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 a Mild Pseudoscience source based on the promotion of some therapies that are not entirely evidence based. Otherwise, they are Mostly Factual in reporting.
Factual Reporting: MOSTLY FACTUAL
World Press Freedom Rank: USA 45/180
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 propaganda 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 organization’s leadership.
Funded by / Ownership
Autism Speaks is 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 track record of promoting Pseudoscience, but has changed their 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.
Overall, we rate Autism Speaks a Mild Pseudoscience source based on the promotion of some therapies that are not entirely evidence-based. Otherwise, they are Mostly Factual in reporting. (D. Van Zandt 7/16/2017) Updated (10/19/2019)