Four Autistic Lead Organizations To Support in Honor of Autism Acceptance

Autism Speaks is one of the most widely known autism awareness organizations, but to the neurodivergent community, they are doing more harm than good. Autism Speaks raises millions of dollars a year in hopes to “find a cure for autism.” Instead of using their resources to raise awareness and provide assistance to the autistic community, Autism Speaks promotes the idea that autistic people are broken and need to be fixed. Spoiler alert - they don’t. Instead of donating your money to an organization that did not have a single autistic person on their board of directors until 2015, here are some other, autistic-lead, organizations that you can support instead.

  1. The ASAN is a non-profit organization that is run by autistic people for autistic people. The goal of the ASAN is to advocate for a world with equal rights and opportunities for the autistic community. They also seek to empower other members of the autistic community.

  2. The AWN is another non-profit organization that seeks to further the rights and opportunities of autistic people, but this organization focuses on autistic individuals of marginalized genders and ethnicities. They seek to create a community where individuals can share their experiences in a safe environment. The AWN also strongly advocates for the persecutions of people responsible for disability-based hate crimes.

  3. The FDM is also a non-profit organization that is centers on disability justice. Similar to the organizations mentioned above, the FDM is an organization run by neurodivergent people that looks to ensure access and equity for other neurodivergent people. They also offer courses on how to better support the neurodivergent community for both parents and professionals.

  4. AIM is yet another non-profit organization created by autistic people for autistic people and their families. They seek to create an environment for their families to socialize with one another and share their experiences in an inclusive and safe space. They support these families and help to educate the general public in hopes to promote acceptance of the autistic community. AIM also helps to protect the rights of autistic people by campaigning against autistic mistreatment.

As we are reaching the end of Autism Acceptance Month, I hope that you take some time to further look into these amazing organizations and share them with your friends and family because autistic people do not need to be fixed. At the end of the day, it is on all of us to amplify the voices of autistic people who want to be heard.