Friday, December 31, 2010

One Year Ends, Another Begins

So, we've reached that arbitrary date where we mark one year as ending and another beginning. For many, this is a time for new beginnings, to turn over a new leaf. People make resolutions to accomplish some task or change some behavior. Even though a lot of these never see fruition, the intention is good.

With the idea of newness in mind, I thought that I might rename this blog. It started out simply to give people a place to post their comments that were censored by the editors at the Age of Autism blog. Gradually, I've posted articles on other topics, like using libel laws to censor critics, medical ethics, alternative medicine and so on.

While I will definitely continue creating "Censored on..." posts for people as requested, "Silenced by Age of Autism" doesn't really fit what this blog has become. The only problem is that I don't really know what to call it.

So, I throw it to my readers. What should the new name for this blog be? Post your suggestions in the comments below, and if I see one I like, I'll use it. Be witty. Be whimsical.

To help get ideas a-flowin', here are some of the topics that I think will figure prominently in my writings:
  • autism
  • vaccines (and, of course, anti-vaxers)
  • medical and research ethics
  • alternative medicine
  • censorship
  • other topics of a skeptical nature as the muses dictate
I'm bad with names (just look at the oh-so-creative current name of the blog) and would really appreciate the help.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas, Everybody!

Whether you celebrate the commercial holiday known as Christmas or the religious holiday of the same name, or don't celebrate either, have a great day! I hope your time is filled with family, friends and (to be cliché) good cheer. Wassail to all.

Now, stop reading this blog and be with people.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

'Tis the Season

Every December, there is something that is on a lot of people's minds. Of course, there's wintery weather, for those in cooler climes. Preparing for time with family ranks pretty high. For those of a religious persuasion, and even some who aren't, there are all the decorations to take care of, trees to set up and malls to visit. Lots of stuff going on.

But I'm not talking about any of those things. No, there is something else that figures prominently in many people's thoughts:

Charitable giving.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Censored on The Search for 1 in 100 Elderly with Autism

If you have made comments on the Age of Autism article The Search for 1 in 100 Elderly with Autism, please copy your comment here, including the date and time you posted at AoA.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Kim Stagliano: A Catty Confession

A fellow blogger sent me the following screenshots from Age of Autism's Facebook page:

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Eyes Have It

That bastion of science-y wonder has stumbled upon an incredible discovery. Teresa Conrick, at the Age of Autism, discovered something absolutely amazing, that apparently no one else has learned before. She did some in-depth investigation after noticing a peculiar change in her daughter. You see, Teresa's daughter's eyes were blue when she was born, but they gradually changed to a "brownish green".

This puzzled Ms. Conrick so much that she decided to look into just why her daughter's eyes could have gone from "beautiful blue" to apparently less beautiful brownish green. Anyone familiar with AoA will not be surprised at what she discovered. The cause?


Monday, December 6, 2010

Age of Autism's Bully Pulpit

I shouldn't be surprised when I read some vile comment from an Age of Autism follower about someone who dared to challenge their ideology. I mean, I've written about this before, like back in May, in June, mentioned it in October and again in November. They have a history of underhandedness, attacking the people rather than addressing the content of the criticism.

Well, they are at it again. This time, the focus of their ire is a skepchick, Elyse.

Friday, December 3, 2010

It's All In Your Head

I saw on my local news last night a brief story about a new study using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to look at the brains of individuals with autism. The idea was to identify regions of the brain that may behave differently in those with autism as compared to those without autism, with the ultimate aim being to provide an objective means of diagnosing the disorder.

Currently, autism is diagnosed using questionnaires and subjective measures, like the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) or the Autism Diagnostic Interview (ADI). These tools rely on questions asked of the parents, as well as a clinician's observations of the child's behavior. The subjective nature of the ADOS and ADI open the diagnosis up to some variability, depending on the biases of the clinician and others involved. The result is that there can be slight differences in the diagnostic scores between observers.

This new study may change that.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Communicatalyst: Jump-starting Communication of Science

I just wanted to give a quick shout-out to a friend who is starting up a new blog, Communicatalyst. Written by Allison Coffin, PhD, it is:

the blog about how to communicate scientific concepts to the public, and to other scientists, and about why we should care.

She has two posts up so far, introducing the topic of science communication and what frame of reference to use in one's approach to an audience. I recommend checking it out and seeing what she has to say. And if you like it, spread the word!