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Building Respect Within the Autism Community


Today I’m sharing some insight of what we sometimes see when we are promoting things throughout the Autism Community – and that is what we call in-fighting.


Now in-fighting within a community is counter-productive.  It may include at least one person spewing forth hate and or overly criticized comments towards another person and/or organization, without respect.

It may also include representatives of one organization sharing that their organization is better than another organization…. again, without respect.


The definition of in-fighting is conflict between members of the same organization (usually concealed from outsiders).  From what we’ve seen this in-fighting has permeated throughout the Autism Community.


Over the Past 4+ years we’ve been around –  there have been very few articles submitted that include a level of hatred towards another organization or individual.  For this we at Autisable have really been blessed.


Now of course there have been articles that reflect criticism of certain organizations and/or individuals, but they mostly have been sharing a perspective that also contains a level of respect.


What is the key issue that we are discussing?  Respect.


A lack of respect for another individual and/or organization and verbally attacking another individual is just another form of bullying.


Again, it’s ok to be critical of a person or organization – but we must respect their opinion and/or viewpoint.  I’m all for freedom of speech, but with that freedom comes the responsibility of recognizing differences of opinion and having an honest debate about issues.  We have to constantly remind ourselves that we are in this together.


Now –  Scott Badesch of the Autism Society has called for a summit.    This summit is called as an effort to recognize and respect our differences within the autism community, and seeing how we as a community can move forward.  We have partnered with the Autism Society and stand with Scott in the efforts to address this in-fighting and finding ways we can all work together.


I can’t tell you how often I see individuals and organizations hindered by one another’s being overly critical of anything from research to diagnosis, to how donations are spent – and how services are rendered. 


The General public doesn’t care as much about Autism and our community as we’d like them to, and why should they?   


I’ve heard that one organization will NOT involve themselves on a project because another organization with different viewpoints is also involved.


With the exponential growth of Autism rates globally we know and understand that this growth brings about new organizations and a lot of new parents and families and individuals on the spectrum.  Of course with more people involved, more opinions about what needs to be done will also be expressed.


We really don’t have time to fight anymore, we have to come together and see how we can help one another grow and encourage one another in our strengths.


With the National organizations coming together, the hope is that basic guidelines can be provided that we all can follow – so we can express to the media and general public what it is we are asking for, and more importantly what we are about.


Building upon our strengths is going to be key in us as a community moving forward and helping families and individuals with Autism.


If you are a leader in a national organization, I ask that you consider the cost – and attend this summit.   If you are person who shares in this concern, please ‘like’, ‘tweet’ and ‘recommend’ this post.


Thank you in advance for working together to help families and individuals with Autism.


With Respect,


Joel Manzer,

Lead Editor



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Joel Manzer
Husband to an Amazing Wife, and Father of a Child with Autism. Founding Lead Editor of this site called Autisable. Click here to join Autisable!
Joel Manzer

Joel Manzer

Husband to an Amazing Wife, and Father of a Child with Autism. Founding Lead Editor of this site called Autisable. Click here to join Autisable!

0 thoughts on “Building Respect Within the Autism Community

  • @NeverSubmit@xanga – Didn’t realize I was so vague, thanks for shining the light on that for me.  You have some good points, and with what you share it’s part of what needs to be addressed as well.

    Hopefully in time we’ll all have the same message to carry to the public – one that doesn’t involve fear mongering.
    Thanks agian.

  • @edlives@xanga – Well, we’ve each made some pretty vague statements.  It’s nice to think about having a common goal, but if it’s not the right goal then things can get pretty nasty.  Organizations like autism speaks probably aren’t going to have the same goals as ASAN.  It wasn’t that long ago that Autism Speaks was funding the vaccine “controversy” so if some people don’t want to work with them, you certainly won’t catch me shedding a tear. 

    Having a common goal for the sake of a common goal is nonsense, pure and simple.  It has to be the right goal.  You are right, helping autistics and their families is the right goal, but preying upon people’s fears and suspicions to get funding is not part of that goal.  Engaging in fear mongering and calling it “awareness” is not part of that goal either. 

  • @NeverSubmit@xanga – Thank you for your response.

    Please allow me to expand on the posts initial thought…. as I think I may have missed something based on your response…

    If we can’t respect each other’s opinions, how can we move forward.
    The reason for this summit is because we’re saying we CAN’T ignore the people who need help.Too many are being hurt and abused, or ignored…. and it must STOP.
    This in-fighting hinders the help so badly that support can NOT be applied where it is needed most.  
    Some organizations are stepping all over each other to help families.  Other organizations absolutely refuse to work with each other due to a difference of opinion.  Lack of coordination and respect for each others strengths has crippled what is needed in some areas.  This leads to poor decisions on where funding should go – amongst other things.
    In short, we as a community MUST find common ground, so we CAN help where it is needed.
    Other causes are receiving more attention because they are united in their determination, while we as a community bicker and quibble over semantics and where the money must go.   
    We have to find a way to work towards a common goal – together.  We also have to find a way to share with the Autism community and the general public that despite our differences we are together addressing the issue of Autism.
    It is only through mutual understanding and cooperation that the right decisions can be sought after, and tackling this puzzle called autism can be accomplished.

    I hope this explained further my thought.  This comes after many discussions with several leaders and organizations within the Autism community.
    Those within the community that have cried out for help are being heard loud and clear, to that there is no doubt.   Now is the call for the leadership of the National organizations to come together to figure out how to unite the Community for the common goal of answering what so many have called them to do.
    I hope this addresses your comment more appropriately, please feel free to let me know if it doesn’t.  

  • Right.  Let’s ignore just how deeply people are affecting by the decisions that are being argued about, and pretend it’s just a matter of respecting people’s opinions

    Let’s ignore the money wasted on investigating “causes” that have been disproven a thousand times over.
    Let’s ignore the violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act that autistics come up against in the education system and in the jobs market
    Let’s ignore the people who say that they wish every autistic was dead
    Let’s ignore the people deliberately defrauding families of autistic people
    Let’s ignore the people who disrespect autistic people’s basic humanity

    No, the real problem is that we don’t respect each others’ opinions.


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