When Autism Groups Know No Sin-The Story of TAFA

    One of the issues with Autism advocacy groups is that they are not under any kind of formal ethics. Such is the case with the Tucson Alliance for Autism (TAFA). TAFA is the result of a merger of two separate organizations in 2005. TAFA has had only one board member for much of its life and is mired with complaints of a mold problem. TAFA is not a safe place for anyone on the spectrum, as will be demonstrated by this story. 

    Autism is considered a type of developmental disorder that has roots in a persons nervous system. Autism is includes impairment in cognition, social interaction, and communication. Some autistics even are prone to epilepsy or intellectual disabilities. Some are non-verbal, but communicate through other ways

    TAFA had a mold problem. What was so frustrating about this problem was the entire spousal group left because of smelling mold; the autism group was controlled and convinced to stay. One person did leave the adult autism group though

Executive director Kristin Polachek said, "there is no known mold," yet the Autism spousal group was allowed to move while the adult autism group was made to stay in the building. Polichak's allowing the autism spousal group to move will be taken to acknowledge that there was a mold problem.

    One of the issues when confronting TAFA's mold problem is there are no regulations holding TAFA accountable for mold. How is an autism advocacy organization be held accountable? This can be done in the following ways.

  1. Create an ethics code to be followed
  2. Join the National Organization of Human Services (NOHS)
For an example of a Human Services Ethics code click here. This will bring greater accountability for autism advocacy organizations, such as the potential for harm like a possible mold issue as in the case with TAFA

    Are you an adult autistic? Do you need help? Call 520-314-6896.


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