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Is Keir Gilchrist Actually Autistic

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Does Atypical Actor Keir Gilchrist Actually Have Autism In Real Life

Keir Gilchrist (Atypical’): Autistic character of Sam Gardner ‘jumped off the page’

Before delving into this question posed by the title of the article, it is best to know what autism is all about. According to medical experts, autism is a developmental disorder that can be diagnosed from age three and is characterized by impairment of the ability to form normal social relationships, ability to communicate with others, and by repetitive behavior patterns. Why is there speculation of autism associated with the young actor, Keir Gilchrist you may ask? This is because he is currently playing the role of an autistic 18-year-old in the TV series titled Atypical. Atypical is a Netflix series that premiered on August 11, 2017. It is a film about a young boy with autism who is looking for love, independence, and a family.

The movie which was hoped to bring autism to the fore was initially criticized after the release of its first season, based on the fact that it didnt include any autistic writers, creators or actors in its production. The creators and producers addressed this concern in the shows second season by bringing on board, actors, and writers who are battling the condition. Both season one and two enjoyed a lot of positive reviews. Keir, the lead actor did such a marvelous job in his interpretation of his role as an autism patient that many are left wondering if he if a patient. Let us find out the truth, Keep reading!

Do Sam And Paige Get Back Together

Paige is still mad at Sam. However, towards the end of the second season she discovers some mean things said in Sams yearbook about him and angrily yells at all the students for it. Sam offers to make the speech and later tells Paige that he did it because he still loves her. They get back together for the summer.

Autism Diagnosis And Treatment In The Real World

Consider Atypical the tip of the iceberg when it comes to autism representation. It captures some experiences accurately but may not resonate with everyone.

With regards to how autism is diagnosed and treated in the real world, we have an entire series on Autism FAQs. You can learn about autism symptoms, cures, support, and more. CNLD Testing & Therapy is a leading provider of autism testing and treatment in Michigan. We provide comprehensive solutions, including educational advocacy and executive functions coaching. We even offer teletherapy! Contact us at to schedule a consultation with a licensed clinician who specializes in autism diagnosis/treatment.

Read Also: Printable Visual Aids For Autism

What Netflix Missed For Autism Representation

Here are some aspects of Atypical that arent fully accurate:

  • Supportive and proactive parents. Unfortunately, many children and teens on the spectrum do not have the strong family support system that Sam has in
  • Losing track of time. People with autism are known for being punctual. There are several scenes where Sam arrives late to something because he got sidetracked or wasnt properly prepared. In real life, his character would likely take extra steps to ensure this didnt happen.
  • No portrayal of autism burnout. Because many people with ASD spend their days trying to be normal, they may experience something called autism burnout. The mental and physical exhaustion from constantly adjusting their thoughts/behaviors leads to a hefty crash at the end of the day. This is not showcased in the show.
  • A lack of educational advocacy. The show implies that the parents did much of the work themselves to get Sam to his current level of development . It also shows Sam acting independently for many academic challenges, but many autistic students have support systems and accommodations in place at school. See Special Education Plans: IEP versus IEE versus 504 Plans.
  • Autism as the butt of the joke. Several of Sams symptoms and coping mechanisms become the source of comedy for the show, with over-the-top reactions from other people in the scene. This perpetuates stereotypes about autism and doesnt accurately depict how someone may react in real life.

Atypical Quotes By Sam

Is Keir Gilchrist Autistic? Is the Star of

1. Whoever said practice makes perfect was an idiot. Humans cant be perfect because were not machines. The best thing you can say about practice is that it makesbetter.; Sam

2. Those are three of my least favorite things. Oh, and eating raisins because I dont like to eat things with wrinkles.; Sam

3. I dont like getting in water that people have touched.; Sam

4. His eyebrows were huge, like he was an arthropod using them as a tactile sensory appendage.; Sam

5. Autism isnt an accomplishment. Its something I was born with. You wouldnt write an essay about having ten fingers and ten toes, would you? No, because that would be really, really, really, really dumb. So Ill stick with the boobs.; Sam

6. When Im stressed, I recite the four species of Antarctic penguin. Adelie, Chinstrap, Emperor and Gentoo. It helps. Mom taught me when I was little. You should try it next time you think youre dying. Except if you really are dying, it wont help at all.; Sam

7. I hate touching the pens at the bank. Thats not really a question. Thats just something I thought you should know.; Sam

8. Hi, its Sam, Sam Gardner? I had a plain turkey sandwich today that had very stale bread, and I had nothing to wash it down with. It was an aggravating lunch. Also, I got hit by a car. It was slow-moving, so Im fine. Okay.; Sam

9. Zahid is the most stylish person I know. Sometimes he wears two watches.; Sam

11. Im not ready to take the D-train to Bonetown.; Sam

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Youve Also Starred In Its Kind Of A Funny Story And United States Of Tara Both Of Which Focus On Mental Health Can You Share A Bit About Why Mental Health Is An Important Topic For You

My own personal mental health has been a struggle, so thats always been very close to me. And a lot of people in my family have struggled with mental health and I happen to be lucky enough to come from a family where its actually talked about and were very open about it . I suffer from constant, really bad anxiety and have panic attacks all the time. Even from a young age, just struggled with a lot of depression.

Its just a natural thing where I could relate to those stories and they struck a chord with me. I guess thats partially why those have just fascinated me, and I think some part of it is just luck as well. I mean, I dont know that I ever set out to like, only do projects that deal with mental health. But its worked out that way. And those are the stories that I find myself really attracted to. I try to be an open book with that. Its easy to try and hide those things and pretend they didnt happen or whatever. But the best thing possible is to talk about them and just open up communication about mental health and end stigma because there are so many people that are struggling.

Who Is Sam Gardner On Atypical

Sam Gardner , a teen entering a whole new world as he matriculates into a public school on Netflixs Atypical, loves penguins. As his environment pressures him, he burrows deeper into his own hyper-focused interests to cope with daily stressors. More specifically, he draws.;

Antarctica is the most remote continent on the planet, narrates Gilchrist in episode one of the first season. The statement is rich with subcontext. Sam, isolated and attempting to navigate the volatile landscape of a mainstream high school, finds solace in hyper-focusing on his interest in penguins. These hardy little creatures navigate a remote ice-scape thats intensely relatable to him.;

Enter White, the artist behind those penguin sketches that align closely with Sams experiences. As Sam matures throughout seasons two and three, his drawings become more complex and detailed, giving audiences a window into his world. Whites drawings debuted in the second season.

Also Check: What Is The Life Expectancy Of People With Autism

Fixation On Specific Things Was Spot

Karly said Sam’s fixation on certain things was a constant struggle she had.

In season three, Sam becomes obsessed with the statistic that “four out of five autistic students don’t graduate college within four years”.

He is consumed by the idea that he will become that statistic and his narrow focus was something Karly related to.

Karly likened it to when her class studied philosophy she became all-consumed by Plato’s allegory of the cave and concepts of moral relativism, absolutism and nihilism.

“I loved it, but I just, you know, lost sleep over it because I was just so overstimulated.”

Gradual If Insufficient Improvement Across The Entertainment Landscape

‘Atypical’ Star Keir Gilchrist on How Show Dealt With Early Criticism And What’s Next for Sam

While Atypical had to be dragged a short distance from its suboptimal starting line, autistic people were finally starting to see some improvement elsewhere in television. Even The Good Doctor managed to add slightly more autistic creative input into their mix. Australian comedian Hannah Gadsby started openly discussing her recent autism diagnosis in the wake of Nanettes success and made autism a key focus of her next show, the hilarious and poignant Douglas. The delightful Everythings Gonna Be Okay, which features autistic actor Kayla Cromer playing a queer autistic character, premiered on Freeform in January 2020. Creator and star Josh Thomas was later diagnosed as autistic himself. The new season of Special, the Netflix series about a gay man with cerebral palsy starring and written by Ryan OConnell, features an autistic love interest played by queer autistic actor Buck Andrews. The finale also features a throwaway joke in which the main characters clueless colleague tells him, with patronizing sincerity, I just binged Atypical and I feel like I finally get you.

Coverage of these shows still has its problems, too. But the small victories that were experiencing matter. Even this piece, this opportunity that I have as an autistic writer to explore the impact of Atypical as more than a laundry list of what I think it did and didnt get right about autism, is a sliver of progress.

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But Atypical Doesn’t Portray Autism For Women And Girls

Crucially, Karly said her interactions were different from Sam’s because she is able to “mask” certain behaviours.

Masking describes certain behaviours people with autism adopt to try and fit in with those around them.

Emma Gallagher, a researcher from Autism Spectrum Australia who also has autism, said women and girls have a higher tendency to do this compared with men and boys.

“We’re usually much better at it because of the way that we’re socialised as children,” she explained.

Is Actor Sam Keir Gilchrist Really Autistic

Netflix drama series Atypical is about to enter its latest series on the streaming platform. Keir Gilchrist, 28, plays teenager Sam Gardner in the series.

Sam, who is on the autism spectrum, tries to overcome various obstacles in high school and college, including dating and relationships.

The series has already had three seasons and will now end on Netflix with its fourth.

During the show, actors with autism were welcomed into the cast, such as Tal Anderson.

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How These Autistic Actors Helped Atypical Increase Its Authentic Representation

The lack of actually autistic actors and crew members on set of the Netflix seriesAtypical has been a point of contention since the series began in 2017. Behind the scenes, one acting studio and several of its talented students on the spectrum, helped move forward the shows inclusion of actually autistic cast members.

Following criticism from the autism community after season one of Atypical featured only one actually autistic actor, Anthony Jacques, creator Robia Rashid introduced a peer support group for Sam in season two, which included eight actors on the spectrum who study at the Miracle Project, a Los Angeles-based film and theater training program designed for neurodiverse creatives. Among the talented actors tapped to play peer group members included Domonique Brown , Spencer Harte , Nikki Gutman , Naomi Rubin and Layla Weiner . They were all cast on the show through the Miracle Project.

Related:Carnival Becomes First Sensory-Inclusive Cruise Line

To learn more about the experience of working on the set of Atypical for actually autistic actors, find out more about the Miracle Project and gain new perspectives on the importance of authentic representation of neurodiversity, The Mighty interviewed actors Spencer Harte and Nikki Gutman and Miracle Project founder Elaine Hall.

Heres what they told us:

Also Check: What Is The Life Expectancy Of People With Autism

Growing Up With Autism She Never Saw Herself On Tv Now On Atypical She Strives To Show Others With Disabilities Characters They Can Relate To

Exclusive: Atypical Star Keir Gilchrist on Autism and ...

Tal Anderson, a woman with autism, plays the character Sid on Netflixs Atypical.

Tal Anderson

In 2019, Tal Anderson made her debut as Sid on Netflixs hit show Atypical, which follows a teenagers life on the autism spectrum. It was a dream come true for the 22-year-old, whose aspirations to act stretched back to her teen years. It was also an answer to a question shed been asking herself for a while, a question that had plagued so many who came before her: would having a disability prevent her from breaking into Hollywood?

Anderson was born and raised in Cape Coral, Florida, and she says that ever since she can remember, she felt different than her peers. As a child, she struggled in school and social situations.;

I didnt have any friends growing up, and people didnt understand me, Anderson said. So I learned to entertain myself.

Anderson found solace in television and movies, and immersed herself in the world of pop culture. She adored Disney, taking to The Lion King, Aladdin, and Mulan, and would write scripts based on her favorite characters. Then, she and her two younger brothers would reenact scenes from her scripts and other Disney movies.;

I have always been a storyteller, but I couldnt express myself very well. So early on, I found tools to help me, she said.;

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Keir Gilchrist Bio: Age Height Net Worth Partner Is He Autistic

Keir Gilchrist is an English-born Canadian actor and musician. He is popular for playing the role of Marshall Gregson on Showtime’s original series United States of Tara. Keir is also the vocalist of two bands, Whelm and Phalanx.

Keir crowned his acting expertise through the role of Sam Gardner, the fiercely independent autistic teen in Atypical on Netflix. He also aced his other roles in It’s Kind of a Funny Story and It Follows.

Does Keir Gilchrist Have Autism

Although he plays an autistic character, Gilchrist is not autistic.

The actor has done a lot of research to get to the point where he could play someone with autism, including reading works by writer and speaker David Finch.

Talk to Variety, he said: My rep set me up with Robia , the creator of the show, so I was able to sit with her for a few hours.

It was a really long audition process, and we talked a lot about the different ways I could play Sam.

The most useful research was the book The Journal of Best Practices: A Memoir of Marriage, Asperger Syndrome and One Mans Quest to Be a Better Mari.

The book ended up being a very big factor in creating Sams character.

There are other important things to consider when portraying someone on the autism spectrum, and according to Gilchrist it was important to remember what a very specific character he was.

He said Vulture: It took a lot of energy to play this role because Sams mind is going so fast all the time. While everyone is here on this plane, hes here doing his own thing.

While I was working, I was constantly working against my instincts. I didnt really have eye contact with people.

What Im used to is engaging with the people Im in the scene with. Sam, he sure engages, but its in a different way.

It almost took me a while to get rid of the role after doing this for so many weeks. I had to come back to myself afterwards.

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Also Check: What Causes Autism Exploring The Environmental Contribution

Then Theres The Mental Exhaustion

While it wasnt a secret, most of Karlys high school friends didnt know she had autism.

As a result, she said she felt a constant pressure to change her behaviours.

Some of those behaviours would include things like becoming agitated when different food groups touch on her plate, being very sound-sensitive to white noise, or having an inexplicable repulsion at even the thought of touching a banana.

I dont want to be caught out. I dont want people to find out that Im autistic. Its not that its something that I want to hide but its one of those things like, how do you even bring that up?

But masking takes a toll.

I feel like its exhausting, Karly said. I come home and Im just emotionally exhausted.

Emma said this is called autistic burnout the exhaustion that comes with masking and managing sensory sensitivities.

It takes a very heavy mental toll, because youre constantly in your brain processing OK, how am I supposed to react to this, instead of just reacting.

You actually have to think about hows my facial expression going to look? What does my vocal tone need to be? What should I be doing with my hands?.

You get to the end of the day and you are absolutely exhausted.

At the core of it, Karly doesnt think Atypical really tackles how isolating it can be to have autism.

ASD is such a spectrum in itself and sometimes I find it hard to identify with other people, she said.

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