Statement from the National Autism Association (NAA) and SafeMinds regarding board member Katie Wright, her recent interview with David Kirby and subsequent statement from Autism Speaks
The National Autism Association (NAA) and SafeMinds compliment Katie Wright for her thoughtful commentary in a recent video interview. We were surprised by a subsequent announcement by Autism Speaks about Katie, whose son Christian was the driving force behind the creation of Autism Speaks by her parents, Bob and Suzanne Wright. The announcement stated that Katie should not be considered a spokesperson for Autism Speaks and her views do not represent those of her parents or their organization.
In her interview with Evidence of Harm author David Kirby, Katie speaks from her heart with regard to her son's diagnosis of autism, the struggles and hardships she and her family have endured as a result and what she feels should be the direction of autism research. In the interview, Katie makes clear she is expressing her views as a parent and not as a representative of Autism Speaks. It is odd that an organization would issue a statement counteracting something that doesn’t exist. A more serious concern is that Katie's substantive points on autism research and causation, which are shared by so many families, are apparently being opposed by an organization that has stated its commitment to pursuing all reasonable avenues of science.
NAA and SafeMinds offer our support of Katie, both as a parent and as a board member of our respective organizations. When Katie spoke to David, she represented the thoughts of thousands of parents who believe they delivered their healthy infants to a doctor’s office for government mandated vaccines only to witness their lapse into sickness and regression into autism.
Parents bring a wealth of expertise to science and treatment discussions because they are the ones confronted on a daily basis with the needs of their children and as such, their opinions should be actively solicited and embraced. Parents like Katie add perspective and urgency. They play an essential role in directing precious resources towards the most promising ways that will most quickly improve the lives of those suffering with autism now and prevent its occurrence in the future.
In keeping with these principles, our organizations ask Autism Speaks to clarify the rationale for issuing their announcement on Katie. We ask them to assure the community that meaningful autism research on the role of the environment, including vaccines and their components, will assume dramatically greater and expedited prominence in its scientific and treatment agendas.
To view the interview between David Kirby and Katie Wright go to www.autismmedia.org
To view the recent statement from Autism Speaks regarding this interview see http://www.autismspeaks.org/wrights_statement.php
For information regarding the National Autism Association or SafeMinds go to www.nationalautismassociation.org or www.safeminds.org
June 4, 2007
NAA and SafeMinds to AS: "Hey... What the Hell"!?
NAA and SafeMinds want Autism Speaks to explain themselves and their decision to distance themselves from Katie and her comments. I would love to hear the answer to that as well.