The Blue Banner

The Student Voice of UNC Asheville

The Blue Banner

The Student Voice of UNC Asheville

The Blue Banner

    Controversial Autism organization says they´ve changed

    Author’s note: Within the “Old UNCA sorority still has its footprints on campus” article published recently, I failed to receive both sides of the story while writing and seeking interviews. I apologize for any information that could have been falsified due to this mistake.


    Many people in the autistic community say Autism Speak is not a great organization to represent them but the organization says they have changed. 

    “Since Autism Speaks was founded in 2005, advances in research coupled with the lived experiences of autistic people have greatly evolved the world’s understanding of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This has also transformed our organization, allowing us to learn and grow in our journey. We may not have always been perfect in our representation of autism. What it means for each person in our community, but we have taken steps to become more inclusive and represent the diversity of experiences of autistic people and their loved ones, while making significant strides in creating a world in which all autistic people can reach their full potential,” Said an Autism Speaks spokesperson. “The work we do is largely informed by and driven by those within the autistic community, including autistic individuals on our Board of Directors, in leadership positions, advisory committees and on the front lines of the services offered through our Autism Response Team.”

    Many autistic people feel the puzzle piece symbol does not represent them and represents that they are missing a piece or need to be fixed. Even though Autism Speaks still uses it they say they changed their logo to be more inclusive. 

    “While we did adopt the puzzle symbol when we were founded, we have since transitioned from a blue-only puzzle piece to feature a spectrum of colors and be a better representation of inclusivity and optimism. We know there are people who dislike the symbol, but there are also many who embrace the puzzle piece and want to continue to see it associated with autism, as members of the autistic community have shared themselves.” Autism Speaks said. 

    Even though many studies show ABA therapy has led to PTSD, Autism Speaks advocates for the therapy because of the impact it has on improving social skills.  

    “We are advocates for ABA being implemented properly and individualized to each person’s needs, as studies have shown in these instances, ABA can lead to improvements in adaptive behavior, communication skills, social skills and a reduction in challenging behaviors,” the Autism Speaks spokesperson said. “We recognize, just as each person’s experience with autism is uniquely individual and personal, so are the supports they may need; as a result, we respect that everyone will have a different experience with ABA.” 

     Autism Speaks says not everyone is right for ABA therapy.

    “Autism Speaks asserts ABA therapy may not be the most effective option for everyone, though it may be for some. ABA programs should be individualized to each person and are not a one-size-fits-all approach. The goals of ABA, which, if capable, the individual in ABA should be involved in determining, should aim to help each person work on skills that will allow them to become more independent and successful in the short-term, as well as in the future.” Autism Speaks said.

    Even though the organization has said they have changed, many people in the autistic community are still skeptical of them. 

    Leave a Comment
    More to Discover

    Comments (0)

    All The Blue Banner Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *