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The Misbehaviour of Behaviourists - Michelle Dawson

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01:06 AM ET (US)
Michelle, you query whether "criteria for the specific diagnosis of autism have stayed about the same since 1978". I fully appreciate that that claim's a bit dodgy, but I don't think that differences in diagnosis are an additional problem over and above the problem that the DSM-whatever criteria are so vague and ambiguous that if taken literally they vastly overselect. I mean, you might even accept that in Venn diagram terms the circle of "People who have autism" is entirely within the circle "People who fit DSM criteria for autism", but the difficulty is finding a way to check whether the expansion or contraction of either is particularly related to expansions or contractions in the other. Unless, of course, you take the view that autism actually is "whatever fits the criteria", without any further interpretive strategies.
Which then brings one up against the problems in assessing (say) "preoccupation with .. restricted patterns of interest that is abnormal..." when there are no measures attached, and no documentation of how much 'preoccupation' falls within the normal range. For three-year-olds.
11:59 AM ET (US)
Speaking of French......
While my new computer still speaks a bit of Chinese, it has straightened out the French thing with Twitter and Twitter now greets me in English.
Spam deleted by QuickTopic 01-16-2014 07:49 AM
Michelle Dawson
06:33 AM ET (US)
Stephen Wiltshire in Sydney... http://twitpic.com/1ilrw7 and http://twitpic.com/1ilrgo
Spam deleted by QuickTopic 10-28-2012 02:08 AM
03:27 AM ET (US)
 Further to /m11094, I remember reading that thread on the Autism Web forum which dates back to October 2006. "respect" attacked Michelle because in his/her opinion she was opposed to ABA and biomedical interventions for autism. There is no connection with ASAN.

 In the UK general election there is an organisation called 'Geek the Vote': http://www.geekthevote.org.uk.
01:50 AM ET (US)
So it seems that this paper by McDonald and Paul (2010) examining autism incidence http://www.all.org/pdf/McDonaldPaul2010.pdf has been getting some attention around the internet, apparently for mentioning the possibility that a real increase rather than an increase in diagnosis could have occurred (although it did mention other possibilities).

However, what caught my attention was the changepoint year—the year autism diagnoses started to increase—that the authors calculated. (The authors attempted to calculate a changepoint for California, Denmark, and Japan). For California and Denmark, the changepoint was 1987.5—the same year that very famous, and very flawed, study by Ivar Lovaas was published. The Lovaas (1987) study was published in February 1987.

Here is a quote from McDonald and Paul (2010) regarding a possible environmental cause for an increase in autism (AD stands for autistic disorder):
“Assuming a dose-response relationship, a candidate factor would have continued to increase in the environment from the late 1980s through at least the mid-1990s in California, Denmark, and possibly Japan and other developed countries (Figure 1); increased exposure may have continued into recent years, as AD cumulative incidence has continued to increase in California (21, 23) and Denmark (52, 54).”

I wonder if the seemingly enormous increase in “autism interventions” and “autism treatments” would meet this description and therefore be a good “candidate factor.”
Edited 04-26-2010 02:09 AM
12:23 AM ET (US)
Re the link in /m11094, plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose, or something like that.
Michelle Dawson
11:04 PM ET (US)
Now that the worst gossip/defamation/etc has damped down for the moment, the small, obscure "Is Michelle an ogre" section on my blog has been replaced by a small, obscure section called "The ethics of ASAN."

While no one asked (gossip etc., yep--but heaven forbid that someone actually ask me), I chose the word "ogre" because it is the obvious ridiculous counterpart to the absurdity of the claim that I have minions.

You can find a lot of minion-inspired discussion upthread here on TMoB, going way, way back.

The fact that both kinds of claims (ogre-with-minions) were generated, promoted, admired, etc., by ASAN et al. (here I mean ASAN members/leaders/supporters, very broadly- and generally-defined), is not okay. It sets a terrible example, it's a perfect mimicry of what autism advocates do, it's deliberately harmful and destructive, and so on. Never mind that it's distant from anything resembling a rational discourse (one that risks being productive). And of course this is effective if, like autism advocates, rational discourse does not suit your political purposes.

But it's also pathetic. It's pathetic to respond to the serious concerns of autistics with "she's an ogre, and they're her minions" type claims.

For an example of what are now ASAN standards, as well as autism advocacy standards, see at least the beginning of the long-ago thread here http://www.autismweb.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=8224 particularly the posts by "respect."

There is a lot of defamation in that thread, by the way, alongside the generally false and derogatory information (types of responses which ASAN has now approved of and praised, as how to address the serious concerns of autistics), some of it remarkably similar to recent ASAN et al.-promoted claims.

No matter how boring defamation is--and I think it's beyond boring--it is illegal because it is such an effective way to harm people. And--like bog-standard false derogatory information, false accusations, personal insults, gossip, etc--it's pathetic.
12:29 PM ET (US)
re /m11092

How very strange. Here's what it said:

"The movie was filmed at Netherwood School for Girls in the town
next to the village where I spent my teens and went to high
school in New Brunswick (at public school). Netherwood has since
joined RCS boys school and the land now has a giant house on it,
belonging to one of the Irvings."
12:18 PM ET (US)
re /m11091

clicking on /m4849 got me to this:
4849 jypsy 09-09-2006 06:11 AM ET (US)
  Deleted by author 09-09-2006 06:11 AM

David (my husband) and I went to the Broadway show of Children of a Lesser God in the winter of 1980/1981 iirr.
05:57 AM ET (US)
I commented on Children of a Lesser God here: /m9627 when it came up in discussion last year and here /m4849 in 2007
Adelaide Dupont
05:24 AM ET (US)
I also remember very well the first time I saw CHILDREN OF A LESSER GOD on video in the late 1990s (I'm not sure whether it was 1998, 1999 or 2000).

I also borrowed MOSCOW ON THE HUDSON with Robin Williams.

(It would be 1999 because I was staying in my own house in January of that year).

The scenes in the swimming pool were especially well-made. Also I liked the old house.
Adelaide Dupont
05:19 AM ET (US)
Thanks for the great information on Matlin.

I believe she was about 21 in 1986 when the Oscar was awarded.

(There have been child actors since, but they have got best Supporting Actor/Actress awards).

Would love to watch DEAF FAMILY.

Found a great link about Matlin and some other Deaf actors and technicians and what they're up to now.

04:22 AM ET (US)
Re /m11082, Marlee Matlin, the first-named executive producer of 'My Deaf Family', is deaf. She won the Academy Award for Best Actress for 'Children of a Lesser God' and is the youngest person to win that award.
Edited 04-24-2010 04:25 AM
Adelaide Dupont
04:16 AM ET (US)
Just wanted to say it was Stephen Wiltshire's birthday.

I might not have remembered if it wasn't for the long list of birthdays in Wikipedia.

Still don't know when or whether he has showed up in Sydney.

Here is his video and some information:


So happy 36th birthday, Stephen!
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