March 20, 2015

Autism Awareness month is coming and yet the media only seems to know about one autism organization and one successful autistic adult.

They don’t seem to realize that:

Autism is More than Autism Speaks and Temple Grandin

During the month many national news outlets such as CNN, The New York Times, Fox News, Time Magazine and US News & World Report will all run articles that use one of 2 resources for autism quotes; Autism Speaks and Temple Grandin.

The same is true of local news outlets.

I wonder, shouldn’t autism awareness mean there is an awareness of other organizations and individuals within the community who can act as knowledgeable experts? Many would be happy to provide quotes, news bites and as much information as any reporter could want.

In an effort to help with this I have provided a brief list of some of the largest Autism advocacy and support organizations. These organizations would all be able to provide not only excellent information but a different perspective. Using quotes from more than one organization or source can provide a well-balanced and informative article for the general public.

In no particular order, here are some great organizations:

ASAN (Autism Self Advocacy Network:

From their website:

image taken from twitter
image taken from twitter

“The Autistic Self Advocacy Network seeks to advance the principles of the disability rights movement with regard to autism. ASAN believes that the goal of autism advocacy should be a world in which Autistic people enjoy the same access, rights, and opportunities as all other citizens. We work to empower Autistic people across the world to take control of our own lives and the future of our common community, and seek to organize the Autistic community to ensure our voices are heard in the national conversation about us. Nothing About Us, Without Us!”

Autism Network International:

From their website:

“Autism Network International is an autistic-run self-help and advocacy organization for autistic people.

In addition to promoting self-advocacy for autistic adults who are able to participate independently, ANI also works to improve the lives of autistic people who, whether because they are too young, or because they do not have adequate communication skills, are not able to advocate for themselves.”

Autism Acceptance Project:

From their website:

TAAPLogo_“The Autism Acceptance Project is dedicated to promoting acceptance of and accommodations for autistic people in society.

The Autism Acceptance Project (TAAProject) will bring forth a different and positive view about autism to the public in order to foster understanding and acceptance, and to empower parents and autistic people.”

National Autism Association:

From their website:NAA

“The mission of the National Autism Association is to respond to the most urgent needs of the autism community, providing real help and hope so that all affected can reach their full potential.”

Autism Society of America:

From their website:

50yearsautismsociety“The Autism Society envisions individuals and families living with autism are able to maximize their quality of life, are treated with the highest level of dignity, and live in a society in which their talents and skills are appreciated and valued”

U.S. Autism and Aspergers Association:

From their website:

“US Autism & Asperger Association is a 501(C)(3) non-profit organization which boasts a proud network of world-renowned professionals with expertise in Autism, Asperger Syndrome, and other related disorders. US Autism & Asperger Association hosts a compendious world conference in the United States each year, establishes standards for Autism and Asperger Syndrome training, and aligns with local community resources to offer support for the entire Autism and Asperger communities.”

This is a short list of the many US organizations available that can provide information and news worthy quotes.

Of course many articles also use quotes from Temple Grandin, possibly the most famous autistic adult currently. There are many other successful, articulate, intelligent autistic adults who could also provide quotes. Here is a list of some who are autism advocates.

Successful Adult Autistics

John Elder Robinson:

Jim Sinclair:

Donna Williams:

John Hall:

Of course not all autistic children grow up to be advocates. Some of them just grow up to be famous. Here is a brief list of some famous entertainers that have been diagnosed on the autism spectrum.

James Durbin:

Susan Boyle:

Daryl Hannah:

Dan Akroyd:

There are many more beyond this brief list.

So why don’t we ever see quotes and information from these organizations and people?

News media – I am talking to you.

About the author 

Dawn Marcotte

Dawn Marcotte is the CEO of, a website designed to help teens and young adults on the spectrum live to their highest potential.

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