Category Archive: Autism

Mar 10

Why Autism “Functioning” Labels Are Misleading

Unfortunately, there is a great deal of confusion, and therefore misunderstanding, around what is meant by “high-functioning” and “low-functioning” autism. The commonsense use of the word “functioning” has to do with, well, functioning. Most people would probably associate “functioning” with the usual meaning of “to work or operate, to carry on a function.” But in …

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Mar 09

Cart Before the Horse Research: Multisensory Integration in Autism

A short article appeared on the ScienceDaily website a few weeks back, reporting on a piece of research published in The Journal of Neuroscience, January 15, 2014. The title of the research study was not given, but a link brings one to “Multisensory Temporal Integration in Autism Spectrum Disorders.” The brief summary of the research is …

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Mar 03

What is it like to be Autistic?

Great Wall 100517_cartoon_074_a14961_p465

In an earlier post, I wrote a few comments about a definition of autism that I found appealing. The difficulty with coming up with any definition of autism is that it’s really hard to capture the essence of what it’s like to be autistic. Even the best definitions leave me hankering for more. Give me …

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Mar 03

Nick Walker’s Definition of Autism

Nick Walker says that What is needed is some good basic introductory “What Is Autism” text that is: 1.) consistent with current evidence; 2.) not based in the pathology paradigm; 3.) concise, simple, and accessible;  4.) formal enough for professional and academic use. Since I couldn’t find such a piece of text elsewhere, I wrote one. I’m …

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Feb 04

Quantitative Support Claimed for the Intense World Theory

The Intense World Theory of Autism is an appealing one to me, because it describes my experience, and resonates with much that I have heard described by other autistic people. It was pleasing, therefore, to learn of new research that seems to offer some empirical support to this idea, and perhaps a partial explanation about …

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Dec 17

My Thoughts on Markram’s “Intense World Theory”

I’m delighted to see that autism is being portrayed in a positive light. Maybe more people will pay attention now that a team of neuroscientists is saying what autistic people have been describing for years. I’m totally supportive of what has been described as the ”Intense World Theory” and wish to praise the Markrams for having …

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Dec 06

Ted Williams: Another Candidate for my Autism Hall of Fame?

I recently heard an interview on Fresh Air of author Ben Bradlee Jr. in which he talked about Ted Williams. When I was young, Ted Williams and Mickey Mantle were the living legends of baseball. I played Little League ball and every young boy who was interested in baseball dreamed of being a hitter like one …

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Nov 06

The Healing Power of Depression

Depression is a common experience. The word itself conjures up negativity, and has many definitions, none of which is particularly cheerful. Depression has been the subject of many wise and unwise words over the ages.   “Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not; and often times we call a man cold …

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Nov 04

The Turing Problem

I just listened to a 20-minute radio segment that reduced me to tears. Alan Turing was a hero of mine long before I knew anything about autism. Once I discovered my own autism and began to be able to see signs of autism in people I knew, either personally or from reading about them, I …

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Aug 01

Brain Fitness, Alzheimer’s, and Autism

MFW in TMS Lab

An amusing and informative essay on the brain appeared in a recent (July 29) issue of The New Yorker. Entitled “Mentally Fit: Workouts at the brain gym” by Patricia Marx, the article chronicles her investigation of the “brain fitness” industry. The article is partly behind a paywall, so if you’re not a subscriber you can …

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