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The Misbehaviour of Behaviourists - Michelle Dawson

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Michelle Dawson
06:11 AM ET (US)
"The Kids Who Beat Autism" NYT piece well, no comment

Re /m13592 (and /m13591 ) I don't know much if anything about tax forms for US organizations, but ASAN does have staff and did pay $136,029 in "other wages and salaries" in 2012, just none of that went to "current officers, directors, trustees, and key employees," of which only one is listed as paid in 2012. And that is a big raise from 2011 to 2012.

Lots of other stuff in there to scratch your head over, though it would take someone who unlike me actually knows what they're doing to work out what happened, and of course you can't ask ASAN, that would cause an international incident (or something). In 2012, ASAN lost nearly $15,000 from "fundraising events?! In 2011 they got most of their money from other charities, who were named, while in 2012 they got most of their money from "contract services"? And so on.
Edited 07-31-2014 02:03 PM
07:28 AM ET (US)
re /m13591 Nice little salary he has there, and nice little raise he got last year. If the president of the PEI RoadRunners was making that kind of money (he makes what the rest of the ASAN board does) and I was making zilch for all the work I do, I can't imagine I'd be too happy about it. At least they got the same percentage raise their president did...
Michelle Dawson
10:41 PM ET (US)
For those interested, ASAN has finally posted their 2012 tax form

For comparison, their 2011 tax form
Michelle Dawson
02:29 AM ET (US)
"British artist Stephen Wiltshire completes 4m-wide drawing of Singapore skyline" there are photos and a video, in which he answers a question about his favourite building

Also, from June (I just spotted it), "I’m a Scientist with Learning Disabilities and That’s Okay!"
Michelle Dawson
06:26 PM ET (US)
More photos of Stephen Wiltshire working on Singapore looks like he'll be done soon

And yet more photos of lightning in the UK, this time from the Guardian "Lightning looks like a giant electric squid hovering above London"
Michelle Dawson
05:24 PM ET (US)
Also, Stephen Wiltshire drawing Singapore, progress:
Michelle Dawson
03:53 PM ET (US)
"lightning striking the English Channel off Hove in Sussex" and other photos
Michelle Dawson
04:08 AM ET (US)
"Lightning struck more than 3,000 times in two hours in the UK" a few photos I'm totally envious...
Michelle Dawson
09:50 PM ET (US)
Stephen Wiltshire is drawing Singapore [link didn't work, trying again, sorry] nice photos and a time lapse video of day 1

"By 5pm yesterday, he had already completed drawing the Gardens by the Bay on the canvas."
Edited 07-16-2014 09:52 PM
Michelle Dawson
04:54 AM ET (US)
For anyone interested in the current ruckus over "exceedingly ambitious" brain research [edited to fix the link, sorry] that's a pretty good short summary
Edited 07-15-2014 04:55 AM
Michelle Dawson
09:43 PM ET (US)
A while back, an incredibly complicated Cochrane review on ToM-based autism interventions was published. I just noticed it's been put online free by the University of Edinburgh (good for them), here it is

It's worth a look to see how the authors attempted to address the question, and what ensued, including a huge amount of work. Full disclosure, I was asked to comment on a version of this paper, and this is acknowledged.

The upshot, in my view: "This evidence could imply that the theory of mind model has little relevance for educational and clinical practice in ASD."
Edited 07-14-2014 09:44 PM
Michelle Dawson
10:06 PM ET (US) "Brain Art Competition 2014"

I didn't even know there was a Neuro Bureau. Or had forgotten (how could anyone forget...).

Actual brain images are so spectacular these days it's hard to improve on them. But I like the iceberg brain (a lesson in there?) and the spouting whale brain is brilliant.

There are videos too.

I'm behind in everything requiring language, sorry, because I keep using up all I have. Our post-IMFAR meeting was last week, that would be 7th annual and it keeps expanding. Now not only is it attended by McGill and Ste Justine's and others (in addition to HRDP and U de M), it was webcast too, though I am not sure where to. There was a huge variety of presentations (posters to look at too) which I think represented IMFAR well enough. I presented on ESDM, SMART, baby sibs, older autistics, and what was missing at IMFAR (studies of savants, and big negative drug trials presented elsewhere).
Edited 06-22-2014 10:40 PM
Michelle Dawson
09:25 PM ET (US)
Sad news, Lorna Wing has died We met once, in Manchester in 2012, where she attended the NAS professional conference.

I recommend her early writing, including in the two editions of *Early Childhood Autism* (1966, then 1976), the first edited by her husband John Wing (who died in 2010, see ), the second edited by her.

In 1972, she reviewed Hermelin and O'Connor's 1970 book compiling their early experimental work involving autistic and other children, that was in JADD (but, paywalled), here is a quote:

"For example, one of the most interesting studies concerned the children's responses to a variety of visual displays. The autistic children spent less time than the other groups in looking directly at any of the displays, but a photograph of a human face was gazed at longer than were abstract patterns. This finding suggests that so-called 'visual avoidance' of the human face is a concept based on inadequate observation of the behavior of autistic children. It has arisen because people are consciously aware of the children's lack of direct gazing, whereas inanimate objects, which attract even shorter glances, cannot report on the phenomenon."
Edited 06-08-2014 09:26 PM
09:36 PM ET (US)
re /m13579 (hey, how 'bout that number!) Very cool for our buddy Tommy, he finished right in front of (3 seconds ahead of) PEI's Kris Taylor. That's a ridiculously fast time (!!!!) Beyond impressive for his 1st Marathon and now he's qualified to run the 2015 Boston Marathon (as is Alex). Don't know if he will...

Meanwhile, Alex ran Leg #1 at the Cabot trail Relay. He finished in 12th place (out of 70) in 1:14:43(17Km). Finish line photo - Bagpipe photos there, tomorrow I'll load the videos I took... including bagpipes and guardrails...
Michelle Dawson
08:57 PM ET (US)
Tommy Des Brisay runs his first marathon, in Ottawa there are two videos, both highly recommended


Still no papers (and nothing at IMFAR) about successful autistic athletes, even though there seem to be a lot of them around. Looks to me like there would be a lot to learn from them.
03:29 AM ET (US)
Looking forward to perusing the IMFAR abstracts when I get a chance. It looks like some of this year's presenters found quite a few of those non-existent autistic adults, which is gratifying.
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