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The Misbehaviour of Behaviourists - Michelle Dawson

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13616
Michelle Dawson
11-12-2014
10:49 PM ET (US)
Because I can't resist: "He came. He ran. He knitted." http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/heal...n-article-1.2005384

"I would pass by someone and they would say, ‘Is that guy knitting?’"

There are photos and a video. It's got to be autism-relevant somehow.
13615
Michelle Dawson
11-10-2014
08:55 PM ET (US)
I had wondered how long it would take before someone would equate autism with ebola. As it turns out, not very long.

See http://www.salon.com/2014/11/10/jerry_sein...ality_and_research/ "We need to call autism what it is: a public health emergency, no less deadly and devastating than Ebola."
13614
Michelle Dawson
11-09-2014
03:57 AM ET (US)
Two years ago today, Pam Button died http://www.thestar.com/news/investigations...ng_with_autism.html

She was my friend and I miss her a lot.
13613
Michelle Dawson
11-04-2014
12:06 AM ET (US)
And the Dance Your PhD grand winner is... the tornadoes and trapezes!! http://news.sciencemag.org/people-events/2...-d-winner-announced

"When she isn't out in the forest gathering data for her Ph.D. in plant biology at the University of Georgia, Athens, Uma Nagendra spends a good deal of her time hanging upside down from a trapeze doing circus aerials. "It turns out that there are a lot of scientists doing it," she says. To combine the two halves of her life, she teamed up with her fellow aerialists to create the midair dance based on her scientific research. Nagendra's circus extravaganza (see video above) is the overall winner of this year's “Dance Your Ph.D.” contest."

Really interesting. I've had two circus performers as co-authors (both PhD students).
13612
Michelle Dawson
11-02-2014
11:03 PM ET (US)
Here are this year's Dance Your PhD finalists http://news.sciencemag.org/people-events/2...finalists-announced One is about tornados, and has trapezes.

Winners will be announced November 3, which is also the IMFAR 2015 (Salt Lake City) abstract submission deadline, which I forgot to post about here earlier (sorry!). See http://www.autism-insar.org/imfar-annual-m.../call-for-abstracts Rules have changed from last year in many ways.
13611
Michelle Dawson
10-29-2014
02:11 PM ET (US)
The term "evidence-based applied behavioural therapies" doesn't look promising, among other problems. It's probably petty, but I always wonder about the standards of researchers or journalists or grad students who can't find my email address.

For something completely different, Ben Goldacre (him again!) has a new book out in the UK, here is the intro http://www.badscience.net/2014/10/my-new-b...ntroduction-hooray/

There's also another job opening at the NAS http://www.autism.org.uk/working-with/work...rvices-manager.aspx closing date very soon

The IACC is also looking for new people http://iacc.hhs.gov/call-for-nominations/index.shtml I've probably mentioned somewhere that the IACC shouldn't exist, in my view, but there it is

And... might be too late (there's no deadline?) but ASAN is (was?) looking for someone too http://autisticadvocacy.org/2014/09/job-op...stance-coordinator/ a job that seems to include making sure autistic self-advocates are always on-message--this being what autistic self-advocacy is all about (right?).
13610
Estee
10-29-2014
11:04 AM ET (US)
Better yet, here's her request to others:
CALL OUT
I am completing my PhD thesis on autism health care services in Ontario with a special interest in evidence-based applied behavioural therapies. I am a social scientist and so my project aims to explore some of the social and political implications of these therapies. I will be conducting a total of 50 confidential and anonymous one hour semi-structured interviews with practitioners, autistic people, clinicians, teachers, parent's, diagnosticians, and policy analysts.

If you are interested in being interviewed, or would like to hear more about my project, please don't hesitate to be in touch. If you are not interested in being interviewed but have some names you would like to pass along, that would be very much appreciated - but no pressure to do so.

Thank you,
Julia Gruson-Wood juliagw@yorku.ca
13609
Estee
10-29-2014
10:57 AM ET (US)
Hi Michelle, I have a colleague writing her dissertation that challenges ABA. She wants to get in touch with you but your email has vanished from my contacts. If you still have mine and the time or will, would you please write me so I can connect you?
Thank you, Estee
13608
Michelle Dawson
10-11-2014
09:30 PM ET (US)
"Does WISC-IV underestimate the intelligence of autistic children?" http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10803-014-2270-z that's new from us in JADD, sadly paywalled for now. Here's a bit from the discussion:

"Because RPM is a complex test of general and fluid intelligence (Neisser 1998), our current findings, combined with previous related results, challenge the recurring view that autism is incompatible with the development of genuine human intelligence (Hobson 2002; Vivanti et al. 2013). Similarly, our and previous related findings challenge the still-common view that autistic strengths are limited to rote memory, isolated 'islets' of ability (Happe 1999), or other simple low-level skills (Just et al. 2004, 2012). Instead, complex reasoning and novel problem-solving abilities may be important in autism. Accurately assessing these abilities, across the lifespan, should be a priority."

I'm going to add...that having had the great pleasure of working with Isabelle when she was a doctoral student way back in 2004 (...!), it's a total privilege to now have worked with her own doctoral students. I can retire now for sure! Or maybe not.

Also new, "Undulatus Asperatus: The First New Cloud in 60 Years" http://www.slate.com/blogs/atlas_obscura/2...e.html?wpsrc=fol_tw The Cloud Appreciation Society ("We believe that clouds are unjustly maligned and that life would be immeasurably poorer without them") gets a mention and of course there are photos.
Edited 10-11-2014 09:32 PM
13607
Michelle Dawson
10-07-2014
08:22 PM ET (US)
Catching up after some changes to my computer and how I use it. Still getting used to how everything looks and works and where all the furniture is and so on.

We had hail today (photo http://www.theweathernetwork.com/photos/vi...n-montreal/20518626 more photos and videos http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/hai...es-of-ice-1.2791258 ), sadly I didn't manage to be out in it. But we are still under one of those awesome Environment Canada special weather statements, which warns us that "These strong Winds will no doubt blow lots of leaves off trees" (it's poetry...).

It is also sort of hailing big-name autism theory of everything papers, here are 2 which came out in rapid succession and are open access http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/artic...i/S0149763414002395 and http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2014/10/02/1416797111 I've tweeted a few comments about them if anyone's interested

Totally cool about Alex being an official entrant for Boston 2015.
13606
Philip
09-30-2014
02:59 PM ET (US)
Congratulations and the best of luck to Alex.
13605
dinah
09-18-2014
01:33 AM ET (US)
fantastic news jypsy, well done to both of you!
13604
MalchowMama
09-17-2014
10:16 AM ET (US)
That is amazing, jypsy. Congratulations, Alex, and best of luck to you!
13603
jypsy
09-16-2014
05:58 PM ET (US)
Alex is officially on the entrants list for the 2015 Boston Marathon.
13602
Michelle Dawson
09-15-2014
05:16 PM ET (US)
Well here's an autistic guy who grows and sells gigantic pumpkins http://www.northumberlandnews.com/news-sto...ns-sells-to-loblaw/

"Last winter, he attended an entrepreneurship program at the Brock Youth Centre. The program was for 15 to 29-year-olds, but they made an exception for 12-year-old Simon, who kept up with the high-school level finance lessons."

Sorry about the broken link ( /m13599 ) they are a problem everywhere, including in peer-reviewed journals (and, on my blog), many apologies. Keeping up isn't really practical, so readers have to be resourceful.
13601
dennis
09-06-2014
06:20 PM ET (US)
I wish I knew how to cheer you on. You're amazing! No, really, you are. I'm trying to write a book, one which has a tone similar to your writings, and every time I read what you write, I'm not merely awstruck, I'm frankly envious! My thinking: "I WISH I could write this good, and I write better than I talk. (Formally diagnosed as 'autistic' ~ 2008, after forty eight years of complete h**l!)
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