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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 my husband and I first realized in 1994 that we were entering the world of special needs parenting, there were very few books as guidelines. When autism entered our vocabulary, the first thing I read was Bruno Bettelheim's The Empty Fortress.
Writing balanced posts can be tricky, especially in relation to vaccines. Vaccines, like religions and politics, have become a hot-button topic in social discussions, and these three areas are absolutely polarized, definitely enter-at-your-own-risk sorts of discussions that can quickly turn to pissing matches. Ah, but they don't have to, I don't think, and not all disagreement is about that sort of thing.
Holy crap on a cracker. Here's propaganda and bull handed to us on a platter. You can't dress this up, make it pretty, pretend it to be anything other than an assault on reason and reality.
Mercola and Fisher are a nightmare team: fearmongering run rampant. And the scary thing is that over 27,000 folks have viewed the latest post already. Fisher's attached herself to Mercola's large (on the internet) audience. I wonder if it's to see the money roll in? By contrast, my little blog here and this post will be read by maybe 10% of that number.
CNN covers the vaccine issue in a news article on its website, highlighting a family who nearly lost their child to Hib because they had bought into the doubts, fears, and misinformation out there regarding vaccines.

It's an effective story, highlighting the very real dangers, say, from contracting Hib, where one in twenty children who contract it will DIE.

According to WHO:

"Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) is a bacteria responsible for severe pneumonia, meningitis and other invasive diseases almost exclusively in children aged less than 5 years. It is transmitted through the respiratory tract from infected to susceptible individuals.
I'm sure for many of us, our family stories are rich, varied, and often conflicting. We share our pasts with our children often without reflection of what they do not know and are surprised when there are gaps in what they know about us, about our lives as a family. I know that it's often surprising to me personally to realize that there are vast stretches of years that I feel I recall well that my bright boy has no recollection of, even though he was there.
It’s been a little more than two years since I finished my master’s in psychology, and I was looking through some of the work I’d done in my social psychology class when I ran across a discussion post on implicit and explicit norms. At the time I was an adjunct instructor in developmental reading and writing; I've just this semester moved to a full-time English instructor position.

The piece remains of interest to me, both because of my role as an instructor and as mom to three on the spectrum. Explicit norms are for obvious reasons easy to grasp; they’re the rules that are clearly stated; implicit norms are much harder, especially for folks who have difficulty with socially-based learning.