After almost a year of grassroots activism, Boycott Autism Speaks has made real progress in revealing to the general public how Autism Speaks works against our community. We have reached out to their sponsors, and saw both Panera Bread and Build-A-Bear Workshop ending their partnerships. We have a long way to go, but have made some significant gains! Our voices are being heard!

Every social justice movement needs the commitment and hard work of many, and we truly appreciate the efforts of each and every one of you who have joined the boycott, called, e -mailed, sent letters and advocated locally for an end to the dehumanizing and harmful rhetoric of Autism Speaks. Together, we are making a difference in the lives of Autistic people. For too long, Autism Speaks has talked about our lives, and the lives of our families in ways that disrespect, stigmatize and exploit us. Together, we are changing that!


Image Description: Background is a brownish color with lighter color brown circles. Left hand side is the Boycott Autism Speaks symbol  and on the right hand side is the ASAN symbol. Text reads Join us! Boycott Autism Speaks & Autistic Self Advocacy Network of Washington state are teaming up to protests the Seattle Autism speaks Fundraising Walk Saturday September 27 10 am at Seattle Center . Details at

As we continue to boycott and demand change, we are also very excited to announce that Boycott Autism Speaks will be teaming up with The Autistic Self Advocacy Network of Washington State to protest the Seattle Walk for Autism Speaks on Saturday, September 27, 2014 at Next 50 Plaza, Seattle Center at 10 a.m. . We encourage all who are interested to join us.

For more information:

Meeting locations


There was some discussion on the email list about meeting rooms a while ago. Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Oakland Branch does not have meeting rooms available to the public. Because Oakland is the only neighborhood pretty universally accessible by public transit and by car, I’m pretty committed to find us a place there. I’m in the process of looking for alternate locations.

HCBS Advocates Toolkit | Autistic Self Advocacy Network

We’ve released our new toolkit on HCBS!

ASAN has published a toolkit for advocates, families and administrators on how to ensure that people with disabilities receive Medicaid-funded Home and Community-Based Services in integrated settings that offer full access to the community.

Home and community-based services are an important source of support for many people with disabilities who need help to live in the community. But so far, many of these services have been provided in restrictive or group settings, instead of people’s own homes, communities, or integrated workplaces.

In January, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a new rule that may help people get the services they need in truly integrated settings. The new rule sets forth standards for the settings where people receive home and community-based services, including standards for privacy, choice, integration, and access to jobs in the community. Each state must write a five-year plan for how it will change its home and community-based services programs to meet these new standards.

The new rule is the result of several years of conversations between CMS and the disability rights community. In 2011, ASAN worked with Self Advocates Becoming Empowered (SABE) and the National Youth Leadership Network to publish a report on which types of settings people with disabilities believe give them actual, meaningful opportunities to participate in the community. […]

Update: 36 arrested in disability rights protest



I’ve realised that I have massive difficulties with executive function, especially the switching tasks aspect. I find it so much more satisfying to do the same task for one day than to do lots of different tasks in a day. Do any neurodiverse folk have tips for dealing with this?

This is something I’m still struggling with myself, but is there any way that you can either lump the tasks together into a larger task (for example, make meal + eat meal + clean up= lunch), or arrange tasks to loop into each other so that finishing one puts you at a prompt to begin the next (ie, dust upstairs -> vacuum upstairs -> take vacuum downstairs -> dust downstairs -> vacuum downstairs -> end adjacent to kitchen -> wash lunch dishes)?

It’s not easy to brainstorm for, but when I’ve been able to set them up, both of those tricks seem to help me with being able to accomplish tasks and with reducing the mental exhaustion from too many transitions. 

Thoughts on Stimming


I was finally able to buy a spinning ring for myself and I am loving it!  It helped me focus and keep calm while doing my homework today.  I realized today the stim toys that my children and I have reflect a certain sensory need that we each individually have.  I asked the kids if they were okay with me posting about this epiphany that I had and they said it was fine.

I am a twirler.  I twirl things in my hands and I really like going on things that spin, like a rollie chair. My son is a juggler and he also loves to bounce.  He juggles his beads and the comfort critters he keeps in his pockets.  My daughter is a chewer.  She has her “chewie”, but she also likes her “squishies” that she fiddles with and she likes to be “squished”.  Basically she needs compression to help calm her.  I just found that observation interesting and wanted to share it.

Looking for Publications of Writing by Autistic People



I’m looking for publications that publish writing by autistic people. They can be either professional or creative writing. Can anyone help me?

Wordgathering is an online journal on disability poetry and literature that seeks work by writers with disabilities.




hey could you all tell me of your favorite stim toy/ring/something and if you can, provide a link??

i really need some stim toys, especially being overwhelmed with school and all

Blu-tac is my thing. Cheap and easy to pass of if you’re asked about it. Only drawback is if you’re prone to sitting or leaning on it. I’ve had many a shirt in school ruined bc of it.

I recently bought a Tangle Jr and love it! The one I have has cute colors (yellow, blue, pink), glittery sections, and textured sections.

The website linked is a shop for office toys and has a lot of cool ideas.

I collect miniatures/dolls/action figures, which make for good stim toys. Two of my favorites are a pair of plastic dolphins from my brother and a box of matchstick dolls from steampunk-gypsy.

Other things I’ve used are coins, buttons, shells, stones, paper clips, dice, and erasers. These are small enough to put in my pocket so nobody sees. (When I first started school I would break pencils - not a good idea, six-year-old me.)

You could also make your own stress ball by filling a balloon with sand or flour. My siblings do this a lot, but they need to be replaced every month or so, depending on how much you use it, because they can break.

A friend of mine collects those metal and wooden puzzles that fit together and come apart.

Another great way to stim is drawing/coloring: it doesn’t even have to be a picture, it can just be scribbling or drawing shapes all over the page. I’ve got a page in my sketchbook that is just connected hexagon shapes, like a beehive, and another that is just blue. I have trouble sitting still and paying attention in church, so I started bringing a small graph paper notebook and filling the squares using mathematical patterns - numbering the squares and filling in prime numbers, numbers divisible by 7, etc. It doesn’t have to involve math, either, you can trace the lines, connect the corners, and fill in the squares however you want.


Instead of asking us why we make a thing out of being proud, try asking yourself why you think we should be ashamed.