Autism is a developmental disability that affects how we live our lives and experience the world around us. Please check out our “What is Autism” page for more information!
- ASAN works to make our society more inclusive for autistic people. We work to make sure that autistic people are in control in our own lives, and have a say in policies that affect us. We work to protect disability rights and civil rights. We celebrate and promote autistic community and culture. We do this work in many ways, including:
- Policy and legal advocacy
- Making educational resources
- Creating advocacy tools
- Leadership training for autistic self-advocates
Autism is a part of us. It is a disability that we will have our whole lives, not an illness that might go away. And it is not a bad thing — we are proud to be autistic! We think saying “person with autism” can reinforce stigma or send the message that autism is a scary thing. By saying “autistic person” or “autistic community,” we are emphasizing that autism is an important part of who we are. This essay by Lydia Brown has great information on why the autistic community prefers identity-first language.
You’re an autism organization. Why do you talk about “disability policy” or about other disabilities besides autism?
Autism is a disability. Many autistic people have other disabilities too. ASAN is a cross-disability organization, which means that we don’t just focus on autism. We work to make sure society is accessible and inclusive to people with all disabilities. The disability rights movement has a long history that started long before ASAN. We are proud to work with many communities who share these values and common goals.
Unfortunately, we aren’t able to recommend clinicians or medical providers, and we aren’t necessarily familiar with what is available in your state or local area. A local self-advocacy group, your state Developmental Disability council, or a local chapter of the Arc may have better information for you on local resources.
You may also want to check out our resource Welcome To The Autistic Community, which has lots of information for people who may be starting to wonder if they are autistic.
Unfortunately, we aren’t able to recommend supports or service providers, and we aren’t necessarily familiar with what is available in your state or local area. A local self-advocacy group, your state Developmental Disability council, or a local chapter of the Arc may have better information for you on local resources.
I need someone to advocate for me at work, at my/ my child’s school, or in a legal case. Is that something you do?
We are a small organization focusing on public policy at the national level. Unfortunately, we aren’t usually able to provide individual advocacy. If you need legal help, we recommend contacting your state’s Protection & Advocacy agency. The Job Accommodation Network has great information about your rights at work, and the Council of Parent Advocates and Attorneys has resources that can help you advocate for your or your child’s rights at school. We do provide these resources on how to self-advocate!
Your support means so much to us! We’ve created a handy guide to fundraising for us available here.
We’re not currently accepting submissions, but thank you for your interest! You can find other ways to contribute here.
Got a question we didn’t answer here? Feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org!