Spread the word!

When Pokemon Go came out, I’ll be the first to admit I thought the craze was a little ridiculous.

But really, what was the harm? Kids were out walking around instead of spending all of their time inside.

It felt like the entire community was out in parks when the game first started.

It wasn’t long before my oldest son had caught on to the craze. He and my ex-husband both started playing during their visits.

Then my ex’s family started playing.

Then my husband started playing.

Soon there were Pokemon cards and stuffed Umbreon, Flarion, and Squirtles taking over his bedroom.

For two years, everyone in our family played Pokemon Go daily, but now, my son won’t be playing Pokemon Go anymore.

My Son Won't Play Pokemon Go Anymore
My Son Won't Play Pokemon Go Anymore
My Son Won't Play Pokemon Go Anymore
My Son Won't Play Pokemon Go Anymore
My Son Won't Play Pokemon Go Anymore
My Son Won't Play Pokemon Go Anymore

My Son Won't Play Pokemon Go Anymore
(Image description: a person wearing a green and white striped shirt holds a Pikachu stuffed toy while holding their phone playing Pokemon Go. White overlay with a text reads: “Exactly Why My Son Won’t Play Pokemon Go”. Below that, a close-up image of a hand holding a phone with “Pokemon Go” logo on the screen)

My Son Won't Play Pokemon Go Anymore

My Son Won’t Be Playing Pokemon Go Anymore

Now, before I get into the reason, I want to give this disclaimer first: This wasn’t my decision.

When I heard about this situation, I was outraged and my first instinct was to ban Pokemon Go from the house, but before I could even do that, my son came to the decision to stop playing Pokemon Go on his own.

We are working on finding another Pokemon Game that isn’t attached to Niantic for him to play. (Have a recommendation? Tell me in the comments!)

Niantic Partnered with Autism Speaks for an Autism Walk

Okay, let’s dive into it.

Niantic, the parent company for Pokemon Go, partnered with Autism Speaks for an Autism Walk they were throwing.

And if you’re thinking, “well that sounds kind, supporting an autism organization”, it’s important to understand that Autism Speaks is a hate organization.

You can learn all about them in these posts:

Basically, Autism Speaks is a hate organization that spreads a fear of autistic people in order to fundraise, and then doesn’t use the money they raise to actually help autistic people.

Now, assuming the best, I hoped that Niantic just didn’t know about Autism Speaks. There are a lot of corporations, organizations, and celebrities that publically support the organization without realizing how harmful they are.

Autistic Advocates Spoke Out to Niantic

Except that autistic advocates immediately spoke out to Niantic and told them how harmful this partnership was…

These are just a few of the dozens of tweets Niantic got telling them about how harmful this partnership would be. Begging Niantic to back out of the walk.

Niantic Knew it was Wrong, but Didn’t Back Out

And Niantic responded, but not in the way we hoped…

First, they doubled down on their support for the Autism Speaks walk (conveniently leaving out the words Autism Speaks)…

And then they confirmed that they heard the feedback from autistic advocates, but didn’t care to actually do anything.

It was at this point that I was talking to my husband about the entire debacle.

Now, you don’t live in my house, but if you did, you would know that I’m pretty passionate about autism, and rants like these are pretty common.

“You wouldn’t believe it. They did this, and this, and this.”

My husband’s pretty used to it, and the kids pretty much ignore it.

Except this time I said the words, “Pokemon Go” so my son perked up and was suddenly very interested in what we were talking about.

Telling My Son About Autism Speaks

Let me tell you, it was really difficult to tell my son about Autism Speaks.

How could I explain it so that he would understand, but wouldn’t be too upset by it?

This is an organization that has promoted parents who want to kill their autistic children.

This is an organization who capitalizes on a fear of autistic children like my son and I.

This is an organization that, at its core, would prefer a world where autistic people like my son and I do not exist.

How do I explain that?

I explained it the best that I could.

I told him that there’s an organization called Autism Speaks who pretends to help autistic people. But really, they think that autistic people need to change to act like they aren’t autistic.

I told him that they raise a lot of money, but they don’t actually use it to help autistic people.

And I told him that if they had it their way, there wouldn’t be any autistic people anymore.

And then, I told him that Niantic, the creators of Pokemon Go were partnering with Autism Speaks even though people told them how unkind that was.

My Son Won’t Be Playing Pokemon Go Anymore

He started shaking, and I saw tears in his eyes.

I thought he was afraid that we were taking away Pokemon Go, but when I asked him what was wrong he said…

“I am NEVER playing that game again…”

I was shocked, but I was also proud.

He told me that he loves his brother exactly how he is, and if the people who created Pokemon Go don’t support that, then he doesn’t want to play anymore.

So, he stopped playing.

He told my ex-husband and his family.

He took his account off the i-Pad.

And he’s not turning back.

If you loved this post, check out:

We Don't Want to #EndAutismNow, and you shouldn't either. #EndAbleismNow