Update

My speech on September 28th went particularly well and I wanted to share it with all of you:

My kickstarter ended and right now it’s in the stage of collecting payment. Once I get the cards and fulfill the orders, I will be donating some to various animal welfare organizations to help raise money for them. I will also be listing some on etsy as well! I’m so pleased that the kickstarter was such a success.

I didn’t have the opportunity to protest Autism Speaks Canada, but I am hoping I can be there next year. I always talk about how they continue to silence Autistic voices, so it wasn’t a surprise when I went on twitter today to see that I was blocked.

I was talking about the Inclusion Art Show and that’s happening this Thursday. If you’re local to Vancouver, i’d love to see you there.

I have plenty more I want to write about but it’s late (or early?) and I can’t formulate anything else at this time.

Thanks for reading!

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Acceptance, please?

I’m laying in bed right now, trying to desperately turn off my active mind. It’s nearly impossible to do.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

As April 1st comes to a close, i’m already struggling to come to terms with this month and the ignorance i’ve already encountered. Twitter is the place to go when you desire controversy and i’m no stranger to that.

I reside in British Columbia and we are synonymous with the NHL team, The Vancouver Canucks. Many people find them to be a source of pride and optimism, even to go so far as to say they represent Vancouver. I believed that for a long time until I became aware of the Canucks Autism Network.

It’s a great thing to want to support Autistic people but it’s another thing to utilize the puzzle piece and incorporate material sourced from Autism Speaks. They also use strange language like “families with autism” in their marketing materials. I feel like the #1 resource for those who organize these events and create the foundation for these networks and charities should be an Autistic person or even a group of Autistic people. To me, that simply is common sense.

The way these events are structured, there is a strong emphasis on family and children. A lot of the time Autistic adults are left out and not even considered. It’s as if they believe Autistic adults don’t exist. Hello! We’re here. We exist. We have opinions, thoughts, feelings that we would love to share with you. We’re human too!

I also saw that they are working with Microsoft’s Vancouver Office. For a while, I wanted to reach out and collaborate with Microsoft and I couldn’t even find a viable way to contact the right department. I was given a telephone number, I tried to exhaust internal contacts and I couldn’t get to the right person. I wonder if it’s purposely inaccessible? Microsoft has a program to hire Autistic people and yet the company is virtually unreachable.

Between Canucks Autism Network, Autism Support BC and Surf’s Up For Autism, amongst many others, we continue to be coloured blue and puzzled. I feel as though they don’t know the negative connotations or simply don’t care. If you want to help us, ask us. Put it out there on twitter. Have a focus group with Autistic people of different ages. ASK US FIRST. If you’re running a contest with a colouring page for Autism, hire an Autistic artist.

Autism Awareness Month SUCKS.

It’s ALMOST HERE GUYS, the time of the year I absolutely freakin’ hate. Did you know that Autism Speaks even has a whole guide of how to use their logo? (They took down the website but I linked a cached version because they can’t outsmart me!)

There’s mortgage companies running contests complete with puzzle pieces and artwork done by a non-autistic person.

It’s also the time of the year that my local car dealership puts up some heinous banner on the inside and outside of their building.

There’s also pretty crude donors, ignorant ambassadors, poorly thought out sponsorships and William Shatner’s gaslighting of Autistics on Twitter amongst all the things we already have to deal with.

Here’s what you can do instead:

Here are some pertinent links about why Autism Speaks & April is so bad:

The Problem With Autism Experts

I never claim to be an expert. I am an Autistic Person who is sharing her experiences. Those are two vastly different approaches when it comes to providing insight as to what Autism is. There are people out there who are passing themselves off as experts and they are getting feedback from those who are taking it all in as fact. Please be careful! Perpetuating untrue stereotypes and misinformation does not help anyone. Do your research. Be skeptical, ask questions.

Autism Speaks Has A New Ambassador

Watch my video:

Read all about it here

What Happens When Autism Speaks Appoints A New Ambassador

Before any opportunity is offered to me, I always do my research. I search up the positives and negatives so I can make an informed decision. That seems to be common sense; at least that’s what I thought.

Occasionally, i’ll do a twitter search for “Autism Speaks” to see what kind of propaganda is being perpetuated. I’ll usually see parents, this running app (CharityMiles) that donates to them and merchandise with puzzle pieces for sale.

Yesterday was a bit different. The last big rift between the Autistic community and an outspoken supporter of Autism Speaks would be the whole Niantic deal. The Makers of POKEMON GO decided it would be excellent publicity to partner with the Autism Speaks Run and have their own family fun booth. They were met with outrage and rightfully so. Pokemon Go gave some individuals a reason to get outside and engage. I wasn’t one of those people, but there were other reasons given that made it seem like the Autistic community embraced it–that is, until, they made an incredibly rash decision without any research.

So, back to yesterday, I noticed there was a gamer by the name of Ash or Clash With Ash (CWA) who was incredibly excited to share the news of his ambassadorship with Autism Speaks. His video was complete with puzzle pieces in the background. What a lovely touch.

He’s even gone so far as to raise money for AUTISM SPEAKS, already.

We, the Actually Autistic community have been on it. We’ve let him know that this isn’t helping us – that it’s actually hurting us. Ash’s followers are commending him and don’t seem to be questioning him. I’m assuming they believed he did his due diligence and researched Autism Speaks before he went full out and posted all his puzzle-piece laden propaganda for them to eat up and praise him for. He’s been incredibly quick to thank his supporters and put us in the backseat. Part of me believes he thought this would be good publicity and paint him as some kind of saint because his late Brother was Autistic. Here’s the initial tweet that started this all.

If you take the time to scroll through his twitter, you’ll see the calm before the storm. I took it upon myself to let his followers know that his actions are the opposite of commendable-by informing them that Autism Speaks is not a good organization. I don’t recall any of them responding to me.

I’m not sure how this benefits him. Perhaps it gives him a greater sense of purpose and believes that because he has a platform and an audience, that he could bring some kind of awareness to a cause he says is so important to him. We don’t need that. We can advocate for ourselves without hiding behind the guise of a hate group. There’s also better organizations to donate money to, like ASAN.

If you wish to add your opinion and let him know that we don’t need him to speak on our behalf, his social media platforms are:

If you want to learn why Autism Speaks is so terrible, here’s a great list: A Roundup of Posts Against Autism Speaks

Niantic, Pokemon GO & Autism Speaks

Niantic, the makers of Pokemon GO have decided that it would be in their best interest to support Autism Speaks in Arizona. They are promoting this on their social media channels and will have a kids zone with various activities at the walk.  I have a strong hunch that it is their PR Company, TriplePoint behind the tweets and support.

We are trying to let them know that they are, essentially, ignoring autistic voices–the very same autistic voices that benefit from, you guessed it, POKEMON GO!

They are ignoring us. They refuse and fail to respond to our valid criticism. As a whole, the #actuallyautistic community is outraged with very good reason. The big question looming is “How have they failed to do research?”. They, of all people/companies should know how to use google before they make a failed attempt at educating themselves on causes they choose to support.

If you agree with me and my peers and would like to support us, I would urge you to take some of the following actions:

Sign the petition

-Tweet to:

Engage in this thread on Reddit

Read this document

UPDATE:

Please let Niantic know that even though @SARRC_tweet is who they are supporting, it’s still benefitting autism speaks.

 

 

For Us Without Us

Brand New Video!

Autism $peaks Walk 2018.

This is a FUNNY (not) story. My Mother was doing some banking recently and overheard a Woman talking about an Autism walk coming up. My Mom asked if it was Autism Speaks and the woman didn’t know. Apparently it WAS autism speaks.

I took it upon myself to contact some notable sponsors who are ALL listed on their website.

This is the message I sent:

Hello Autism Speaks Canada Donor,

My name is Margaux Wosk and I am an outspoken advocate for Autistic individuals like myself. I wanted to take the time to tell you a little bit about the negative impact you are having on our community.

Autism Speaks is highly disliked and rather frowned upon by the #actuallyautistic community. We use the hashtag #boycottautismspeaks.

Autism Speaks wants to find a cure for us, they believe we should cease to exist and with their genetic testing and “research” –well, it’s all in the hopes that we should vanish off the planet. Eugenics, plain as day.

Only a very small fraction of the funds they raise goes to help autistic individuals, i believe 5 percent. The majority of it goes to research. We do not need a cure, we do not need awareness. We need acceptance and inclusion. Those are the most important things for us. Clearly, I would know since I believe individuals like us deserve respect.

We do not want a cure; we do not support ABA.

If you’re interested in better places to donate your funds, please consider the autistic self advocacy network or even our local Autistic Meetup Group. They are always in need of help.

To learn more about me, please check out http://www.navigatingjourney.com

I was recently featured in Black Press Medias’ online and press publications in regards to my art and advocacy and I spoke out against autism speaks. https://www.langleytimes.com/community/cloverdale-artist-finds-activism-for-autism-through-painting/

I would hope you would take this chance to respond to me and reconsider your support and financial contributions to autism speaks in the future.

Here’s a response I received from the top donor, milau who works for the Royal Bank of Canada:

Screen Shot 2018-10-02 at 9.30.42 AM.png

I do not know how you got my email but please do not email me.

Hm, I wonder how I did that.

 

 

Invalidated by a neurotypical person, silenced and falsely accused of spreading misinformation… This is terrible and these are the people that are raising money for us to fail to exist. I’m not surprised by the fact I was just spoken down to and told to not email this person. Awful.

Silenced again, this time by a local childcare provider:

 

 

Silenced ONCE AGAIN by a donor:

ASsilence

if they don’t want their names public then maybe they should consider that their names are publicly posted on the autism speaks website?

 

OUR VOICES SHOULD MATTER.

Please signal boost this if you can.

Autism Speaks is focused on “autism research and awareness.”

We need acceptance, not awareness.

 

Autism Speaks…..

…But apparently, they do not listen!

If you haven’t seen this, you should:

This whole thing is laughable at best.

I was interviewed by a local, community newspaper under the umbrella of black press media. The reporter was incredibly interested in my art, autism and my story.

I specifically told her about my disapproval of Autism Speaks and how their aim is to eradicate autistic individuals like myself. I told her how important this detail was in regards to my own journey.

Every so often, I find myself looking up the title of the article to see where it’s been posted.

To my surprise, a disgustingly sick feeling came over me, It has been posted on the Autism Speaks facebook page for all to see.

The VERY article that had this statement in it:

The goal, Wosk explained, is to help people become more educated about autism — that’s why she spends much of her online time being an activist for autistic people and protesting against organizations like Autism Speaks, which Wosk said spend more time looking to eliminate autism rather than support autistic people.

It had been up for 2 hours with over 40 likes and 2 shares.

Screen Shot 2018-09-19 at 1.36.30 PM

I don’t think any of those Autism Speaks supporters (or even Autism Speaks themselves) even bothered to read my article, because if they did, they wouldn’t have posted anything with an unfavorable mention.

This begs the even larger question of the importance of autistic opinions. I believe that when it all comes down to it, it’s that money rules and we don’t matter.

This was certainly not my first online encounter with this greedy “charity”. Nope. Autism Speaks Canada actually e-mailed me once trying to tell me all the things they do. TELLING me is important to note because they failed to read or even address anything I had said.

 

In conclusion:

Autism Speaks wants to replace and eliminate us. Our voices are not worthy or important to them.