Saturday, July 5, 2014

Dear @SesameWorkshop

Dear @SesameWorkshop

I grew up watching Sesame Street. I learned the alphabet from it. I’m British, but throughout most of my childhood I pronounced the letter Z the American way, ‘zee’, as I learned from Sesame Street, rather than the British ‘zed’, despite by parents’ best efforts to make me sound British. Sesame Street teaches children things. It influences their language and thoughts. This has the potential to do so much good.

Autism Speaks does not speak for Autistic people. They are a charity, but this does not mean they do good. Their message is that Autistic people are tragic burdens, missing children, an epidemic. Is this the message you want to teach to children? Autistic people are present, whole, complete people, a natural part of human diversity, as valuable as those who are not Autistic; but Autistic people are in desperate need of support and acceptance, neither of which they get from Autism Speaks. The message of Autism Speaks harms Autistic people because it affects how people think about them, and this determines how they are treated by society. If you partner with Autism Speaks you will spread their message to Autistic children’s peers, their future teachers, employers and family members, as well as to Autistic children themselves, damaging their self esteem.

Please help Autistic people by rejecting Autism Speaks and their message of hatred.

Thank you for reading this,

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