GRASP’s History

The idea of the Global and Regional Asperger Syndrome Partnership, was first discussed by a group of individuals with Asperger's Syndrome seeking to form an organization run by people with Asperger's and Autism Spectrum Disorders, which helped their peers. In 2003, GRASP was formed from a generous grant and fellowship provided by the FAR Fund, based at the Fund for Social Change in New York City.

GRASP collaborates with: AHA (Asperger's Syndrome & High Function Autism Association), the Autism Society of America & their national chapters, AFAA (Advancing Futures for Adults with Autism), Anderson Center for AutismCO/LAB, the D.J. Fiddle Foundation, Intuitive Transitions, New York Collaborates for Autism, Specialisterne, the Warner Fund, and service agencies such as JobPath, the New York City Special Education School District 75, research institutions such as the NYU's Center for Brain Health.


Michael John Carley 
(Photo courtesy of Ron Haviv)

Michael John Carley received his B.A. from Hampshire College in 1986 and his M.F.A. from Columbia University in 1989. While Executive Director of GRASP, the largest organization comprised of adults on the autism spectrum, he has spoken at conferences, hospitals, universities, and health care organizations. He has appeared in the media widely, most notably in the New York Times, Washington Post, NY Newsday, the London Times, the Chronicle of Philanthropy, the Chronicle of Higher Education, NEWSWEEK OnAir, ABCNews, BBC News, FOX News Network, Psychology Today, Exceptional Parent Magazine, and on radio with Terry Gross’ Fresh Air, and The Infinite Mind. NPR News also aired a 12-minute story in June of 2006 that featured he and GRASP. Carley was also featured in the documentary, "On the Spectrum." He was one of two people on the spectrum to address Congress' first ever hearings on autism, and his articles have been published in magazines such as Autism Spectrum News, Autism Spectrum Quarterly, and Autism/Asperger Digest. His first book, Asperger's From the Inside Out: A Supportive and Practical Guide for Anyone with Asperger's Syndrome, was released in April, 2008 to humbling advance reviews (viewable by scrolling down the linked page). He has recently finished his second book, The Last Memoir of Asperger's Syndrome.

He was the inaugural FAR Fund Fellow in 2003; and he has since received NYFAC's Ben Kramer Award (2008), the BCID Award for Service (2009), Columbia University's Herbert M. Cohen Lecture (2011), and Eden II's Peter McGowan & John Potterfield Achievement Award (2011).

Until 2001, Mr. Carley was the United Nations Representative of Veterans for Peace, Inc. In that time, he was known primarily for his work in Bosnia, and in Iraq as the Project Director of the internationally acclaimed Iraq Water Project. Prior to 2001 he was also a playwright who enjoyed 15 productions and 10 readings of his plays in New York.

Along with his (then) 4-year old son, he was diagnosed with AS in November of 2000. He lives with his wife, Kathryn Herzog, and 2 sons in Brooklyn. For more information please go to Michael John's website, or go to his contact page to sign up for alerts on his activities.

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GRASP Endorsed Apps:

 Visual Routine, by Pufferfish Apps

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