The Global and Regional Asperger Syndrome Partnership
GRASP is the largest peer-run educational and advocacy organization in the world serving and run by individuals diagnosed on the autism spectrum. Other than its proven support and advocacy network, its educational outreach, and its role as an informational clearinghouse on autism-related issues, what separates GRASP are the stipulations GRASP must adhere to in accordance with their bylaws—That the Executive Director, 100% of the Advisory Board, and 50% of the Board of Directors of GRASP must all be diagnosed along the autism spectrum. That said, however, GRASP is not an isolationist organization. GRASP has many professional affiliations and works in tandem with parents’ organizations, universities, service agencies, research institutions, larger autism organizations, and advocacy organizations (Since 2004, GRASP has also had a contract with the NYC Public School working with their spectrum kids). At this moment, GRASP has 25 regional support groups that are all run by people on the spectrum. These provide not only the therapeutic quality of shared experience, but also the means for self-advocacy as more information on our diagnoses is distributed with a positive attitude.