Homing Pigeons in Cage

DIY or Die in the Time of Mass Behaviorism

Thorndike won, and Dewey lost. I don’t think you can understand the history of education technology without realizing this either. And I’d propose an addendum to this too: you cannot understand the history of education technology in the United States during the twentieth century – and on into the twenty-first – unless you realize that Seymour Papert lost and B. F. Skinner won.

B. F. Skinner: The Most Important Theorist of the 21st Century
Home » Courses » DIY or Die in the Time of Mass Behaviorism

Behaviorism can’t die.

It doesn’t matter how often it’s refuted and how fully it’s refuted, it comes right back to life.

It’s been refuted so overwhelmingly.

Noam Chomsky on Behaviorism

Behaviorism is dead.

Despite that,

Behaviorism won.

And neurodivergent and disabled students lost.

We are marginalized canaries in a social coalmine and Rawlsian barometers of society’s morality. It is deeply subversive to live proudly despite being living embodiments of our culture’s long standing ethical failings.
Our non-compliance is not intended to be rebellious. We simply do not comply with things that harm us. But since a great number of things that harm us are not harmful to most neurotypicals, we are viewed as untamed and in need of straightening up.
Asperger even anticipated in the 1970s that autistic adults who “valued their freedom” would object to behaviorist training, and that has turned out to be true.


Behaviorism is everywhere. The All Means All of public education is made meaningless by the bipartisanship of behaviorism.

There’s just one problem with Lakoff’s theory. An awful lot of people who are politically liberal begin to sound like right-wing talk-show hosts as soon as the conversation turns to children and parenting. It was this curious discrepancy, in fact, that inspired the book you are now reading.

I first noticed an inconsistency of this kind in the context of education. Have a look at the unsigned editorials in left-of-center newspapers, or essays by columnists whose politics are mostly progressive. Listen to speeches by liberal public officials. On any of the controversial issues of our day, from tax policy to civil rights, you’ll find approximately what you’d expect. But when it comes to education, almost all of them take a hard-line position very much like what we hear from conservatives. They endorse a top-down, corporate-style version of school reform that includes prescriptive, one-size-fits-all teaching standards and curriculum mandates; weakened job protection for teachers; frequent standardized testing; and a reliance on rewards and punishments to raise scores on those tests and compel compliance on the part of teachers and students.

The Myth of the Spoiled Child: Challenging the Conventional Wisdom about Children and Parenting
The Myth of the Spoiled Child: Challenging the Conventional Wisdom about Children and Parenting

Mooney notes that “No Child Left Behind was perhaps the most damaging form of public policy as it pertained to public education and learning diversity that has happened in our history of education policy, and that was a bill that was sponsored by Senator Edward Kennedy. It was a set of practices that was doubled down upon by the Obama administration.”

Normal Sucks: Author Jonathan Mooney on How Schools Fail Kids with Learning Differences

The neurodiversity and disability rights movements well-understand the ubiquity of behaviorism, and its tremendous costs.

Behaviorist education is ableist education.

Pigeons in a wire cage with one pigeon directly facing the camera through the wire
Pigeons in a wire cage with one pigeon directly facing the camera through the wire

“Once we have arranged the particular type of consequence called a reinforcement,“ Skinner wrote in ”The Science of Learning and the Art of Teaching“ (1954), ”our techniques permit us to shape the behavior of an organism almost at will. It has become a routine exercise to demonstrate this in classes in elementary psychology by conditioning such an organism as a pigeon.”

…Such an organism as a pigeon.” We often speak of “lab rats” as shorthand for the animals used in scientific experiments. We use the phrase too to describe people who work in labs, who are completely absorbed in performing their tasks again and again and again. 

In education and in education technology, students are also the subjects of experimentation and conditioning. But in Skinner’s framework, they are not rats; they are pigeons.

The Pigeons of Ed-Tech

Stimpunks Foundation exists because of a bipartisan embrace of “Empty Pedagogy, Behaviorism, and the Rejection of Equity”. Reframing away from behaviorism is urgently needed and essential.

The pigeon. The object of technological experimentation, manipulation, and control, weaponized. 

The pigeon. The child. The object of ed-tech.

The pigeon. The history of the future of education technology.

The Pigeons of Ed-Tech

All these elements were part of Skinner’s teaching machines: the elimination of inefficiencies of the teacher, the delivery of immediate feedback, the ability for students to move through standardized content at their own pace.

Today’s ed-tech proponents call this “personalization.”

The Monsters of Education Technology

Trainers are rejecting behaviorism because it harms animals emotionally and psychologically. What does that say about classrooms that embrace it?
This “science-driven” mantra has been seen before through eugenics.
Therefore, eugenics is an erasure of identity through force, whereas radical behaviorism is an erasure of identity through “correction.” This all assumes a dominant culture that one strives to unquestionably maintain.

Empty Pedagogy, Behaviorism, and the Rejection of Equity

We’ve been on quite a journey over the past 15 years, navigating increasingly ableist, behaviorist, eugenicist, and underfunded systems while contributing to the Neurodiversity movement and building community compatible with us.

Disability systems rely on artificial economies of scarcity. Programs are underfunded, so caregivers, teachers, social workers, and disabled people themselves are all pushed to project their needs as necessary and virtuous.


Texas has multiple waiting lists for different types of care, including six for Medicaid waiver programs — which use state and federal funds to get people care in the community instead of in an institution — and one for safety net services provided locally. As of March, nearly 170,000 people were waiting for care through a Medicaid waiver program — a 115 percent increase since 2010. State data shows that some residents have been waiting for nearly 20 years to receive help.

Nearly 200K disabled Texans are waiting for help, some for a decade

How Texas keeps tens of thousands of children out of special education

Denied – Houston Chronicle

We rolled our own education, because we had too. We built something compatible with neurodiversity and the social model of disability using the tools of distributed work and indie ed-tech.

People with disabilities are the original life hackers because our motivation is so high. If we don’t hack we often go without.

Liz Jackson: Designing for Inclusivity – 99U

Neurodivergent and disabled people have to do-it-yourself (DIY), or we go without. We bricolage from “a diverse range of things that happen to be available“.

In the arts, bricolage (French for “DIY” or “do-it-yourself projects”) is the construction or creation of a work from a diverse range of things that happen to be available, or a work constructed using mixed media.

The term bricolage has also been used in many other fields, including anthropology, philosophy, critical theory, education, computer software, and business.

Bricolage is a French loanword that means the process of improvisation in a human endeavor. The word is derived from the French verb bricoler (“to tinker”), with the English term DIY (“Do-it-yourself”) being the closest equivalent of the contemporary French usage. In both languages, bricolage also denotes any works or products of DIY endeavors.

Bricolage – Wikipedia

The most important message I got from punk, was the DIY ethos. The DIY ethic. It’s inherently part of surviving.

Don Letts, SHOWstudio: Stussy – Talking Punk with Don Letts and John Ingham

We survive on bricolage and constructionism.

Ed-tech has always been more Thorndike than Dewey because education has been more Thorndike than Dewey. That means more instructivism than constructionism. That means more multiple choice tests than projects. That means more surveillance than justice.

(How Thorndike’s ed-tech is now being rebranded as “personalization” (and by extension, as progressive education) – now that’s an interesting story…

The History of Ed-Tech: What Went Wrong?

Edward L. Thorndike won and John Dewey lost.

An Elusive Science: The Troubling History of Education Research

We received a lot of help from human-centered educators along the way.

This is what we learned.

In our space, Dewey and Papert won.

We, Stimpunks

The sections below feature some light narrative and framing connecting articles on our website. Each section and the linked articles can be consumed in a couple, few hours, though delving our deeply sourced research-storytelling can occupy a lifetime. This was originally designed to be consumed over a four day conference track with discussion on each day.

Written Communication and Indie Ed-Tech: Neurodivergents Created This Communication Environment

Screenshot of the Element.io team chat app showing the rooms we use at Stimpunks
Screenshot of the Element.io team chat app showing the rooms we use at Stimpunks

Now we have the opportunity and understanding to move from emergency pandemic remote school and its pantomime of learning to purposefully designed online education spaces that are accessible, sustainable, and representative of the communities they serve. It’s time for the academic conference model to respond accordingly.

Conference to Restore Humanity: The Need

Most conferences do not include us Stimpunks as either presenters or attendees. Conferences are sensory and social overwhelm, and speaking in front of an audience is very stressful due to Exposure Anxiety, Situational Mutism, and Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria. Conference to Restore Humanity is a wonderful exception because it embraces a communication environment created by neurodivergent people. Let’s use day 1 to appreciate this communication environment and what it can achieve.

Day 1 theme: Teams, Technology, and Help

► Main Takeaways

► Main Takeaways

  • Technology, Text, and Alternative Socialization
  • Backchannels
  • Online Communication and Autistic Community
  • Anything but the Phone!
  • Writing is the path to power for those born without power.
  • The Future Is Text: The Universal Interface
  • Text Augments All Other Media
  • A Workflow-Focused Approach to Writing Offers a Pathway to Agency, Creativity, and Confidence
  • Disabled ways of languaging are primarily about modality.
  • Typed Words, Loud Voices
  • Let’s Augment Everybody, Let’s Leave No Mind Behind
  • Bring the Backchannel Forward

Before Stimpunks, Ryan and Kristina worked at Automattic, one of the first fully distributed companies. There, they helped develop a culture compatible with us neurodivergents using tools built by us, like WordPress. Our communication stack at Stimpunks is open source, and we use it with the experience of decades of building distributed communities, companies, and industries. We adapted the tools and culture of distributed work to indie ed-tech and human-centered learning.

► Main Takeaways

  • Our Software
  • Open Source Communication
  • Indie Ed-Tech
  • Blogging, Domain of One’s Own, and WordPress
  • Toolbelt Theory
  • Bring the backchannel forward. Written communication is the great social equalizer.
  • Created Serendipity: Chance Favors the Connected Mind
  • If bell hooks Made an LMS: a Praxis of Liberation and Domain of One’s Own
  • Online Learning in Anti-Ableist Space

We choose open source tools built by and for communities. These communities have decades of iterative experience in bringing safety to the serendipity.

How do we help our students navigate the world of public, digital scholarship in a world increasingly dominated by harassment, abuse, disinformation, and polarization? 
That’s the piece that’s been missing, bringing the safety to the serendipity.

Closing Tabs, Episode 3: Teaching with(out) Social Media – UMW Division of Teaching and Learning Technologies

► Main Takeaways

  •  Created Serendipity: Chance Favors the Connected Mind
  • Indie Ed-tech: Rewire and Reshape the World
    • A Domain of Their Own: The Web We Need To Give Students
    • No Student Will Have Mechanical Limitations in Access to Either Information or Communication
    • Punk DIY: Students should have the freedom to explore and experiment with their school-issued devices. 
  •  Teams, Technology, and Help

Our learners spent months working on this website in preparation for the Conference to Restore Humanity. This course and our website was developed with and for the conference. Our preparation for the conference was a continuous act of dogfooding our tools and philosophy.

► Main Takeaways

  • DIY or Die
  • Identity Bricolage
  • Scripts, Commonplaces, Canned Monologues
  • Filling Our Databases With Serendipity
  • Pastiche: Celebrating Our Influences
  • Anti-libraries and Knowledge
  • Everything Is a Remix
  • Bricolage Fuels Constructionism
  • That Could Be Me: Inspiring Constructionism
  • Re-create and Rewrite Ideas
  • Appropriate Space
  • Adapt, Subvert, and Extend
  • Copia Provides a Strategy of Invention
  • Bricolage is a Living Thing

 With Teams, Technology, and Help, our learners do work that impacts community.

Successful human beings, whether they have learning differences or not, mitigate weakness through teams, technology, and help, and they build a life around strengths, gifts, talents, and interests.

What we know about successful human beings is they take an interest and they make it a passion and they take the passion and they make it a sense of purpose and they take the sense of purpose and they build a pathway.

Lab School Lecture Series

Reflection Questions

  • What backchannels exist in your classroom, school, workplace?
  • Communication is oxygen. What communication modalities are on offer?
  • What’s in your toolbelt?
  • Are you biased toward eye-reading? Does your school conflate eye-reading with intelligence? Use the terms eye-reading, ear-reading, and finger-reading to enumerate and validate different types of reading.
  • Does your classroom, workplace use three speeds of communication?

Reframing Learning: How We Use Caves, Campfires, and Watering Holes to Nurture Intrinsic Motivation, Enter Flow States, and Make Rock ’n’ Roll

Behind the waterfall - Seljalandsfoss Waterfall in Iceland

Waterfall, Iceland, Springtime, Spring - Flowing Water, Seljalandsfoss Waterfall

Entering flow states – or attention tunnels – is a necessary coping strategy for many of us.

Fergus Murray

Day 2 themes: Spiky Profiles, Safety, Niche Construction, Constructionism, Intermittent Collaboration, Neurological Pluralism, and Flow

The front page of our website is all about reframing.

We Reframe
We reframe out of the confines of the medical model and pathology paradigm and into the respectfully connected expanse of the biopsychosocial model and the Neurodiversity paradigm. We reframe from deficit ideology to structural ideology.

We, Stimpunks

Today, we reframe learning and learners.

Reframe these states of being that have been labelled deficiencies or pathologies as human differences.

Normal Sucks: Author Jonathan Mooney on How Schools Fail Kids with Learning Differences

Appreciate our spiky profiles.

► Main Takeaways

  • Spiky Profiles
  • Learning Terroir
  • Collaborative Niche Construction
  • Special Interests Feed Niche Construction
  • Neurological Pluralism
  • Let’s be weird.
  • Let’s be proud of what we are.
  • Difference Is a Teacher
  • Weird Like You and Me

Our spiky profiles need anti-ableist space that isn’t designed against us. We need space without behaviorism, segregation, or ableism. We need human-centered space designed to our edges.

► Main Takeaways

  •  The Need: Space without Behaviorism, Segregation, or Ableism
  •  The Answer: Reframing, Respectful Connection, and the Presumption of Competence
  •  The Feeling: Electric Belonging and Soaring Inclusion
  •  The Learning: Passion-Based, Human-Centered Learning Compatible With Neurodiversity and the Social Model of Disability
  •  Come As You Are to Cavendish Space
  •  We foster the feeling of access intimacy.
  •  We Create Anti-Ableist Space
  •  We Find Our People and Co-create Ecologies of Care

We must design for monotropism and flow states.

► Main Takeaways

  • Monotropic minds tend to have their attention pulled more strongly towards a smaller number of interests at any given time, leaving fewer resources for other processes. 
  • Monotropism provides a far more comprehensive explanation for autistic cognition than any of its competitors.
  • This interest model of mind is ecological, embodied, and exploratory.
  • Monotropism offers a valuable lens for understanding and working with the intense interests of autistic students.
  • Entering flow states – or attention tunnels – is a necessary coping strategy for many of us.
  • Flow states are the pinnacle of intrinsic motivation.
  • Flow allows us to recharge.
  • Embrace the obsession. Special interests are intimately tied to the well-being of autistic peoples.

We must design for sensory and social regulation.

► Main Takeaways

  •  Enable Dignity
  •  Perceptual Worlds and Sensory Trauma
  •  Quick Low Cost Things to Make a Difference for Autistic People
  •  How to Make Your Events Accessible to the Disability Community
  •  Universal Design
  •  Neuroception and Sensory Load
  •  In Our Own Words: The Complex Sensory Experiences of Autistic Adults
  •  Sensory Environment Checklist
  •  Adapting the Environment
  •  Checklist for Autism-Friendly Environments
  •  Access Survey
  •  Anything but the Phone!
  •  Bodymind Affirmations
  •  Access Intimacy: That Elusive, Hard to Describe Feeling When Someone Else ‘Gets’ Your Access Needs

Here’s how.

niche construction may be every bit as important for survival as natural selection 

Reimagining Inclusion with Positive Niche Construction

► Main Takeaways

  • Cavendish Space
  • Intermittent Collaboration
  • Edges Cases Are Stress Cases: Design is Tested at the Edges
  • Design With, Not For
  • The School User Experience
  • Student-created Context and Timeless Learning
  • Hacking Schools: Getting Ourselves to Yes

► Main Takeaways

  •  Caves, Campfires, and Watering Holes
  •  Dandelions, Tulips, and Orchids
  •  Niche Construction
  •  Cognitive Diversity Exists for a Reason
  •  Social Buffering and Collaborative Morality
  •  Interdependence and Collaboration

Neurodivergent people are hypersensitive to mindset and environment due to a greater number of neuronal connections. They have both a higher risk for trauma and a large capacity for sensing safety.

Neuroception and the 3 Part Brain

Neurodivergent people are psychological safety barometers. When we have Cavendish space where we can construct niches, we can make cool stuff.

Neurodiversity rocks! We make rock ‘n’ roll and inclusive education.

Josephmooon is a neurodiverse, multi-age, distributed musical collaboration featuring the work of two teenagers and their mentors. The greater Stimpunks community helps the band with websites, lyrics transcription, art, marketing, e-commerce, fulfillment, tax collection, and everything else that goes into hanging your shingle, running a business, and releasing music on every platform. Stimpunks is rich with learning curves and constructionism.

For me, constructionism lies at the heart of what I want to study—how do students construct music knowledge in a school makerspace? My hypothesis is if students make music artifacts in a makerspace, they will construct music knowledge. At this proposal stage of my dissertation, prior to any research, I am using a constructivist/constructionist definition of music knowledge: meaning derived from an experience with aural phenomena (Shively, 1995). A music artifact would be a representation of this constructed music knowledge through performance, creation, or description (Shively, 1995Wiggins, 2015).

Constructionism is being practiced anywhere where people are making artifacts to represent their knowledge constructions.

On Constructionism, Makerspaces, and Music Education

Behold our artifact, a Rock ‘n’ Roll album.

Lately I’ve been feeling out of tune, out of tune
I don’t know why, but I would like to know why
And I want to get back in tune
Out of tune, that’s what I am

Being out of tune pains my head
(can’t get out of bed)
Hurts from being out of tune and
I just so want to get back in tune
Out of tune, that’s what I am, out of tune

When I get back in tune
My good days will come back, and I’ll feel better
If you’re feeling out of tune like I am now
Get back in tune, like I said

I will get back in tune
But I don’t know when
(hopefully soon)
I know it could take time
But let’s make it happen
I’m back in tune
Back in tune, that’s what I am
Back in tune
In tune, back in tune
“Out of Tune” by Josephmooon

Being autistic means a lifetime of fluid adaptation. We get a handle on something, develop coping strategies, adapt and we’re good. If life changes, we many need some time to readapt. Find the new pattern. Figure out the rules. Test out strategies to see what works.

In the mean time, other things may fall apart. We lose skills. We struggle to cope with things that had previously been doable under more predictable conditions. This is not regression to an earlier developmental stage, it’s a process of adapting to new challenges and it’s one that we do across a lifetime of being autistic.

Autistic Regression and Fluid Adaptation | Musings of an Aspie

Josephmooon is what you get when you embrace the obsession and go where self-directed learning leads. It’s also an example of the power of “Teams, Technology, and Help” as discussed on day 1.

Josephmooon’s debut album, “So Far So Good”, offers songs about neurodivergent experience from the perspective of the lyricist, an Autistic and Kinetic teen.

Their second album is underway.

There is also something uniquely satisfying about working with other people effectively, towards a shared goal; in my experience there is no substitute when it comes to building a community.

Craft, Flow and Cognitive Styles

Reflection Questions

  • What spiky profiles do you see in your classroom, school, workplace, family? Use our Autism and Kinetic Cognitive Style vocabulary pages to familiarize yourself with some common traits.
  • Have you ever nurtured a splinter skill?
  • Does your classroom have spaces for intermittent collaboration?

Fix Injustice, Not Kids: We’ve Turned Classrooms Into a Hell for Neurodivergence

We’ve turned classrooms into a hell for autism. Fluorescent lighting. Endless noise. Everywhere, bright patterns and overloading information. Groupwork and social time. Crowded hallways and relentless academic pressure. Autistic children mostly could cope in the quieter schools of decades ago. Not a hope now.
We cannot simply exclude autistic pupils for entering meltdowns. Meltdowns are part of autism for a good number of autistic young people.
Whilst mindful that of course everyone needs to be safe, the way to achieve safety is to stop hurting the autistic children. Punishing them for responding to pain is not something any of us need to do.

Ann’s Autism Blog: Autism, School, Exclusion. What’s fair?

Day 3 theme: Behaviorism is bad. Neurodiversity instead.

Today hits hard. We confront the harm done to neurodivergent and disabled students and propose alternatives.

► Main Takeaways

  • Sensory Overwhelm and Meltdowns
  • The Bipartisanship of Behaviorism
  • Behaviorism: Measuring the Surface, Badly
  • Autistic Burnout
  • Autistic Adults and Autistic Community
  • We Don’t Need Your Mindset Marketing: Education Technology and the New Behaviorism
  • Fundamental Attribution Error and Harm Reduction Theater
  • Stop Bikeshedding Bigotry and Deficit Ideology

► Main Takeaways

  • Learn About Neurodiversity at School
  • Build a Community of Practice
  • Presume Competence
  • Foster Neurological Pluralism
  • Teach Autonomy and Self-Determination
  • Ditch “Special”
  • Use Our Language
  • Understand Monotropism and the Double Empathy Problem
  • Understand Exposure Anxiety, Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria, and Situational Mutism
  • Appreciate our Spiky Profiles
  • Reframe ADHD as Kinetic Cognitive Style
  • Provide Opportunity but not Pressure
  • Understand Equity and Needs-based Fairness
  • Affirm Our Bodyminds

Abuse and silencing is a constant, pervasive theme in the lives of autistic people, and for many people it is best expressed by that old, familiar phrase from special education: quiet hands!
Loud hands means resisting. Loud Hands means speaking, however we do, anyway—and doing so in a way that can be very obviously Autistic. It means finding ways to talk and think about ourselves on our own terms.
There is room for all of us to play our part. And whatever we do, however we do it, we can do it with ‘loud hands’ and ‘loud voices,’ and loud whatever else we need, in whatever way that works for us individually or collectively. Let us be our real autistic selves, loud and proud, and show the world what we truly are.

Loud Hands: Autistic People, Speaking (p. 8, 125). Autistic Self Advocacy Network

Choosing the Margin: Our Philosophical and Pedagogical Foundation

Day 4 themes: Anti-Ableist, Human-Centered, Interdependent

Disabled and neurodivergent people are always edge cases, and edge cases are stress cases.

Our designs, our societies, and the boundaries of our compassion are tested at the edges, where the truths told are of bias, inequality, injustice, and thoughtlessness.

The insights of intersectionality, the social model of disability, and design for real life help us design and build for these truths and do the “truly essential work”:

► Main Takeaways

  • Compassion is not coddling.
  • The more dehumanized groups a person belongs to, the more their experience forces them to understand about the way society is structured.
  • This space of radical openness is a margin a profound edge.
  • Living as we did on the edge we developed a particular way of seeing reality.
  • We fear those who speak about us who do not speak to us and with us.
  • Marginality as site of resistance. Enter that space.
  • No one knows best the motion of the ocean than the fish that must fight the current to swim upstream.”
  • By focusing on the parts of the system that are most complex and where the people living it are the most vulnerable we understand the system best.
  • When we build things – we must think of the things our life doesn’t necessitate. Because someone’s life does.

Our Mission page is our heart, exposed. We get through rough nights on warm lines with our Mission page.

Peer-run warm lines – staffed by people who have lived mental health experience – have been shown to reduce loneliness and participants’ use of mental health crisis services. Additionally, a review of several studies found that digital forms of peer support improve the lives of people with serious mental illness by “enhancing participants’ functioning, reducing symptoms and improving program utilization.”


When we need to cry, we visit our Mission page. When we need to hope, we visit our Mission page. Our Mission page contains our Philosophy and our Code of Conduct. It preserves our souls and aligns us on our Mission.

► Main Takeaways

  • Design is tested at the edges.
  • Human cognitive diversity exists for a reason.
  • The right to learn differently should be a universal human right that’s not mediated by diagnosis.
  • Laziness does not exist.
  • We urgently need a society that’s better at letting people get the rest they need.
  • When you measure include the measurer.
  • There is no path to equity that does not involve a direct confrontation with inequity.
  • It is time to celebrate our interdependence!
  • Community is magic. Community is power. Community is resistance.
  • We exist as friction.
  • Nothing About Us Without Us
  • We should always be part of the conversation.
  • Embracing pluralism is good citizenship.
  • Name the systems of power.

► Main Takeaways

  • Create a neurodiverse inclusive environment.
  • Seven Pathways to Ensuring Life Long Learning Competencies
  • The Eight GAP Principles
  • Strong, Trusting Relationships
  • Attend to the practices, policies, and aspects of institutional culture that traumatize children at school.
  • Flow States Are the Pinnacle of Intrinsic Motivation
  • The Direct Confrontation Principle
  • The Prioritization Principle
  • The “Fix Injustice, Not Kids” Principle
  • Avoid These Equity Pitfalls
  • The Basics of Open Technology
  • Toolbelt Theory
  • The Open Schoolhouse

We are interdependent.

The notion of disability in our society is underscored by a bizarre conception of “independence”.
It is time to celebrate our interdependence!
Collaboration allows us to create genuinely safe spaces for autistic and otherwise neurodivergent people.

The Myth of Independence: How The Social Model of Disability Exposes Society’s Double Standards » NeuroClastic

Are you an inclusive world builder or a eugenicist world builder? Neurodiversity is one of the most powerful ideas of our generation. Ableism and eugenics are at the core of our most pressing issues, including in education, and neurodiversity is the answer. Neurodiversity and disability communities have been fighting ableism, eugenics, pseudo-science, behaviorism, conversion therapy, anti-vaxxers, bigots, and the tyranny of the norm for decades. Join us in the trenches of pluralism. Our bodily autonomy and our very bodyminds are under attack.

What do we call the feeling of witnessing our most powerful institutions tacitly cooperate to maintain eugenics while outwardly claiming just the opposite?


We live in an age of unvarnished eugenics, and neurodiversity is our most powerful response to it.

Neurodiversity is one of the most powerful ideas of our generation. It’s time is now.

It is time to celebrate our interdependence!

We’ll conclude with our creed. What’s your creed?

I know

I know that pluralism is our reality. I know that Neurodiversity is one of the most powerful ideas of our generation, and that Neurodiversity friendly forms of collaboration hold the potential to transform pathologically competitive and toxic teams and cultures. I know Autistic forms of communication within a neurodiverse team and within a psychologically safe environment impart a collaborative advantage to the entire team. I know neurodiversity, the social model of disability, and intersectionality are urgently needed reframing necessary to equity and inclusion.

I reframe

I reframe out of the confines of the medical model and pathology paradigm and into the respectfully connected expanse of the biopsychosocial model and the Neurodiversity paradigm. I reframe from deficit ideology to structural ideology.

I center

I center the marginalized and the different. I center edge cases, because edge cases are stress cases and design is tested at the edges. I center neurodivergent and disabled experience in service to all bodyminds.

I will

I will never stop learning. I will communicate as much as possible because communication is oxygen to an organization. I will never pass up an opportunity to help out another Stimpunk. I will maintain learner safety and remember what it is like to be a new contributor. I will make other people feel equal and not alone. I will build with, not for. I will default to open. I will move carefully and fix things. I will make things that help people, and I will not make things that harm people. I will bake ethics into everything I do. I will be a threat to inequity in my spheres of influence.

Raise your hand if you’re not from a mold (yeah me)
Varied strings are worth more than gold

Mah-ah-ah-ah-ahl function away
Mah-ah-ah-ah-ahl function away
Malfunction! Malfunction! Malfunction!
Their Malfunction isn’t us, it’s all the clamor and the fuss
I’m about to pick you up
get you back up on your feet
you don’t need to worry love
Even if we’re incomplete

Come on baby open up
Pull out the wires and trim the fluff
Be yourself sounds so cliche
But hey let's do it anyway
-- Malfunction

We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny.

Letter From Birmingham Jail, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.