The director is Jonathan Shestack, a nationally known autism patient advocate and Hollywood film producer (Air Force One). The town is York, home to a motorcycle factory and the Stauffer Biscuit Co.
The matter involves a quotation from Shestack, who has been known to speak his mind at CIRM board meetings. In this case, Shestack's 16 words were emblazoned in yellow on a billboard on Route 30. He said,
"If 1 in 150 American children were kidnapped we'd have a national emergency. We do. Autism."Jeff Frantz of the York Daily Record wrote,
"The Autism Self Advocacy Network and several autism bloggers from around the country objected to the billboard, saying the quote equated an autism diagnosis with a lifetime prison sentence. "Frantz also reported,
"'You know what, I stand by it all,' Shestack said. 'It is a phrase to grab people by the throat.'We agree with Shestack.
“Those objectors are often people with high-functioning autism, he said. They ignore half of those with autism like his son, who will never learn to speak and will always need help with basic tasks.
"'I think the people who object are small-minded, not generous and only see the world through their own experience,' Shestack said.”
But the Autism York group, which put the billboard, is not buying Shestack's view and is taking the sign down.