Thursday, April 30, 2009

Ohio State University Chapter Forming

ASAN's new Ohio State University chapter will be holding its first meeting today in the coffee shop of the campus Barnes & Noble/Long's Cafe. More details about this introductory meeting can be found on the ASAN Central Ohio blog.

The OSU student newspaper, The Lantern, interviewed ASAN members Melanie Yergeau and Benzion Chinn regarding ASAN's goals of changing social perceptions of autism and enabling self-advocacy. The article noted that the Ohio State ASAN chapter will be a source of information for students and faculty alike.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

ASAN's Petition Telling Tony Attwood and Isabelle Hénault to End the Hate

The Autistic Self Advocacy Network is asking for your support in telling Dr. Tony Attwood and Dr. Isabelle Hénault, well known clinical psychologists in the field of Autism, to publicly renounce their associations with hate groups that promote the pseudoscientific concept of Cassandra Affective Deprivation Disorder invented by Maxine Aston. Groups such as FAAAS that promote the concept falsely claim that being in a relationship with an Autistic person causes a depressive disorder and that Autistics and people with neurological disabilities are likely to be violent and abusive toward family members. Such stereotypes have resulted in discrimination against people with disabilities who are involved in divorce and child custody cases. Drs. Attwood and Hénault are closely associated with these groups through their membership in FAAAS' Professional Advisory Panel and their history of appearances at conferences promoting the affective deprivation concept.

We hope that you will join us in signing this petition to help secure the rights of all people, regardless of disability, to be treated equally under the law. For those who also wish to e-mail directly, is the e-mail address for Dr. Attwood and is the e-mail address for Dr. Hénault. In addition, ASAN President Ari Ne'eman has issued a statement on the importance of the petition to Dr. Tony Attwood and Dr. Isabelle Hénault. We appreciate your support in ending stereotypes and discrimination against our community.

Update, May 12: This post has been edited to remove a reference to a group that, in response to ASAN's concerns, has taken down an offensive article and has agreed to develop a more realistic and balanced website.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

No Myths Autism Awareness PSA

You'll find a different kind of autism awareness in the "No Myths" public service announcement—one that offers a realistic view of the autistic population, instead of stereotypes and myths. ASAN President Ari Ne'eman has issued the following statement about the PSA and encourages supporters to view it and spread the word:

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