Matt is incredibly articulate about explaining what life is like for him as a teenager with both autism and ADD. This would be a great one to watch if you have a kid on the spectrum in your life. Listen to the pain in his voice when he discusses the bullying he has experienced and how he was afraid to go to school when he was in middle school. Watch the pride in his face at the end.
The spectrum-adjacent person of the year
Time has named Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, subject of The Social Network, and possible Aspie, its Person of the Year:
What just happened? In less than seven years, Zuckerberg wired together a twelfth of humanity into a single network, thereby creating a social entity almost twice as large as the U.S. If Facebook were a country it would be the third largest, behind only China and India. It started out as a lark, a diversion, but it has turned into something real, something that has changed the way human beings relate to one another on a species-wide scale. We are now running our social lives through a for-profit network that, on paper at least, has made Zuckerberg a billionaire six times over.
Catholic Online published an extremely problematic article about the new mitochondria study out of UC Davis. Even after they changed the offensive lead, it still gave rise to some fairly confused comments.
Lisa Jo Rudy at About.com tried to clear up some of the confusion caused by the Catholic Online article, but her post generated its own series of misinformed replies.
Kim Wombles then wrote this to try to clear up some of the About.com confusion.
But that does not end our bad science section!
Left Brain/Right Brain directs us to an excellent piece by Seth Mnookin called The Huffington Post: Featuring bad science, facile reasoning since 2005.
Seth Mnookin took a look at unscientific thinking that can lead to dangerous results. Not surprisingly, he found that the anti-vaccine movement and the autism-vaccine discussion in particular made an excellent core for his book. In his first blog piece related to Panic Virus, Mr. Mnookin takes a look at how the Huffington Post reported a recent study on mitochondrial dysfunction and autism. The Huffington Post piece, authored by Mark Hyman, made claims well beyond those supported by the paper itself.
And just to prove that the science on the right side of the political spectrum can be just as bad as on the left, here's an article contemplating the split between scientists and the Republican party.
Elaine Hall, author of Now I See the Moon: A Mother, a Son, a Miracle, appears in the latest episode of Autism Talk TV. She talks about raising her autistic son and how she found it necessary to "enter his world" in order to reach him. She also talks about the documentary Autism: The Musical, which is about her Miracle Project.
This is less an interview than a monologue, but it's very interesting.
Click here to see a trailer for Autism: The Musical.