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That Shouldn't Happen: The Just World Fallacy and Autism

Everyday, we hear about tragedies, some that hit too close to home for comfort, and our reactions...

Heaviness: Euthanasia For Expediency

It's all over the internet now, the story of the twin brothers in Belgium who were deaf and going...

What's the Harm: When Reality and Wishful Thinking Clash

I'm digging around for posts people have written on what to say/what not to say to autistic people...

Facilitated Communication: Same As It Ever Was (Same As It Ever Was)

In the past couple years, I’ve written over a dozen articles examining facilitated communication...

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Kim WomblesRSS Feed of this column.

Instructor of English and psychology and mother to three on the autism spectrum.

Writer of the site countering.us (where most of these articles will have first appeared) and co-administrator

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When I'm not delving into the science and pseudoscience surrounding autism, I have other areas of interest that I turn my attention to. The psychology of religion is one of those areas of interest.




Introduction to the subject:

Wakefield, on the morning he was struck from the register in the UK, appeared on the Today show for an interview with Matt Lauer.Interestingly, in the background before the interview, Lauer notes that the GMC found Wakefield acted "dishonestly and irresponsibly" but leaves out that the GMC also said he acted with "callous disregard."

One of the worst things I see on the internet, as both a parent of children on the spectrum and as scientifically-based, rational person who works hard to instruct my students in critical thinking skills and being able to detect pseudoscience, is the woo that abounds relating to alternative autism treatments.

The charlatans and snake oil salesmen abound, and one of these individuals, who promises to cure your child of his autism is a chiropractor named Chun Wong who really, really likes the woo. His latest article on his site, dated May 10, is about helminthic therapy for autism, or as I've decided to call it, Wong's wormy wormy woo.

About six weeks ago I wrote the following post on Rapid Prompting Method (edited for this current piece); it garnered a lot of attention from avid parent supporters and from the inventor of the method herself. There was a fair amount of conjecture that RPM was cheap as far as autism therapies went, and that parents should leave no stone unturn.

“The false and exaggerated claims associated with facilitated communication have been exposed.” (Miles and Simpson, 1996)