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The Misbehaviour of Behaviourists - Michelle Dawson

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13643
Michelle Dawson
04-25-2015
10:30 PM ET (US)
In the same week, first Alex's Boston Marathon (I'm in awe...), then Roland Fryer wins the John Bates Clark medal http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevo...es-clark-medal.html

Pretty sure I mentioned Roland Fryer upthread, when he won a MacArthur grant http://www.macfound.org/fellows/3/ He uses RCTs to address difficult questions about schools, and has memorably stuck by his standards--for which I've quoted him in presentations many times http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dc-sch...IQAAST1tO_blog.html

"“I am a pointy-headed economist who refuses not to aim for the gold standard in empirical research (i.e. randomization) whenever possible,” he said in an e-mail Wednesday morning. “Anything less is not fair to kids, their parents, or the policy makers who use the research.”"

Autism-relevant!
Edited 04-25-2015 10:31 PM
13642
jypsy
04-24-2015
07:32 PM ET (US)
Alex's first Boston Marathon http://therunman.blogspot.ca/2015/04/my-fi...oston-marathon.html
13641
Deleted by topic administrator 04-06-2015 04:50 AM
13640
Michelle Dawson
03-28-2015
10:39 PM ET (US)
Well, retirement. I did my annual Jake lecture at McGill (guest lecture to Jake Burack's grad students), that was 2 hours. Part of that was on the Matson saga and it was interesting showing how things unfolded (or didn't) over time. I always enjoy talking to Jake's class but this year was my favorite Jake lecture so far. Especially considering I'm retired, or will be any day now...

Speaking of the Matson saga, RDD also has a new editor (like the new RASD editor, also from the UK), and is looking for associate editors, deadline at the end of April http://www.journals.elsevier.com/research-...mental-disabilitie/

I'm registered for IMFAR 2015 which means I should probably attend, it's in Salt Lake City (never been there before) and the schedule doesn't look inspiring http://www.autism-insar.org/imfar-annual-m...conference-schedule but then it almost never does. Sally Rogers has already been an IMFAR keynote, for those keeping track, and anyone who saw her non-presentation of her multi-site RCT last year has to wonder how low the standards can go. And Laura Schreibman? Good grief.

Also re the 2015 keynotes, a recent commentary from Roy Grinker http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11013-015-9444-9 (free!)

For those interested, there is also the first-ever "regional" IMFAR in 2015--in Shanghai, in November http://www.regionalimfar2015-shanghai.org/weben/
13639
jypsy
03-15-2015
07:46 AM ET (US)
Yesterday, on a beautiful "calm before the storm" day (today we have a blizzard... calling for 45cm snow in the next 24 hours. I think we need 47 to break our all time winter snowfall record) anyway... yesterday I drove almost to the very west end of the Island and went snowshoeing with a runner I know through Alex. I took the scenic routes there and had a lovely drive, lovely snowshoe, lovely day...

Your post was icing on the cake Michelle. Couldn't help but look back on your very long road, since I've known you... I'm sure there's still the odd person (read that however you like!) still out there throwing mud and such in your direction but, even in the old days, not much of it ever hit you and none ever stuck... and you just kept trudging forward through it all.

I suspect, like others before their time, you'll continue to be discovered and your true contributions recognized long after your time. Yes, you can retire, you've left such a huge mark, seemingly on the little people and big people alike... But there's still so much that could be done and so much you could do, might as well put off retirement for a bit yet. (Now I'm sitting here trying to imagine what Michelle's retirement plans would be....)

And while I'm here... 5 weeks from tomorrow is the Boston Marathon. The other day they announced the bib numbers, wave & corral numbers. The lower your numbers, the faster you are. This year’s race will consist of four waves, with eight corrals per wave and a total of 30,000 runners. Alex's bib number is 1802. He is in the second corral of the first wave. The first wave lines up behind the elite men and goes when the gun goes off. Fellow runner Stan is #350, up in the 1st corral, and another runner Calvin, is in Alex's Corral. Alex & Calvin get along really well so I'm pretty happy that Alex will have Calvin's company at the start line. Alex's has been fighting not only our ridiculous weather this winter but also plantar fasciitis (foot is recovering better than the weather!!) so I don't think Alex will be able to stick with Calvin to the finish line.... but time will tell, I've pretty much given up on predicting outcomes when it comes to Alex's Marathons. He tells me he won't be stopping to kiss the Wellesley girls...
13638
Michelle Dawson
03-14-2015
08:56 PM ET (US)
"Autistic children at risk of being underestimated: school-based pilot study of a strength-informed assessment" http://www.molecularautism.com/content/6/1/12 New from us (open access), here is the abstract's conclusion:

"These results indicate that ‘minimally verbal’ or ‘nonverbal’ school-aged autistic children may be at risk of being underestimated: they may be wrongly regarded as having little cognitive potential. Our findings support the usefulness of strength-informed approaches to autism and have important implications for the assessment and education of autistic children."

Also http://www.theguardian.com/science/head-qu...n-sigafoos-lancioni (I wasn't interviewed) and a bit of response and background http://twitter.com/autismcrisis/status/576173516644564992

Can retire now for sure! Any day now...
13637
Michelle Dawson
02-18-2015
01:58 AM ET (US)
"The drift in front of this house in North Cape is bigger than the house" and other photos from epic PEI snow storm http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/prince-edwar...-pictures-1.2960026

I'm deep green with envy.
13636
Michelle Dawson
02-13-2015
12:33 AM ET (US)
New from Stephen Wiltshire, "Liver Building, Liverpool" http://www.stephenwiltshire.co.uk/art.aspx?Id=7089

Also a train and a lot of snow http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=playe...lpage&v=Yja2VmZOfdA

And the sad news that Professor Nicholas Mackintosh has died http://www.psychol.cam.ac.uk/news/professor-nicholas-mackintosh I highly recommend his book on human intelligence (two editions: 1998, 2011)--if you read one book in this area you should read his.
Edited 02-13-2015 12:33 AM
  Messages 13635-13633 deleted by author 02-06-2015 06:45 AM
13632
Michelle Dawson
01-18-2015
10:59 PM ET (US)
For Beppe, thank you for your interest. Very sorry but there's no French or Italian translation (there's been a German translation though).

For me interviewed in French (on Radio-Canada, from Saturday morning) see http://ici.radio-canada.ca/emissions/Les_s...2011-2012/index.asp and scroll down to the (awful) puzzle pieces. It was a struggle on my part for many reasons, but did my best.

For those following changes in ICD-11-beta (with the final ICD-11 now due in 2017), after a long period of only minor changes in autism spectrum subgroups and sub-subgroups, there's been yet another overhaul http://apps.who.int/classifications/icd11/browse/l-m/en in fact the draft seems to be running through the thesaurus in trying to name subgroups based on "functional language" (by which they probably mean speech).
13631
Beppe
01-13-2015
09:43 AM ET (US)
Hello Ms. Dawson,
I am an Italian teacher who works with students with difficulties. I am very interested in your work and to your articles on autism. Thanks for all this.
I would like to ask you if there are translations available in French (or Italian) of your 2004 article: The misbehaviour of Behaviourists: Ethical Challenges to the Autism-ABA Industry. Sorry, my English is very low functioning ...

Thanks in advance
Best regards
Beppe
13630
Michelle Dawson
01-07-2015
05:20 AM ET (US)
So--for more than 20 years, I've been using an "innovative new traction system"?! I had no idea...

Also didn't realize you needed to train so much so far ahead of a marathon. Wonder if you need to run less (or more?) when you train in the freezing cold.

We have a few minus 34's (Celsius) in our forecast for the next day or two. That's me being blue-green with envy about San Diego.

For anyone who doesn't look at my tweets, very important (but no media coverage) recent federal court decision in Canada, barring a family from immigrating here because they have an autistic child http://www.canlii.org/en/ca/fct/doc/2014/2...238/2014fc1238.html
13629
jypsy
01-06-2015
09:55 AM ET (US)
Running stores now sell this "innovative new traction system that gives maximum stability and control without chains, straps or coils!" - yeah, "Icespikes" http://ca.shop.runningroom.com/accessories...deluxe-package.html I think you'll recognize them...

Alex generally goes through a pair of Yaktrax a year - and he doesn't run in the winter, except for a half marathon in Feb, a 10K in March and maybe a couple of little runs before that February "Freeze Your Gizzard" race. Well.... that was until this winter. One doesn't run the Boston Marathon without training. I was quite concerned about how he'd deal with this. He hadn't run, aside from a few races, since he was laid off work for the season in October. About 10 days ago I looked up the marathon training plan on the Boston Marathon site and found 2 - a "veteran" and an "Intermediate" plan. Both consisted of way more miles/week than Alex normally runs and both started December 30th. I printed them off and gave them to him to think over, telling him his usual mileage was probably just fine (about 35+Km/week vs the Intermediate plan's 35+Miles/week. To my surprise, Monday morning, December 30th, out the door he went. And Tuesday... and Wednesday...and Thursday... Sunday he did 10 miles on the road near us that I think is perfect (read: hilly!) for Boston training. I dug out a training log and suggested he keeps notes (distance, weather and route) and I hope he does. So now my worry that he wouldn't train has been replaced that he'll train too hard and hurt himself or the weather will get him (-31 windchill when he headed out today). December 30th he ran in just a long sleeved running shirt. He's looked like a Ninja out there ever since!

In less than 10 days I'll be in San Diego..... :)
13628
Michelle Dawson
01-06-2015
04:03 AM ET (US)
For spiked boots, I screw hex-headed screws (sheet metal screws, the ones I use are #6 3/8") into the soles of my boots--16 per boot, 8 in the heel, 8 in front.

If you walk a lot then you will go through a lot of screws.

But now there are all kinds of new improved etc traction things you can strap onto your boots (or running shoes) to walk (or run) on ice, like Yaktrax (sp?). I haven't tried any of them but they are probably easier than making spiked boots. I'm just used to spiked boots.
13627
Alain
01-06-2015
02:46 AM ET (US)
Michelle,

Speaking about spiked boots, how do you make them? Can we find instructions somewhere?

Thanks you very much and please have my best regards,

Alain
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