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Happy Holidays from the Autistic Self Advocacy Network

Posted Dec 22 2011 1:57pm

Below is an email I received from the Autistic Self Advocacy Network. Their end-of-year letter:

As we approach the end of the year, many of you will be getting ready to spend the holiday season with your families. As you do, we hope you’ll take a moment to remember all that we’ve accomplished together this year.

From our Navigating College handbook to our Symposium with Harvard Law School on Ethical, Legal and Social Issues in Autism Research, this has been an exciting year for the Autistic Self Advocacy Network. We celebrated our fifth anniversary, engaged in advocacy on critical issues like stopping the Judge Rotenberg Center’s abuse of children, fighting for more public support on critical topics like transition supports, true community integration, stopping restraint and seclusion and more.

In addition, our programming has helped build a stronger voice for the Autistic community in many sectors of American life. In our Keeping the Promise report, we partnered with other national self-advocacy groups to help define community living resulting in a document now being used by advocates and policymakers nationwide. Through our participation in the Academic Autistic Spectrum Partnership in Research and Education (AASPIRE), we are breaking new ground by ensuring the participation of Autistic voices in the research process. What’s more, 2012 promises to bring even more progress.

In 2012, our new internship program with Freddie Mac will result in new job opportunities for Autistic adults. Our forthcoming Autism Campus Inclusion initiative will help train the next generation of Autistic leaders and build a network of Autistic-run organizations on college campuses across the country. Not to mention our continued advocacy and activism to ensure that wherever autism is being discussed, we have a voice at the table – together.

Will you help support our work to keep the self-advocate voice front and center in 2012? Please consider an end of year donation to the Autistic Self Advocacy Network. With your help, the momentum we have begun this year can continue and build real and lasting change for our shared community. All donations are tax-deductible.

Ari Ne’eman
The Autistic Self Advocacy Network

PS. If you are unable or uncomfortable making donations online, donations can be sent to

The Autistic Self Advocacy Network
PO Box 66122 NW
Washington, DC 20035

  1. Anonymous:
    Judge Rotenberg's Center's abuse of children? This deserves an "ignorant statement of the year" award. I would wager that you have never been to the center, have never met the students, or have never talked to a parent there. JRC is a wonderful place and genuinely cares and provides safe alternatives to drugs and restraint. To say JRC abuses people is the same as saying heart surgeons are mass murderers. Forget what you read online and actually visit JRC to learn more.
  2. Sullivan:
    Anonymous, I would have liked for JRC to allow more oversight. They refused. Those would have been my eyes into the center. "To say JRC abuses people is the same as saying heart surgeons are mass murderers. " What the JRC does is illegal in my state. Heart surgery is not. JRC's use of electric shocks will not go on. Heart surgery will.
  3. sharon:
    Based on what I understand about JRC, to suggest that shocks are "safer" than restraints is a pretty hard claim to back up. As a parent whose son undertakes an ABA program using only positive reinforcement I am horrified with what the staff at JRC get away with in the name of therapy. You would be very hard pressed to convince me the methods used at JRC are not causing the students trauma. It is reprehensible.
  4. Landon Bryce:
    Employees at the Judge Rotenberg Center woke two teenagers who had done nothing wrong and gave them over one hundred electric shocks because a prank caller told them to. That is not a "wonderful place."

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