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Position Statement Regarding an Action for Children Public Service Announcement

January 25, 2009

For Immediate Release [first published on January 25, 2009]

The public sociology advocacy project, The League to Fight Neurelitism, acting in support of United Nations values concerning human rights and social justice, is, frankly, appalled by a new public service announcement on autism. It was produced by the United Kingdom charity, Action for Children.

The fifty-three-second piece portrays autism as an monster, one who lashes out when people “push [his] buttons.” We are informed, however, that, after attending an Action for Children school, he becomes “friendlier with people,” “a better person,” and “at piece with [himself].” The animated monster is transformed into an animated boy.

The League to Fight Neurelitism would ask that this charity respond favorably to the many voices of displeasure from the autistic community and immediately withdraw the public service announcement from broadcast. Perhaps the charity’s administrators could ask themselves how they would likely respond to a broadcast which portrayed members of a particular race or ethnicity as a monster.

Respectfully submitted,

Mark A. Foster, Ph.D.
Founding Director,
The League to Fight Neurelitism

Published to


3 Comments leave one →
  1. January 25, 2009 11:56 pm

    It’s all because they treat their kids as monsters…

    Recently a 13 year old girl at Dan’s school was arrested, handcuffed and thrown in a police cell after an argument with her teacher…

    This appears to be an organisation still clinging to its Victorian roots.

  2. January 29, 2009 11:48 pm

    Action for Children has made another ad that parents with MS find almost as horrifying: I haven’t seen it (I’m in the US, so they don’t have those ads here), but apparently it features a young girl who has to take care of her Mom because her Mom has MS. And Action for Children helps her. Parents are incensed because it implies that children automatically become carers for disabled parents (when they don’t, or shouldn’t have to).

    The Facebook group focused on the MS parent ad is at

    I suggest that the campaigns against both ads (the autism ad and the MS parent ad) would be more effective if they were to work in tandem. I also suggest that letters should focus NOT ONLY on removing the two offensive ads but ALSO on urging Action for Children to consult more closely with disability groups in the future for ALL relevant ads.

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