Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Speaking, Brochures, Research

In the last two weeks, I spoke at two universities, prepared two elaborate brochures, and continued analyzing research dealing with online communities and autism. To be blunt: I'm exhausted. And yet, tonight or tomorrow I will submit another proposal to present my
research to a conference.

Though I am tired, I also think my efforts are making a difference. That makes the discomfort, the nervousness, the anxiety, all worth it. Maybe one parent or teacher will learn something that will improve the educational experience of a strange student like me!

I have done much better this year when speaking to groups on autism and developmental disorders.

Maybe I'm more comfortable with the notion that I'm not "normal" and that's just the way life is. More comfortable isn't the same as "at ease" when speaking. But, I am doing better in public forums.

Best of all, I received a thank-you note tonight from a professor. That did mean a lot to me. Maybe I'm not as emotional about it as some would be, but I appreciate the fact someone took the time to tell me I was worth hearing. That's nice.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

My Documents Page

I decided to create a separate collection of "static" documents on my personal Web site. Blogs are good for some things, but not for edited documents one hopes to maintain for a few years.

http://www.tameri.com/csw/autism/

The documents might take a position or two, which will undoubtedly upset someone. Autism seems to attract disagreements. I can only be a voice in favor of science and pragmatism. My goal is to provide resources for parents, educators, and students. As a researcher, I have to hope people will support inquiry, but I have heard some advocates unwilling to consider research findings with open minds.

I hope my writing does persuade some people to move away from certainty. We know very little about the causes and complications behind autism and pervasive developmental disorders. The best I can do is write about what we do know, while reminding visitors to my site that much, much more remains to be learned.