Wrong Planet

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For the Utopia album, see Oops! Wrong Planet.
Wrong Planet
Web address wrongplanet.net
Slogan The Online Resource and Community for Autism and Asperger's
Type of site
Virtual community
Registration Optional
Available in English
Owner Alex Plank
Created by Alex Plank and Dan Grover
Launched 2004
Current status Active

Wrong Planet (sometimes referred to by its URL, wrongplanet.net) is an online community for individuals with autism and Asperger syndrome. The site was started in 2004 by Dan Grover and Alex Plank[1] and includes a chatroom, a large forum, a dating section, and articles describing how to deal with daily issues.[2] The footer of the website states that the autism organization is run by Alex Plank. The site states (as of May 2014) that it has gained more than 80,000 registered members since its creation.[3]


Alexander "Alex" Plank (born 1986) is an autism advocate, filmmaker, and the creator of Wrong Planet. After being diagnosed at the age of 9 with Asperger's Syndrome, Plank started Wrong Planet in order to find others like him on the Internet.[4] After the popularity of Wrong Planet grew, Plank has been frequently mentioned in the mainstream media in articles relating to Autism, Asperger's, and Autism rights.[5][6][7]

Alex Plank serves as a consultant for the TV series The Bridge and works with Diane Kruger on developing her character.[8] He made his on-screen acting debut in the finale of season one, playing the role of the intern at the El Paso Times.[9]

Plank travelled to France in February 2012 to direct a documentary exposé, entitled Shameful, concerning the way in which autism is viewed and treated in France. A trailer was released in July, 2012.[10] Along with French activist David Heurtevent, Plank founded Autism Rights Watch, an NGO for which he serves as president.[11]


After a post to Slashdot describing an interview with Bram Cohen, Wrong Planet grew; the success of the Cohen interview spurred the site to produce a series of interviews with other figures in the autism community such as author Temple Grandin, Jerry Newport, and movie producer Joey Travolta. The site conducted an interview with America's Next Top Model contestant Heather Kuzmich who frequently talked about her Asperger's during Cycle 9 of the show.[12] Wrong Planet has been referenced by the mainstream U.S. media.[13][14][14][15][15][16][17][18]

Wrong Planet was covered in MIT's Media Lab course 'Techno-Identity' (MAS.961) in 2006[19] and is on the syllabus of UCLA's 'Autism and Asperger Syndrome in the Media: Through the eyes of individuals with Autism' (Education 88S).[20] Wrong Planet comes up in the special education curriculum of many universities in the United States. A page is dedicated to Wrong Planet and its founder in a textbook used by various universities such as the University of Virginia and George Mason University for introduction to special education courses.[21][22][23][24]

In 2006, Alex Plank was sued by the victims of a 19-year-old member of the site, William Freund,[25] who shot two people and himself in Aliso Viejo, California after openly telling others on the site that he planned to do so.[26] Plank appeared on Good Morning America and Fox News discussing the incident.

In 2007, a man who was accused of murdering his dermatologist apparently posted on the site while eluding the police.[27] Wrong Planet was covered in a Dateline NBC report on the incident.[28]

In 2008, Wrong Planet began getting involved in autistic self-advocacy with the goal of furthering the rights of autistic individuals living in the United States. Representatives from the organization testified at the National Institute of Mental Health's Interagency Autism Coordinating committee.[29]

In 2010, Wrong Planet created a television show about autism called "Autism Talk TV". Sponsors of this web series include Autism Speaks. The show is hosted by Alex Plank and Jack Robison, the son of author John Elder Robison.[30]


  1. ^ "Autistic Acceptance, the College Campus, and Technology: Growth of Neurodiversity in Society and Academia". Disability Studies Quarterly. Fall 2008. 
  2. ^ "Autistic Teens Create Website for People with Asperger's Syndrome" (Press release). PRWeb. July 1, 2004. 
  3. ^ Wrong Planet members list. WrongPlanet.net. Retrieved on 2013-06-29.
  4. ^ Hallahan, Dan (2006). Exceptional Learners: Introduction to Special Education (10th Edition). Allyn & Bacon. p. 452. ISBN 0-205-44421-0. 
  5. ^ Deardorff, Julie (2008-05-11). "Some Autistics Don't want to be Cured". Chicago Tribune. 
  6. ^ The New Wave of Autism Rights Activists - New York Magazine
  7. ^ Harris, Lynn (2008-09-18). "The "Retarded" Renaissance". Salon. 
  8. ^ Guthrie, Marisa (August 2, 2013). "'The Bridge' EPs and Stars Talk Asperger's, Tweaks in Season 2". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  9. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2920010/fullcredits?ref_=tt_cl_sm#cast
  10. ^ Didier, Arthur "Shameful", la honte, le documentaire choc réalisé Alex Plank et Noah Trevino sur l'autisme en France July 16, 2012
  11. ^ Pignard, Magali Autisme : une ONG intervient sur le sol français pour dénoncer la responsabilité de l’État. September 27, 2012
  12. ^ "Interview: Heather Kuzmich of America's Next Top Model" (Interview). Gawker. 2007-11-29. Retrieved 2007-12-08. 
  13. ^ "Creating an Asperger's Community". Washington Post. December 20, 2005. pp. HE02. 
  14. ^ a b "Does Ron Paul have Asperger's Syndrome?". Radar (magazine). 2008-01-09. 
  15. ^ a b Szalavitz, Maia (February 27, 2007). "Gifted? Autistic? Or Just Quirky?". The Washington Post. p. HE01. 
  16. ^ "'Autistics don't want to be cured'". Chicago Tribune. April 2, 2008. 
  17. ^ Deardorff, Julie (2008-05-11). "A road to recovery?". Chicago Tribune. 
  18. ^ The New Wave of Autism Rights Activists - New York Magazine
  19. ^ http://web.media.mit.edu/~alea/TechnoIdentity/technoIDwk7paper.doc
  20. ^ http://courses.gseis.ucla.edu/mod/resource/view.php?inpopup=true&id=9373 UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies
  21. ^ Hallahan, Dan (2006). Exceptional Learners: Introduction to Special Education (10th Edition). Allyn & Bacon. p. 452. ISBN 0-205-44421-0. 
  22. ^ The Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia
  23. ^ George Mason University
  24. ^ "Home | College of Education". Oregon State University. Retrieved 2013-03-02. 
  25. ^ Hann, Michael. A loaded discussion. The Guardian, November 14, 2005. Retrieved on 2008-03-07.
  26. ^ Tran, Mia Relatives sue over shotgun slayings "Los Angeles Times", November 18, 2006
  27. ^ "Dermatologist's Accused Killer Apparently Blogged About His Emotions". WBBM. 2007-09-13. Retrieved 2008-03-20. [dead link]
  28. ^ "Appointment for Murder". Dateline NBC. 2008-03-16. 
  29. ^ "IACC Full Committee Meeting Minutes - March 14, 2008". Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee. March 14, 2008. 
  30. ^ "Introducing Autism Talk TV". Autism Speaks. March 15, 2008. 

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