“Autism Uncensored” Author Responds to Autistic Activists on GoodReads | Kaelan Rhywiol

goodreadsMar 02, 2018Kaelan Rhywiol rated it did not like it


*I received an ARC from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Content warning ableist language as self-labeling and examples of how people think of autistics.

First, I need to say something, I’m appalled that any publisher would send an ARC out that was so poorly formatted. I read a LOT of ARCs and I work in publishing, and this one was by far the worst. Some pages were almost illegible, so much so that I often wondered if they’d paid a drunken baboon to type and for …more

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Whitney Ellenby Dear Kaelan, I appreciate the time you took to read my true story and hear my voice. While I respect your opinion, and understand that the identical words can be open to different interpretations, you have misunderstood the unmitigated respect I have for my son, persons with Autism, and those who care for them. I agree wholeheartedly that certain parts of my story are excrutiating, though not intended to offend in the way you represent. I stand for allowing persons with autism like my son to have full access to all life has to offer, unapologetically, and on their own terms. I would never use the disparaging terms you yourself used above such as “idiots” “poor” or “unfortunate souls” (none of those words appear in my book) precisely because I believe persons with disabilities are courageous, magnificent and distinct.

You have reached out to me personally via email and I have tried to engage you in an honest back-and-forth. But you have hurled so many personal insults and attacks, so many false accusations, and distorted actual words I used in the book that our discussion became unproductive. I make no broad claims about persons with ASD and no one can, each person is an individual; my story is only about one child, my son, and my voice does not speak for others, only to them. Please remember that there are no perfect answers for a disorder as complex as autism, and no perfect stories, only truthful ones. Autism Uncensored is one woman’s story, my truth and my love letter to my beloved son. Thank you for your honest feedback and I wish you well, Whitney (less)
updated Mar 03, 2018 01:50PM


Kaelan Rhywiol I really can’t believe you. Everything I said to you has been published on my blog, people can judge for themselves if the quoted text in my threads and what I said to you line up. You DO know it’s incredibly bad form to respond to a reviewer, don’t you? I reached out to you ONCE via your comment form, not email, to let you know that people HAD read the book, which you claimed they had not. I said I found it just as harmful as you were being accused of from the WaPo article. I pleaded with you to pull the title before more harm is done.

YOU emailed ME. This is just not done in author/reviewer circles.

Your email heavily implied that I had gotten the title illegally, when I had received it from your publicity department through Netgalley. It also implied that I had not thoroughly or accurately read the title. Which I have. Unfortunately.

I replied.

Your husband calling me a Russian bot this morning, a troll and likely not autistic at all certainly didn’t help your case.

If I have to publish those emails as well, I will, because I will NOT be harassed.

As far as what I call myself? I’m allowed to call myself whatever the heck I want to. I put a content warning on my review for ableist language, which one does when they wish to use language that is often used by people who don’t believe in our intelligence or humanity.

So you didn’t use those words in your book. You used plenty that were worse. You graphically described abusing your own son. I have no idea how you can possibly view it as anything else, but you are not my problem.

Leave. Me. Alone. You, and your husband are not to contact me again through any means. I want NOTHING to do with someone like you. (less)
Mar 03, 2018 03:01PM

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Justine I’m so happy to see this review. After seeing the article posted, I couldn’t believe there was really a book published around this topic, especially n …more
Mar 05, 2018 12:20PM

Kaelan Rhywiol I don’t know. I’m so so sorry for your pain, and that your father still refuses to see the harm he did.

I wish so much that people would listen to US. …more
Mar 05, 2018 01:10PM

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Dallas Brogden I agree in every syllable. This book is severely damaging. Worse though is the fact that the author seems to see absolutely nothing wrong in what she …more
Mar 05, 2018 03:18PM
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Whitney Ellenby Hey friends, I appreciate the feedback but you are engaging in the very same sort of discrimination you accuse me of. You think that you know my son b …more
updated Mar 05, 2018 05:03PM
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Dallas Brogden I am not your friend, lady. You wrote the words yourself, “put him through trauma”. That’s neither gentle, nor a simple restraint. Lose your holier th …more
Mar 05, 2018 07:46PM



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