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One of Autism Speaks's most visible programs is their system which provides money for research on autism causes, treatments, and prevention. Sounds good, right? Maybe this is one reason you should actually support them.
The problem is, among the autistic community, most of this research is quite unwelcome. In particular, much of their research funding focuses on genetics--a focus that some autism rights activists fear may lead to eugenics programs.
In 2007, Autism Speaks spent $20,105,210 on research, but only $2,855 of this went to funding treatment and educational research. The rest of the money was used to fund research awards, as well as:
$3,023,408 on the Autism Genome Project, a project designed to provide a comprehensive map of genes involved in autism, which may also have eugenic potential)
$302,972 on the Autism Tissue program, a post-mortem brain tissue donation program, which was used to fund research on "Quantitative Analysis of Histologic Alternations in the Cerebral Cortex" and "Processing and hybridization of DNA samples"