View Full Version : I am conducting a challenging interview with autism speaks

09-18-11, 11:23 PM
I am a 24 year old Aspie and writer. I have been granted an interview with Dana Marnane, Vice President, Awareness and Events, Autism Speaks.

The questions will be challenging but I believe they might establish a beneficial dialogue.

The results should be published on the homepage of...

...sometime early this week.

Click the link and scroll down to view my introductory article, entitled "Speaking and Listening: Establishing the Need for a Constructive Dialogue with Autism Speaks."

You will also find some of my other articles on the homepage.

Here are the questions...

How does Autism Speaks account for the large community of self-advocating autistics who oppose their organization? Does Autism Speaks feel this population has misunderstood their message, and if so, what might be said to clarify their intentions?

Autism Speaks funds the Autism Genome project, described, on, as, “the largest study ever conducted to find the genes associated with inherited risk for autism.” What specific benefits might this research provide the autistic community? Why might so many autistics oppose such research?

In 2007, Autism Speaks merged with Cure Autism Now. Does finding an autism cure continue to be one of your organizations primary objectives? Do you believe it is legitimately possible to “cure” autism, and if so, what exactly would such a cure entail? What characteristics would be removed from a cured individual and what characteristics would remain?

A growing body of scientific research suggests that we are rapidly nearing the development of an amniocentesis test to detect autism, much like the procedure currently used to detect Down’s Syndrome. Does funding provided by Autism Speaks in any way enable the development of such a test? If a prenatal test for autism was developed, does Autism Speaks believe that it should be made available to the public?

It has been proposed that Autism, Asperger’s Disorder and Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified, be replaced in the DSM-V by a general category referred to as Autism Spectrum Disorder. How might this be beneficial, and or detrimental, to the autistic community, their families, schools, the clinical practices attempting to improve their quality of life, etc…?

Hans Asperger said, “It seems that for success in science and art, a dash of autism is essential.” Does Autism Speaks believe that certain valuable human characteristics might be lost if autism was to be eradicated from the species?

How does Autism Speaks feel about speculation that certain important figures in human history, such as Einstein and Mozart, had High Functioning Autism, or Asperger Syndrome? Does Autism Speaks believe that individuals with HFA or AS have greater societal value than those with lower functioning forms of autism?

Would someone on the autism spectrum be capable of attaining a well-paid and influential position within Autism Speaks?

Many of Autism Speaks’ promotional strategies have been heavily criticized. Are there any specific marketing choices that Autism Speaks has come to regret? If so, what would Autism Speaks say to those who were offended by the way they have chosen to depict autism, and what corrective action is being taken?

09-19-11, 03:39 AM
Go You!!!

09-20-11, 11:57 AM
Bree took the words right out of my mouth! (Well, fingertips!)

Kudos to you for asking good, hard questions!

(And happy birthday!)