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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As a preface to this post, I have to offer a general complaint against media (both print and television) and their bias against providing citation information or links on studies when they report on them. You always have to go digging to find the actual study, and it seems to me to be lazy-ass reporting. We already know how often they misinterpret information, and then they make it even harder to find the originating information. For example, take this story Toxins found in pregnant U.S. women in UCSF study from SFGate yesterday. The UCSF link took me to another SFGate page. Oh, helpful. Not.
Wakefield and the vaccine wars suck up the air. So much attention on one man. On hammering away at each other over whether Wakefield's the saint or Deer. Or who's the greatest sinner. There can be little doubt regarding Wakefield; the GMC ruling and revocation of his medical license last year clearly indicates that Wakefield acted dishonestly and unethically. I know, if you're a Waker's fan you believe it's all a governmental/industrial plot to silence the maverick doctor willing to stand up to vaccine companies, except you keep backtracking and insisting now it wasn't about autism and it wasn't even about vaccines; it was about gastro issues. And folks insisting it wasn't a fabrication and we should all go Andy's support site.
One of the key characteristics coming out of the anti-vaccine movement appears to be an inability to get the facts straight about much of anything relating to vaccines and vaccine-preventable illnesses. Another key characteristic is the downplaying of the seriousness of these illnesses, along with a fondness for bashing Dr. Paul Offit, one of the most eloquent voices speaking for the safety and importance of vaccines in maintaining public health.
Lisa Rudy posted "Misinterpretation of Autism News Can Cause Serious Confusion" over at's autism site, and the comments have gotten interesting and clearly demonstrate the growing gap between what consumers know and believe and what researchers have determined. This is something I've written about 
Mark Hyman loves the case study; when one of his posts at Huffington Post deals with an almost magical healing he's engendered, well, chances are, there's gonna be a kid involved. This time up, it's Hyman curing autism cuz he's teh man.

Let's look at his first paragraph: "Imagine being the parent of a young child who is not acting normally and being told by your doctor that your child has autism, that there is no known cause, and there is no known treatment except, perhaps, some behavioral therapy."
We've all done it: we've blurted out something we wish we'd bitten back. We've made a face or indicated our displeasure or contempt when it would have been better to maintain the appearance of neutrality. We've all, I'm sure, written something we wish we could take back.