Equal Rights – not Endless Fights
About Autism Rights
“It just seems to me that, over the years, we’ve spent more and more money employing more and more people to stop our children getting the things they need.”
These words were spoken to me, many years ago now, by the mother of a multiply disabled child. To me, they summed up so much of what is wrong with the configuration of services for children and for adults who are disabled, but especially so for those who are not deemed to be worth investing in – those who are handicapped by autism. However special and gifted we know our children are, there are always people who have the power to help who will instead deny them the opportunities they need to flourish.
We’re doing it for our sons and daughters – not for a career
Autism Rights was set up to question, analyse and challenge why and how the rights of people with autism are denied. We’ve done a lot of work down the years which has not featured in the press and has largely gone unrecognised by politicians, who pay more attention to charities that receive public money to lobby and engage with those politicians. We are currently just a small group of parent activists, so cannot compete with organisations that receive millions through provision of services. However, we have a pretty good track record of challenging service provision for autistic people precisely because we do not ourselves provide services.
Our campaigning made the Scottish Government think again, where funded groups lobbied behind closed doors and failed.
We need your support, because we’re worth supporting for the work we’ve done so far, which has resulted in the current Review of the Mental Health Act. Take a look at our track record, and you’ll see that we’re the only group to campaign against the current Act, which discriminates against people with Learning Disabilities and Autistic Spectrum Disorders by including them in the provisions of the Mental Health Act – just for being disabled. No additional mental illness is required to enable compulsory treatment under the Act.
One thing is for certain, we know that provision of services is very often two steps forward and one step back. Unless and until there is pressure to create independent standards for those services, there will be no improvement and money and life chances will continue to be wasted on inadequate and incompetent services.
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