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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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Although the jury had the case, the Judge Rotenberg Center settled with Andre McCollins' mother yesterday. Fox 25 News in Boston has covered this case diligently, and its article about the settlement writes, "But the attorney representing the Judge Rotenberg Center is not owning up to any mistakes."
The Judge Rotenberg Center is on trial, legally, for negligence in the 31 shocks and hours of restraint that Andre McCollins suffered at the hands of JRC staff and in the court of public opinion, finally, for its decades of use of skin shocks by a device Matthew Israel created.
On March 22, I called on Autism Speaks and the Autism Society of America to stand up against the abuse, restraint and torture occurring at the Judge Rotenberg Center. Today, I received an official statement from Autism Speaks through Marc Sirkin, Autism Speaks Vice President, Social Marketing&Online Fundraising:
"These behaviors can be irritating for family members." --on stimming in autistic children


My children stim. I stim--come on, for Pete's sake--every one of us--autistic or not-- STIMS. We all engage in self-regulatory behaviors to calm ourselves. Some of us have small, discrete behaviors that are not necessarily obvious. I swing one of my feet beneath my desk at work. I rub my thumb over my index finger repeatedly. My fingers slide back and forth over the steering wheel while I drive. They're small stims. But they are there, and they are used to regulate myself. 

Men and women of good conscience cannot sit silently by and allow these things to happen. This is abuse and torture and, still, people support these. Still the Massachusett's State House supports it. Believe it or not, some parents of residents continue to speak out in favor of the use of these shocks.

To take a statement with 'a grain of salt' or 'a pinch of salt' means to accept it but to maintain a degree of skepticism about its truth. --The Phrase Finder

We use idioms with little thought. We know what they mean, even if the saying itself bears no relation to the meaning. Well, except for when that's not true, when we have no idea, when we can't catch the underlying meaning and focus instead on the surface meaning of the words, you know, like my kids do.