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Showing posts from August, 2009

Wandering (Literal and Figurative)

I wander. My original destination is not completely forgotten, but I end up taking a circuitous route. My wife complains that when we go anywhere, there's always the chance I'll wander away the moment I see something of interest. If I have my cell phone, it helps her find me. I am at least a creature of habit. If there are books, movies, music, or food, those are the places to search for me. I can spend hours in a music store and I love bookstores. In a place like Costco, I head right for the "media" tables. I check every stack of movies, CDs, and all the books to see what's new. Malls are a real problem -- there are so many things to see. Granted, there aren't as many bookstores and music shops are there used to be, but there is a lot of food. Very cool food, too! Maybe wandering is just who I am...

Rhetoric and Writing Studies

My doctoral committee is meeting next week as I head towards completion of my dissertation in the coming months. The focus of my final dissertation revision is changing slightly to accommodate my new plans in life. Originally, my focus was on language acquisition, especially written language, among individuals with autism. I adjusted my research to study secondary and post-secondary students with autism and their struggles with written language. Now, I'm going to shift away from that emphasis to focus more on creative writing. I am fascinated by fMRI images and studies of neurolinguistics. I have immersed myself in the science and theory of linguistics, from neural network theories to combination theories. The brain is an amazing thing. But, it is time to leave such things behind for my own sanity. My Ph.D is going to be in "Rhetoric, Scientific and Technical Communication," I have added a specialty in general writing pedagogy so I might teach creative writing

Changing Fields

I'm definitely leaving any and all cognitive research related to autism behind after 2010. I'm shifting back towards creative writing and, hopefully, new media rhetoric. I'm hoping to find a university where I can work on my poetry, scripts, and novels. Research is interesting, but the public conflict isn't. (If you wanted to be hated, be a major league umpire or an autism researcher.) The "autism debates" are both political and belief driven, only tangentially based on any real understanding of the sciences involved. The "reporters" covering science often either misunderstand or twist research results. Researchers do use a strange language. I admit that it confounds the public. I've tried, too many times, to explain that I could rarely, if ever, prove anything. The best I can do as a researcher is disprove other potential causes. Research, statistically, simply finds "Other potential causes for X are less likely than hypothesis A." We

Autism Diagnostic Rate

I've written many times that the diagnostic rate for any condition is not the same as the actual prevalence. Examples of sudden "explosions" in diagnoses, abound, from various cancers to mental health conditions. In some cases, diagnoses were impossible. In others, conditions were clarified and reclassified by improved science. Anyway... these are for consideration. I generally distrust some of the sources, but the links are interesting enough that people can read them and reach their own conclusions. The odds are, most people have conclusions and will decide to agree with those supporting an existing bias. From Left Brain/Right Brain is this good link: New Statistics Due. Autism Rate 1 in 100? And here the above blog's predictions about the media coverage are somewhat proved: David Kirby on HuffPost I don't care who you do or don't believe. What matters is we are about to be buried by another round of scary statistics. Parents are going to hear "1 in 100

Tough Weeks

A few weeks ago, I pulled a muscle and the pain has been severe. Vicodin several times a day. Upset stomach. Lots of bed rest because moving was miserable. I'm finally starting to get back to moving about, with only minor pain in my right hip area, and my eyes decide to start having problems again! The base membrane dystrophy leads to minor tears and "erosions" of the surface epithelial layer. The pain is so bad, I have come close to fainting. To go from one horrendous pain to another is too much for my system. Feeling lousy leaves me impatient, annoyed, and in no mood for people. I need quiet, calm, relaxing surroundings. It's also important that the room be slightly dim since my eyes hurt so much. I'm normally light sensitive, but in pain I am so sensitive that any light hurts. I have the brightness on my computer down to "one click" above black. I have the volume of audio down to cat's whisper (though our cats are not quiet). Driving during the da

Representations of AS

Characters with Asperger's Syndrome are currently featured in three films, including an animated feature: Not sure there's much else to say, but I wanted to record the link.