By Kim Stagliano
Katie Wright wrote a powerful post today titled, Why The AS Scientific Advisory Committee Needs to Resign that raises excellent questions. As a corollary to her post, I'll add that in May, 2006, I met Suzanne Wright at an event for the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation held in Waltham, Massachusetts. I had high hopes that this large, shiny, glitzy, well funded organization called "Autism Speaks" was going to make a real difference for my children, their older peers on the spectrum, and those to follow. I asked Mrs. Wright blunt (but polite) questions. "Shouldn't we find out what's causing autism?" And Is Autism Speaks going to investigate vaccines as a cause of autism? She answered with a definitive, "YES." In the meantime, the autism numbers have gone from 1 in 166 to 1 to 150 to 1 in 110. Here's the video: (Thank you to Erik Nanstiel of FAIR Autism Media for the code.) Why isn't the science committee listening to their own founder?
Every year the Wrights win humanitarian awards presented at fancy white tablecloth dinners. It does not appear that they wield any particular influence in their organization, however, given Katie's article on where the science funding continues to go. Meanwhile, the walks continue to rake in millions from parents and loved ones of the autism community. And good people from coast to coast work in the trenches on their behalf. No one says we all have to sit back and watch Autism Speaks grab for all the marbles. Or wait for them to conduct research. We have a few aggies of our own, don't we?
Kim Stagliano is Managing Editor for Age of Autism. Her "Kimoir," All I Can Handle, I'm No Mother Teresa, is available for pre-order at Amazon and will debut in November.