Home > Awareness > Autism Talk TV and Autism Speaks

Autism Talk TV and Autism Speaks

This is a guest post by Marc Sirkin, Autism Speaks Chief Community Officer. Marc manages Autism Speaks social media, marketing, websites and online fundraising.

Since joining Autism Speaks it’s been one of my missions to start to bring the community together through the use of social media. We’ve invested in our Facebook and Twitter presence, our Ning community, our e-mail newsletters and two rapidly expanding and successful blogs – one for Autism Speaks and one for Walk Now for Autism Speaks. I am seeing some terrific conversations developing and platforms that enable the community to come together in a global conversation about autism.

At Autism Speaks, a big piece of our mission is to bring the autism community together as one strong voice to urge the government and private sector to listen to our concerns and take action to address this urgent global health crisis. Through social media, I am hoping to help move this along. You can read our entire mission here: http://www.autismspeaks.org/mission.php

A few months ago, John Robison and I started talking about how we can continue to drive a dialogue and to bring the different and disparate pieces of the autism community together. Right before the IMFAR conference, John called me to tell me about a young man named Alex Plank, who is the founder of Wrongplanet.net. John had spent some time with him and thought that Alex, despite his public criticisms of Autism Speaks, would be a terrific person to involve in this ever expanding conversation. After attending the GRASP benefit event and meeting Alex, I invited him and John to a meeting to discuss some ideas on how we might work together. I eventually spent an entire day with Alex, hashing through a bunch of very cool, social media ideas, including one terrific nugget that has now become “Autism Talk TV.”

The idea is simple really, Alex was already producing a show that would feature a variety of perspectives from the autism community and we wanted to help. Not only did we want to give Alex a chance at creating a successful web show, we thought he was terrific on camera and with a promotional boost, more people might enjoy tuning into his show. Alex’s lively and engaging style as a host felt right to us and we committed to doing some test shows and to act as a show sponsor to help promote the show.  As a sponsor, we have no creative or content control; we do not drive Alex’s content agenda, but will provide assistance where we can for access to guests and additional information as well as show promotion where we can.

Our expectations are simple: we hope Alex will produce great content in an enjoyable, web-based format and that he will build “Autism Talk TV” into a widely viewed, successful venture. At Autism Speaks, we continue to invest in the entire community and to continue to “listen” and engage the community from all corners. It is my hope that this show will drive forward the conversation and help the entire autism community come just a little closer to each other.

I think it’s already working… on our blog, Jessica wrote “Although it may be surprising to see WP partnering with Autism Speaks, if it’s for a project that’s creating greater understanding about ASD, it’s a good thing,” and Dadvocate wrote “I’m honestly delighted that Alex Plank’s WP is partnering with AS.” I know some may find this partnership confusing or concerning and I’d ask you to allow us to explore this new partnership and see how far we can take it together. Stay tuned for more Autism Talk TV!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Check out Alex’s work on Wrongplanet here.


  1. Ralph Colon
    August 13, 2010 at 3:41 pm


    Famous Actor John Travolta lost his son to a seizure that may have contributed to autism without realizing that his son may have had Autism at the time of his son‘s death. Many Actors and families alike today have Autism Children, and most of them do not understanding how their children contracted the Autism, because Autism does not run in their immediate family. Fact is, in most cases the genes really does not play a part in contracting Autism besides the identical twin at birth, and of course there are doctors that would disagree, because the power of control and greed. But, there other doctors that would agree. It’s a crazy country we live in. The signs of the times you might say.

    I am a new author. Just a grandfather who wrote an incredible true story 64.000 words all true about how my grandson got Autism. After my long and exhausted research -now I am out to save millions of children who are born normal from contracting the Autism Disorder. I am out to stop what they did to my grandson that no other child should go through but unfortunately, this is happening everyday to thousands of children. I am looking for a movie producer to make this movie on what happen to my grandbaby and the sad events that we went through to save Christopher’s life, and to save the millions of children of tomorrow who are born normal to Autism. I have no-money to self publish and many publishers and agents won’t deal with a new author – a catch 22 that it has exhausted me, so now I’m forced to look for a movie producer with this shocking true story.

    I know this is not the way to do this without an agent, but I cannot afford to do everything through the norm. I just have to take my chances against this cruel and greedy society looking for Mr. Autism Hero that can make this happen. It is known that a child can be born with Autism at birth because of the genes. A disease growing in unstoppable numbers both at birth and in years later after birth. It is also a well known fact that out of 1 in 90 children that are diagnose today with Autism Disorder a great majority is diagnose with this disease years after a normal birth, making it a puzzling effect on a great many families, including families of stature.

    The mega population of Autism children that are born normal – parents find out years later when the child hits 3 to 5 years old that their children are diagnose with Autism. Fact is, for many families their child should have never been diagnosed with Autism. My findings and research took some years to authenticate. It seems that a great many families are being fed the recipe for their child to be infected in a timely manner for the Autism to take affect. This recipe is like baking a cake after a certain amount of time in the oven, the cake is baked and cooked. Same goes here for the child – after a certain amount of time adding to the deadline of no return the child starts to have developmental delays on most of his functioning mentally at 3 to 5 years of age. In Christopher I was ordered to feed this recipe to him in a nine month period which was to short to soon that he almost died. Whether this is intentional or not we would never know, what we do know is that greed and profits exist in this country. Unbelievably – this is the truth, and the proof is with my grandson and my research. For a great many families their children are fed the recipe for their child to be infected in a timely manner for Autism Disorder to take affect. In the pass 3 years alone Autism has increases unbelievably. In 2007 1 in 166 children were diagnose with Autism. In 2008, 1 in 150 children being diagnose. In 2009, 1 in 130 and today 2010 the numbers now read 1 in 90 children being diagnosed with Autism. You will find that these numbers vary with different researches, but it does not change the production of Autism as we are witnessing today. In 1970, the numbers were 1 in 10.000.

    In the mid 1970’s the numbers fell to 1 in 2.500 children being diagnose with Autism. Fact is – if you knew the true story as to why a child who is born normal to later at the age of 4 years old that child is infected permanently with Autism Disorder, you would be writing letters to your congressman’s and to lawmakers and the President. You would not be to kind to our government after knowing the truth that our government has been allowing doctors to do something to harm our children of America for 30 years infecting our children to reach this diagnose of Autism today. The $64.000.00 Question Is – “Why? Why would our Government allow this to happen to our children for 30 years? I can say this – that when it comes to stocks no one cares about the outcome that makes them wealthier than yesterday, no one will stand in their way. They could care less about complaints or outcome of any child dead or alive, as I have researched first hand on the many children who have died from these experiments, that if the child does not die he will defiantly become developmental delay -”Autism,” just like my baby. This is a Fact!

    The government refuses to do anything about the leading source that is infecting our children with Autism until this day. Thirty years ago, they refuse to contact the source to look at the complaints of parents that their children are turning Autism due to this
    Problem. Now, look at today 2010 with this mega population of Autism. If our government would have done something about the source causing the Autism Affect on our children back in the 1980’s today my grandbaby would not have Autism Disorder today, and we would not be seeing this mega population of Autism children today 30 years later. Vaccines are not and never have been the problem. They saw a window of opportunity to cover-up the truth that was coming out in the 80’s, to protect their new stock venture, by using the vaccine dilemma through privet sources. With that in mind, the medical community and suppliers threw out other excuses to pediatricians and doctors to build up ignorance and confusion. But 30 years ago a majority of parents from all over this country stood their ground on what was coursing their children’s Autism, they did not believe it was vaccines although you had a few who were filled with ignorance.

    My research is full proof because Christopher is alive today to show it, and the world must know what happen to Christopher and the bloody horrible tragic events that took place throughout the course of this incredible story. The medical community says Environmental or Genetics have been causing the Autism Production Problem we see today on children who are born normal to Autism, but this is a lie. Until this day, a great majority of parents will dispute that. As far as genetically inheriting the Autism disease being born with it, I fully agree to that assessment, but only to the identical twins. After my study’s I came to realize that the amount of children who fall in this category “Genetics” are not quite as many as they claim it to be for the children born normal to Autism. These two terms – Genetic and Environmental was created for one purpose only – To satisfy the parents Questions and Concerns since the 1980’s when the truth broke out, it was their way to redirect the parents.

    As far as “Environmental”, this is an assumption created for doctors to add it to Autism questions and concerns from parents. It is very easy to point out that you can catch something or a disease by touching something contaminated, and this is why doctors will throw in the Environmental Solution to all parents just to shut them up. It is all about money and over powering anyone who stands in their way by using these logical excuses. They will keep infecting as many children as they can with the Autism Affect destroying our children of our future. What I am saying may sound unbelievable but is all true, and again – I can prove it! My story is filled with true facts that if and when I publish this incredible true story to the media, I would have to move out of this county and state for the security of my family. The Autism production of our children here in America can be stopped, and it will if the people and the viewers learn the truth on what happen to my grandson. We the people in this country have lived on lies long enough in just about everything that comes from the government, I think is time for them to realize that our children in this country are more important than pharmaceutical companies and the lobbyist they hold in their purse. How much more money is enough?

    How much more Autism children do they need? Aren’t 1 in 90 children being diagnose with Autism today enough? Next year we will witness 1 in 50 children. If it were not for the almost dying experience that my grandson went through, I would have never found out the truth about why we have millions of children being diagnose with Autism today after being born normal. Adding my research with what happen to my grandbaby I say there is no doubt that we have so many children on Autism because of money, profit, gain, and control. This is a very serious problem that must be faced. Again, I am speaking about the children who are born normal then later when they reach the age of 3 to 5 years of age they are diagnose to Autism without families having a genetic history to the problem, and little do many families know this disease is being created deliberately.

    What I need is for a Movie Producer to look my story and put it on the big screen. This is the story that thousands maybe millions of people have been waiting for, for over 30 years. What I’m asking for, is for God to send me a caring and giving producer to give me and my grandbaby this dream come true – to save as many children from Autism due to this 30 year crime-spree that has been infecting and in many cases killing our children – because is all true! If you cannot help me, please help me with a donation to publish my book – 3625 Grand Prix Drive Sebring Florida 33872-2954. Your donations will be paid back with the proceeds on what my book will make, because I am sure it will sell thousands of books. The Bible says – “Ask and you will receive”, so I am asking you to please make this worthwhile donation to my address above. God will bless you for it. God Bless You.


    Ralph Colon – RC GRANDPA autismhero54@yahoo.com 863-385-2030

  2. August 14, 2010 at 1:16 am

    Hello, Mr. Sirkin. The funding of autism speaks of this young man’s media endeavors when he has libeled your organization, implying your main goal is to develop a prenatal test when there are severely autistic persons who bang their heads and can’t speak. Others who are higher functioning such as myself who can’t hold down a job is a slap in the face, to all of the good people who donated money to your organization and participated in your walks as a matter of blind faith, so that this horrible disability could be mitigated or possibly cured.

  3. August 14, 2010 at 6:03 am

    Parents seeking to help their autistic children, particularly parents of severely autistic children, should begin reconsidering their support for Autism Speaks. Alex Plank and Jon Elder Robison, two very high functioning persons with Aspergers are the new faces of Autism Speaks? The Wrong Planet hosted by Mr. Plank posts offensive remarks about parents and those seeking cures. It recently posted comments that were depraved and disrespectful concerning the passing of Dr. Ivar Lovaas who did so much to help autistic children. As a parent of a 14 year old son severely affected by Autistic Disorder who has been a supporter of Autism Speaks I no longer hear his voice when Autism Speaks.

    • September 15, 2010 at 10:09 am

      Hey Harold,

      Name’s Hannah, I’m a female with high functioning autism, and I’m not sure where I stand on the issue of pro or anti cure groups…As a child I was verbal in the sense of word usage, but what is strange, despite my extensive vocabulary as a child and now as an adult of age 27, it dose not seem to matter to some folks…For example, ‘She’s so verbal! Why can’t she just ‘get over’ or ‘snap out of’ her imagined issues? The lack of emotional reciprocity (give and take) has been quiet crippling, and the gap between myself and even my family aside from my mother who’s been my biggest advocate is frustrating…

      I have days I wish I were cured of this and others I do not…I’ve come to know there is something all folks who have some degree of autism can and do contribute to society, enriching life for those others around them…Its a glass half full or empty mentality, and which side the person wishes to see…Much music through out history has been from folks on the spectrum, inventions and poetry, writing etc…

      Part of the human experience, is learning to find the beauty in the different things, autistic folks are able to concentrate and focus intently for hours on things, and create things of marvel and wonder :) In turn those that are NT in nature, are able to bring people together to work together and in there own way enrich life for others…A house divided against itself cannot stand…I say this to you Mr. Harold to bring some perspective to your world, and know that not all of us that are of the higher functioning nature, have malaise in mind…Knowing first hand the ill effects of autism has been frankly hell for my family and myself…I’m currently a self-injurer, have bouts of Anorexia, with laxative purging and Rx amphetamine diet pill abuse spanning 10 years long…

      These things stemming from the autism directly or indirectly, thinking I needed to somehow change who I was, becoming frustrated and taking out that aggression on myself, my own body under sedge…The flip side to all that pain, is artwork, and music…I’ve been singing for most my entire life and have a voice that I use as a means to express the ache being experienced…The link to my blog is posted above with some of my drawings, digital art work and writings and musings…At any rate, the point in all of this is that things are not as bad as they often seem…This too shall pass proves quiet true, though I’m not a parent I do have autism and have lived through some hardships that have strengthened my character, and softened my regard for those who have autism of all kinds, and listen to the parents taking care of the child…At some point, I’d like to help females with autism of all degrees, with the issues that I struggle with…I could have become bitter over the hand I was dealt, but I choose to allow these things to make me a better person, and in turn help others someday…

      I hope this reply finds you in good spirits Mr. Harold…

      Be Well,


  4. andy
    August 15, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    Wrong Planet cruelly mocked the death of Ivar Lovass- and not just one individual but virtaully all commenting on the story of his death. From where I sit this isn’t funny but truly sad. AS must stand up for those without voices.

  5. August 16, 2010 at 10:28 am

    You mean people with autism have voices?

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