Monday, July 20, 2009

New Wave Autism Self Advocacy: Stephanie Lynn Keil Offers A Different Perspective

If you are interested in new developments in autism self advocacy and awareness and want to avoid the tired "we don't want to be cured" ideology check out those who are presenting new perspectives in autism self advocacy. Jonathan Mitchell, Autism's Gadfly, and Jake Crosby at Age of Autism don't take their cues from the Neurodiversity playbook. Another vital new point of view is offered by Stephanie Lynn Keil an artist and person with an autism disorder who doesn't subscribe to the old rhetoric of Sinclair, Dawson, Baggs and Ne'eman.

In Improve Self, Not Society Stephanie refuses to focus on society as a means of addressing her challenges, choosing instead to focus on her own role in the world and what she can do for herself. She does not want to become a "career autistic" and sees a better way to deal with her challenges:

"I can't wait for society to accommodate me: I need to accommodate myself to society now. I can change myself in much less time than I can change society, which is why I am taking this route."

Stephanie's views are anathema to those who promote autism disorders as social constructs, natural variations, a different, even superior, ways of thinking. The Neurodiversity Hub is not kind to autistic persons like Jonathan Mitchell, Jake Crosby or Stephanie Lynn Keil, those who think for themselves, look to improve themselves and overcome their deficits. By their words they have proven false the implied claim by some self appointed autism disorder spokespersons that all persons with autism do not want to be cured.

For a different perspective on autism self advocacy visit Stephanie Lynn Keil's blog site A Grand Illusion and check out her art work at Stephanie Lynn Keil.

Bookmark and Share


Katie said...

I must ask you this:

If Autism Hub isn't kind to those who think for themselves, then why am I a member?

Granted, I haven't had time to blog in months... but I digress.

Katie said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Unknown said...

Hello Beau

I agree that you think for yourself and that you express yourself with courtesy. For both reasons I have had you listed on this blog as one of the blog sites I visit. (Although not lately as you point out nothing new for months).

You differ somewhat but not markedly on some of the most important AH issues. You posted on autism Cure as follows:

""My thoughts regarding a "cure"
Plain and simple, really.

I don't want or need one for myself. Unless they could develop a way to cure the comorbids without losing the positive aspects of autism, excellent. But they haven't, and they can't.

But I'm not anti-cure, despite what I think. If an autistic person would want to be cured when/if one is available, I have no objections. But it should only be up to the autist. Nobody else. ""

Autistic children, like all children do not generally make their own medical decisions. That is the role of parents. Some autistic adults are also not competent to make their own decisions and others must make them on their behalf. Your view about "autists" making decisions for themselves is consistent with the Autism Hub/Neurodiversity perspective.

You also do not see autism as a disorder which is consistent with the AH/ND perspective.

The people listed in my comment about New Wave Autism Self Advocacy differ from the AH/ND on these issues and have been criticized, in some cases vilified, for doing so. Crosby and Mitchell have been harshly maligned by some at the AH.

It is my understanding, and I may be wrong, that Stephanie Lynn Keil, was refused posting privileges at the AH.

Although we disagree I appreciate your candor and your courtesy and look forward to more posts on your blog site.

Stephanie said...

Yes, I was refused to be listed on the Autism Hub because I wanted to have a life outside of autism; I wanted myself and society to forget and not even notice I had autism, which is bad according to AH/ND.

I don't really have any "comorbids." My problems are strictly with autism - and I can fix it and everyone could if they chose to. I'm going to make myself "indistinguishable" from my peers so that I can have a real life, a real career and not spend the rest of my life being a career autistic.

Maybe once people see that I can still be myself and be happy even though I am "indistinguishable" from my peers they will see what fools they are.

Socrates said...

"I wanted myself and society to forget and not even notice I had autism, which is bad according to AH/ND."

I think that society should forget and not even notice autism is one of the principles of ND.

Marius Filip said...


As I've mentioned in the comment on your blog, I believe too that an adult autistic without co-morbid conditions can become (nearly) indistinguishable from peers if he wishes to do so.

It is extremely hard, though. It takes long time, hard work and great patience.

The intervention to obtain such a thing as full recovery is very difficult even for children - and their brain is more flexible than in adults. So the intervention for adults is even harder, I guess.

Yet, even by thinking of such a thing makes you an example and your intend is indeed a kind of self-advocacy that is worthy to follow by any person with a disability.

Unknown said...


I assume that you did not intend to misinterpret what Stephanie was saying with that quote.

She was clearly indicating that it was her desire to not notice that she was autistic that is bad according to the AH/ND.

Stephanie said...

"I think that society should forget and not even notice autism is one of the principles of ND."

No it isn't. ND wants people with autism to be "integrated" into society, complete with all of their symptoms; ND wants society to "accommodate" and "support" people with autism.

The truth is that most people with autism cannot function unless they get treatment, unless they get their medical problems to as much of a non-autistic level as possible, and ND does not support that.

buy fluoxetine said...

This is interesting. If people who have disorders, not just Autism, would have an attitude of making things happen despite their conditions, then it should be encouraged.