Monday, April 27, 2009

The Autistic Community Mourns the Passing of Alyric

The Autistic Community Mourns the Passing of Alyric, a long-time activist and supporter of autistic rights and neurodiversity. She passed away on April 18, 2009, after a long and courageous battle with cancer. Her blog A Touch of Alyricism will remain intact. With her incisive commentary, Alyric was unwavering in her commitment to defend the rights of autistics to respect, honesty and accuracy in science and reporting, and was unafraid to take a strong stand about issues she believed in. Alyric touched many lives. She was always ready to help advocates with research, support, and encouragement. She was a well-respected advocate who made profoundly important and meaningful contributions to our community. We will miss her vibrant presence. Several bloggers have posted tributes to Alyric; here is one that describes her advocacy efforts in more detail.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Autistic People Deserve Equality: Petition to Tony Attwood and Isabelle Hénault

The Autistic Self Advocacy Network would like your support for our petition calling on Dr. Tony Attwood and Dr. Isabelle Hénault, two psychologists widely known for their writings and presentations in the area of Autism, to disassociate themselves from hate groups such as FAAAS and ASPIA that seek to encourage discrimination against Autistic people in family law and relationships. These groups promote the pseudoscientific concept of Cassandra Affective Deprivation Disorder, which is based on a prejudiced and scientifically unsupported claim that romantic involvement with an Autistic person causes a depressive disorder, and falsely claim that Autistics and people with neurological disabilities are likely to be violent and abusive in family relationships. Such stereotypes, which have caused people with disabilities to be deprived of parental rights and discriminated against in divorce and child custody cases, have no place in our society.

Drs. Attwood and Hénault, who have been regular presenters at Cassandra-related events over the past decade, currently are serving as members of the FAAAS Professional Advisory Panel. Their association with Cassandra hate groups threatens the civil rights of Autistic people and others with disabilities. Please join us in signing this petition to help secure the rights of all people to be treated equally under the law. If you also wish to send e-mails directly, is the e-mail address for Dr. Attwood and is the e-mail address for Dr. Hénault. Also, here is a link to a statement by ASAN President Ari Ne'eman asking the community to sign the petition to Dr. Tony Attwood and Dr. Isabelle Hénault. Your support in ending stereotypes and discrimination is very much appreciated.

Monday, April 20, 2009

ASAN Group for Autistic Teens

ASAN has created a new online group for autistic teenagers and would like to invite interested people to participate. More details below:

A new yahoo group has been created exclusively for adolescents and teens on the autism spectrum, offering an opportunity for autistic adolescents and teens to interact in a supportive, autistic-friendly internet environment. The group is sponsored by the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network, an international non-profit organization run by and for autistic adults and youth, working to advance neurodiversity, disability rights and autistic culture.

Group Rules:
1. To join you must be on the autism spectrum (self-diagnosed individuals are welcome) and at least 13 years of age.
2. Be respectful of your fellow list members.
3. Do not repost messages outside of the list.
4. If you have a question, feel free to ask.
5. Do not engage in personal attacks against other list members.

The list will be closely moderated by adults from the Autistic Self Advocacy Network to ensure that all list content remains legal, age-appropriate, free of spam and solicitation, and in compliance with the group rules.

To join the group, visit , click the "Join this group" button, and follow the instructions.For more information, contact list moderator Dora Raymaker at

Please pass this information along to any adolescents and teens you know who would be interested!

Friday, April 17, 2009

No Myths Autism PSA: A Different Kind of Autism Awareness

ASAN worked with the Dan Marino Foundation and Kent Creative to develop the following autism PSA. Take a look, tell us what you think and please spread the word with blogs and outreach.

Youtube link:
Captioned Version:

Go to to learn more. This PSA is brought to you by the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (, Kent Creative ( and the Dan Marino Foundation (

About the Public Service Announcement

The "No Myths" PSA offers a refreshingly positive and optimistic view about life with autism. And it was written and performed by people who should know--individuals who are on the autism spectrum themselves. The purpose of the PSA is to tell society that, with the right supports, people with autism can do anything anybody else can do, even if it isn't in the same way. Ari Ne'eman, president of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, leads a cast that includes {in order of appearance} Dena Gassner, Ben Liske, and Jacob Pratt.

The Dan Marino Foundation of Weston, FL sponsored the piece, which was filmed by Nashville-based Kent Creative. Jon Kent directed the PSA and Britt Simmons was the Director of Photography.

"No Myths" was filmed inside the Parthenon in Nashville, TN. The Nashville Parthenon, which was built in 1897, is a full-scale replica of the ancient Greek Temple. The two bronze doors, used as a symbol throughout the PSA, weigh 7.5 tons each, and are thought to be the largest pair of matching bronze doors in existence. The producers wish to thank Citation Film Support and the Filmworker's Club of Nashville for their generous support of this project.

Ari Ne'eman
The Autistic Self Advocacy Network
1660 L Street, NW, Suite 700
Washington, DC 20036