Blogger flex muscle–now how about for productive purposes?

2 Dec

Bloggers, largely from outside the autism communities, managed to halt plans to show a scary vaccine themed advertisement which SafeMinds was trying to place in movie theaters for the week of the US Thanksgiving holiday.

This is all well and good, but there has to be more that can be accomplished. More as in something that advances a good cause rather than obstructs a bad one. For the most part I don’t blog to advocate.

There have been some notable successes by bloggers adding to advocacy efforts, in my opinion. For example, stopping the NYU “Ransom Notes” campaign and getting Autism Speaks to back off of the “I am Autism” video. I can only stand back in awe at the efforts of Kathleen Seidel at in depth of reporting on important subjects.

While I don’t plan on moving to making my position here into primarily calling for action, I do hope that with the waning of the vaccine/mercury movement, more effort can be made on directly improving the future my child will live in.

Unfortunately, while it is waning, the vaccine debate will not go away. The way it is waged is damaging, to society as a whole and to the autism communities in particular.

It may be my own personal bias, but I do believe that scientific research has a great benefit in that quest. I believe that the United States, as the leader in autism research funding, should be leading the way. I will continue to follow and encourage others to participate in the IACC process through stakeholder comments.

I also strongly believe in human rights. I believe that we as a people have a long way to go still to insure the rights of the disabled. It is unfortunate that there are so few autism organizations which put the dignity and rights of autistics as a prime focus. It is absolutely shameful that many so-called autism organizations willingly and purposefully act in ways which harm the dignity and rights of autistics.

If we could only harness half of the energy that has been applied to the vaccine-causation discussion, we could make huge gains. 2011 has at least one real goal to work for. If you read the text of the Combating Autism Act (CAA), you will find this phrase a number of times: “Sunset.–This section shall not apply after September 30, 2011.” Yes, the CAA is up for renewal in 2011. The CAA reinstituted the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC). This group drafts the Strategic Plan for autism research funding in the United States. The Plan was instrumental in funneling a significant amount of the federal economic stimulus money into autism research–had there been no plan in place, that funding may have been less or zero. Moving forward, it is time to push for a greater amount of research funding to be applied to areas that can have a direct impact on the lives of autistics. Much of the funding is focused on causation and treatments aimed at young children. Much more focus needs to be applied to older children, adolescents and adults. Much more.

4 Responses to “Blogger flex muscle–now how about for productive purposes?”

  1. isles December 3, 2010 at 00:01 #

    A flurry of outrage is way more fun than the long-sustained effort that’s necessary to get results in science or human rights.

    It would be good if the autism community had an advocacy organ to let people know when and how they should make themselves heard – to turn each of the incremental steps into an exciting opportunity to chalk up a win.

    (I guess this is what could be, but frankly the site was confusing to me and I got way too much email about causes I didn’t care that much about, so I unhooked from it.)

  2. Corina Becker December 3, 2010 at 03:22 #


  3. Liz Ditz December 4, 2010 at 00:01 #

    I too wish there was some way for reality-based autism advocates and their allies to unite.

    The other bit — I suspect most of the folk lobbying AMC to NOT show the Safeminds propaganda were skeptics / reality-based folk, not necessarily people who are motivated to make changes in services etc. for people with autism.

    I’m not saying the skeptics are opposed. It’s just that there are only so many things any one person can advocate for, or support. If a person isn’t affected by autism personally, they are unlikely to be aware of the needs of that community.


  1. Tweets that mention Autism Blog - Blogger flex muscle–now how about for productive purposes? « Left Brain/Right Brain -- - December 2, 2010

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Kev, Alltop Autism. Alltop Autism said: Blogger flex muscle–now how about for productive purposes? […]

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