Australian Autism Group block autistics

20 May

I got this from an online friend and member of ASAN Australia.



ASAN AUSTRALIA understands from its members that as of today all Autistic members have been exclude from the Steering Committee of A4 (Autism Asperger Advocacy Australia) which has now been renamed the A4 Advisory Group. Convener of the A4 Advisory Group Bob Buckley states in an email to all A4 members:

“A majority group decided to separate itself from a minority dissenting group (formerly in A4 SC) who do not accept and object to long-standing polices and practices of the A4 SC.”

This minority dissenting group just happens to contain all of the people with a diagnosed Autism Spectrum Disorder that sat on the A4 Steering Committee up until 18/5/09. This minority group has long been battling to be part of the national voice that is A4 and now finds themselves excluded from the very group that once claimed to represent them.

ASAN AUSTRALIA finds this situation unacceptable, reprehensible in fact. We suggest that in light of this move A4 not be seen as a legitimate voice for those on the autism spectrum. Nothing about us without us.

An ASAN AUSTRALIA Convener can be contacted for comment via

This is a very silly move. I’ve emailed A4 to see if they have any comment regarding the issue.

6 Responses to “Australian Autism Group block autistics”

  1. Sullivan May 21, 2009 at 01:10 #

    Gad–what a mess. How can they exclude the autistic membership?

  2. cmasp May 21, 2009 at 04:35 #

    Whether this is a silly move or not really depends on the specific actions of the dissenting group. People can express their opinions, or they can be disruptive by not allowing any business at all to be conducted. Without further information, it’s really impossible to comment further.

    The e-mail allegedly states that the minority “do not accept and object to long-standing polices and practices of the A4 SC”. If a minority dissents, and cannot change the minds of the majority, then they really should be forming their own group, with their own policies and practices.

    Does ASAN accept minority autistic groups who do not accept and who object to it’s long-standing policies and practices?

    Chris (cmaspt on Twitter)

  3. gprobertson May 21, 2009 at 14:28 #

    I think you are correct to be cautious, but there are several possible reasons for dissenters not to leave. If they belonged to an organization that claimed to represent autistics, should they expect to be permitted to express, without reprimand, opinions commonly stated in autism advocacy groups? If it is unreasonable to expect an autism advocacy group to listen and value the opinions of autistic advocates, then opposing voices were at fault. If it is reasonable to expect to be heard and valued without rebuke, then they should stay and try to bring about a cultural change.

  4. Sheeva Aspie-Gal May 22, 2009 at 10:52 #

    This is no different to a committee of men claiming to represent women.
    There is no way they can represent me.
    History will show them to be authoritarian and lacking in empathy.

  5. Zachary Lassiter May 24, 2009 at 21:25 #

    I received a statement on my blog from a member on A4 about this mishap. It can be read in the comment’s section of the post below (comment number 18)


  1. Infinite Diversities - May 23, 2009

    […] Australian Autism Group block autistics […]

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