30 Days of Thinking About Science — Introduction

I have decided to work on some thinking about science posts in June.  This post is the first of the series, and is currently scheduled for May 17th, and future ones will either be on, or after the day of the month they have to do with.

On April 17th I decided to write a bit of a “will be coming up” as part of the “30 Days of Autism Acceptance” I am doing in April (it’s when I am starting this piece, though I’m giving myself a month to get to writing this in a better form, though I hope to be mostly not working on this, as I’m looking at the month of May being a “transition” month).

A friend was talking about what it is about psychology and how “hard evidence” in psychology “just can’t exist”.  There was a bit of a discussion about that science with another friend, which I will be looking at a bit before finishing this up:

  • Correlation does not equal Causation
  • Lack of evidence is not evidence of lack
  • Biased evidence is biased (decisions about what to publish)
  • New findings are sexier than confirming old findings
  • Small studies do not show support for conclusion (though support for research)
  • Knowledge of intervention biases results (reasons for doing double blind, or at least single blind)
    • This even applies to “hard sciences” such as physics, or chemistry
  • Gold Standard of study is not only valid research method (more on research methods)
  • “You can’t prove a negative” vs. “You can’t disprove a positive.”
    • Hypothesis generation
  • The placebo effect is a real effect
  • The nocebo effect exists, and is barely understood
  • Psychosomatic effects are real effects
  • Just because we don’t understand something, doesn’t mean it’s not happening
  • Quantitative research vs. qualitative research
  • Small studies help point to areas of future studies
  • Research methods
    • Observation
    • Survey
    • Experimentaiton
    • Case Study

OK, things from that discussion:

  • The Scientific Method
  • Aggregate data generalizations vs. individual level generalizations
  • Science Methodology in General

OK, everything else I had already handled in my list, which is probably a good way for it to be.  That looks like I already have topics for most of the month…

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Disability Concepts

I think this might become another “30 days” project.  But right now I want to just look at a few different things that I try to keep in mind with dealing with people with disabilities.  Well, more so with anyone, because I can’t know that I am dealing with a person with disabilities, or a person who doesn’t have disabilities:

  • Assume Competence
  • Assume Good Intent
  • To as great an extent possible honour “Nihil de nobis, sine nobis” or “Nothing about us, without us”.
  • When things are “not working” assume some communication or understanding is missing

I don’t really want to go further into this right now.  It was just a brief thing that with working with someone that I have needed to remember that while others will try to draw me in different directions, from core concepts where things can work with a variety of different people, and towards an understanding that someone is a “bad person,” or “acting in bad faith,” or whatever.

This does not mean that things always are of good faith, or at least that the reasons that things aren’t working is related to something which can be resolved through honouring the person’s right to express themselves as they wish, but rather that the communication, or whatever breakdown is something fundamental and is not resolvable without someone taking a very different approach.

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Accepting Less than Perfect — Day 18 — 30 Days of Autism Acceptance

Today is May 2nd.

Autism Acceptance Month, is April.

We are no longer in Autism Acceptance Month.

I am writing Day 18 of my “30 Days of Autism Acceptance” today.

I expect that this will be the last one of the series for this year.

So, why is that?  Am I giving up?  Have I failed myself by failing to meet my goals, and giving up on doing them even if they aren’t done in the timeline?

Is This a Failure?

I don’t believe I have really failed.  And there are a number of reasons for that.  Some of those reasons have to do with the fact that I really didn’t expect to finish on time (I think I only had about 3 or 4 days ahead of April 1st when I started considering this, and this really just evolved over the month, and I didn’t really expect more than about 1-3 posts per week, which would have given me at most about 12 posts over the month).

And while I had considered writing more well after the month had finished, I really don’t feel that “up to it” right now, and I am ready to move to the next project (30 Days of Thinking about Science) and start actually working on some of that (I think I may be working on at least revising the introduction post after this one).

I am a writer much more so than a “talker” in terms of my expressive communication.

I’m not even that good at things like considering drawing, or other non-spoken expressions.  It’s “words on paper” or in this case on screen.

Most people, really don’t get that.  In fact so strongly “don’t get that” that they can’t even fathom that anyone would want to read “just words”.  People want visual presentation so strongly, and expect it so much, that the idea that something would not have pictures is just unheard of for them.

So, before I get too far along, I think I want to organize these thoughts a bit as bullets, and look at how I want to move forward:

  • I didn’t expect to get all 30 days done on time.
  • I wasn’t sure I was even going to do 30 days.
  • I expected at most about 12 posts by the end of the month.
  • Being a writer may have played a role.
  • Trying to add “meaningful visual content” did play a role.
  • Limited positive outside feedback played a role.
  • Health problems got in the way.

I didn’t expect to get all 30 days done on time.

Really this was something I was well aware of right from the very beginning.  I started March 29th.  I can’t remember how much I managed to get written ahead of the 1st of April, but I don’t think it was more than 4 days at the most.  I knew that even if I did well, that I wasn’t going to make it to 30 days by the end of the month.

At most, I really didn’t expect more than 2 posts to be written in a given day, and not more than 3 days with posts written in a given week.  Had I managed to do that, I may have managed to make it to the month with the 30 days worth of posts written, or at least close to it.

That “6 posts a week” really was my “most optimistic” estimate of how my time was likely to go.  And it was dependent on abandoning other work and social commitments almost completely.

did manage to abandon the work commitments largely, and went with not doing work on other projects except when it was justified.

I failed (and rightly so) to abandon the social commitments to much extent at all.  Yet, I got to post 18, with not giving myself enough lead time, and other issues keeping me from writing this up.

I wasn’t sure I was even going to do 30 days.

I had no idea if I was even going to come up with 30 days worth of content to even consider for the month.  That was a hugely ambitious idea, and at the beginning of starting this out, I had about 4 different things I was considering writing.

At the time I expected new ideas to come out of the series, but wasn’t really expecting to come up with 30 days of topics.

Right now, I have 26 topics I haven’t written on (and that doesn’t have this topic on the list yet), and 17 topics which I have written on, and this topic.

So, my sense that I probably wouldn’t come up with enough to write on was kind of mistaken.  I have enough to start off next year, that I will have almost (as of the writing here) enough for the month.

I may have more that I will add when I go to update that post after having written this, to fill it out.

Some of those topics may get written on, before the start of working on this for next year.  But I’m sure by next year I will have more topics to add to this list again right off the bat.

I expected at most about 12 posts by the end of the month.

Even with that most ambitious expectations of 6 posts per week, I really didn’t expect to manage much more than about 12 posts during the month of April, or to continue much beyond the end of April.

I think with that in mind, being only on May 2nd, and writing “post 18” I should realistically feel that this is a great success.

Being a writer may have played a role.

Writing is undervalued.  As someone who is a person who writes as our primary form of expression, this is often undervalued to an extent that people give negative feedback on the fact that it’s “just words”.

I have not had that feedback yet with this, at least not directly.

When I was working on posting things for Medium, I had written a few different pieces which were my “typical just words” and they basically didn’t get noticed.

Then I decided I had something which would justify having an image on it, at least as the header image.  So I did that.  And within a week, it had about 10 times the interest of the previous 3 posts combined over the previous 3 weeks.

So, with that in mind, I got the “message” that I needed to add visual content on my posts, if I expected anyone to actually see them.

Trying to add “meaningful visual content” did play a role.

One problem that I hoped would be a solution was that I started looking for meaningful images to start adding to my posts, so that I could “draw people in.”

The point of doing that was really so that I would get the “positive outside feedback” that I was craving with having those “views” and maybe even some “version of likes”.

But this meant that on a “writing day” I would barely manage to get enough “together” to actually write two pieces, which meant that I really was not really getting the content out that I really wanted to.

At the end of having produced those two pieces, I would feel drained and in need of at least a “day of rest”.

On days when I “spent the day writing” but didn’t try to find visual content (unless I was particularly inspired) I could write three pieces, and manage to feel energized enough to think I could go forward the next day and do more.

So henceforth, I expect visual content will not be added, unless I’m inspired to do so.  Or if I am feeling like I want to do a “visual essay” or something just as a way of changing things up.

Limited positive outside feedback played a role.

This probably was towards the end.  I was looking at doing some writing about a week ago (about 10 am, and it’s now 3 pm 1 week later) but only “slightly inspired” which had been the best I think I’d managed in almost a week.

So the last two weeks of April, seem to have mostly been pushing a hard push past my sense that “none of this is working.”  I think part of that could have been related to other things coming from different directions than actual response to what I was doing.

Just the endless sense that I knew that for every single negative, and demeaning depiction of autism I ran across, I knew that 10 new positive things needed to be found to counter it.  And it was getting to the point that I was feeling I was needing to create 10 new pieces every day.

In desperation, and feeling like there was nothing I really could do, I ended up pretty much giving up.

I didn’t feel the final “I am done” as a conscious thought until about 3 days ago but it was sitting there in the back of my head.

Health problems got in the way

Back to last week, when I was sitting down, I thought I would take a brief break to just check out some stuff, and saw that someone who I really love their stream online, so I dropped in, and started paying attention, and was just doing my “hey I’m here” and “boom” health problems.

I really won’t go into details, but I decided that I just couldn’t focus until I got my shit together, with those health problems, so I failed to get anything done that day or the next even vaguely like work.

Friday I think I was able to do some technical stuff (it’s a lot easier to do when feeling like it’s not worth doing anything, or just not feeling like I can really properly focus) and then some time in the following few days (oh starting on Sunday) I just decided to dive into an attempt to replace Flickr for myself.

So that combination meant that while I expected 6-10 new posts by the end of this week, I am managing just one.

So with this, I am wrapping up my first attempt at doing a 30 days project.  I have the introduction for the next one scheduled to show up in about 2 weeks (15 days if I remember correctly).  And, I expect a few different things here, over at the Datse Multimedia site, or elsewhere to be showing up as well.

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Executive Function Followup — Day 17 — 30 Days of Autism Acceptance

Today I noticed that someone on LinkedIn liked my post about Executive Function, so I am going to go and see what I can say more about this.  Currently I am just going to put quick notes, and this may end up being a multi-post thing, I don’t know yet, but here is the list of little things I am gleaning from that post from “Day 9”.

  • What is Executive Function?
  • Goofing off is fine.
  • Trying to work around other people is difficult for me.
  • Chemical sensitivity.
  • Social Overwhelm.
  • Communication Difficulties
    • Trying to help people make their communication work for me.
    • Explaining being in social overwhelm.
  • Sense of opinion not being important in this house.
  • Using tools to organize time.
    • Bullet Journal
    • Medication Log
  • Letting “failings” be an OK thing.
  • Giving time to other people, when I don’t want to.

There, those are the key points from that, so, now let’s get that to a post format.

What is Executive Function?

This is a little bit of a difficult thing.  I am not really sure how to say this simply.  Mind you, I’m not usually known for saying things simply that often.

Executive function is the ability to get done, what you want to get done in your day.

Now that’s really quite simple.  There probably are different ways to put that.  For me, often I have “failures” of executive function.  That is, I know that if I were to “put enough effort in” I could easily have accomplished what I had planned to, but I managed to not be able to.

There are a lot of different reasons that this may happen, and I will talk about some of them as I write more.  Probably the biggest issue with my ability to get done what I want to, is how I end up interacting with other people.  So, let’s see what more I wanted to say?

Goofing off is fine.

This is really an interesting thing.  I have learnt that actually in order to be productive, I have to know when I have lost my ability to be productive, and find ways to bring my mind back to that.

A lot of that could be considered “goofing off.”  It can be playing games (currently I have been playing Eternal Lands as my go to game), watching YouTube videos, watching Netflix, watching TV, or whatever.

Sometimes, it really is just a matter that I need to get some sleep, or at least rest.

So, in a lot of ways, goofing off is not only fine, but it is absolutely necessary.   If I am trying to do stuff when I just can’t do it, it’s far better for me to switch to something different.

Trying to work around other people is difficult for me.

When there are other people around me, it can be really difficult for me to be able to do my thing.  I honestly have trouble processing basic information when I am around other people.

For example, when I am feeding the dog in the morning (dry food, drugs, and flax oil) even on a good day, it becomes very difficult for me to just do the activities that are involved with getting her breakfast together.

Depending on what my interaction is with other people, it can take quite some time to recover from an interaction with other people.  If someone is talking to me, it becomes almost impossible for me to do anything else, without losing my ability to attend to the conversation on any level other than the most basic level.

When this happens, even once all of the interaction ends, I still am not able to do what can otherwise be not that difficult can be quite difficult when I have “recently” had a difficult social situation.  Sometimes this can be several hours, other times I might “settle” in as short a time as about 20 minutes, if I give myself the space to do that.

Chemical sensitivity.

I have found that I have sensitivity to a lot of different chemicals.  Now, usually people consider “chemicals” to mean “man made” or “synthetic” or whatever…  To me this includes all sorts of things like “onions” or “milk” or “wheat.”  All of which I have some degree of sensitivity to.

When I spend time around other people, when I get back to my own space, I realize just how much other people just don’t understand these kinds of things.

My original post was talking about sensitivity to cleaning supplies.  A lot of cleaning supplies have added fragrance so that they “smell nice”.  Most of these fragrances are things which I am sensitive to.

Other things I can be sensitive to is things like bleach (which I’ve found really doesn’t actually get things clean, but rather it removes the colour from the dirt).  So that can be a problem for me as well.

The problem with the fragrances is probably the most common thing I run into.  Too often being around people (not in any particular situation) means being exposed to fragrance which can cause me to have to leave a space in some cases.

Social Overwhelm.

I talked about this a bit right at the top, but somewhat covering even more broad concept than social overwhelm.

There are times (usually at least part of most days) where I can not be social in a way that feels at all “safe” for me.  I might be managing to “obey rules” in a good enough way that no one really notices just how difficult this is happening for me.

Most social situations I feel that I am having to make sure that I “do all the right things” and try very hard to not break social rules.  This leads to not being fully capable of being present in a social situation.

This leads to a lot of energy being used simply to be in the part of a social situation.  After a fairly short period I start to lose my ability to fully participate, if the space isn’t accommodating my needs to be able to be in that space.

As a conversation progresses, if those accommodations are not in place, I will need to start using different means to be more present in the conversation, or things can fall apart very dramatically.

Communication Difficulties

In a lot of situations I find that the way other people can communicate can be very difficult for me, and that I just don’t manage to process information in a useful way.

For example, when people present multiple pieces of information to me at the same time, each new piece of information becomes more difficult to process as they are added.

If I am feeling OK, then I usually can process about 3 items before things start to get some difficulty processing any more information.

On the phone, it can be a lot more difficult for me to handle communication, so I try not to do “difficult” things on the phone, unless I have to.

Trying to help people make their communication work for me.

Quite often as I am talking with someone, and I am having difficulty with the conversation, I feel that if I can help the person understand what is not working for me, that I can help them be able to better help me understand them.

My experience about trying to do this has been that it only very rarely proves to be a helpful thing, and often ends up being a harmful thing.  Well, harmful, in the sense that it leads to even worse communication.

I think that even in these situations, it can lead to the person getting some understanding how to better communicate.

In my experience, I have found that most people have little or no problem with communication which works for me (ie. If someone is talking in a way that works for me, most people will not have any problems with how that person is talking).

On the other hand, many people seem to be incapable to communicate in a way that works for me.  I tell a person that they are talking too fast, and then they slow their pace down to 1/4 the pace that they were talking, rather than 4/5 of the speed that they were talking.

If I am talking to someone and they keep saying multiple things one after another, and tell them that it would be way easier if they made sure I understood what they were saying, before moving on to the next item.

They then go to the point of saying “Have you unplugged your modem?”  “Do you understand what a modem is?”  “Do you know how to unplug it?” and breaking things down to a ridiculous level.

People seem to have a “2 modes” of handling how to communicate with people, “too complex” or “too simple.”

Another thing that I experience is that people will interrupt me as soon as they have heard only a minor portion of what I am saying, before really understanding the whole of it.

So, I will mention that they are not letting me complete my thoughts.  Usually, this will lead to a person either increasing the degree of interrupting me.  Or leaving long blanks which become very awkward.

Explaining being in social overwhelm.

I try to explain to people when I am just not being able to process what they are saying, and that I will need a dramatic change if they need me to continue in that situation, or I will need to take a significant break.

Once I have got to this point, I am generally not really able to stay in the situation safely unless the person already has a good understanding of the fact that they could be doing stuff which is seriously overwhelming me.

The only way that seems to happen, is when that person has experience of that happening for themself.  It means that when I say “this is getting too much for me,” the response is just automatically “Oh, sorry, what can we do to make it work?”

Otherwise, it usually requires me to leave in order to not get into a worse and worse state, where it will take longer time to recover.

Sense of opinion not being important in this house.

When I was talking with the cleaning lady about 2 weeks ago, I said “my opinion doesn’t really matter here” because it seems like it just is not all that well respected.

I’m not sure I can say a whole lot, beyond just giving examples of how when I want something, that I pretty much have to provide it for myself, or go without.

Using tools to organize time.

I have been trying to use a variety of tools to organize my time, and keep me on track with the things which I have been meaning to do with my time.

I probably can not really come up with all the different tools I have used.  But a variety of pen and paper tools, and a variety of computer based tools.

I started to use computers as a tool to keep me on track with my day to day stuff about when I was 10.  At that time, it was not all that common of a thing to do for anyone.  Especially not someone who is in grade 3.

Lately, I have moved more to keeping track of things with “pen and paper” as that just is something that (right now) just works better than any of the online tools which I have been using.

Bullet Journal

About a month ago (I think… Just over actually) I started to use the Bullet Journal (apparently it is a proper noun, as it is some sort of formal system) because I saw a video which made it “make sense” as to how it would make things work for me.

I have written a couple (or is it more) posts about that:

So only a couple of different ones.  Though I have put bits and pieces in various other places as well.

This is kind of a “build your own” type of organization system, which is part of why things are done with pen and paper, as it really does work best that way, because you can use things as you see fit.

Medication Log

The medication log which is part of my Bullet Journal is probably the most commonly used feature.  I have created a “print and fill out” version of the medication log, and I am feeling that I have a good enough way of handling that that I really think that my medications are working far better than they were before they were before.

The interesting thing about my medications is that I have “repeats” from every day, to a repeat which is 5 days (I don’t think there is a 6 day repeat), with every number of days between.  This means that if I want to make sure that things are not “breaking down” I really need to write things down so that I can make sure that I remember what I was doing the previous “week” (I fill 11 days at a time, which is weird, but most things I do are.

So, the medication log not only is something that is getting me to “touch base” with my bullet journal on a more regular basis, but it is also something that I need to keep track of things in a helpful way.

Letting “failings” be an OK thing.

I am starting to learn that when things don’t work the way that I plan, that this actually is an OK thing.  Ie. while I usually felt when I planned things that I should have been able to do those things, it is still OK that I didn’t get it done.

A lot of this seems like it can be “largely beyond my capability of handling things.”  Sometimes things which happen are really beyond my control.

Still, it means that I have to end up “catching up” which I find is often just a little too difficult for me.  But I also often am unrealistic in terms of my abilities to get things done.  I just am far more ambitious than I am really able to achieve.

Giving time to other people, when I don’t want to.

One of the big things that ends up doing me in, is that quite often I find myself giving other people “energy” which I really have no intention to give, and it often ends up coming at the expense of not only not being able to get enough done, but to actually end up getting very little back.

I really think that is pretty much “things done”.  I think that right now, I am not going to be putting a lot of pictures up here, as how I have been managing them, I am considering dropping entirely.  So, for now, you get boring posts which are mostly text.  Or entirely text…

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Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) — Day 16 — 30 Days of Autism Acceptance

Still having difficulty finding pictures for several of our topics

For “yesterday’s post” (which is showing up the same day as this one because I’m still behind, and still working on getting back on track, so no need to schedule) I wrote a bit about language (I think I need to revisit it) but related to that is AAC or Augmentative and Alternative Communication.

For me, there are a number of times when communication becomes really difficult.  In fact, I believe that this happens probably at least once a day.  My main way of handling that on a daily basis, is to use forms of communication which are less difficult for me.

Which means, that a lot of my communication ends up in a typed form, because that’s just the easiest way for me.  In fact, the first two meetings I have attended for the “most local” autism group I belong to (one ending up being very brief) I mostly communicated by typing.

Part of that was that I really wasn’t even physically present, but “coming in” from a distance of somewhere around 600-800 km (I think it’s closer to 600, but I always think of it as 800 km) drive away.

So, there is a problem that happens with that, being that in person, typing to people just doesn’t work, and in fact I end up having to talk on the phone from time to time (ick, the infernal device).  So, especially with in person communication, especially with people who know me well enough, I have been looking for an alternative to trying to use spoken words when those just are not going to work for me.

I want to have a business card type thing I have multiple copies of that I can hand to people which says:

“Please don’t ask me how I am feeling, unless you actually care.”

which has an explanation of why I really find that to be a significant issue for me.  Something along the lines of:

“When you ask me a question, I try to answer what you ask.  If you ask a question which is a ‘social nicety’ I have trouble just going through the script that is considered to be ‘socially acceptable.'”

In fact maybe we will create those as either “credit card” (European business cards) or “business card” sized (North American business cards).  The advantage of the smaller “North American” size, is that one, it’s smaller, and 2 because I am in North America, things like business card holders come in that size (though you can get credit card holders as well).

So, I am thinking that maybe going for that would be a good way to handle this, and maybe printing a “box” of them.

Also, I have been thinking of some kind of sign language, or something like a “word board” or a “letter board” or something like that to be able to say “too loud. can we leave?” type things.  I am looking at some options regarding that, and I’m thinking probably designing things which would work like that.

I’m not sure where I will end up going with that.  Though I have to think more about it.

I have to say that one of the “Chewigem” chews that I grabbed was specifically because it is intended to be at least somewhat a form of AAC.  It is a “red and green bangle” which on the red side it says “Leave me be” and on the green side says “Talk to me”.  I don’t really believe that it is that likely to be “actually effective” except for situations where people actually know about things like that (which would be probably spaces where people get social overload or similar to enough extent to actually understand, and even if people don’t notice, it would “feel safe” to say, “I don’t want to talk, and use this to indicate that”.)

Speaking of that…  I am considering trying to figure out what I’ll order from them next time.  I haven’t “created a list” myself at this point, but I did create a form yesterday (I think) to get input from people about that.  Or more generally…  “Product Review Form

So, well, um, ah, I think I’m going to leave things at this for now…

 

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Language — Day 15 — 30 Days of Autism Acceptance

no image yet again…

Today over at Mastodon.art there was a bit of a discussion about language, specifically around the language Toki Pona.  Someone last night posted a bunch of round tiles they created with some kind of “runes” on it, which lead to the discussion as it was just interesting to me.

So, the idea of Toki Pona is that the language is a “Reduced Instruction Set” (RISC) communication system (to use an example from computers), with about 120 words.

Last night as I was looking at that, I was going “oh dear, this is too complicated for me” though really I meant “this is too much for me to process just as I’m trying to get myself ready for bed”.

So, I have to admit that I am a bit of a polyglot in that I will often end up working in “random languages”.  I will switch between different languages, may use any that I know depending on the context, Tazzy will hear me use French, English (most commonly as it’s my first language), German, Italian, Esperanto, or maybe a few other languages from me.

So, the more I look at this, I wonder if there may be some reason to consider doing something up which would allow us to look at the language, and how to produce a way to communicate with it, with hopefully relatively limited understanding of the language by other people.

The language consists of as I said 120 words, and it is based on a Latin alphabet, or so I understand, which is further limited to about 16 letters rather than the “awkward” 26 that we currently use in English.  So to write it really only needs to have what most people already have available, the letters you are (likely) reading here.

And further there are a number of different systems of expressing that in different forms, including (as I am impressed by) the use of sign language which uses a very limited hand positions again, and then movements.

So, I think this could well work.

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Connecting with Other Autistics — Day 14 — 30 Days of Autism Acceptance — 2018 Autism Acceptance Month

I like to put a header image, but I don’t know that I have one that really fits here either…  That’s OK for now…

I have this listed in my notes as “CAU” or Canadian Autistics United.  But that is just a “formal” aspect of of connecting with other autistics.  There are a lot of different places where I am connecting, but none of the others are (currently) formally for autistic people.

I am not really sure if I will be able to write a whole lot on this.

Since my diagnosis, I have been able to connect to autistics with a sense that we do have that in common.  Now this is a silly thing about how “embracing autism” has allowed me to connect with autistic people to a greater extent.  Because, other than the specific spaces I have connected with people which is connected with autism, most of these autistics are not “new” to my life.  It is just that we are connecting on these topics.

Some of these people firmly identify as autistic, others far less so.  I wouldn’t say that those who don’t identify with autism should have the label of autism attached to them…  Though, of course, a lot of these people they have been told by various people, that they think that they are autistic.

To me, I think one person I know in my life, who I think, “It seems like she is autistic” I also know that she has a “attention” diagnosis, which I have been given in the past myself, but her mother to me seems very much “attention” related, while she (I can’t say she’s a friend, as we’ve rarely talked) seems to me far more autistic.

So, this goes somewhat to the previous post about science, but it doesn’t really.  It comes more to do with “how psychology works” or “how diagnosis works”.   Especially with regards to diagnosis.  I know that to me I see how subjective it is.  There are a lot of biases which go into it.

  • Bias of the diagnostic criteria
  • Bias of the diagnostician (person giving the diagnosis)
  • Bias of the person being diagnosed

Those are probably the biggest biases.  So, I have a feeling that with the formal “attention” diagnosis, some of that is related to the fact that the family went in at least subconsciously with that diagnosis in mind.

Also, I have a bit of a sense that they went in with “let it not be autism.”  I guess to me, having seen so many of my people who are autistic, or at least have been told by other autistics that they “seem autistic.”  That I saw this group of people who I think are really cool, who have this “autism” label (though not always) assigned to them.  And honestly, I have known some who I know that very few would say that they are “really cool” and I’ve still felt a connection with them on that basis.  To me they are still really cool.

I think I got lost, now where was I?  Where was I heading?  And how was I getting there?  I don’t know.  Let’s call this the destination…

Posted in Autism, Autism Acceptance, Mental Health Politics, Personal, Relating/Connection | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments closed

Writing About Science — Day 13 — 30 Days of Autism Acceptance — 2018 Autism Acceptance Month

Candle snuffer made from bent/twisted copper wire

Building our own Tools

Currently trying to get a little bit closer to be on schedule for the series.  Today one of my friends (well not sure about that term in general, but I’ll use it) was asking about how we can do “science” in psychology, and if it could be considered to be a “legitimate science”.

This was related to something I had said earlier in the past week or so (I think it was on the weekend).  It is also a subject which I have a special interest in that being science, and the philosophy of science.

The other night (a couple nights ago) I ended up in a pretty significant discussion about science, and the deficiencies of most of the science that gets done, or at least published, so in June, I am looking at doing another “30 Days” project on science and more the philosophy of science.

I don’t want to switch gears right now, and I’m realizing that these “30 Days” projects seem to work well for me, so I’m hoping that every “30 day month” I will be doing one (I’m not sure what I’ll do for February, as if I don’t do one then, I will end up going from November to April without one, so there might be a 28 day one then.  Or I may try to do “30 Days in February”.

So, this is just a bit of a note to remind me where I am at with this.  And also I expect to be writing a draft of the Introduction which I hope to publish in about a month.

So, before I do that, just as a bit of a teaser:

  • Correlation does not equal Causation
  • Lack of evidence is not evidence of lack
  • Biased evidence is biased (decisions about what to publish)
  • New findings are sexier than confirming old findings
  • Small studies do not show support for conclusion (though support for research)
  • Knowledge of intervention biases results (reasons for doing double blind, or at least single blind)
    • This even applies to “hard sciences” such as physics, or chemistry
  • Gold Standard of study is not only valid research method (more on research methods)
  • “You can’t prove a negative” vs. “You can’t disprove a positive.”
    • Hypothesis generation
  • The placebo effect is a real effect
  • The nocebo effect exists, and is barely understood
  • Psychosomatic effects are real effects
  • Just because we don’t understand something, doesn’t mean it’s not happening
  • Quantitative research vs. qualitative research
  • Small studies help point to areas of future studies
  • Research methods
    • Observation
    • Survey
    • Experimentaiton
    • Case Study

More will come, but more will not be written for this post, as it’s not going to be what I will be posting for the month itself, but rather just is a post for now for what people might look out for.

In September, I am thinking of switching gears to “30 Days of Web Development” as I have been wanting to work on that.  Work such as that I will be posting on the Datse Multimedia site, and I will try to keep the Jigme Datse Site up to date as to what is going where.  Or at least mentioning what is going where.

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Games as Escape — Day 12 — 30 Days of Autism Acceptance — 2018 Autism Acceptance Month

picture should go here, but I can’t find anything appropriate with my Flickr

Over the past couple of days I have been playing Eternal Lands and have been really enjoying it.  I started because I had gotten into a funk, and decided to go back to the game that I was able to commit to for a much greater extent than most other games.

I really can’t say a whole lot here more than that has been what I have been doing.  Except, knowing me I will say more…

For a couple of days, (or was it even more than that) I kept trying to push myself to do stuff that I felt was productive, but it just was not happening.  So was talking with a friend about what he’s been doing and he was talking about playing Final Fantasy (can’t remember which one) so I thought I’d fire up Eternal Lands and see where it would take me.

I have been playing a bit over the last couple of days.  Well, let’s say a lot really.  But it has got me to a point that I’m OK with how all of this is going…  And I’m writing…

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Chewigem Review — Day 11 — 30 Days of Autism Acceptance — 2018 Autism Acceptance Month

We are way behind.  This is an OK thing.  Well sort of.  I’m not being very OK with it.

I’m not streaming, I just don’t feel up to it.  So this is just me doing some quick stuff on my own.

So earlier today I created a video for Chewigem review, as a Platinum Chewer, I got my package today.

The video is rather poor, and I’m not all that happy overall with it. I do intend to do more of these, so if you want to fill out the form for review items I can maybe get some idea what people might want to see me review.  I’d like to do some stuff with different items.  Also if you want to send me something to review you can contact me (contact form below), and I can get my address to you.

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