Addressing a need for all autism advocates to call for change with one clear voice, the Autism Society plans to organize a summit of national autism organizations this fall, Dr. Jim Ball, chairman of the Autism Society, announced at last week’s conference. “It’s time all autism organizations increase their collaboration and define the areas in which we all will work together to improve lives, “said Dr. Ball.Michelle Diament reports at Disability Scoop:
The Autism Society’s goal for this summit is to bring together leaders of national autism organizations to discuss and agree on a series of collaborative efforts to significantly advance the dignity, self sufficiency, autonomy and independence of all individuals on the autism spectrum. Interested national organizations are encouraged to contact Scott Badesch, President of the Autism Society, if they are interested in participating in the summit.
“The infighting that a lot of times characterizes the autism community needs to stop,” said Scott Badesch, president of the Autism Society. “Until we come together, we’re not going to be able to move the needle on enhancing autism services.”
Tension has been brewing for years with parents and even professionals at odds over everything from possible causes of the developmental disorder to whether precious dollars should be spent on research or services for those on the spectrum.
As a result, Badesch said he sees many other interest groups getting a stronger reception locally and in Congress, citing elderly Americans and the gay and lesbian community as examples. By working together with a united front, Badesch said he hopes autism advocates can be more productive.
Inquiries from Disability Scoop to four other national organizations advocating for individuals with autism about the proposed summit did not yield any response Monday.