Saturday, 31 August 2013

NEW YORK: NEW SERVICE

Places for 12 children

On CONDUCTIVE WORLD MARKET, conductor Andi Lozano Tóth writes to parents in New York City –
The Sarah Jane Brain Foundation will be launching a school for kids with brain injury and other brain-based disorders this September. It will be called the International Academy of Hope (iHOPE) NYC. Working with Columbia University Medical Center, the school will be based in Washington Heights adjacent to the Columbia University campus...
https://www.facebook.com/groups/239531054002/permalink/10151708351919003/
Contact for further information
If you are interested please contact me and I will send out an introduction letter, a family brochure, a copy of the program description and curriculum, and application.
Warmly,
Andi Lozano Toth   
andrea.ihopenyc@gmail.com

WORLD CE CONGRESS

Changes?

I have received a circular communication on arrangements for those attending the forthcoming World CE Congress.

Among other things it reminds me that the detailed Congress programme and the Abstracts are now available on the Congress website:
http://www.ceworldcongress2013.org/default_en.asp?mid=41&iid=80
This comes with an unusual invitation –
...speakers and poster presenters are asked to check once again their abstract text and to inform us if any corrections should be necessary.
Further contributions?

Within two categories it looks like there is still time to submit further items for inclusion in the programme.
On request abstracts can still submitted for poster presentation. Please send an e-mail to science@ce-worldcongress.org or call the WCCE scientific department at +49 351 4842964 
http://www.ce-worldcongress2013.org/default_en.asp?mid=40&iid=111

Round-table discussions will be held on Friday, October 11, 2013, 16:00 to 17:00. Participants are strongly encouraged to propose a topic for these discussions. Those who would like to chair such a round table discussion can inform about their topic by e-mail to science@ce-worldcongress2013.org
http://www.ce-worldcongress2013.org/default_en.asp?mid=41&iid=80

Contact the ever-helpful Congress organisers, about these or any other matters:

+49 351 4842964    

Thursday, 29 August 2013

PAI NEWS IN ENGLISH

Boiled-down public understanding

Yesterday's report, in its entirety, from the English-language news service XpatLoop.com 

Budapest Pető Institute Nearly Bankrupt

The world famous International Pető Institute for teaching physically disabled children is on the verge of bankruptcy, according to reports. Annual revenues have fallen from Ft 2.2 billion to Ft 1.5 billion, and the institute is losing Ft 20 million each month.


The institute has been one of the most famous Hungarian educational institutions for decades, with considerable demand in English-speaking countries and the Arab world for conductors who completed their studies at the Peto Institute.

However due to a drop in education subsidies and a fall in revenues from international projects the institute has practically been emptied of its funds.

This account is republished verbatim from news digest Hungary around the Clock:


For the moment, this if anything may be the news that international media pick up and pass on.

Further information

http://www.conductive-world.info/2013/08/serious-trouble-up-tmill.html

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

ANOTHER ABSTRACT FOR MUNICH

A tight fit in 15 minutes...

Abstract
Vygotskii and Conductive Education

Andrew Sutton

Theoretical statement: In 1925, L. S. Vygotskii wrote -
Any physical inadequacy not only changes a child's relationship to the world but above all affects relationships with people...
In psychology and in pedagogy the problem of childhood disability has to be posed and comprehended as a social problem, because the previously unremarked social aspect, formerly diagnosed as being of secondary level and derivative, actually turns out to be primary and supreme. One has to look this problem boldly in the eye, as a social problem. If in psychological terms physical disability signifies social dislocation then in pedagogical terms such children's upbringing means resetting them into life in the same way as one resets a dislocated or injured organ.
(Vygotskii, 1983, pp. 111, 112-113)
A contextualising framework: Conductive pedagogy and upbringing still lack explicit theoretical framework. The above early insight of Vygotskii's was basic to developing his own defectology and other special pedagogies. It subsequently offers a standpoint for construing and articulating the relationship of the conductive approach, passed down from the practice of András Pető and his associates, with the nature of disability as a whole.
Some advantages: Vygotskii's own defectology was integral to his Socio-Historical (or Cultural-Historical) Theory of the development of the human psyche, and as such explicitly Marxist. Those schooled in such thinking have found Conductive Education immediately self-evident and have a ready apparatus criticus with which to discuss and interrogate it.
Viewing the nature of disability in (real) Vygotskian terms permits one to see the operation of Conductive Education more clearly as dynamic, systemic, ecological, dialectic, reciprocal, reflexive, transactional, mediated, holonomic.
Vygotskii's understandings may be seen as resonating with other theoretical formulations. Particularly, similarities with Reuven Feuerstein's Mediated Learning have been widely noted, even though this latter manifests a different tradition (Feuerstein, 2002). Remark will be made of similarities between how the ideas of L. S. Vygotskii and András Pető have fared in the Western (perhaps especially the Anglo-Saxon) world.
Caveat: NB, to note parallels is not to suggest 'CE is based on Vygotskii'.
References
Feuerstein, S. (2002) Biblical and Talmudic Antecedents of Mediated Learning Experience Theory, Feuerstein Institute
Vygotskii, L. S. (1983) Sobranie Sochinenii, M., Pedagogika
Another tight fit

It will be tight fit to say what I want to, and also leave some time for the audience and for the change-over to the next speaker. But there is another bit of tight timing that I shall have very much in mind on the day.

This presentation is part of the second of the History and Theory sessions. This runs parallel to the second Inclusion session, and the second session on Transcultural Adaptations. There are things that I should very much like to hear in both of these parallel sessions. I shall have to beetle very fast between rooms and it may still be a matter of luck what I catch when I arrive. If I do not make it I shall have to trust to there being written versions available.

Moreover, I have now spotted that there is a book presentation at the same time. I shall have to go look out reviews of its original, English-language edition. More on this anon.

And I shall have to see what I can do to arrange another book presentation, for English-speakers. Ah, but where to hope for this to be fitted in?

Previous postings on WC8 abstracts


WHAT DID ANDRÁS PETŐ EVER DO FOR US?

Éva Beck on what it's all about

What did we learn from Pető and what did we pass on to the next generation?
Pető thought that an integrated programme was essential for any appropriately implemented method to succeed in modifying wrong functions which had emerged due to damage to the nervous system. The educator cannot develop from one side, considering only one point of view at a time. The structure of the programme is crucial to achieving progress.
The tasks comprising care and activity must be carried out by one person in a structure of a higher level. It was vital that during any session the educator had to induce purposeful, feasible, active intercommunication, play or other intellectual activity which had to seem spontaneous. In the course of task execution the anticipation of goals, the importance of intention, the focus on motivation and the use of playfulness were also important principles.

Once something is taught in a given situation it has to be implemented throughout the day for even the best method makes no sense if the child or adult cannot see its practical use. Pető kept to the principle to never explain anything; he would name the sources where we could look things up. Mária Hári also adopted that principle.
Pető taught us comprehensively, thorough monitoring. We were not allowed to tell the bare diagnosis; we had to describe and expound the problem in detail. He considered full-day observation essential for planning the following days. He always endeavoured to have an overall picture of the group. For the lying programme we had to arrange the plinths in two rows while chairs were to be placed in a semi-circle or circle for the sitting and the standing and walking programmes. We had to prepare very carefully for the meetings where we had to give account of the group’s results. On such occasions conductors from other groups were also invited. We were given typed copies of the task series, then referred to as exercises, which we had to hold all the time as improvisation was not allowed and we had to keep strictly to the written text. Pető saw the task series as a unity.
Apart from generalities, goals and tasks, the programme also included the way of execution. The programme formed a methodological unity which was applied throughout the day while changing place and position, speech, vision and self care were practised.

Pető did not know the term ‘incurable’; it was unadvisable to pronounce it in his presence for dismissal from work could be the possible consequence. He thought that constant prompting as a pedagogical method was out of date. Negative evaluation had to be avoided even in thought. 'Children must be given interesting and challenging tasks' he kept saying. Success was to be achieved and real success takes an effort.
As regards Pető’s relationship with his staff, he believed that everybody was suitable for something; he detected the positive side in everybody. His respect for children and adults with disabilities manifested itself in small details as well, e.g. he would not let them use the tin plates which were typical at the time. The groups had china plates and real glasses. 'You are a child and a human being as anybody else' he would say.
In a documentary film of the series Great Hungarians of the century introducing András Pető, one of his former pupils, the poet Zoltán Vitó told about him: 'Behind his strictness there was a warm heart, infinite as the sea'. Dr. István Eke, lawyer, said: 'He was very strict but humane, always having our interests in mind'...

Reference

Beck, E. (2009) Remembering András Pető, presentation to the 2nd International Conference for Theory and Practice in Education. Pető Institute, Budapest, 29 May, pp. 7-8

I had prepared the above extract to post yesterday, but was diverted by following the news from Budapest This reminder of what it is all about seems particularly apt today.


Tuesday, 27 August 2013

SERIOUS TROUBLE UP T'MILL

Talk of bankruptcy, redundancies at Pető Institute

Timea Szabo is an Independent member of the Hungarian Parliament. She has disturbed a late-summer's hornet nest by publicly announcing serious financial problems at the Pető Institute. Quite what is happening and why, or where it is all headed, remain unclear, but doubtless much more will emerge soon, both into the public domain and on the grapevines.

What little there is so far is in Hungarian only. English and German reports soon, one hopes.

Here's a flavour...
Az Együtt-PM véleménye szerint a 'Fidesz-maffia megszállta' a Pető Intézetet, ami miatt a világhírű intézmény csődközeli helyzetbe került - mondta kedden az MTI-nek Szabó Tímea.
Franz Schaffhauser, Rector of the College admitted that the institution was in a difficult position and that there are current problems for suppliers.
World-famous Pető Institute on the verge of bankruptcy [newspaper headline]
...the institution currently produces a monthly deficit of 20 million.

The Institute has many concerned that there will be an attempt to to overcome the situation – temporarily – with lay-offs...  lay-offs would also reduce the number of children admitted.
There have been at least five financial managers over the past year, but holding to the austerity plans saw all of them quickly give up and leave.The job has been vacant for months.
A lap szerint a Pető most a konduktorai kirúgásával próbálná megúszni a fenyegető pénzügyi csődöt. 
The independent Members of Parliament on behalf of the Electoral Alliance called on the Government to abandon 'bleeding' the Pető immediately and restore the institution's funding to the 2010 level.
The State Secretary of the Ministry of Higher Education is to support the Peto Institute with HUF 317.6 million... He stressed that the Ministry supports the Pető Institute by all possible means...

The Government closed down the International Pető Foundation in year 2010, and founded the non-profit International Pető András Ltd, headed by Mr Miklós Fehér, former Deputy State Secretary of the Antall Government, with Mr Csaba Petermann as Finance Director. Timea Szabo claims that according to her information, Miklós Fehér and Csaba Petermann are 'jointly urging' that the Pető properties be transferred to the books of the limited company.
From even this hurried glimpse it is clear that it is all very complex and political, and probably a little dirty too. Problems in the governance of the PAI have a long, murky history. No doubt the Hungarian Government will seek to bail the PAI out financially but the effects that this will have upon the substance of the PAI's training and education programs will remain to be seen as they work their way down through the system.

All that may be certain is that the school year just beginning will be rather different than planned, perhaps very different, with possible implications for Conductive Education everywhere.

Initial public sources






EVIDENCE-BASED CONDUCTIVE EDUCATION

Below the 'worth-it line'
'Probably don't do it'

Readers in Australia, especially New South Wales, cannot have failed to hear of the results of the mega-meta-review of evidence-based practice on interventions for cerebral palsy, carried out from Sidney by Iona Novak and eight others:


Thank you to Rony Schenker for letting me know that this has now been published in the leading paediatric journal Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology.

Inclusion criteria for interventions analysed in this review
Types of intervention
Studies were included if they involved the provision of and intervention by either a medical practitioner or allied health professional.
Not a lot to do with Conductive Education then, but the grand-scheme-of-things context is perhaps not one to encourage meticulous distinction so, hey, into the pot it goes. Suitably cooked, out it comes again in a cheery summary diagram, falling below a 'worth-it line', and attracting the simple advice 'Probably don't do it'.

Inadequate data and inexact thinking should not be good enough for Conductive Education, nor for children involved and their families too.

Conclusions

Check back through the references at the end of this article to see what this verdict's conclusions are based upon – the big systematic review by Darrah and associates for the AACPDM from 2004, and the unaccountable little one from the London Institute of Education in 2010. Bear in mind that some people do take note of 'research' when allocating or withholding resources. Ask yourself whether this is responsible academe.

Or whether everyone really does give a damn. I see that Ms Novak is affiliated to the New South Wales organisation cerebral Palsy Alliance. Amongst other activities the Alliance also provides services for children and their families, including the following –
Cerebral Palsy Alliance runs conductive education out of our world class Allambie Campus on the Northern Beaches of Sydney. Classes aim to enhance a child’s physical, cognitive, social skills and emotional wellbeing.
Skill classes are a systematic and holistic approach to develop problem-solving skills through an educational program for people with cerebral palsy. It is not a therapy, but a multidisciplinary system that aims to enhance a child’s physical, cognitive, social skills and emotional well being.
One wonders therefore whether an alternate conclusion for this latest research review, referring back to the title of the article by Iona Novak and her associates, is that with respect to what its says about Conductive Education anyway, it is reviewing poor old evidence, not worth all the money spent on it – and a lot of people people know that.

What a funny old world.

More

I see that Ms Novak and colleagues bring an old friend to the conclusion of their systematic review –
More research using rigorous designs is urgently needed...
There are a couple of others ones that could be there too: different research and better research are needed (along with more critical reviews, with something to conclude about research itself).

I see that György Polyvás, the Pető Institute's Deputy Rector for Research, will be speaking on evidence-based CE at the forthcoming World Congress on Conductive Education. You can read a summary of what he will be advocating, in which he promises a comprehensive proposal for developing an evidence-based research methodology for conductive pedagogy. Scroll down the following page and click on the title 'Evidence-based Conductive Education' to read his abstract:


References

Novak, I., McIntyre, S., Morgan, C., Campbell, L., Dark, L. Morton, N., Stumbles, E., Wilson, S.-A., Goldsmith, S. (2013) A systematic review of interventions for children with cerebral palsy: state of the evidence, vol. 55, no 9

Polyvás, Gy. (2013) Evidence-based Conductive Education (abstract), Presentation to be made to the 8th World Conductive Education Congress, Munich, October

Monday, 26 August 2013

MÁRIA HÁRI

Ninety-year anniversary of her birth
Born 26 August 1923; died 6 October 2001

The anniversary of Mária's Hári's birth date offers cause to recall what she achieved, and on her hard unyielding. lifetime purpose in holding firm to the cause of Conductive Education.

And perhaps ask hard questions.

Contradictions

Like much else about Mária's Hári the effects of her stance were contradictory. She tried to hold András Pető's Institute in a sort of time warp, maintaining things as they were on the day that he died in 1967, even though the Hungary in which the Institute and its regime had developed were already on the change. Had she not stood so stubbornly firm, however, then quite possibly the Institute and its 'method' might not have survived even as far as the fall of Communism in Hungary.

Along the way, though, András Pető's own insistence upon holding to his prescribed methods hardened under Mária's Hári's wardship into a culture of inflexibility, corrosive to the need to adapt and develop to match the ever more unforeseeable changes to come.

One can only do what one can for the best, in the world as one sees it at the time. She did what she did well, and on her watch András Pető's CE survived.

She was what was needed at a time that needed her.

Mária, you are missed

She did not suffer fools gladly, and hated the sugary sentimentality that can attach to working with disabled people, especially children, another contradiction: she was hard as nails and soft as lights  tough love if ever there was. A Tiger Pedagogue.

They have broken the mould that produced Mária Hári – well, perhapsnot quite but the family life and the experience of the social-political world that helped form her were sui generis, unique, of theirown kind.

Her going left a hole that has not been filled.

How to act in remembrance of Mária Hári? Perhaps best by asking tough questions, perhaps by being a little more unyielding, less inclined to the easy, convivial compromise –

Then imitate the action of the tiger;
Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood,
Disguise fair nature with hard-favour'd rage;
Then lend the eye a terrible aspect...


That's more like Mária...

Obituaries

Three obituary notices from the UK:

http://www.conductive-world.info/2011/10/hariana-6-obituaries.html

Friday, 23 August 2013

JEAN PIAGET AND ANDRÁS PETŐ

Nearly fifty years ago

Jean Piaget went to Budapest some time in the winter of 1963-4. While there, he was taken to András Pető's Institute for Motor Disorders in Villányi út.

The following paragraphs have been translated from a report on Jean Piaget's visit to Budapest, published in a Hungarian psychology journal – 

Piaget realised that the results that he saw at the Institute of Motor Pedagogy were reached through the use of psychology. It was here that Dr András Pető, the Director, received his guests.
He talked in detail about all aspects contained in motor-pedagogy, speech-education, personal-upbringing, teaching functional movement and education, teaching/upbringing, in the Kindergarten and the school.
In this introductory talk he described how it is the 'conductors' who bring this method alive.
Piaget was most interested in the upbringing, because as Piaget noted, this teaching/upbringing needs to be complex, with many parallel lines/ways, directions.
After this introduction Piaget spent a long time in the rooms where the motor dysfunctional, cerebral dysfunctional, and the spinal dysfunctional children and adults were.
Piaget spoke with Professor András Pető about the tasks, thoroughly worked out on a scientific/academic basis for motor education and language teaching, the development of personal skills, etc.
When the time came to take photographs Piaget sat smiling between the disabled children.
As Piaget said goodbye to Dr András Pető, he parted with the wish to read printed material about the work of the institute as soon as possible, its observations and experimental experiences.
My thanks to Gabi Földiné Németh and Bea Tóth for so speedily and efficiently finding me a copy of the original Hungarian report paper when I asked for it, and to conductors Évi Bugya and Susie Mallett for translating it into English.

Original text –
A pszichológia eredményeinek felhasználásáról győződött meg Jean Piaget a Konduktív Mozgáspedagógiai Intézetben is. Itt dr. Pető András igazgató fogadta a vendéget. Részletesen kifejtette a konduktív mozgáspedagógia jellegét, amely az orthomotoros kondukció metodikai egységében magában foglalja a mozgásnevelést, a beszédnevelést, az önellátás és a munkamozgások tanítását, valamint az óvodai és iskolai oktatást.
Az ismertetésben szó volt a „konduktorokról” is, akik a mozgásnevelést és az oktatást is ellátják. Ezek képzése érdekelte leginkább Piaget professzort, mert mint megjegyezte, a képzésnek nagyon sokirányúnak kell lennie. Az ismertetés után Piaget hosszan időzött azokban a termekben, amelyekben a motoros diszfunkciós, a cerebromotoros diszfunkciós és a spinomotoros diszfunkciós gyermekeket, felnőtteket helyezték el. Elbeszélgetett Pető professzorral a tudományos alapossággal kidolgozott mozgásnevelési, beszédnevelési, önellátási stb. gyakorlatokról. Amikor pedig fényképezésre került a sor, Piaget mosolyogva ült a beteg gyermekek közé. Azzal búcsúzott dr. Pető András igazgatótól, hogy mielőbb szívesen olvasna nyomtatásban is az intézet munkájáról, a megfigyelések és kísérletek tapasztalatairó.
Vilmos, C. (1964) Jean Piaget Magyarországon, Magyar Pedagogiai Szemle, 1964/1, pp. 113-115

These materials were first published in Conductive World nearly two years ago:

Sutton, A. (2011) András Pető meets Jean Piaget: A contemporary note, Conductive World 28 September

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

US: HIGHLY POSITIVE PR

That's the way to do it

In a year when so little about CE has been hitting the world's media, other than for its reoccurring need for money and reports of fundraising, some very strong PR for CECO (Conductive Education Center of Orlando).

Not just a rare sighting these days but just read Brittni Larson's report to feel the heat of the fire, the emotion, the faith, hope, the sheer spirit of the whole enterprise:

http://www.seminolevoice.com/news/2013/aug/15/center-helps-special-kids-take-first-steps/

Some will object to use of the words 'therapy' and 'therapists' in this context but, that aside, this is just the sort of press that CE needs if it is to get anywhere in the world, starting by attracting the next generation of parent-enthusiasts and parent-activists. Not just now but continuously, not just in Seminole, FL but everywhere that CE has human results to proclaim. Make no mistake, passionate, positive publicity and the wider enthusiasm that this may engender are Conductive Education's lifeblood, without which every other strategy to advance the cause, however valid in itself, may simply just wither away.

Read, mark and inwardly digest.

Reference

Larson, B. (2013) The first steps past cerebral palsy, Seminole Voice, 15 August

Sunday, 18 August 2013

SOMETHING FOR THE WEEKEND

Or to keep handy in case of need
 
John Rentoul has proposed a top-ten list of words that ought to be used more often (with his annotations) –
  1. Stramash Scots: uproar.
  2. Seldom Long-declining, especially since 1950.
  3. Inchoate
  4. Badinage
  5. Insouciance
  6. Putative A surprisingly new word, becoming popular in the 1970s
  7. Thrice
  8. Boondoggle 'An unnecessary, wasteful, or fraudulent project.' Also a verb.
  9. Mellifluous From the Latin for honey and flow.
  10. Peripatetic
Nos 2, 3, 6, 7 and 10 are fairly commonplace for me, at least in my spoken English. I had never heard of no 1, however,  and do not feel much need for it.

Nos 4 and 5 are jolly but I am sad to say that for me the need for either never arises. I should love the need to exercise no 9 but that too is never called for.

Put out more boondoggles
 
As for no 8, however, what a word, what a concept, what an ever-present and continuing need:


'More boondoggles are needed': what a grand research recommendation.

Reference

Rentoul, J. (2013) The top ten: words that ought to be used more often, Independent, 28 July

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/features/the-top-ten-words-that-ought-to-be-used-more-often-8732698.html

Thank you, Susie Mallett, for sending me this URL.

Friday, 16 August 2013

SEX AND AUTISM

Bad science? 
Mad science?

Oh that nous could keep pace with the availability of hi-tech.

Read the BBC's report:


Read the original press release by linking from:


Read the actual article in the journal Brain, free and on line:


Cambridge is one of the world's leading scientific universities. Brain is one of the world's leading neuroscience journals. The BBC should have a reputation for science journalism. Why is it that at mention of the word 'autism' reasonable, intelligent people seems to drop all sense, all critical judgement?

This reports one of the largest brain-imaging studies of sex differences yet conducted in autism. The published paper resents a major and highly complex investigation and the credits at the end read like those of a modern motion picture. It has helped keep a lot of people in employ, and bolstered the finances of institutions. It will have cost a fortune.

Its basic a priori presumption, that there is some material entity or category called autism goes altogether unquestioned → sophisticated technology in search of phantasm.

Ethics

Towards the end of this article in Brain, there is a small ethical caveat under the heading 'Conflict of interest', revealing that one of the investigators works part time for a pharma company, and holds stock in it. It then adds:
None of the other authors have any conflict of interest or financial interests related to this work.
One has to assume that they were all paid for their work and that they all have continuing academic careers to which this study will contributes Brownie Points. Why should not their ethics, perhaps their social views, and their relationship to the construct of autism, not be equally open to question?

Not surprisingly, by the way, we see the recommendation that more research is needed.

Autistic science

Why have the notion of autism and its supposed spectrum gained such credence as brain conditions? Certainly, the way is paved for them by our society's pervasive background of stands-to-reason, saloon-bar biologism, and the uncritical belief in the model of the quantitative spectrum in human development. Even so, how have supposed autisms colonised a whole percentage of the population, with reported manifestations as wide as those of humanity itself? What a field day this question would be for critical social and political scientists should they regard it worthwhile. Meanwhile, academics and clinicians and all sorts of other disciplines enlist sophisticated technology to investigate, provide for and legislate around an undefined figment, a construct with an apparently ever firmer de facto status as objective reality at a biological level. Autism is well on the way to attaining the same unassailable position in our culture as is enjoyed by schizophrenia and other venerable psychiatric diagnoses (I am reminded that an earlier name for some of the present 'spectrum' was childhood schizophrenia).

To the outsider this may all look plain daft, but who can argue with 'science'? Surely all these undoubtedly very clever people, and those who employ and finance them, cannot have all this wrong (any more that have all the clever people behind schizophrenia). They are not stupid.

There is intermittent interest in the United Kingdom around questions of stupidity, especially around the stupidity of very clever people – including 'scientists'. Particularly attractive I find the notion that stupidity is not the antithesis of intelligence but exists on a perhaps orthogonal dimension. Draw a quick graph, in your head or on paper, with the axes 'intelligence' and 'stupidity', and you create four quadrants in which you can amuse yourself placing the people you know. And some very clever people may find themselves placed in a quadrant that also recognises their irrational, unreal, just plain dumb beliefs.

One usage that word 'autism' attracts in the Big Wide World is as euphemism for intellectual disability. Perhaps it might be easier to appreciate this orthogonal model if it were graphed with 'Intelligence' and 'autism' as its axes. Autistic clever people → autistic scientists → a socially and ethically autistic science: that makes easy sense to me.

Nothing new here

The question of intelligent people's stupidity is as old as the hills (along with the adjacent problems of their relative moral virtues and/or sheer venality), a matter for philosophers long before social science.

The question is not dead. In 2008 Ben Goldacre devoted a chapter of Bad Science to the question of 'Why clever people believe stupid things'. I do not find his answer altogether satisfying, though it might suit others. In the spring of this year, science journalist Sally Adee provoked a flurry of interest with an article in New Scientist, called 'Stupidity: What makes people do dumb things?' In June forensic psychologist Galen Ives proposed his four Laws of Stupidity.

Gissa job

When it comes to professional people, surely no understanding of their sometimes daft and morally questionable ideas and behaviours is possible without recognising the psychological force of the workplace,of the status into which they have been socialised, and of their politics, in helping create their scientific ideologies, their preconceived givens, their ethical values, and what they may regard as just plain unquestionable common sense. And of course, the very material force of the need to work.

And this of  course goes too for 'scientists', and for the psychiatrists, psychologists and others bound up in today's autism industry

References

Adee , S.  (2013) What makes people do dumb things? New Scientist, 1 April


Goldacre B. (2008) Bad Science, London, Fourth Estate

Ives, G, (2013) The Laws of Stupidity (letter), The Psychologist, vol. 26, no 6, p. 385

Meng-Chuan Lai, M. C., Lombardo, M. V., Suckling, J., Ruigrok, A. N. V., Chakrabarti, B., Ecker, C., Deoni, S. C. L., Craig, M. C., Murphy, D. G. M., Bullmore, E. T, MRC AIMS Consortium, Simon Baron-Cohen, S. (2013) Biological sex affects the neurology of autism, Brain, vol. 126, no. 8, 8 August