Bad Disability Journalism: NBC Forgets to talk to Autistic People

The dad of an autistic man founded a carwash for his son to work at, and has employed lots of other autistic people. NBC did a feature in their “Inspiring America” series.

No autistic person is quoted in the story. Instead, we get this:

The repetition involved in the work is actually perfect for those on the autism spectrum who gravitate toward repetitive behavior. “Their attitude is strong,” said D’Eri. “That goes to the consumer and nothing can beat that.”
Now, four miles down the road, a second Rising Tide Car Wash is under construction. Despite not having a single ad, they’ve already received over 700 job applications.
D’Eri’s efforts to help those with autism in his community started in his Parkland, Florida community but has since gone global. Through Ted Talks, seminars, and even a testimony to the United Nation, D’Eri is not only uplifting autistic people, but shifting the way people view them and their capabilities.
As for Andrew — he’s a new man. “He’s motivated,” his father said. “And motivation is something Andrew never had but is key to life, right?”

It’s the classic example of how not to cover these “inspiring” stories.

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