of indigenous peoples–it cares too much about the systemic elimination of Autism by means of selective abortion and possible “cures.” What just government would support this? What government would decide that the denial of a safety net in times of need whilst supporting a program to eliminate a Disability is a good, even preferable idea? Not one that any I know of voted for. Of the choices to spend our country’s money, why did CARA get chosen? It’s because of special interests.
Autism Speaks (formed in 2005) has a large budget. They are the largest Autism related organization in the world. They spend 44% of their budget on research into the causes, “cures,” and genetic signature (for pre-natal testing/selective abortion) of Autism. They spend another 43% on fundraising and advertising. They spend their remaining money as follows: 5% for administrative costs and salaries (there are a few hundred employees); 4% on grants for services; and another 4% on “other” costs. More information here: http://autisticadvocacy.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Autism_Speaks_Flyer.pdf . Their research money has, in the past, even included research into the already at that time thoroughly debunked link between vaccines and Autism. Why do I mention this? It’s because CAA and CARA are, in many respects, a subsidy to Autism Speaks. It allows Autism Speaks to spend more of their money on dinner parties for high-profile celebrities like John Stewart, Steve Carrel, and others than on research–which in it of itself is for questionable aims.
Our government could be feeding the hungry, clothing the needy, and providing for the sick, but instead it has decided at the insistence of a powerful lobby–which has no support of the people they claim to represent–to instead fund hatred in intent and practice. It cannot be allowed any further. I ask the people on the HELP committee to kill this bill. Still, if they do care about the lives of Autistic people, then a bill to secure needed services to Autistic adults would be appreciated. That would be a just use of our country’s money.
Harkin, Warren, Mikulski, Murry, Sanders, Casey, Hagan, Franken, Bennet, Whitehouse, Baldwin, Murphy, Alexander, Enzi, Burr, Isackson, Paul, Hatch, Roberts, Murkowski, Kirk, and Scott, please stop combating me.
Sincerely, Eric Warwick. (By the way, Senator Murry, I am one of your constituents.)