Autism National Committee

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Autism National Committee
Founded1990; 30 years ago (1990)[1]
FounderHerb Lovett
Legal status501(c)(3) nonprofit[2]
PurposeTo protect and advance the human rights and civil rights of all persons with autism, Pervasive Developmental Disorder, and related differences of communication and behavior.[3]
HeadquartersSouth Burlington, Vermont, U.S[2]
Coordinates44°26′41″N 73°10′52″W / 44.444584°N 73.181118°W / 44.444584; -73.181118Coordinates: 44°26′41″N 73°10′52″W / 44.444584°N 73.181118°W / 44.444584; -73.181118
Sandra McClennan[4]

The Autism National Committee (AUTCOM, AutCom) is an American advocacy association of autistic people and their allies.[5][6] Autism National Committee operates as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.[2]

History and activities[edit]

Autism National Committee was founded in 1990 to protect and advance the human rights and civil rights of all persons with autism, Pervasive Development Disorder, and related differences of communication and behavior. It was founded by the late Dr. Herb Lovett. In the face of social policies of devaluation, which are expressed in the practices of segregation, medicalization, and aversive conditioning, AutCom asserts that all individuals are created equal and endowed with certain inalienable rights, and that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. As an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, AutCom works to ensure that people with autism and related disabilities are treated equality and with dignity.[citation needed]

In 2012, AutCom published How Safe is the Schoolhouse? An Analysis of State Seclusion and Restraint Policies written by Jessica Butler. The report provides a summary of state restraint and seclusion laws and policies in effect in 2012 for students in school. Approximately 29 states have meaningful legal protections against seclusion and restraint in school.[7]

Public policy[edit]

Autism National Committee believes strongly that no person should be subject to restraint, seclusion, aversives, or other forms of abuse. Children in school should receive positive supports and accommodations for their disability needs. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that hundreds of children have been subjected to these techniques, including a 7-year-old dying after being held face down for hours by staff, and 5-year-olds tied to chairs with duct tape and suffering broken arms and bloody noses. According to "Unsafe in the Schoolhouse: Abuse of Children with Disabilities", a large number of students who are abused have autism.[7]

Autism National Committee has issued a statement supporting the use of facilitated communication,[8] a pseudoscientific technique which involves holding a non-verbal person's hand to a keyboard with the aim of helping them type messages.[9] It has been proven that the facilitator, rather than the disabled person is the source of messages produced through facilitated communication. CNN reported on the experiences of some users of facilitated communication at Autism National Committee's 2007 conference.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "About". Autism National Committee. Retrieved January 6, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d "Autism National Committee Inc". Tax Exempt Organization Search. Retrieved January 6, 2020.
  3. ^ "About AUTCOM". Autism National Committee. Accessed on February 27, 2016.
  4. ^ [1] Autism National Committee Inc. Guidestar. Retrieved January 6, 2020.
  5. ^ "Autism National Committee". 2006 TASH Conference. 2006. Archived from the original on September 25, 2006.
  6. ^ "Autism National Committee (AUTCOM)". National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. National Institutes of Health.
  7. ^ a b Butler, Jessica. "Unsafe in the Schoolhouse: Abuse of Children with Disabilities". The Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates, Inc. May 27, 2009.
  8. ^ Young, Sally. "AUTCOM - The Autism National Committee". Retrieved 18 July 2019.
  9. ^ Auerbach, David (12 November 2015). "Facilitated Communication Is a Cult That Won't Die". Slate. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
  10. ^ Gajilan, A. Chris (October 15, 2007). "Giving autism a voice". CNN. Archived from the original on October 17, 2007.

External links[edit]