Autism Speaks – Bias and Credibility

Autism Speaks - Conspiracy - Fake News - Mostly CredibleAutism Speaks - Pseudoscience - Fake News - Mostly Credible

Factual Reporting: Mostly Factual - Mostly Credible and Reliable


Sources in the Conspiracy-Pseudoscience category may publish unverifiable information that is not always supported by evidence. These sources may be untrustworthy for credible/verifiable information; therefore, fact-checking and further investigation is recommended on a per-article basis when obtaining information from these sources. See all Conspiracy-Pseudoscience sources.

  • Overall, we rate Autism Speaks as a Mild Pseudoscience source based on promoting some therapies that are not entirely evidence-based. Otherwise, they are Mostly Factual in reporting.

Detailed Report

Factual Reporting: MOSTLY FACTUAL
Country: USA
MBFC’s Country Freedom Rating: MOSTLY FREE
Media Type: Organization/Foundation
Traffic/Popularity: Medium Traffic

MBFC Credibility Rating: LOW CREDIBILITY


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.

Until recently, they promoted anti-vaccination propaganda based on the false notion that vax is a risk factor for autism. This goes 100% against the consensus of science. Thankfully, they have changed their position, stating: they “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 organization’s leadership.

Read our profile on the United States government and media.

Funded by / Ownership

Autism Speaks is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that consists of the following subsidiaries: Delivering Scientific Innovation for Autism LLC, Advancing Futures for Adults with Autism Inc, and Autism Speaks Canada. Revenue is derived through donations.

Analysis / Bias 

In review, Autism Speaks publishes information on support for those with Autism as well as news. News is often low biased and evidence-based such as this Autism researcher presents findings on self-determination in planning for transition to adulthood. However, this organization sometimes promotes and funds non-evidence-based therapies such as Floortime. Autism Speaks has a long record of promoting Pseudoscience but has changed its positions to be more evidence-based. In 2017 we rated Autism Speaks as a Strong promoter of Pseudoscience. With the changes they have made, we feel they are mildly promoting pseudoscience through advocacy for therapies that are not yet evidence-based.

Failed Fact Checks

  • None in the last 5 years.

Overall, we rate Autism Speaks as a Mild Pseudoscience source based on promoting some therapies that are not entirely evidence-based. Otherwise, they are Mostly Factual in reporting. (D. Van Zandt 7/16/2017) Updated (11/25/2023)


Last Updated on November 25, 2023 by Media Bias Fact Check

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