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 (where most of these articles will have first appeared) and co-administrator

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Recently, another blogger reviewed Vaccine Epidemic. The blogger's emphasis was on this quote taken from Allen Tate's chapter, "The Greater Good": "It is indisputable that the vaccination schedule has never been tested for safety in its entirety, or in the way that it is administered. In other words, while the government reviews, licenses, and compels individual vaccines, it does not test--or require vaccine makers to test--the safety and efficacy of vaccines given simultaneously or the cumulative effects of multiple vaccines" (83).

News story on a traveler with measles moving around the US: "More than 10 million people are infected with measles worldwide each year,and the disease is the leading cause of vaccine-preventable deaths in small children. Outbreaks are more common in Europe than in the United States, and most U.S. cases come from transatlantic travelers. U.S. law requires that any cases of measles be reported to public health authorities.

Mnookin's site

Offit's site    

Vaccine Epidemic'site
Some of the most naturally appealing stories in the autism world (and our wider world) are those stories that reinforce the myth of the self-made man (a concept I coincidentally taught this week in American Literature). We like movies like Rudy, All the Right Moves, and the Mighty Ducks series because they feed the myth, the feel-good notion that no matter how far behind one is, how disadvantaged, that plucky teamwork, determined effort, and good fortune will be enough to overcome all obstacles, make the team, win the game, and the woman (or man), and get out of the miserable situation you were originally in.

We all do it: we define things from our own perspective. One example I see over and over again is the idea that autism is whatever it looks like in our own kids, or own experience of it, not someone else's. If autism is accompanied with other problems, it's those problems, too.

Our natural tendency is to define things based on our personal experience. Even parents who argue they don't define their children by their autism will have the same tendency to define all symptoms and issues their children have as part of their autism. It's Gregory House writ small: the need to find one cause for all symptoms. The reality is that there are often multiple causes for the myriad of symptoms we may experience.