Autism Speaks

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Factual Reporting: MIXED

Notes: Autism Speaks is an autism advocacy organization in the United States that sponsors autism research and conducts awareness and outreach activities aimed at families, governments, and the public. Autism Speaks is an organization that raises tens of millions of dollars each year by hosting walks and star-studded events like an annual concert in Hollywood called Light Up the Blues. While Autism Speaks is one of the largest and most influential Autism groups they are not without controversy. Up until recently they promoted anti-vaccination based on the false notion that vaxx is a risk factor for autism. This goes 100% against the consensus of science. Thankfully, they have changed their position stating: “have not found a link between vaccines and autism,” and that they “strongly encourage parents to have their children vaccinated for protection against serious disease.” Another significant controversy is the board of Autism Speaks does not have a single person with autism representing the organization. This has caused persons with autism to form counter groups and protest this organizations leadership. Lastly, this organization sometimes promotes and funds non-evidence based therapies such as Floortime. Autism Speaks has a long track record of promoting Pseudoscience, but seems to be changing positions to be more evidence based. We will watch this source and move them accordingly if they demonstrate they are 100% science based. (D. Van Zandt 7/16/2017)