[Dr. Geraldine Dawson has replied, in a manner of speaking, to my open letter to her. It is a stock reply, one that I imagine is similar to others being sent out by Autism Speaks at this time. It is reproduced in its entirety below. My response can be found in the comments.]
Dear Mr. Griswold,
Thank you very much for sending me your letter and telling me about your perspective and feelings regarding the “I Am Autism” video. I understand and respect your perspective and I am truly sorry that the film offended you. The video was not intended to reflect Autism Speaks broader viewpoint or attitude toward persons with autism spectrum disorder. Rather, it was created by two fathers of children with autism – Billy Mann, a Grammy-nominated songwriter, music producer and Autism Speaks board member, and Alfonso Cuarón, an Academy award-nominated film director. It is based on a personal poem written by Mr. Mann. It is an intensely personal expression by these two fathers. It was their hope that the piece would inspire other voices and artists in the autism community. It has greatly offended some people, however, and we have removed it from our website.
Again, thank you for writing to me and sharing your thoughts. You can rest assured that I will continue to advocate for a respectful and compassionate attitude and support for persons with autism spectrum disorder.