Beware of your Autism Donation$

Yes, April is Autism awareness month.  Yes, we all want to do our part to help solve this crazy 1 in 88 statistic.  But beware before you make any donations.  There are many Autism non profits out there, and some are great and completely legit, however, some are not.  I’ll first fill you in on one organization that seems to NOT be supportive of Autism.  The Thinking Moms Revolution is my new favorite following.  They seem to know their stuff and are at the forefront of the Autism battle.  This portion is from today’s blog.  To read the whole article, The Blue Hurricane, go to http://thinkingmomsrevolution.com/2012/04/09/the-blue-hurricane-2/

“Blue.  Everywhere blue.  Buildings downtown.  T-Shirts.  Toys-R-Us and every chain restaurant in you neighborhood. Everyone is Lighting It Up Blue for Autism.  ”Care to donate for autism research?”  Your waitress with shiny blue salon manicured nails asks. “You know autism is just a terrible disease. Those poor kids.  You wanna help the kids, right?” She bats her blue mascaraed lashes.

During this month, the powers that be ask us to simply be aware of autism.  Don’t do anything.  Well, if you’ve got some cash to donate for “research”, you can certainly fork that over, but don’t ask us who it’s going to or what we are going to do with it. You probably wouldn’t understand it anyway.  Autism science is super complex mom and dad.  You’ve got your hands full with junior anyway.  Leave the science to the experts.  Just keep the faith that the money you give us is going to help the kids.  Probably not this generation, the previous, or the next even…but someday maybe someone will be helped.  Perhaps.  Possibly.

This, in a nutshell, is the Light It Up Blue Campaign.  Celebrities, fanfare.  Lots and lots of big corporate sponsors.  Parties.  All in the name of helping the children.”

This was eye opening to me, since I am participating in an Autism Speaks walk May 19th, organized by some therapists.  I may have to rethink participating in the walk after watching this video.

All the Autism blogs of knowledgeable moms advocate for Autism One (autismone.org) and Generation Rescue (generationrescue.org).  For quality, up to the minute Autism information, these are the sources I go to.

 

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3 thoughts on “Beware of your Autism Donation$

  1. Very interesting.

    We have been using Charity Navigator to help guide where we donate money. You can use it to look for other possible charities that support autism research. See http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?keyword_list=autism&Submit2=GO&bay=search.results&sortby=rtg

    The numbers Charity Navigator have listed there for Autism Speaks look different from those listed in the video (see http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=12720). Autism Speaks apparently gives 72.5% of the money it receives towards the programs it claims to benefit. The Organization for Autism Research gives 83%, but it doesn’t raise nearly as much money (I can’t speak to what programs either of these organizations support). The salary for the president of Autism Speaks sounds high, but it’s less than the salary of the president of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (which organizes Team in Training).

    • Thanks for sharing the Charity Navigator link. Looks like a great resource. Every story has two sides, with the truth most likely somewhere in the middle. It’s tough to know which Autism charity will bring about the most benefit for the horrible 1 in 88 statistic, but Charity Navigator is a great resource. Thanks! Wow, who knew presidents of these charities were so high? Definitely not me!

      • Your welcome.

        The other question to ask is which charity would bring about the most benefit for you and your family? If you were excited about doing the walk, or working on it is helping you build a personal support group, or if felt good to be volunteering with people that wanted to have an impact larger then they can do alone, then perhaps you can do the walk this year, and pick a different organization to support next year. I wouldn’t worry about the presidents of the charities; they live on a different planet than we do. Stay positive!

        I know you have so much that you are researching, but I thought I would mention that there was a KQED Forum segment about the recently-published study with the 1 in 88 statistic. I listened to the beginning of the segment on my drive to work. See http://www.kqed.org/a/forum/R201203300900

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