Whose Planet Is It Anyway?

Monday, April 20, 2009

Tony Attwood and Isabelle Hénault, the World Is Watching

Clinical psychologists Tony Attwood and Isabelle Hénault have been very successful in book sales, speaking tours, and other presentations regarding autism. Unfortunately, they also are very closely associated with both Maxine Aston, inventor of the bogus Cassandra disorder, and the infamous Massachusetts hate group FAAAS, which has repeatedly claimed that autistics are violent by nature and abuse their family members. Both Attwood and Hénault are members of FAAAS' professional advisory board and presented at FAAAS conferences for several years beginning in 2000.


Conference photo, a.k.a. Tony Attwood's Hall of Shame

(l-r: Karen Rodman of FAAAS, Hénault, Attwood, Aston)



In March, both Attwood and Hénault gave presentations at a conference in Sydney, Australia, sponsored by a group called ASPIA, which claims to be a support group for people involved in relationships with autistics. Sound familiar? Yup, it's another hate group peddling the same old garbage. I posted a blog entry last month illustrating the hypocrisy, bigotry, and total lack of ethics in such groups and how they destroy relationships. Nonetheless, Attwood and Hénault have continued to appear at these events, no doubt because their association with the Cassandra cult has been very lucrative over the years. The Cassandra groups have provided them with buyers for their books, conference fee money, and increased name recognition. In return, the presence of credentialed psychologists at these events has given the Cassandra cultists an appearance of legitimacy, which has helped them to suck in new converts. Seems like a win-win situation—except for bothersome little details like integrity, decency, and the human rights of autistics and people with disabilities.

The Autistic Self Advocacy Network has posted an online petition calling on Tony Attwood and Isabelle Hénault to renounce their Aston/FAAAS/ASPIA connections and to make a public apology to the autistic community, as well as to the cross-disability community regarding FAAAS' insinuations that all people with neurological disabilities are likely to be abusive. This is not the first time members of our community have raised the issue with Attwood and Hénault. Several concerned people have tried to discuss it with them in private. However, their usual mode of response has been to make nice soothing sounds, wait for the pesky autistics to go away, and then go right back to consorting with Aston and FAAAS. Not surprising, given Tony Attwood's history of minstrel show attitudes toward autistics. Now that it is all out in the open, we'll see if they respond in a more meaningful way.

I have stated before on this blog that minority communities, such as the autistic community, have both the right and the responsibility to police themselves and to ensure that those who seek to exploit their people under the guise of providing services are not allowed to do so. As we have seen with other civil rights movements, minority groups who struggle against intolerance can exert significant economic power by refusing to patronize vendors who knowingly spread intolerance. When professionals claim to have expertise in meeting the needs of the community's members, but are in fact spreading harmful stereotypes for financial gain, the community would be well within its rights to say to them: You're fired. Whether that happens with Attwood and Hénault will depend on their willingness, now that their unsavory associations have become widely known, to change their ways and make a genuine apology for the harm caused by their associations.

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263 Comments:

  • Attwood will be speaking with me in Cambridge on May 12th.

    (Whether he likes it or not).

    I promise you all these concerns will be raised, if necessary at the top of my voice.

    There's far, far too much debate, and not enough arse kicking.

    The New Republic is committed to redressing the balance.

    (edited for spelling)

    By Blogger Socrates, at 9:57 AM  

  • I agree!

    We can and should show these people that if autistics are who is going to be the focus of their enterprise then some autistics are willing to demand they choose ethics over profit. Like you said very well, it's our right and our responsibility.

    By Blogger Ed, at 1:51 PM  

  • I always thought there was something fishy about that Attwood bloke. I've never linked to any of his sites or reviewed any of his books, even though I know he is very well known. Many years ago I decided I did not like a piece written by Attwood on the subject of AS and relationships. I thought he was plain wrong in some areas, ignorant in others and biased all round.

    One could hardly say that Craig Nicholls of the Aussie rock band The Vines has had a brilliantly successful career ever since Attwood diagnosed him with AS in 2004. Since then the press have made him out to be some kind of invalid, which is a stigma that no-one needs, and the last thing I read the Vines cancelled major 2008 appearances as Nicolls had anxiety problems. Not what I would call a clinical success story.

    Another thing or two that I've wondered about regarding Tony Attwood. Do a Google on "Dr Attwood" and the number one listing is Tony Attwood's web site, but what kind of doctor is he exactly? A medical one or some other type of doctorate? He doesn't appear to give this info on his web site profile. One also finds many references to "Professor Tony Attwood". He's a professor at Griffith University? Have a merry old time trying to verify that through the Griffith Uni web site! Trust me, I'm a doctor, and I also smile a lot!

    By Blogger Lili Marlene, at 2:48 PM  

  • Last year, I attended a lecture given by Mr. Attwood. Well, like most famous people, if people get lots of attention, they have a way of acting. Doing their thing on stage. I did not speak to Mr. Attwood. His lecture was good, but not surprising.

    Maybe, Attwood has been given too much attention during the last years....

    By Blogger Aspie Bird, at 3:14 PM  

  • Lili,

    I believe he's a PhD Doctor.

    He was a post-grad student in London, with I think, Baron-Cohen.

    Not really relevant (but fun): Have a look at his riverside palace on Google Earth...

    By Blogger Socrates, at 3:31 PM  

  • "One could hardly say that Craig Nicholls of the Aussie rock band The Vines has had a brilliantly successful career ever since Attwood diagnosed him with AS in 2004. Since then the press have made him out to be some kind of invalid, which is a stigma that no-one needs, and the last thing I read the Vines cancelled major 2008 appearances as Nicolls had anxiety problems. Not what I would call a clinical success story."

    Hmm, Lili...

    Interesting to see that -whilst you blatantly abhor clinical diagnosis- you proclaim yourself as self-diagnosed in your profile. Any evidence that self-diagnosis is preferable to a clinical (or psycho-educational) diagnosis? It's just that I was trained in making the diagnosis properly. And so was Attwood (whether or not we like his current associations, his is a formal qualification in psycho-diagnostics). And why are you blaming Attwood (or his diagnosis of Craig's condition) for Craig's current set of issues? Bit fucking presumptious, no?

    "... but what kind of doctor is he exactly?"

    He has a Ph. D. by research, supervised by Prof. Uta Frith. SHe works pretty exclusively in autism research.

    "Many years ago I decided I did not like a piece written by Attwood on the subject of AS and relationships. I thought he was plain wrong in some areas, ignorant in others and biased all round."

    I've seen articles with the same sort of quality; I don't argue that his published work on relationships is going to be much good...

    But that doesn't mean that his diagnostic work (or that anybody's formal diagnostic work) can be blamed for people's lack of success, of for the press's decision to use that information to assassinate someone's character. Incidentally, wouldn't you think that ... well, when the press do such a thing, they would be to blame, rather than someone's formal diagnostic work?

    Because I blame the press for their actions against Craig, rather than Attwood. Know why?

    Because the press reported on it, not Attwood. Attwood's responsibility was to prepare a report for the courts, which he did; since the court is a public forum, and the press - in Craig's case - were under no reporting restrictions, and so were free to report the existence of that diagnosis.

    Your statement "One could hardly say that Craig Nicholls of the Aussie rock band The Vines has had a brilliantly successful career ever since Attwood diagnosed him with AS in 2004" clearly places blame at Attwood's feet, even though the situation you indicate in the statement is something that was not even under Attwood's control, let alone something that he could reasonably be held accountable for.

    I'm not gonna question your self-diagnosis. Not my job. But I am going to question your attitude towards professionals (all of whom you seem to see fit to lambast as being bastards: that is certainly the impression you've given in most of your posts here). Your attitude of blanket castigation sucks. It is hurtful to those of us who try to be more ethical/professional than most professionals tend to be, and - more than that - it is plain bloody unnecessary!

    I'm finding it sickening.

    By Blogger David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction), at 4:14 AM  

  • Oh, and Lili...

    "One also finds many references to 'Professor Tony Attwood'. He's a professor at Griffith University? Have a merry old time trying to verify that through the Griffith Uni web site."

    You'll find that he is - as he points out on his site - "adjunct Associate Professor at Griffith University in Queensland". Do you actually know what such a post is?

    Because I do. Since I hold a similar post myself.

    I'm a Visiting Lecturer in Autism Studies (Educational Psychology) at the University of Birmingham; but you won't see me in any of the blurb on the website - because non-salaried adjunct staff are not listed on web-sites. Olga Bogdashina is also a Visiting Lecturer in the same field that I'm in: she's not listed either.

    So, let's go through what Attwood is:

    *adjunct-

    typically part-time, non-salaried, non-tenured faculty members, paid per class (or per other teaching/assessment task);

    *associate professor-

    middle-level in the overall scheme of rankings.

    As an associate professor, he's somewhere between an assistant professor and a full professor (i. e., one who holds a chair). Because he is adjunct faculty, he is not likely to be listed on the web-site along with the other non-adjunct faculty.

    Your attitude sucks. Very disingenuous way to try and belittle Attwood. Says more about your honesty than it does about his, actually.

    I agree that he isn't everybody's favourite clinician here, and I can see why; I am definitely not happy myself that he's chosen to associate himself with that Ashton woman, and these other hate-groups. But that doesn't give me the right to talk about him like he's completely shit, which is effectively what you're doing.

    I don't care if you're aspie or not: grow the fuck up!

    (with apologies to ABFH; I'm fucking fed up of seeing that sort of attitude against professionals and what we - well, most of us - try to do... which is to work with our clients to find some way forward from situations in which they are stuck... ).

    By Blogger David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction), at 4:46 AM  

  • Mr Andrews, you are an agressive person out to start an argument. I'm a person in my 40s and lead a busy life. Try someone else.

    You wrote "you blatantly abhor clinical diagnosis". I have no idea where you get this from. You are imagining things.

    So, Mr Andrews, did you actually manage to verify Dr Atwood's claims about university affiliation at the web site of the UNIVERSITY? I don't give a hoot what Dr Attwood claims on his own web site. I would like to be able to verify his claims thru another source, Griffith University in particular. I've found that it isn't such an uncommon thing for book authors to publish claims about university affiliations that can't be verifed.

    Regarding Mr Nicholls - real doctors have a professional obligation to look after their patients, which means properly dealing with any conditions that the patient may have, not just the first condition that they diagnosed. If the doc isn't qualified to provide appropriate treatment he is obliged to make a referral to a specialist who can. My humble GP round the corner does this stuff. He's a medical doctor.

    And another point - I feel no compulsion to show huge respect to any person, whatever their claims or qualifications, who makes a living doing the international circuit as a professional speaker. Such people are nothing more than entertainers who are just modern-day versions of itinerant snake-oil salesmen and variety show performers. This is probably why people have observed similarities between Dr Attwood's performances and a black-and-white minstrel show. Do you know any Al Jolson tunes, Doc?

    By Blogger Lili Marlene, at 6:58 AM  

  • And another point, Mr Andrews, I think you should adopt a more respectful tone towards mysef, as I indeed have graduated from university with a professional qualification and some higher distinctions. I wore a black gown and shook the hand of some big-wig and all that BS. That's why I'm not so hugely impressed by people with letters after their names. I'm sure I could re-learn the content of my first degree in a weekend. I think they gave marks for turning up.

    By Blogger Lili Marlene, at 7:19 AM  

  • "I'm a person in my 40s and lead a busy life."

    And I care because...?

    "You wrote 'you blatantly abhor clinical diagnosis'. I have no idea where you get this from. You are imagining things."

    Oh, just various things you've actually written in ABFH's blog!

    "Did you actually manage to verify Dr Atwood's claims about university affiliation at the web site of the UNIVERSITY?"

    Um... why would I want to? You're the one complaining that you couldn't. You're not very bright, are you? Think:

    "I would like to be able to verify his claims thru another source, Griffith University in particular."

    Yes, it would be nice, I am sure, to be able to; but I've told you why his name wouldn't be listed there. If you have a problem with that, that is YOUR problem. Don't make it about HIM!

    "I've found that it isn't such an uncommon thing for book authors to publish claims about university affiliations that can't be verifed."

    So fucking what?! Doesn't mean automatically that HE's trying to do that!

    "Regarding Mr Nicholls - real doctors have a professional obligation to look after their patients, which means properly dealing with any conditions that the patient may have, not just the first condition that they diagnosed. If the doc isn't qualified to provide appropriate treatment he is obliged to make a referral to a specialist who can."

    Irrelevant in regard to Attwood: if you're as clever as you think, you will know that Craig's own medical practitioner OR someone from the legal system will have made the appropriate referral. That referral seems to have been to Attwood... and since attwood is a recognised expert in Asperger syndrome, the referral was entirely appropriate.


    "My humble GP round the corner does this stuff. He's a medical doctor."

    Yes. But your GP isn't a Ph. D. in clinical psychology and able to do the testing and assessments that Attwood IS qualified to do. And most 'doctors' who did not qualify in the USA are not in fact inpossession of a doctoral degree. In the UK, their basic qualification is Bachelor of Medicine & Bachelor of Surgery; this is also the same in Australia. So, your use of the term 'medical doctor' is superfluous. Attwood has a DOCTORAL degree, above and beyond his basic degree in psychology and philosophy, and his post-graduate degree in clinical psychology (i. e., a PRACTITIONER degree).

    "think you should adopt a more respectful tone towards mysef, as I indeed have graduated from university with a professional qualification and some higher distinctions."

    Um.... you said that ... after saying ...this:

    "I feel no compulsion to show huge respect to any person, whatever their claims or qualifications, who makes a living doing the international circuit as a professional speaker."

    You want respect? Start showing it, then.

    Like I said, Lili... grow up.

    By Blogger David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction), at 7:56 AM  

  • "I'm sure I could re-learn the content of my first degree in a weekend."

    Diploma mill, was it? Stop talking bollocks.

    By Blogger David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction), at 8:10 AM  

  • Mr Andrews wrote:

    ""I would like to be able to verify his claims thru another source, Griffith University in particular."

    Yes, it would be nice, I am sure, to be able to; but I've told you why his name wouldn't be listed there. If you have a problem with that, that is YOUR problem. Don't make it about HIM!"

    Anyone can with great ease find the staff details of countless adjunct professors and other adjunct staff through the web site of Griffith University, but I'm damned if I can find any such thing to verify the affiliation of the AS expert that we are discussing. The one and only document from the Griffith Uni web site that I can find that mentions Attwood being associated with Griffith is a flyer for a series of workshops by SPEAKERS from within and outside Griffith Uni, and it most unhelpfully doesn't say in what faculty he is an adjunct professor, and the info about Attwood was cut and pasted straight from HIS OWN promotional hype. Have a look yourself:
    http://www.griffith.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/75810/2008-Workshop-Brochure.pdf

    And compare it with Attwood's profile here:
    http://www.mindsandhearts.net/who.html

    The text is absolutely identical. Why it is so hard to find anything on the Griffith web site (or elsewhere) to verify his affiliation that isn't his own publicity material?

    Here is a challenge; find something credible on the internet that tells me in which faculty or department of Griffith Dr Attwood is an adjunct professor. I'll bet you can't find it because he hasn't written it himself in his own publicity hype, and that is the basis of almost all of what is written about him on the net.

    If you can find anything at the Griffith University web site that says that Attwood has a current academic position at any university, that isn't derived from his own publicity material, I'll be MUCH impressed. Go boy, go!

    Dr Attwood wrote at his own web site that he is "responsible for the Child Psychopathology course at the University". My God, there must be so much material written about Dr Attwood and his university course at Griffith's web site! So many citations of research papers by the eminent professor! Where?

    Try searching PubMed for anything about Asperger syndrome by Attwood (A or T, I don't care). AS is supposed to be his area of expertise. I found only a handful of papers, and could find no university affiliation for A or T Attwood mentioned in any of the abstracts. The only contact info I found for Attwood in an abstract from PubMed was a PO Box number for his clinic and an email. Impressive.

    What is that smell? The smell of a rat? Surely you can smell it too?

    And no, I didn't get my quals from a diploma mill, and it isn't a diploma.

    By Blogger Lili Marlene, at 12:09 PM  

  • Ring the University up and ask them if he's on their staff...

    By Blogger Socrates, at 12:20 PM  

  • "I didn't get my quals from a diploma mill, and it isn't a diploma."

    Actually, that's not what I was implying. I was implying that you would have - as would ANYbody - serious trouble relearning everything in your first degree in a weekend.

    "Anyone can with great ease find the staff details of countless adjunct professors and other adjunct staff through the web site of Griffith University..."

    Give me at least three examples, then.

    "I'm damned if I can find any such thing to verify the affiliation of the AS expert that we are discussing."

    I know. And I've given you a possible reason why, with two examples. What is so hard for you to understand about that? And, as Socrates said, "Ring the University up and ask them if he's on their staff..." ... or email them.

    "Here is a challenge; find something credible on the internet that tells me in which faculty or department of Griffith Dr Attwood is an adjunct professor. I'll bet you can't find it because he hasn't written it himself in his own publicity hype, and that is the basis of almost all of what is written about him on the net."

    It's your problem, so you should look into it.

    "If you can find anything at the Griffith University web site that says that Attwood has a current academic position at any university, that isn't derived from his own publicity material, I'll be MUCH impressed. Go boy, go!"

    Fuck off. Like I said, YOU are the one having the issue with his claim, so YOU find stuff out.

    "What is that smell? The smell of a rat? Surely you can smell it too?"

    No. I don't smell a rat. I see someone who has a fucking chip on her shoulder about Attwood and is intent on belittling him. If you want to prove that he's lying, then it is YOUR job to get the evidence; and absence of anything on the university website is NOT adequate evidence that he's lying.

    "Try searching PubMed for anything about Asperger syndrome by Attwood (A or T, I don't care). AS is supposed to be his area of expertise. I found only a handful of papers, and could find no university affiliation for A or T Attwood mentioned in any of the abstracts. The only contact info I found for Attwood in an abstract from PubMed was a PO Box number for his clinic and an email. Impressive."

    So fucking what? If his involvement is through his clinic, then it may well be that his involvement is as a clinical supervisor for the post-graduates doing their practica... ah, wait a minute... what does he say about that?: "I also spend considerable time traveling to present workshops and papers at national and international conferences, and supervise post-graduate clinical students for clinical experience and research in the area of developmental disorders."

    Well, that might explain why there's nothing in PubMed by him... he's not a researcher, he's a clinician. So he spends his time conducting assessments, supervising students on placement, doing his lectures all over the place. Big fucking fat hairy deal. He's in demand. So he goes where people pay him to go. Since when is that the sign of a fucking liar?

    "Dr Attwood wrote at his own web site that he is 'responsible for the Child Psychopathology course at the University'. My God, there must be so much material written about Dr Attwood and his university course at Griffith's web site! So many citations of research papers by the eminent professor! Where?"

    Do you think that all courses are taught all the time in any given university? Strictly speaking, I could get a request from the local adult education college here in Finland where I live; I used to teach English there and, as/if and when course enrollments/inquiries increase again, I could be called back to present my course again. I'm still not listed on the current course offerings.

    If you're not happy about the lack of information about him as an adjunct associate professor... YOU go ask the university. Ask him. It's your battle, so you can go fight it.

    I've only ever seen THAT much confirmation bias on the side of the bloody likes of Best, Mitchell and that idiot Cresp!

    You have a degree and a postgraduate qualification, you say. Did your research methods teachers not teach you about confirmation bias, where you go about pre-empting the outcome? I think that's what you're doing now.

    I'm actually saying nothing one way or the other: I don't have enough information to say one way or the other as to if Attwood is lying or not. But, it's not my crusade... it's yours.

    You research it. But leave your confirmation bias at the bloody door, eh?

    By Blogger David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction), at 2:14 PM  

  • Mr Andrews, you appear to totally misunderstand the concept of confirmation bias. Confirmation bias is where someone only looks for evidence that confirms their hypothesis/theory/belief, but neglects to look for evidence that could disprove their favoured belief. What I have been flat-out doing is looking for any evidence that might disconfirm my theory that the person in question has improperly exaggerated their academic status or worse. I have failed to find such evidence and I believe this is not due to ineptitude, but due to a genuine absence of evidence to find. Absence of evidence can sometimes be evidence of absence.

    You wrote:
    "You have a degree and a postgraduate qualification, you say."

    Actually, I didn't make such claims explicitly. I'm not going to discuss my academic record for reasons of privacy. I hope you will understand.

    You asked:

    "Anyone can with great ease find the staff details of countless adjunct professors and other adjunct staff through the web site of Griffith University..."

    Give me at least three examples, then."

    I could give many more. Adjunct Professor Tony Fry has a whole page to himself at Griffith's web site. Dr Louise Horstmanshof is an ADjunct Lecturer who has her own page too. Adjunct Associate Professor Suzanne Steginga has her own page complete with photo.

    My best guess is that Attwood no longer holds any post at Griffith, but he has not bothered to change much of his publicity material to reflect this change, and because of this the internet is full of media descriptions of him as "Griffith University's Professor Tony Attwood" (from a 2006 ABC journalism report).

    By Blogger Lili Marlene, at 5:33 AM  

  • "Actually, I didn't make such claims explicitly. I'm not going to discuss my academic record for reasons of privacy. I hope you will understand."

    Sure. I'm prepared to understand that. Your point that you "... have graduated from university with a professional qualification..." is sufficient to suggest that there is at least the knowledge base that comes from degree level studies.

    "Confirmation bias is where someone only looks for evidence that confirms their hypothesis/theory/belief, but neglects to look for evidence that could disprove their favoured belief."

    Yes. I think you've done that. I provided evidence that would go against ... well, let me show you:

    "What I have been flat-out doing is looking for any evidence that might disconfirm my theory that the person in question has improperly exaggerated their academic status or worse."

    That isn't how it works. Your hypothesis is that X has happened. You are looking for evidence to say that it HASN'T happened but in doing that you are trying to confirm a negative event. That's exactly like expecting someone to prove their innocence (or, at least, their lack of guilt).

    When a study is being conducted, one is not looking for evidence to confirm a hypothesis that something has happened... one is actually trying to find support to suggest that nothing has happened. If we find that there is no evidence to support the hypothesis that something has happened, we accept the null hypothesis (which is automatically that nothing has happened; a lot like the presumption of innocence until guilt is proven). If, on the other hand, we get data providing evidence that cannot support the notion that nothing happened, then we have to reject the null hypothesis and accept one of many alternative hypotheses. And all the implications of these alternatives have to be controlled for in the study.

    What you just claimed you were doing was trying to prove that something did not happen, and you can't do that. Your statement that "Absence of evidence can sometimes be evidence of absence" does suggest that you were trying to confirm your prior belief, by citing an absence of evidence to contradict it. And - since you cannot prove that something did not happen - you were basically operating under a confirmation bias.

    Wiki: "confirmation bias is a tendency to search for or interpret new information in a way that confirms one's preconceptions and to avoid information and interpretations which contradict prior beliefs."

    Your belief was, as you stated when you said "What is that smell? The smell of a rat? Surely you can smell it too?", that he had in fact acted fraudulently. Why use that phrase if you didn't think so? And I gave you disconfirming evidence in two cases (mine and that of Olga Bogdashina).

    So you found some examples where adjunct faculty were listed on the university site:

    "Adjunct Professor Tony Fry has a whole page to himself at Griffith's web site. Dr Louise Horstmanshof is an ADjunct Lecturer who has her own page too. Adjunct Associate Professor Suzanne Steginga has her own page complete with photo."

    Great. Where do they do their work for the university? Are they on-campus or off? I'm off-campus, as is Olga. Do you not think that that might affect whether adjunct staff are listed on a site. And what else might affect their listing? Well... are they full or part-time or even 'occasional'? These can affect listing on web-sites.

    So your statement that "Absence of evidence can sometimes be evidence of absence" does not hold up. By claiming that it is true, you're making this statement:

    "Because there appears to be a lack of evidence for one hypothesis, another chosen hypothesis is therefore considered proven."

    And this is a logical fallacy known as the appeal to ignorance. So, you can't say that "Absence of evidence can sometimes be evidence of absence" and expect that to demonstrate that you weren't working under a confirmation bias. The fact that SOME adjunct staff are listed on the site is no indication that ALL are listed on the site...

    Then you say:

    "My best guess is that Attwood no longer holds any post at Griffith, but he has not bothered to change much of his publicity material to reflect this change, and because of this the internet is full of media descriptions of him as "Griffith University's Professor Tony Attwood" (from a 2006 ABC journalism report)."

    This is one possibility, but it isn't the only one. You still have to acknowledge that - like with Visiting Lecturers at Birmingham - it may be that not all adjunct staff are listed on the website.

    Your claim to be 'smelling a rat' was unfounded. You still don't have enough information to 'smell a rat'. If you'd gone to the university (either by phone, as Socrates suggested, or by e-mail as I suggested); or even - since you're essentially impuning him - Attwood directly! Those are your priority sources and you ignored them. Either of those could have disconfirmed your prior belief, and you avoided them.

    So, it is clear that you were operating under a confirmation bias.

    Word of advice, and not given nastily: part of my work when I supervise any Finnish-domicile students of the University of Birmingham is the tutoring of students in research methods.

    I'm also international associate editor for an autism-specialist journal ... again, I have to know where a confirmation bias has been succumbed to.

    I know a confirmation bias when I see it.

    Like I said... I'm not happy that Attwood is consorting with people like Ashton. but I'm not entirely convinced that your attitude towards him has been entirely justified, and I think it's a prejudice. How would you test if it was or was not such? Well, he's a question to ask yourself: would that attitude change if he turned out to still be an unlisted member of adjunct faculty? And that is a question only YOU can answer.

    "Mr Andrews, you appear to totally misunderstand the concept of confirmation bias."

    I think we can safely say that you got THAT one wrong.

    By Blogger David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction), at 7:54 AM  

  • "Well, he's a question to ask yourself"

    Well, here's a question to ask yourself.

    typo

    By Blogger David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction), at 7:56 AM  

  • I've never read such a load of rot in my life!

    If I could find a web page or any indication at the uni web site that this person is currently associated with the uni, I would be 100% happy to accept that that would DISCONFIRM MY HYPOTHESIS. I HAVE EARNESTLY LOOKED FOR SUCH EVIDENCE. Therefore I am not guilty of confirmation bias. I've done the same thing as choosing to look at what's on the other side of the card with the number 7 on it in the Wason Card Problem.

    And did you know that it is formally INCORRECT for an associate professor in Australia to be addressed as "professor"? Our prof doesn't seem to be too worried to correct such misrepresentations in the media. The Aussie TV show 60 Minutes described him as "Professor", and so do hundreds of other things on the internet, it appears.

    By Blogger Lili Marlene, at 9:01 AM  

  • "And did you know that it is formally INCORRECT for an associate professor in Australia to be addressed as "professor"?"

    Really?

    News to me. Interesting. Not earth-shattering, since I don't call him that.

    "I've never read such a load of rot in my life!"

    Odd.

    But then... you got found out and you can't bloody handle it.

    "If I could find a web page or any indication at the uni web site that this person is currently associated with the uni, I would be 100% happy to accept that that would DISCONFIRM MY HYPOTHESIS. I HAVE EARNESTLY LOOKED FOR SUCH EVIDENCE."

    DID YOU ACTUALLY ASK THE UNIVERSITY? let's face it... if ANYBODY would know for sure... do you not think THEY would? And, if you didn't ask them - or even consider it - that means by definition that you didn't seek out the best quality information.

    And - if Attwood were not on the lists there as adjunct staff - then you would have HAD your disconfirmation.

    Wouldn't you?

    "Therefore I am not guilty of confirmation bias."

    Bloody are. You neglected to consult the bloody university, who would be the final arbiter in this!

    And Socrates suggested that, not me.

    You're wrong. Fucking deal with it!

    Jesus fucking Christ!

    By Blogger David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction), at 9:43 AM  

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    By Blogger Clay, at 9:49 AM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Clay, at 10:02 AM  

  • Socrates said:

    Attwood will be speaking with me in Cambridge on May 12th.
    (Whether he likes it or not).
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Give him hell, Harry!
    (A popular phrase back when Harry Truman was President.)

    By Blogger Clay, at 10:04 AM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction), at 10:14 AM  

  • "Give him hell, Harry!"

    Nice.

    I agree. Hold him accountable.

    Ask him about this 'professor' bit since it's clear that Lili Marlene hasn't been arsed to consult either him or the university about the bloody issue. Then we can put the fucking issue to bed.

    By Blogger David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction), at 10:14 AM  

  • Notice the inconsistencies in the way he describes himself online, and the use of the past tense and third person in written claims.

    At the web site of the clinic where he apparently works this:
    "Tony is an adjunct professor at Griffith University, Queensland."

    On the home page of his own web site:
    "He is currently adjunct Associate Professor at Griffith University in Queensland."

    In his profile at his own web site:
    "I have been appointed as adjunct Associate Professor at Griffith University in Queensland ..."

    Associate or not? Current or hasbeen? Whichever is the case it is completely incorrect to give himself the title of "professor" in this country. He can use the title "Dr" but an associate or adjunct professor is not formally entitled to use the title "professor". A former prof can use the title "Professor Emeritus", but I doubt that a former adjunct would have this right.

    By Blogger Lili Marlene, at 10:41 AM  

  • "
    Associate or not? Current or hasbeen? Whichever is the case it is completely incorrect to give himself the title of "professor" in this country. He can use the title "Dr" but an associate or adjunct professor is not formally entitled to use the title "professor". A former prof can use the title "Professor Emeritus", but I doubt that a former adjunct would have this right."

    I agree; I don't think that adjunct would be made professors emeriti, but...so bloody what? That is not relevant to this at all. I'm saying that you're operating under a confirmation bias and - if you are avoiding taking all steps to find out what you need to know - then I'm bloody correct in what I say. Because by definition, you're avoiding obtaining information that could disconfirm your previously held belief if you're not taking all steps to collect the proper information. And - believe me - if your main sources of information are two or three bloody website pages, you have NOT taken all steps. Like it or not, you HAVEN'T finished your information search. So I'm going to ask you...

    HAVE YOU CONTACTED THE UNIVERSITY?

    Have you made ANY effort since yesterday to actually ascertain for youself from the university what his status actually is with them? Because until you HAVE, the statement "I HAVE EARNESTLY LOOKED FOR SUCH EVIDENCE" is a lie.

    Contact the University and ask them. Then you WILL have taken all steps to get the information. But not until.

    By Blogger David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction), at 11:09 AM  

  • David, I still have alot to learn myself. Comfirmation Bias, Null hypothesis etc. You're going into realms I haven't even studied at all yet.

    So is Lili Marlene. This goes to show you I am ignorant and that is all that I know is that I am ignorant.

    Do you have accurate materials I can read about the Null hypothesis and comfirmation bias. This could help me alot in proving my points.

    David, I do have a weird question to ask you. Once you prove one point does the situation ever happen in which it automatically disproves another point?

    This could go out to Lili Marlene too and ABFH.

    Depending on the answer given, this may help me to solidfy what Coach is saying to me on Philsworld.

    By Blogger Cube Demon, at 2:37 PM  

  • In addition, I think I can say this. Even the best critical thinking mind can fall into the trap of becoming stuck in their own biases.

    I am sure I will fall into that trap as well even though I will try not too.

    By Blogger Cube Demon, at 2:46 PM  

  • Cube Demon wrote:

    "Once you prove one point does the situation ever happen in which it automatically disproves another point?"

    Sure, if the points are mutually exclusive. For instance, proving that something is a circle would disprove the possibility that it might be a square.

    By Blogger abfh, at 3:26 PM  

  • Abfh, how wrong can you be, for one can prove in one dimension that something is not a circle but from another perspective it may very well be, what about a transverse section of a cylinder?

    Where my mind excels is in finding exceptions, I really ought to have been a lawyer.

    By Blogger laurentius rex, at 4:15 PM  

  • Kasarmimme eessä suuri portti on,
    Illan pimetessä jään lyhdyn valohon.
    Menneessä jälleen kohdataan,
    ja lyhdyn alla haastellaan,

    Google is a wondrous thing :)

    By Blogger laurentius rex, at 4:36 PM  

  • Googles where I get all my German ;-)

    "Transverse Section" LMAO!

    Classy :-)

    p.s. The Attwood thing? I reckon we should just find out if he had sex with Maxine Aston when she went to Oz for some quality "Me" time.

    or should that be "MeMeMeMe!" time?

    By Blogger Socrates, at 4:47 PM  

  • Larry, if you were a lawyer and you went into court to argue a boundary dispute, and the opponent's evidence was a map showing his property as a circle, I do not think you would get very far arguing that it might be a transverse section of a cylinder.

    That would make an entertaining TV court show, though. :)

    And when we get into the realm of science fiction, there's always another dimension for everything...

    By Blogger abfh, at 5:07 PM  

  • Is it true that the Cassandra disorder is hated mostly by aspies who got divorced, separated or otherwise came out badly after a court case? Was thier AS diagnosis and behavior a factor in losing that court case or inciting the failed relationship? I read this on a blog linked to this one. Losing something causes many to lash out but that doesnt convince me that the Cassandra thing is necessarily false.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:59 PM  

  • If I were a lawyer do you really think I would confine myself to arguing in 3 dimensions only?

    every shape and every intersection from n-n to the nth to infinity divided by itself and translated into amharic arcs of the covenant notwithstanding

    By Blogger laurentius rex, at 6:05 PM  

  • "Cube Demon wrote:

    "Once you prove one point does the situation ever happen in which it automatically disproves another point?"

    Sure, if the points are mutually exclusive. For instance, proving that something is a circle would disprove the possibility that it might be a square."

    Thanks, ABFH.

    By Blogger Cube Demon, at 6:22 PM  

  • I think I know now what Coach and David are now saying about proving a negative and you may have helped comfirmed it.

    By Blogger Cube Demon, at 6:23 PM  

  • "Is it true that the Cassandra disorder is hated mostly by aspies who got divorced, separated or otherwise came out badly after a court case? Was thier AS diagnosis and behavior a factor in losing that court case or inciting the failed relationship? I read this on a blog linked to this one. Losing something causes many to lash out but that doesnt convince me that the Cassandra thing is necessarily false."

    Anon... what convinces me that it is entirely false is that there has not been a single peer-reviewed study to suggest that it exists outside of its inventor's head. Nobody else has studied it. Nobody else has published on it, and nobody has published in a peer-reviewed diagnostic validity study of it. The only person talking about it is Maxine Ashton, and she is not trained in clinical psychology!

    Now fuck off and stop trolling.

    By Blogger David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction), at 6:42 PM  

  • Did a fart just waft in from New Hampshire?

    By Blogger David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction), at 6:44 PM  

  • "The Attwood thing? I reckon we should just find out if he had sex with Maxine Aston when she went to Oz for some quality 'Me' time."

    I doubt that he'd want to.

    Even Attwood has standards.

    By Blogger David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction), at 6:46 PM  

  • You say there are no peer reviews. Don't you mean you have not found nor read a peer review? I know for a fact that there are two independent reviews of this theme awaiting publication, and they are by people at the top of thier feild.

    Next time try saying "...to my knowledge" or "...as far as I know" or "....not published yet, to my knowledge".

    Accuracy is important. you mustn't be sloppy just because you are talking on a blog.

    ;-)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:50 PM  

  • "You say there are no peer reviews. Don't you mean you have not found nor read a peer review? I know for a fact that there are two independent reviews of this theme awaiting publication, and they are by people at the top of thier feild.

    Next time try saying "...to my knowledge" or "...as far as I know" or "....not published yet, to my knowledge".

    Accuracy is important. you mustn't be sloppy just because you are talking on a blog.

    ;-)"

    Let's look at the phrase "awaiting publication."

    1. This means they have not been published yet am I correct?

    2. This means they're not peer reviewed am I correct?

    3. David and I will check them out once they're peer reviewed and published.

    4. Technically, I think you're still wrong at least right now in this moment in time.

    5. In addition, they may be denied publishing am I correct on this?

    By Blogger Cube Demon, at 6:56 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction), at 6:59 PM  

  • "I know for a fact that there are two independent reviews of this theme awaiting publication, and they are by people at the top of thier feild."

    Bullshit!

    I'm an associate editor of an autism specialist journal. I'm one of the first bunch of people who would fucking hear about it, dipshit.

    Something smells of Lili under a pseudonym.

    I hope for the sake of her credibility I'm wrong.

    By Blogger David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction), at 7:01 PM  

  • The studies have been peer reviewed and are set to be published this year. Thats not to say they endorse or not endorse the Cassandra notion, but rarther that professionals have assessed it. I'm not at liberty to say more, but do stay tuned.

    A word of caution, be careful about the conjectures and claims you make lest they prove to be incorrect.

    No, I'm not a fan of Aston.

    ;-)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:02 PM  

  • "The studies have been peer reviewed and are set to be published this year."

    Name the journal.

    If you can't do that, you're bullshitting.

    By Blogger David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction), at 7:04 PM  

  • Reason I'd know is that I'm on an editorial board with someone who knows Maxine Ashton.

    By Blogger David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction), at 7:08 PM  

  • Who is bullshitting? I would doubt that you are an editor of more than a few journals (at most), yet there are thousands of respected journals throughout the world, hundreds of which deal with the subject of autism in one way or another. Bullshit says that you have special access to the activities of all the other journals. Moreover these journals are independently owned and operated, meaning they don't share in-process material with foreign publishers. I have not doubt that you already know that.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:14 PM  

  • "The studies have been peer reviewed and are set to be published this year. Thats not to say they endorse or not endorse the Cassandra notion, but rarther that professionals have assessed it. I'm not at liberty to say more, but do stay tuned."

    Here are my questions

    1. Why are you not at liberty to say more? Why all the secrecy?

    2. What do you mean that they assessed it but didn't endorse or didn't endorse it?

    3. Do you mean they just looked at it and evaluated it?

    4. Here is the definition of assessed:http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/assessed
    Do you mean they just determined the value of it?

    5. If 4 is yes what value did they determine about it?


    Let's look at the definition of endorsed: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/endorsed
    6. If they've given a positive value does this mean that they endorsed it then?

    7. If they've given it a negative value does this mean they did not endorse it?

    8. What the fuck are you trying to say because it sounds like you're trying to play some secret, sophistry, word games?


    A word of caution, be careful about the conjectures and claims you make lest they prove to be incorrect.

    No, I'm not a fan of Aston.

    ;-)"

    A word of caution: How about quit trying to play these sophistry word games. They will not work on David or I. We will rip you apart.

    By Blogger Cube Demon, at 7:14 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Cube Demon, at 7:19 PM  

  • David, have you been to my blog at all recently? I had to enable comment moderation because of John Best Jr's antics.

    By Blogger Cube Demon, at 7:20 PM  

  • "I would doubt that you are an editor of more than a few journals (at most), yet there are thousands of respected journals throughout the world, hundreds of which deal with the subject of autism in one way or another. Bullshit says that you have special access to the activities of all the other journals."

    Anon, you are SO FUCKING THICK!

    I'm on the editorial board of Good Autism Practice along with Tony Attwood (as an international associate editor). The main editor is my former supervisor from my postgraduate training as an educational psychologist (Glenys Jones Ph. D.). A good friend of mine is the person who arranges the UK end of lecture tours for Tony Attwood.

    The first of these can be verified from looking in the front of a copy of Good Autism Practice. Th rest can be filled in by asking the right people.

    Anon, you're on a losing battle, Give up whilst you still have your dignity.

    Tit-head.

    By Blogger David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction), at 7:24 PM  

  • Cube, yes... and I've noticed.

    I wonder who our anonymous twat here is.

    By Blogger David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction), at 7:25 PM  

  • David, anon is trying to play sophisticated word games between endorsed and assessed.

    Won't work Anon. Try Again.

    By Blogger Cube Demon, at 7:36 PM  

  • If it has been assessed with a passing grade then is not been implictly endorsed then? This is how anon is trying to do it.

    By Blogger Cube Demon, at 7:40 PM  

  • Notice how the anonymous arsehole hasn't yet managed to name the journal(s) s/he claims to know is reviewing this alleged pair of studies has/ve been peer reviewed by.

    Also, this person doesn't seem to know how long peer review can take.

    Also... notice the obfuscation when challenged on the naming of a journal?

    Something like a new diagnostic entity would take quite some time to be peer reviewed. More than the time elapsed since September-November when it was was first massively commented on in this blog.

    By Blogger David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction), at 7:47 PM  

  • hmmmmm

    By Blogger David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction), at 8:20 PM  

  • David, no response from anon

    By Blogger Cube Demon, at 10:05 PM  

  • "David, no response from anon"

    JAFT, it seems.

    By Blogger David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction), at 3:05 AM  

  • Anonymous asked:

    "Is it true that the Cassandra disorder is hated mostly by aspies who got divorced, separated or otherwise came out badly after a court case?"

    I'm not divorced and have had positive experiences with the legal system (!) but I still think the Cassandra thing sounds like a crock of shit. Here's a tip - if you are in a bad relationship, get a separation or a divorce.

    Mr Andrews, what a paranoid self-important person you are to think I've got the time or the inclination to post anonymously. Here's a tip - if you want to remain on any board of any type pull your head in. Your writing here does not paint a very pretty picutre of your conduct or prersonality.

    Ragarding the supposed iminent publication of something peer-reviewed about the Cassandra rot; I doubt it very much, and it must be said that a lot of suspect studies and rubbish has been published in peer-reviewed journals. Even the biggest medical journals have had to publish retractions occassionally. There is a lot of corruption and nonsense out there.

    That Dr Attwood is such a nice bloke - he even smiles on both of his faces!

    By Blogger Lili Marlene, at 3:53 AM  

  • "Mr Andrews, what a paranoid self-important person you are to think I've got the time or the inclination to post anonymously. Here's a tip - if you want to remain on any board of any type pull your head in. Your writing here does not paint a very pretty picutre of your conduct or prersonality."

    You could do with learning a few things yourself. Like... you want to be nasty about people (e. g., Attwood), so get used to people not being nice to you. Besides, I'm not being the self-important one here. Project much?

    "Ragarding the supposed iminent publication of something peer-reviewed about the Cassandra rot; I doubt it very much, and it must be said that a lot of suspect studies and rubbish has been published in peer-reviewed journals. Even the biggest medical journals have had to publish retractions occassionally. There is a lot of corruption and nonsense out there."

    Regarding this point, I absolutely agree.

    "That Dr Attwood is such a nice bloke - he even smiles on both of his faces!"

    Stick your bloody snarkiness up your arse.

    Have you contacted the university about his status there yet?

    By Blogger David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction), at 4:18 AM  

  • 1.)
    Maxine Aston claims that living with someone who has AS can give you cancer! It insults *all* Autistics to claim we're so horrible, you might even get a deadly disease from being with us.
    To ignorantly claim that only people who go through a divorce have reasons to hate FAAAS and Aston is pretty offensive.

    2.)
    I blame The Vines management.
    They said (I paraphrase) "Craig Nicholls' mental state deteriorated so much, he can't continue to tour."
    This ill-advised phrasing shows how little they know about AS and how little respect they have for people on the Autism spectrum.
    Not the right environment for an Autistic musician methinks.

    3.)
    The level of disrespect Autistics get, (famous, or not) is appalling!
    Signed the petition.
    *Raises fist in the air*
    Nothing about us, without us!

    By Blogger Gonzo, at 4:45 AM  

  • "I blame The Vines management.
    They said (I paraphrase) 'Craig Nicholls' mental state deteriorated so much, he can't continue to tour.'"

    Anxiety... or so it seems.

    "This ill-advised phrasing shows how little they know about AS and how little respect they have for people on the Autism spectrum."

    Yep. His presenting problem is the anxiety. Not the autism.

    "Not the right environment for an Autistic musician methinks."

    I would never go into something that big; all my gigs have been in places like small pubs, folk clubs and so on. Much nicer places, and less anxiety-inducing.

    I have one tonight in a bar that holds about 50 heavy-rock afficionados; and I'm just a folk-singer. But they like my stuff enough to keep asking me back. I have a loyal 'fan'-base (friend-base, actually) in my hometown here in Finland, as well as many further afield who like my stuff :)

    I'd say that - whilst Craig wouldn't make a shitload of money from touring in Finland - he'd have a less anxious time of it... much more sedate atmosphere here.

    By Blogger David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction), at 5:51 AM  

  • If Nicholl's main problem is anxiety rather than AS, which I most strongly suspect is the case, and possibly always has been the case, then why was his diagnosis of AS by Attwood presented to the court as Nicholls' excuse in that legal case? (After this happened aspies all around the world expressed our disgust that AS should be used as a legal excuse for violent behaviour). Nicholls' diagnosis of AS was widely publicized, but I don't recall any mention of any other diagnosis of any anxiety-related condition. I'm guessing this was because no such diagnosis was made. What a monstrous mess!

    By Blogger Lili Marlene, at 7:12 AM  

  • "If Nicholl's main problem is anxiety rather than AS, which I most strongly suspect is the case, and possibly always has been the case, then why was his diagnosis of AS by Attwood presented to the court as Nicholls' excuse in that legal case?"

    My guess - since I wasn't there - is that Craig's anxiety issues may be complicated by his being autistic; this would make emotional responses hard to control without some sort of CBT.

    "(After this happened aspies all around the world expressed our disgust that AS should be used as a legal excuse for violent behaviour)."

    This is true. So bloody what?

    "Nicholls' diagnosis of AS was widely publicized, but I don't recall any mention of any other diagnosis of any anxiety-related condition. I'm guessing this was because no such diagnosis was made."

    You can guess all you like; but even if the anxiety HASN'T been formally diagnosed, chances are it has been linked to his case as part of the process whether in public or not. The press may have been subject to no reporting restrictions, but that doesn't mean they are going to report everything in the case... just the stuff that makes the case sell newspapers. And that would be the autistic spectrum diagnosis. Anxiety might not be of interest to their reading public but something like Asperger syndrome could be.

    "What a monstrous mess!"

    Yes. But not for the reason you seem to wish it was. Stop trying to infer blame on Attwood where it clearly doesn't belong.

    Have you asked Griffith University about Attwood's status there yet?

    Well?

    I keep asking and you keep saying nothing. Very soon it will be reasonable to assume that you haven't bothered.

    So... either get the Attwood-Griffith issue sorted out and come back with SOMETHING that says you've fucking sorted it, or shut the fuck up about him.

    I'm not the only one getting fucked off with your irrational fucking hatred of the man.

    By Blogger David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction), at 8:10 AM  

  • Mr Andrews

    I'm sure you know how hard it is to get any kind of prompt response (if at all) from a university if you are not a prospective student wishing to apply for entrance, or are not a current student or staff member, or you are trying to make some other type of enquiry AND YOU DON'T HAVE ANY CAMPUS CONTACT DETAILS at all about the person you wish to contact or wish to enquire about, AND you don't even know what faculty or school this person is supposed to be affiliated with. He don't make it easy! And the famous Dr has a reputation for not responding to emails to his web site, and even warns about non-response to emails on his home page.

    So don't hold your breath, Mr Andrews - I'm not.

    By Blogger Lili Marlene, at 8:55 AM  

  • "I'm sure you know how hard it is to get any kind of prompt response (if at all) from a university if you are not a prospective student wishing to apply for entrance, or are not a current student or staff member, or you are trying to make some other type of enquiry AND YOU DON'T HAVE ANY CAMPUS CONTACT DETAILS at all about the person you wish to contact or wish to enquire about, AND you don't even know what faculty or school this person is supposed to be affiliated with."

    If you state that you are inquiring regarding someone's status with the university because of something on that person's website, you have a right to verify that fact with them.

    "He don't make it easy! And the famous Dr has a reputation for not responding to emails to his web site, and even warns about non-response to emails on his home page."

    Many people in his position don't always get to respond fast; it isn't peculiar to him... and as for him 'not making it easy'... I once got a reply from him, and not within too long a delay.

    You can write to the University and copy him into that e-mail. That might get his attention.

    "So don't hold your breath, Mr Andrews - I'm not."

    Indeed.

    But still... have you actually contacted the university? Have you actually made that effort to get that information? Simple answer: yes or no.

    Which is it?

    By Blogger David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction), at 9:07 AM  

  • Trying to mediate the David - Lili thing:

    What hasn't been clearly stated is that David is just trying to be supportive of a colleague, while Lili appears to have a grudge against Attwood.

    I can't fault either of them for their primary motivations, and I believe that they would agree about most other autistic "issues". I would ask them both to keep this in perspective.

    Right now, Dr. Attwood is nobody's "pin-up boy", and he must be called into account for his actions and associations. I'm always suspicious of anyone using autism as a meal-ticket, whether it's Attwood, Ashton, or Shore. These people need watching, and called into account when they seem to pander to the opposition.


    This opening gambit by "Anonymous":

    Losing something causes many to lash out but that doesnt convince me that the Cassandra thing is necessarily false."I'm not convinced" is one of the many trolling tactics of Lurker.
    The poor boy just wants to engage in conversation with someone, and doesn't care that he's a PAIN-IN-THE-ASS while doing it.

    I would urge everyone to please stop feeding the troll, and that Hub bloggers get together and compare IPs, and delete comments from him, as soon as they see them.
    We've wasted enough time with him.

    By Blogger Clay, at 9:13 AM  

  • Lili... you're lucky I'm so bloody nice.

    http://www.griffith.edu.au/cgi-bin/phone_search.pl?format=browse_detail&gotFrame=y&rec_num=3112

    Contact Details

    * Telephone (07) 373REMOVETHISTEXT REMOVETHISTEXT53333
    * Griffith Extension 53333
    * Facsimile (07) 373REMOVETHISTEXT REMOVETHISTEXT53388
    * Mobile -
    * Griffith Location Psychology (M24) 4.09
    * Postal Address School of Psychology - Mt Gravatt, Mt Gravatt campus, Griffith University, 176 Messines Ridge Road, Mt Gravatt, QLD 4122, Australia
    * Campus Address Mt Gravatt campus, Griffith University, 176 Messines Ridge Road, Mt Gravatt, QLD, 4122
    * Email Address psychologyREMOVETHISTEXT@REMOVETHISTEXTgriffith.edu.au

    All you need to know.

    They'll tell you one way or the other.

    By Blogger David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction), at 9:16 AM  

  • ""I'm not convinced" is one of the many trolling tactics of Lurker.
    The poor boy just wants to engage in conversation with someone, and doesn't care that he's a PAIN-IN-THE-ASS while doing it. "

    Indeed, Clay...

    Very good spot-up!

    Like I said to Cube.., just another fucking tosspot.

    I'm losing patience these days, I must admit. Shit overload from all that kind of people, and things like trying to infer blame on a clinician on an issue that he has no control over (and that - quite frankly - is clearly the province of some bugger else) really is going to piss me off.

    I've done Lili the biggest favour I possibly could: I've just given her the contact details for the people she needs to get in touch with to find out one way or another what the fuck is going on regarding Attwood's status there so we can put this issue to fucking bed at last.

    By Blogger David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction), at 9:22 AM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction), at 9:29 AM  

  • But personally, I get the impression that she just wants to pile a shitload of blame on Attwood without actually having a valid fucking reason. I'm going by her posts on this thread... and by posting what looks like more reasons to hate the bugger whilst not even acknowledging anything that I've given as possible explanations.

    Not going to convince ANYone that way that she is all that earnest in finding evidence to disconfirm her - well - prejudice. She hasn't even said one way or the other if she's actually contacted the University yet. That in itself would show some fucking willing.

    By Blogger David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction), at 9:30 AM  

  • And it took me all of... ooh, about 30 seconds to get from the front page of Griffith Uni website to the Psychology Dept Website.

    Go figure.

    By Blogger David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction), at 9:31 AM  

  • Now you're just repeating yourself. ;-)

    By Blogger Clay, at 9:31 AM  

  • Only cos someone doesn't seem to bloody listen.

    Anyways, Clay... I'm away getting ready for the gig... keep the fort, will ya?

    And if that little JAFT comes back in, aim a swift cyber-kick to what bollocks he thinks he has and tell him I said to fuck off, yeh?

    Cya, mate

    By Blogger David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction), at 9:49 AM  

  • You know more about these issues than I do, ABFH, but I have the same question here that I had in my mind when you called Michael John Carley a curebie suckup: What's wrong with people with Asperger's building bridges with the "hate groups"? Maybe the hate groups can then be educated.

    By Blogger James Pate, at 10:20 AM  

  • James: I do try to educate people when they show signs of being amenable to it, and there have been many efforts to discuss these matters with Attwood and others in a less confrontational way, as I mentioned in my post. However, the Cassandra crowd has not shown any improvement in over 10 years.

    By Blogger abfh, at 10:38 AM  

  • This is my first visit to this blog; I must admit that the comments to this post make me want to go get a bowl of popcorn. ;-) On the other hand, we do all have a common goal in mind: the well-being of autistics and their families. So it would be nice if people could let go of personal attachment to grudges and actually discuss issues.

    The CADD thing is interesting. It definitely smells of a "vanity diagnosis", which is what I call a diagnosis made more to appeal to the patient's ego than anything else. It's a way of saying nothing was the patient's fault; it was this other person who caused them to get all nasty and screwy in the head. In addition, that it's only offered by one diagnostician suggests it's more of a profit-maker for her than anything else. Not as wacky as some "alternative" diagnoses (eg. Hulda Clark's invisible liver flukes that cause every disease known to man) but still, definitely not supported by evidence.

    I do suspect that a real psychiatric disorder (or combination of disorders) may exist in some of the people "diagnosed" with CADD. But the CADD diagnosis may be getting causality all messed up. Is the person messed up in the head because they're married to a jerk*? Or did the person get involved with the jerk in the first place because they were messed up in the head to begin with? I tend to suspect the latter. Most people would leave a jerk at the earliest opportunity. Some don't. Some, it's because of their moral structure. (They made a promise, and they will see it through even if it kills them.) I don't agree with that, but I have to respect its integrity. Others, though, clearly have issues that make them unable to leave the jerk, or actually want to be with a jerk.

    *My biggest issue with "CADD" is that it suggests only autistic partners can "trigger" this disorder, when by its own reasoning, it's jerkishness that supposedly triggers it. Most jerks aren't autistic, though obviously some are. Autistics come in all flavors, after all.

    My second-biggest issue is the encouragement to speculatively diagnose the partner based purely on the presenting patient's complaints. Given that there are already huge marital problems, I think it's safe to assume the patient is not even remotely objective on the subject, so depending on them to assess their ex-partner is, frankly, batshit crazy.

    By Blogger Calli Arcale, at 11:42 AM  

  • Hi Calli, welcome to my blog, and feel free to get a bowl of popcorn if you'd like. Thanks for posting your analysis of "vanity diagnosis" and the many problems of people who get involved with jerks. So true!

    By Blogger abfh, at 12:39 PM  

  • ABFH, if the women from the cassandra crowd are like the women from Aspartners(http://forums.delphiforums.com/aspartners).

    I don't think there will be any improvement.

    ABFH, you cannot reason with those women at all.

    By Blogger Cube Demon, at 4:14 PM  

  • Welcome, Calli, always good to have another rational thinker with a sense of humor around. Check out the archives, "Whose Planet" has been one of my top favorites since it began.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:28 PM  

  • Um, that was me who posted a couple of minutes ago. Having problems with my computer.

    By Anonymous Clay, at 8:31 PM  

  • Hi Calli...

    "The CADD thing is interesting. It definitely smells of a 'vanity diagnosis', which is what I call a diagnosis made more to appeal to the patient's ego than anything else."

    Interesting notion, and this concept of a 'vanity diagnosis' has much going for it, when it comes to this Cassandra shite.

    "It's a way of saying nothing was the patient's fault; it was this other person who caused them to get all nasty and screwy in the head."

    In other words... it's just another way of scapegoating.

    "In addition, that it's only offered by one diagnostician suggests it's more of a profit-maker for her than anything else."

    Damn right. And - given that her MSc is in Health Psychology (which does not deal with clinical or developmental diagnostics) and that psycho-diagnostics is not featured in her psychology BSc - I'm concerned that she is making any diagnoses on the basis of those two qualifications.

    "I do suspect that a real psychiatric disorder (or combination of disorders) may exist in some of the people 'diagnosed' with CADD."

    It's possible...

    "But the CADD diagnosis may be getting causality all messed up."

    And this sort of thing arises because the diagnostician concerned is not very good at assessing things. Any time that someone presents with some form of difficulty, it's important that the diagnostician remembers that difficulties do not appear outside of a context (i. e., without some set of circumstances - in the absence of which, the difficulties would not exist). In the case of this Cassandra shit, the point should not be overlooked that .. well... more in a sec...

    "Is the person messed up in the head because they're married to a jerk? Or did the person get involved with the jerk in the first place because they were messed up in the head to begin with? I tend to suspect the latter."

    Indeed. And there's actually more... Such as... what if the person doing the complaining has such a personality that they engage in what is known as projective identification (a Kleinian notion in which the person doing it believes something about the other person that is total bollocks, and relates to them as if it's perfectly true - eventually getting that person to behave in a way that 'confirms' the notion that was originally a load of bollocks). PI is a way of making a prophecy fulfil itself, basically. And some people are fucking good at that. And this type of psychological process going on in the mind of one person can really fuck a relationship up. I don't think our Maxine Ashton gyal's actually thought about that!

    "Most people would leave a jerk at the earliest opportunity. Some don't. Some, it's because of their moral structure. (They made a promise, and they will see it through even if it kills them.)"

    Indeed.

    "I don't agree with that, but I have to respect its integrity. Others, though, clearly have issues that make them unable to leave the jerk, or actually want to be with a jerk."

    Such as the idea that they alone can 'save the jerk from him/herself'? I've seen that one too. And what if the person is a jerk at the end of it all... the question remains: was s/he always a jerk during that relationship? If not, what brought about this state of 'being a jerk'? Again... we're back to this idea of any given individual's behaviour as being totally determined by that individual; and this notion has been demonstrated to be bollocks. Most of human behaviour is not down to the person's biological make-up: about 84% of the variance in behaviour is either due to situation or due to other psychological processes not directly linked to one's psycho-neurology. The whole fucking Cassandra thing strikes me as being an ill-thought-out concept based more on prejudice than anything else. A classic confirmation bias process that can't help but fuck up what could become (or even be, if the people in it would stop arguing long enough to fucking listen to each other) a reasonably good relationship.

    "My biggest issue with 'CADD' is that it suggests only autistic partners can 'trigger' this disorder, when by its own reasoning, it's jerkishness that supposedly triggers it."

    Exactly. It's a bare-faced scapegoating technique.

    "Most jerks aren't autistic, though obviously some are. Autistics come in all flavors, after all."

    Yep.

    "My second-biggest issue is the encouragement to speculatively diagnose the partner based purely on the presenting patient's complaints."

    Here's actually what is my biggest issue with it, as a type of alleged psycho-pathology: if the diagnosis is being made on the subjective complaints of the partner of the person ding the complaining, and if it does not have any input from the person being complained about, and if the diagnostician has not taken steps to find out what actually is going on in the dynamic of the dyad in the relationship, then no reliable assessment has been done... a diagnosis is being made on the flimsiest of bases - '... because I fucking say so'! And this goes against any code of practice that one might wish to invoke here.

    As one who deals with assessment issues a fair bit in his work as a consultant, I have a serious problem with a diagnosis made on the basis of information gleaned from only one person.

    If Ashton isn't JAFBSM, why is she so happy to do this sort of thing? And this is where my issue with Attwood lies, regarding his involvement with Ashton: as a clinical psychologist, who is trained in clinical psycho-diagnostics and clinical assessment, there is an ethical requirement to not be entangled with anyone's practice where that person is acting in a manner likely to cause harm to anyone. This doesn't necessarily mean that he shouldn't be working only with Chartered Psychologists (there's actually no guarantee that such a psychologist is going to be all that ethical or all that good at what they do); but she should - when aligning himself with someone engaging in some form of applied psychological practitioner work - be certain that such a practitioner's own practice conforms to the BPS/CPS/APS/etc Codes of Ethics and Practice.

    "Given that there are already huge marital problems, I think it's safe to assume the patient is not even remotely objective on the subject, so depending on them to assess their ex-partner is, frankly, batshit crazy."

    I think the same; and this is why Ashton's treading dangerous ground... she's going to always end up making a bad situation a shitload worse.

    That's good for no bugger.

    Except Maxine Ashton.

    And she gets rich on the back of a fictitious diagnosis, while Attwood is happy to implicitly support that diagnosis by continuing to have a professional connection with her.

    By Blogger David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction), at 4:56 AM  

  • Dear me, life so often gets in the way of blogging. I've been busy stimulating the economy, and now our young terrors have temporarily ceased asking me to buy them things. We also have some bizarre goings-on in our dysfunctional neighbourhood, which is normal.

    Calli Arcale wrote, regarding CADD :

    "My second-biggest issue is the encouragement to speculatively diagnose the partner based purely on the presenting patient's complaints. Given that there are already huge marital problems, I think it's safe to assume the patient is not even remotely objective on the subject, so depending on them to assess their ex-partner is, frankly, batshit crazy."

    I couldn't agree more.

    I'm stunned that I have received a response regarding the Doctor's status with the University! There are no contact details for the Doc at the Uni as he is not based at either Uni campus, but apparently he does have a current appointment as some type of adjunct through the School of Psychology at the Gold Coast Campus. The response that I got did not give much info about the Doc's exact position - it is only referred to as "Adjunct".

    Assuming that he is an Adjunct Associate Professor, I think there are four different ways to think about the Doc's use of the title "Professor". I believe that formally, in Australia, only a full Professor is entitled to use the title of "Professor". But if one is thinking in a simple-minded manner, I guess one could say that any type of professor is literally a professor, but I wouldn't think in that way. In practice, I have read that in Australia Associate Professors often use the title "Professor" regardless of any rules. As for Adjuncts, I don't know. From the point of view that I think the man in the street might have, I believe it is misleading that a person who has such a distant involvement with a university should refer to themself as a professor. I'm sure that most people, when they think of "professor" think of a senior academic who has a solid base of on-campus experience of lecturing and peer-reviewed research, and who actually works at the university and represents the university more than he/she represents their own privately-run clinical practice or business or public speaking career. But this Doc was appointed to a Gold Coast campus, and ANYTHING is possible on the Gold Coast!

    By Blogger Lili Marlene, at 10:36 AM  

  • "I'm stunned that I have received a response regarding the Doctor's status with the University!"

    Well done. Didn't hurt then to actually ASK them!

    "There are no contact details for the Doc at the Uni as he is not based at either Uni campus, but apparently he does have a current appointment as some type of adjunct through the School of Psychology at the Gold Coast Campus."

    So he isn't lying then! His information is accurate.

    "The response that I got did not give much info about the Doc's exact position - it is only referred to as 'Adjunct'."

    That should then be enough for you to accept that he is indeed, as he says, adjunct Associate Professor. Since - if he was claiming something false - he would have been served with an injunction. I'm personally not happy that all they say is 'Adjunct'. That wouldn't answer any query for me if I'm wishing to know if someone is 'adjunct associate professor'.

    "Assuming that he is an Adjunct Associate Professor, I think there are four different ways to think about the Doc's use of the title "Professor"."

    That is as may be...

    "I believe that formally, in Australia, only a full Professor is entitled to use the title of "Professor"."

    I would agree with this, in as much as the use of the title by others in addressing you: yes... be a full professor for that.

    "But if one is thinking in a simple-minded manner, I guess one could say that any type of professor is literally a professor, but I wouldn't think in that way."

    Hang on. That isn't a 'simple-minded' way of looking at anything, even if it is literal. And so what if you wouldn't think that way. Many will.

    "In practice, I have read that in Australia Associate Professors often use the title 'Professor' regardless of any rules. As for Adjuncts, I don't know."

    Since they are - in some way - professors, then it is not unreasonable of them to state that they are professors, provided that they use the correct descriptor.

    To say, for example, that one is a professor at X University, when one is an Assistant Professor (in terms of the actual post held) is wrong. It is very misleading. If, however, one is employed as (or one holds a position of) Associate Professor, but one does not have a permanent chair or a full time occupancy of a chair (as would define an 'adjunct') then it is not unreasonable to state that one is an 'adjunct associate professor' at that university: it is the job title! As to, in such a case, being allowed to insist on being called 'Professor ....' - that I don't know. But it is not unreasonable to say that one is 'adjunct associate professor' if indeed that is what one is. To expect otherwise is clearly unreasonable since it would be expecting that person to deny their post!

    "From the point of view that I think the man in the street might have, I believe it is misleading that a person who has such a distant involvement with a university should refer to themself as a professor."

    It is if one is looking for a reason to dislike the man... If he is 'adjunct associate professor' then he is allowed to acknowledge that role with the university. As I have already said, to expect him to deny that role, just for your bloody comfort, is unreasonable.

    "I'm sure that most people, when they think of 'professor' think of a senior academic who has a solid base of on-campus experience of lecturing and peer-reviewed research, and who actually works at the university and represents the university more than he/she represents their own privately-run clinical practice or business or public speaking career."

    So you think you get to define what a professor actually is? What about what the university thinks of it? His role as 'adjunct associate professor' can be easily justified by the university on the ground that he:

    a- has a Ph. D. in his specialist field (clinical psychology, autism); and,

    b- has - through the clinic he is involved with - a formal relationship with the university (however distant) in which the supervision of, or teaching of material to, the students takes place.

    Clearly, this two conditions are met and the university has appointed him 'adjunct associate professor'. Had he not been a Doctor of Philosophy (which is a qualification for being appointed as a professor at any grade), he might have only been appointed - as I am - as a Visiting Lecturer.

    "But this Doc was appointed to a Gold Coast campus, and ANYTHING is possible on the Gold Coast!"

    Now you're just looking for reasons to hate the man. You lose. I'm going to find out for myself whether they list him as merely 'adjunct' without saying if he is that sort of'associate professor'. And when I get the reply, I shall cut and paste the contents of the e-mail (minus personal identifiers of the person who has written the mail, of course) in this thread.

    As I have stated myself, the fact that he is involved with Aston/Ashton (I've heard two variants on her name) displeases me very intensely. But I'm not desperate (as you seem to be) to belittle him or his reputation in a manner that can be described only as character assassination.

    At every stage you have ignore all possible evidence for why he might be allowed to use that information on his website. You have 'assumed that he is an adjunct associate professor' all of a sudden, from a position that was emphatic that 'because you couldn't find him on a website, he isn't what he said he is'. Huge jump.

    Personally I think that any response you would have got would state clearly that Dr. Attwood is - as he describes himself - an 'adjunct associate professor'.

    Did the university say that he was an 'adjunct associate professor' or just an 'adjunct' (without mentioning the 'associate professor' bit)? Answer carefully, because I'm about to ask them myself.

    I don't have to like what he does or with whom he hangs out in order to respect him as my colleague as an international associate editor for Good Autism Practice; but neither do I have to sit and read what looks like a blatant and gross attempt at a character assassination of him from someone who has a chip on her shoulder about him.

    By Blogger David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction), at 5:49 PM  

  • Is this the Cassandra disorder we are talking about? http://affectivedeprivationdisorder.blogspot.com/

    Notice Attwood mentions affective deprivation in a recent talk- http://www.autismhangout.com/news-reports/feature-programs.asp?id2=103

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:52 PM  

  • Link didnt work, so Ill just post the whole thing-

    Affective Deprivation Disorder (article)


    Affective Deprivation Disorder (AfDD) is a term proposed by couples therapist Maxine Aston[1] for a relational disorder in which at least one member of the relationship has low emotional intelligence or alexithymia [2] which latter may contribute to the emergence of an enduring emotional deprivation as experienced by one or both partners of the relationship. As a disordered relationship, AfDD does not result solely from alexithymic pathology in one individual, but rather includes pathological patterns of responding by both individuals i.e. alexithymia is just one mediating factor to which pathological responses of both individuals are joined at a dysfunctional juncture.

    The interpersonal relationships of those with low-EI or alexithymia are frequently hampered by poor emotional communication. According to Vanheule, Desmet and Meganck (2006)[3] alexithymia creates interpersonal problems largely because these individuals avoid emotionally close social relationships, or that if they do form relationships with others they tend to position themselves as either dependent or impersonal, “such that the relationship remains superficial.”[4] Inadequate differentiation between self and other by alexithymic individuals has also been observed by Blaustein & Tuber (1998) and Taylor et al., (1997).[6]

    In a recent study[7] a large group of alexithymic individuals completed the 64-item Inventory of Interpersonal problems (IIP-64) which found that "two interpersonal problems are significantly and stably related to alexithymia: cold/distant and non-assertive social functioning.”[8]
    Chaotic interpersonal relations have also been observed by Sifneos[5] In addition to these interpersonal problems it has been found that low-EI may be a contributing factor in situations of domestic abuse[9] and that both low-EI and alexithymia affects both the quality and satisfaction of the relationship, and produces negative psychological symptoms in one or both individuals.[10][11]

    There are several benefits to employing the category of relational disorder in this case. Firstly it shifts the focus somewhat away from the low-EI/alexithymic person’s pathology and onto the relational difficulties, meaning there will be less focus on blame and an invitation for the involved individuals to develop skills for recognizing and managing these difficulties together. Secondly, it steers away from the erroneous and damaging suggestion that alexithymic persons create personality disorder in their partners or children and instead shows that the disordered behavior is a response by either individual to the problematic relationship dynamic.


    Contents

    [hide]

    * 1 History
    * 2 Description
    * 3 Diagnostic Criteria
    * 4 Treatment
    * 5 Differential Diagnosis
    -5.1 ‘Primary’ and ‘Secondary’ Emotional Deprivation
    * 6 References

    History

    Older terms proposed for the disorder were Cassandra Phenomenon (2000)[12], Cassandra Syndrome, Cassandra Affective Disorder, Cassandra Affective Deprivation Disorder, and most recently Affective Deprivation Disorder proposed by Maxine Aston (2007).[13] These terms have been applied at different times, by various authors, to the experience of individuals in a relationship influenced by Asperger’s Syndrome, many of whom showed disturbing physical and psychological reactions to the lack of emotional reciprocity they were experiencing in their relationship. Maxine Aston was later to broaden her definition of the scope of AfDD’s applicability to include disorders such as depression, eating disorders, posttraumatic stress disorder, and panic disorder[14] in which the same low emotional intelligence or alexithymia found in Asperger’s Syndrome was also found to have high prevalence in these disorders. Alexithymia is thought to affect 10% of the overall population[15] and has a representative prevalence of 85% in autistic spectrum disorders, [16] 40% in posttraumatic stress disorder,[17] 63% in anorexia nervosa and 56% in bulimia, [18] 45% in major depressive disorder,[19] 34% in panic disorder, [20] and 50% in substance abusers [21]. Alexithymia is further linked with schizotypal, dependent, avoidant, and borderline personality disorders, as well as psychosomatic disorders such as migraine headaches, lower back pain, irritable bowel syndrome, asthma, nausea, allergy, hypertension or fibromyalgia [22]
    Description

    Low emotional intelligence or alexithymia has been linked with deficts in the ability to be empathetically attuned to others.[23] Also, this lack of empathetic attunement contributes to a de-sophistication of emotional interaction in which many of the subtle emotional signals and nuances are not perceived by the sufferer,[24] a situation which may lead the non-alexithymic partner or family member to feel misunderstood, neglected or deprived when relating emotionally. A second issue related to alexithymia involves the inability to identify and therewith modulate strong emotions such as sadness or anger, which leaves the alexithymic individual prone to “sudden affective outbursts such as crying or rage”[25]

    Low emotional intelligence or alexithymia has been recognized by clinical research as reducing marital satisfaction[26], increasing the risk of domestic abuse between couples[27], and reducing the emotional quality of a relationship[28], although it is possible in the latter example for a partner with higher emotional intelligence to qualitatively compensate for a partner with low emotional intelligence.

    These salient features each contribute to the construct of Affective Deprivation Disorder, which is comprised of the following four factors; (a) Low emotional/empathy quotient or alexithymia; (b) Negative relational interaction and experience; (c) Negative psychological symptoms; and (c) negative psychosomatic symptoms.
    Diagnostic Criteria

    To qualify for a diagnosis of AfDD one or more of the following indicators in each category must be present:

    At least one partner must meet diagnostic criteria for one or more of the following

    * Low Emotional Intelligence
    * Alexithymia
    * Low Empathy Quotient

    Relationship Profile includes one or more of the following

    * High relational conflict
    * Domestic abuse: emotional and/or physical
    * Reduced marital or relationship satisfaction
    * Reduced relationship quality

    Possible Psychological Symptoms

    * Low self esteem.
    * Feeling confused/bewildered
    * Feelings of anger, depression and anxiety
    * Feelings of guilt
    * Loss of self/depersonalization
    * Phobias – social/agoraphobia
    * Posttraumatic stress reactivity

    Possible Psychosomatic Effects

    * Fatigue
    * Sleep loss
    * Migraines
    * Loss or gain in weight
    * PMT/female related problems
    * ME (myalgic encephalomyelitis)
    * Low immune system


    Each of these diagnostic factors and sub-factors can be formally assessed with clinical tests such as the BarOn Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQ-i); Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20); Post Traumatic Stress Reaction Index (PTS-RI); and various clinical scales for assessing anger, depression, anxiety, and relationship quality.
    Treatment

    The following treatment issues are proposed by Maxine Aston for those affected AfDD:

    Rebuilding Self Esteem

    * · Having a voice
    * · Looking at negative responses
    * · Looking at self image
    * · Building confidence
    * · Becoming assertive
    * · Attending a Workshop


    Finding Self

    * · Identifying Parent - Child roles
    * · Changing learned helplessness
    * · Rebuilding self
    * · Rebuilding family and relationships
    * · Rebuilding a social life
    * · Finding support


    Differential diagnosis
    ‘Primary’ and ‘Secondary’ emotional deprivation

    The closely related term “Emotional Deprivation Disorder” is an informal concept referring to a more enduring emotional deprivation whose etiology is different to that of AfDD. Although the two concepts have some similarities of behaviour, a differential diagnosis is made on the following criteria:

    Emotional Deprivation Disorder (EDD) is an enduring disorder of the self stemming from deprivation during childhood development, and is differentiated from the relational disorder proposed by AfDD in which the individual’s behaviours are reliant on the dynamics of a current relationship.

    These two distinct disorders may sometimes be co-present, as when someone with EDD habitually seeks out emotionally depriving relationships in adulthood, which lead to a further embedding of the entrenched deprivation experience.

    The best way to distinguish EDD and AfDD is think in terms of the permanence or transiency of the emotionally-deprived condition. EDD is a primary and enduring condition which seems to alter little over time or with changing circumstances. Whereas AfDD is a secondary relational condition which disappears after the evoking stressful situation has been altered. The secondary deprivation of AfDD is much more likely to be responsive to treatment intervention than EDD.

    References
    [1]http://www.maxineaston.co.uk/cassandra/AfDD.shtml
    [2]Emotional Intelligence, and Alexithymia are found to be independent but highly overlapping constructs, and are inversely scored. See- Parker, J.D.A., Taylor, G.J. and Bagby, R.M (2001) ‘The relationship between emotional intelligence and alexithymia’ Journal of Personality and Individual Differences 30, 107-115

    [3] Vanheule, S., Desmet, M., and Meganck, R. (2006) ‘Alexithymia and Interpersonal Problems’ “Journal of Clinical Psychology 63”: 109-117

    [4] Vanheule, S., Desmet, M., and Meganck, R. (2006) ‘Alexithymia and Interpersonal Problems’ “Journal of Clinical Psychology 63”: p.110

    [5] Sifneos, P. E. (1996), Alexithymia: past and present. “American Journal of Psychiatry 153”(7 suppl):137-142

    [6] Blaustein, j. P., & Tuber, S. B., (1998) Knowing the Unspeakeable. Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic, 62, 351-365; and Taylor, G. J., Bagby, R. M., and Parker, D. A. (1997) “Disorders of Affect Regulation: Alexithymia in Medical and Psychiatric Illness”. Cambridge

    [7] Vanheule, S., Desmet, M., and Meganck, R. (2006) ‘Alexithymia and Interpersonal Problems’ “Journal of Clinical Psychology 63”: p.110

    [8] Vanheule, S., Desmet, M., and Meganck, R. (2006) ‘Alexithymia and Interpersonal Problems’ “Journal of Clinical Psychology 63”: p.112

    [9]Winters, J., Clift, R. J. W., & Dutton, D. G. - Emotional Intelligence and Domestic Abuse’ in Journal of Family Violence 19[2] (2004) p. 255-267

    [10]Yelsma, P., Marrow, S. - ‘An Examination of Couples’ Difficulties With Emotional Expressiveness and Their Marital Satisfaction’ in Journal of Family Communication 3 (2003) p.41-62 [1]
    [11]Brackett et al - ‘Emotional Intelligence and Relationship Quality Among Couples’ in Personal Relationships, 12 (2005) p.197-212 [3]
    [12]FAAAS ‘history’ of the term at http://www.faaas.org/doc.php?40,,59746p,faa30928,,,Index,.html
    [13]proposed here, July 2007: http://www.maxineaston.co.uk/cassandra/AfDD.shtml
    [14]stated by Aston here: http://www.maxineaston.co.uk/cassandra/
    [15]Linden, W., Wen, F., Paulhaus, D. L. (1994) Measuring alexithymia: reliability, validity, and prevalence. In: J. Butcher, C. Spielberger, (Eds.). Advances in Personality Assessment. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.).
    [16]Hill, E., Berthoz, S., & Frith, U (2004) ‘Brief report: cognitive processing of own emotions in individuals with autistic spectrum disorder and in their relatives.’ Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 34, 2, 229-235),
    [17]Shipko, S., Alvarez, A., & Noviello, N. (1983). Towards a Teological Model of Alexithymia: Alexithymia and Post–Traumatic Stress Disorder. Psychotherapy & Psychosomatics, 39, 122–126),
    [18]Cochrane, C.E., Brewerton, T.D., Wilson, D.B. & Hodges, E.L. (1993) ‘Alexithymia in eating disorders.’ International Journal of Eating Disorders 14, 219-222)
    [19]Honkalampi, K., Hintikka, J., Laukkanen, E., Lehtonen, J. and Viinamäki, H. (2001) ‘Alexithymia and depression: a prospective study of patients with major depressive disorder.’ Journal of Psychosomatics 42, 229-234),
    [20]Cox BJ, Swinson RP, Shulman ID, Bourdeau D (1995): Alexithymia in panic disorder and social phobia. Comprehensive Psychiatry 36/8:195-198),
    [21]Taylor, G.J., Parker, J.D.A., & Bagby, R.M. (1990) ‘A preliminary investigation of alexithymia in men with psychoactive substance dependence.’ American Journal of Psychiatry 147, 1228-1230)
    [22]Taylor, G.J., Bagby, R.M. and Parker, J.D.A. (1997) Disorders of Affect Regulation: Alexithymia in medical and psychiatric illness. Cambridge University Press).
    [23]Moriguchi, Y., Decety, J., Ohnishi, T., Maeda, M., Matsuda, H., & Komaki, G. Empathy and judging other’s pain: An fMRI study of alexithymia. Cerebral Cortex (2007); Bird, J., Silani, G., Brindley, R., Singer, T., Frith, U., and Frith, C. Alexithymia In Autistic Spectrum Disorders: and fMRI Investigation (2006)
    [24]Taylor, G. J. Bagby, R. M., Parker. D.A., Disorders of Affect Regulation, Cambridge (1997)
    [25]Nemiah, C.J., Freyberger, H., & Sifneos, P.E., ‘Alexithymia: A View of the Psychosomatic Process’ in O.W.Hill (1970) (ed), Modern Trends in Psychosomatic Medicine, Vol-2, p.432-33; Krystal, H. Integration and Self-Healing: Affect, Trauma, Alexithymia (1988), p. 246; McDougall, J. Theaters of the Mind 1985, p.169-70; Taylor, G.J, Parker, J.D.A., & Bagby, R.M. Disorders of Affect Regulation- Alexithymia in Medical and Psychiatric Illness (1997), p.246-47
    [26]Yelsma, P., Marrow, S. - ‘An Examination of Couples’ Difficulties With Emotional Expressiveness and Their Marital Satisfaction’ in Journal of Family Communication 3 (2003) p.41-62 [4]
    [27]Winters, J., Clift, R. J. W., & Dutton, D. G. - Emotional Intelligence and Domestic Abuse’ in Journal of Family Violence 19[5] (2004) p. 255-267
    [28]Brackett et al - ‘Emotional Intelligence and Relationship Quality Among Couples’ in Personal Relationships, 12 (2005) p.197-212[6]

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:56 PM  

  • David and Lili Marlene

    I don't think either one of you should call.

    Both of you may have too much involvement about Tony Attwood. David, he is your colleage basically and you respect him as such and you may put some emotional bias based upon that because you look up to him alot. This could taint your objectivity could it not? If I'm wrong than I'm wrong.

    Lili Marlene, your emotional involvement and your bias may be tainting your call and may be causing you to selectively hear the conversation in the way you want. Again, if I'm wrong then I'm wrong. I may have my own biases.



    Personally, we need a 3rd person to make the call, ask the questions that are needed, and put the results here. I would do it but I fear the phone a lot. Timelord, Socrates or ABFH may be the best one to do it if they want and to record the results here.

    This needs to be as objective as possible. Whatever the results are, whomever is wrong is wrong and that means they learned something that even the best and brightest university graduates can still have bias of somekind.

    Maybe this is just me overanalyzing again and I need to stop.

    By Blogger Cube Demon, at 12:02 AM  

  • Cube Demon, I have already contacted the university and written here about the response that I got.

    David Andrews wrote:

    "If, however, one is employed as (or one holds a position of) Associate Professor, but one does not have a permanent chair or a full time occupancy of a chair (as would define an 'adjunct') then it is not unreasonable to state that one is an 'adjunct associate professor' at that university: it is the job title! As to, in such a case, being allowed to insist on being called 'Professor ....' - that I don't know."

    Dr Attwood is described as "Professor Tony Attwood" at the web site of a clinic where he works (possibly his main place of work, I don't know). I'd happily assume that he is responsible for this description.

    David Andrews wrote:

    ""From the point of view that I think the man in the street might have, I believe it is misleading that a person who has such a distant involvement with a university should refer to themself as a professor."

    It is if one is looking for a reason to dislike the man... If he is 'adjunct associate professor' then he is allowed to acknowledge that role with the university. As I have already said, to expect him to deny that role, just for your bloody comfort, is unreasonable."

    I don't have to look for reasons to dislike Dr Attwood. I've always disliked the man. He is just a type that I don't like or trust. It is a completely personal thing. I don't expect him to deny that he has some position, but I did find it sad and rather concerning when I read one of his patients refer to him as "the professor", particularly in light of the fact that years after what was supposed to be a professional diagnostic consultation with this "professor" this patient has had his career gradually and finally destroyed by ongoing untreated serious anxiety.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2006/mar/05/popandrock

    David Andrews wrote:

    "I'm going to find out for myself whether they list him as merely 'adjunct' without saying if he is that sort of'associate professor'. And when I get the reply, I shall cut and paste the contents of the e-mail (minus personal identifiers of the person who has written the mail, of course) in this thread."

    Do you have a problem with written comprehension? I NEVER wrote that they LISTED him only as "Adjunct", that is how he was personally described in my reply email. If you make an enquiry it could be some other office staff or academic staff who deal with your enquiry. This is an excerpt from the response that I got "... we do not have a listing for Tony Attwood". I presume this refers to the university phone book. I think this says a lot about how connected he is to the university.

    David Andrews wrote:

    "Personally I think that any response you would have got would state clearly that Dr. Attwood is - as he describes himself - an 'adjunct associate professor'."

    Sorry, that wasn't the case!

    By Blogger Lili Marlene, at 1:19 AM  

  • Quote from supposed article about " Affective Deprivation Disorder"

    " Affective Deprivation Disorder (AfDD) is a term proposed by couples therapist Maxine Aston[1] for a relational disorder in which at least one member of the relationship has low emotional intelligence or alexithymia ...."

    Well if you find that you have a partner who has an IQ or a personality that does not meet with your requirements or preferences GO FIND ANOTHER PARTNER, FOOL!!!! Why bother writing a damned paper about it or a nauseous poem about it or complaining about it at length to some therapist, JUST LEAVE! No-fault divorce has been available in Australia SINCE 1976!! Go, girl, go!

    What's that you say? You CAN'T leave your partner? Well, maybe YOU have Dependent Personality Disorder (DPD). Here are the DSM diagnostic criteria for DPD:

    • Feels uncomfortable or helpless when alone because of exaggerated fears of being unable to care for himself or herself

    • Has difficulty making everyday decisions without an excessive amount of advice and reassurance from others

    • Needs others to assume responsibility for most major areas of his or her life

    • Has difficulty expressing disagreement with others because of fear of loss of support or approval (this does not include realistic fears of retribution)

    • Has difficulty initiating projects or doing things on his or her own (because of a lack of self-confidence in judgment or abilities rather than a lack of motivation or energy)

    • Goes to excessive lengths to obtain nurturance and support from others, to the point of volunteering to do things that are unpleasant

    • Urgently seeks another relationship as a source of care and support when a close relationship ends

    • Is unrealistically preoccupied with fears of being left to take care of himself or herself

    By Blogger Lili Marlene, at 1:33 AM  

  • Dependent PD. Good example and probably true in many cases.

    Suppose thats why Aston named it a Relational Disorder. Both have problems.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:47 AM  

  • If a person has Dependent Personality Disorder (DPD), a "personality disorder" that is officially recognized by the American Psychiatric Association, unlike "Cassandra syndrome" or "Affective Deprivation Disorder", then that person has a condition that is considered to be a mental illness IN THEIR OWN RIGHT, regardless of whoever they may have as a partner. In fact their choice of partners is not at all selective or discriminating "... attachment figures are basically interchangeable."

    By Blogger Lili Marlene, at 4:01 AM  

  • Aston writes, "...AfDD does not result solely from alexithymic pathology in one individual, but rather includes pathological patterns of responding by both individuals..."

    hmmmm, obviously she is saying that Aspies are not at fault but that both partners are messing things up. Unlike the claims on this blog it seems that she is NOT saying that people develop a disorder from being with an Aspie. Not the person is disordered but the relationship.

    I'm wondering how the above claims about NT's developing a disorder were extruded from Aston's description of relational disorder?

    Is she claiming that the NT develops a disorder or is she saying that the relationship becomes disordered?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:10 AM  

  • Of course both have problems.
    What planet have YOU been on?

    And one partner needn’t have Aspergers.
    And Aspergers doesn’t make one abusive.
    My observations;

    1. Aspergers has nothing to do with any of this.
    2. At the expense of autistics everywhere it's being wrongly used as an excuse for people who are too afraid to look at their own sad issues, in avoiding what they don’t wish to admit or accept.
    3. in all probability they are projecting their own unaddressed relational issues onto the other partner in their avoidance.
    4. They then go on to the practice rescuing others from the same relational responsibility they are running from/ ran from themselves..
    5. As the sickness is further propagated, more and more marriages and families become affected and reach an often unnecessary demise.
    6. The real issues if these “victim partners” remain completely avoided.
    The women who set themselves up as “founders:" of these "poor partners groups", are the sickest of them all. And Maxine Aston is the ring leader of the whole darn circus.

    My advice;
    Take back your own darn garbage and look here;

    http://www.baggagereclaim.co.uk/category/relationships/abusive-relationships/

    By Anonymous Professor Rex, at 4:10 AM  

  • The relationship becomes disordered?

    You make it sound as if the relationship has a life of its own!
    Not so.
    The “relationship” is certainly not at fault.
    That’s the best avoidance cop out yet.
    The relationshop's made up of two people. Each with, equally problematic issues.
    That each will take into future relationships with individuals with equally problematic issues.
    If she says her ex was a “fuck wit”,
    or he says his ex was “nutter”
    But YOU are “so different”.
    …beware.
    You are about to be the next “fuckwit” or “nutter” to enter their life.

    By Anonymous Professor Rex, at 4:36 AM  

  • I believe THIS is the Cassandra disorder we are talking about;

    http://www.faaas.org/pdf/CADD_Brochure_0508.pdf

    By Anonymous Professor John, at 5:50 AM  

  • Who is this Professor Rex, and is he REALLY a professor? :)

    By Blogger Lili Marlene, at 5:52 AM  

  • Oh, gosh, ANOTHER proessor!

    By Blogger Lili Marlene, at 5:53 AM  

  • I would just like to say that I have never, will never and have never thought about giving Maxine head.

    I hope this clarifies matters for you all.

    I still have a couple of dates in May if you would like to book me to speak at a Hub event : US$400 an hour.

    Bargain.

    By Anonymous Professor Twatflaps, at 5:56 AM  

  • FAAAS might not be putting a more negative/derogatory slant on the Cassandra thing, at least in comparison to the way Aston has portrayed it above.

    I dont think FAAAS even sees it as a relational disorder.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:01 AM  

  • I meant to say FAAS might be being more derogatory than Aston. Faaas seems to blame the person with AS and leave the NT off the hook.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:07 AM  

  • Among the folks who take this Affective Cassandra Disorder nonsense seriously there seems to be an assumption that Aspergers and Alexithymia automatically go together. This is simply untrue, they are two entirely seperate conditions, and there apparently is scientific evidence that it is Alexithymia, not AS or autism, that is the condition that is most closely related to a supposed lack of empathy. Here is a quote from a media report about one recent fMRI study of AS and Alexithymia and empathy:

    "The result may mean that researchers and clinicians should rethink the deficit in empathy associated with Asperger's syndrome. "I would just claim not all Asperger's [patients] will have an empathy deficit," Singer says. It's the degree to which people have alexithymia that determines whether they have an empathy deficit."

    Saey, Tina Hesman (2008) Asperger’s syndrome may not lead to a lack of empathy.
    Science News. April 24th 2008.

    http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/31400/title/Asperger%E2%80%99s_syndrome_may_not_lead_to_lack_of_empathy_

    So why don't you Cassandra Kooks RACK OFF NOW, get on your bikes, and go pester and harass and villify people who have Alexithymia, and leave us autists ALONE!

    By Blogger Lili Marlene, at 6:25 AM  

  • "I don't have to look for reasons to dislike Dr Attwood. I've always disliked the man. He is just a type that I don't like or trust. It is a completely personal thing."

    So it is a prejudice.

    By Blogger David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction), at 6:44 AM  

  • "but I did find it sad and rather concerning when I read one of his patients refer to him as "the professor", particularly in light of the fact that years after what was supposed to be a professional diagnostic consultation with this "professor" this patient has had his career gradually and finally destroyed by ongoing untreated serious anxiety.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2006/mar/05/popandrock"

    You still trying to blame him for Craig's fucking career issue and that anxiety?

    And you ask ME if I have a comprehension problem?

    You're either seriously prejudiced against Attwood to the point pf patholgy or you're bloody stupid.
    Jesus fucking Christ. Yo're actually as bad as the fucking mercury loons.

    By Blogger David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction), at 6:47 AM  

  • Call me naive, call me old-fashioned, but I still believe that clinicians have a moral and professional responsibility towards their clients or patients, at least in the area of health in which they were consulted.

    By Blogger Lili Marlene, at 7:16 AM  

  • This is what we say will help.

    CADD can be helped through awareness and
    education. It is expected to respond to prolonged
    exposure to positive interpersonal contacts and
    at least temporary removal from contact with
    the adult with Asperger’s Syndrome, when and
    where possible. Education is required not only
    for the individual suffering from CADD, but also
    for family members, friends, and professionals,
    who may add to the disorder by dismissing or
    ignoring the neurotypical partner’s cries for
    help. Just as the symptoms of seasonal affective
    disorder are relieved by treatment with increased
    exposure to bright lights, the symptoms of
    CADD are alleviated by increased exposure to
    positive social-emotional interaction, validation
    and reciprocity.

    You don’t understand our pain the way we do.
    We are only wanting to be seen for our good deeds and the fine work we do. It’s unfair that we are being unappreciated by the autistic community. We are only trying to help the poor r@#$$$$ out(of their families.
    Some of our helpful partners group leaders are so dedicated to our rescue mission position we are even willing to take our fellow suffering NT partners off the Aspergers spouses hands, and into our own homes to commence special personal treatment with interpersonal contact for their CADS.

    By Anonymous Professor Oddmann, at 7:49 AM  

  • No.
    It's true. Maxine says it's true. During interpersonal contact she affirmed it to me.

    As described by Maxine Aston, when a person
    with Asperger’s Syndrome enters a relationship
    with a neurotypical partner, the NT partner is
    likely to experience social-emotional deprivation
    and may suffer serious consequences to mental
    and physical health. Emotional reciprocity, social
    interaction, caring, and a sense of belonging
    are essential components of psychological
    health in neurotypical individuals. When their
    environment lacks these elements, neurotypical
    individuals may develop CADD that progresses
    with time if the disorder remains undiagnosed
    and untreated.

    http://www.faaas.org/pdf/CADD_Brochure_0508.pdf

    By Anonymous Professor Hotrod, at 8:08 AM  

  • What I would like to know is what sort of professor is Prefessor Hotrod? Thats what I would like to know.

    By Anonymous Professor John, at 8:13 AM  

  • Prof Hotrod wrote:

    As described by Maxine Aston, when a person
    with Asperger’s Syndrome enters a relationship
    with a neurotypical partner, the NT partner is
    likely to experience social-emotional deprivation
    and may suffer serious consequences to mental
    and physical health."

    If that were true, the NT should just #uck off and find another partner. If aspies are consistently able to find fine and compatible autistic and systemizer spouses, it must surely be TOO EASY for any half-presentable NT to find a suitable NT partner to shack up with, among the seething, teeming masses of NTs out there.

    Another quote:

    "Emotional reciprocity, social
    interaction, caring, and a sense of belonging
    are essential components of psychological
    health in neurotypical individuals."

    Then maybe it would be wise for them to #uck off and stick to their own neurotype.

    Another quote:

    "When their
    environment lacks these elements, neurotypical
    individuals may develop CADD that progresses
    with time if the disorder remains undiagnosed
    and untreated."

    Should have taken my advice and #ucked off before it was too late!

    I give such top advice, I should be a professor!

    By Blogger Lili Marlene, at 9:20 AM  

  • This is disappointing. During my summer working in Cedar Point Amusement park, I read Tony Attwood's Complete Guide to Aspergers's Syndrome it open up a lot of doors to certant behaviors I didn't have answers too.

    Now looking on this, I just feel dis-illusioned and disappointed.

    By OpenID wolfofzion, at 4:16 PM  

  • the book's cool - he's just got some dodgy associates...

    By Anonymous Professor Wellhung, at 4:55 PM  

  • "I would just claim not all Asperger's [patients] will have an empathy deficit," Singer says. It's the degree to which people have alexithymia that determines whether they have an empathy deficit.

    Aston's affective "disorder" is not recognized officially, but more importantly it seems only those Aspies who have alexithymia can qualify for the diagnosis. Obviously a significant number can't have this CADD! Which leads to my next question, how many Aspies DONT have alexithymia?? What are the findings??

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:40 PM  

  • By associating with Aston, Grigg and Rodman, Attwood couldn’t have joined ranks with a more destructive anti aspergers trio to discredit his work.

    For years we have seen this going on and apposed it, yet Attwood is wanting to play deaf to our cries of pain.

    Its understood each have failed Aspergers interpersonal relationships/marriages to their credit, and are now causing more damage in their wake to those of others.
    It only taints the image of Attwood, no matter what he may have done.

    The betrayal is more than an insult to autistics and our families. It's taking up sides against us.

    This is exactly the type of discrimination we are crying out against, and Attwood is severely muffling our voices. People with Aspergers so desperately need to be understood. Attwood appears to give with one hand, then take from us with the other.

    The result is he has done nothing for us at all.
    Nothing about us, Without us.

    Professor I M Disgusted

    By Anonymous Professor I M Disgusted, at 6:47 PM  

  • There's far, far too much debate, and not enough arse kicking.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:54 PM  

  • Aston's affective "disorder" is not recognized officially, but more importantly is, Aston's affective "disorder" is not recognized officially.

    It seems only those Aspies who have alexithymia can qualify for the diagnosis.

    Diagnosis of what?

    What are you still going on about you whacko?

    Are you trying out for next place with Rodman and Grigg, because thats who you are sounding like.

    By Anonymous Dr Who is this whacko?, at 7:04 PM  

  • "Singer said April 14 in San Francisco at a meeting of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society. About 10 percent of people in the
    general population may have alexithymia. But people with Asperger's syndrome are far more likely to have alexithymia, with 60 to 80 percent of this group having the condition."

    Which means of course that 20-40% dont have alexithymia.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:10 PM  

  • There's far, far too much debate, and not enough arse kicking.

    The only sensible thing you have said yet.

    So now get out of here before we have to KICK YOURS?

    By Anonymous Professor I Vadinnuf, at 7:11 PM  

  • No. I'll call you stupid and prejudiced.

    He acted with all due care and diligence.

    Get this through your fucking thick skull:

    ATTWOOD DID NOT CAUSE CRAIG NICHOLLS' CAREER TO FUCKING NOSEDIVE!

    It's up to you to prove he did, and you aren't clever enough to do that; not is it possible. There's no evidence to do it with, even if you go on trying to fucking invent it.

    By Blogger David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction), at 7:26 PM  

  • "I give such top advice, I should be a professor!"

    Yeh.

    Your students would be fucked for daring to disagree with you.

    By Blogger David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction), at 7:28 PM  

  • Sorry to hear this.
    I'm very disapointed.
    I've seen concerns expressed for each of these same three women peddling their very negative views of Aspergers syndrome and this Cassandra rubbish for years.
    I thought the reputable names avoided them.
    I’m sorry to hear this isn’t the case.

    Especially where Tony Attwood is concerned.
    I held him with higher regard than this.
    My respect for him as a professional has dropped from how I saw him.
    This is very tacky involvement with these three woman, on his part.

    I agree, not only does Tony Atwood give these unprofessional and damaging individuals and their groups an undue credibility, but he reduces his own level of credibility and respectability to little higher than those he has now become known to associate with.

    I would like to see him become aware of the damage being done and denounce association with these three women in particular and others like them.

    It’s all gone too far. The autistic community needs an advocate of their own who can undo the harm already caused. Not add to it.
    Tony Attwood. Is that advocate going to be you?

    By Anonymous Someone who loves a Person with Autism., at 10:06 PM  

  • I can make up a disorder myself and call it pygmalion disorder and have it have the same symptoms of CADD and that the NT partners give the aspie partner this disorder.

    I could cash in on this just like ashton did but I cannot because I feel like shit for being a fraud. I wouldn't be able to handle the guilt of it.

    I may put it up on my blog just for fun though and a joke.

    I actually agree with Lili Marlene on this even though you are 10 times more blunt than I am on this. If neither can work it out between each other than both may need to split and make arrangements to do so including the arrangement on how custody of the children will be decided if there are any children.

    It doesn't even matter what Neurotype it is. It could be NT-NT. I think we can all agree on this.

    By Blogger Cube Demon, at 12:41 AM  

  • In fact, more and more I proably would be better off with another aspie/autie woman instead of an NT most likely unless the NT woman has an extremely open mind. Those are rare though.

    By Blogger Cube Demon, at 12:43 AM  

  • Cube...

    "I can make up a disorder myself and call it pygmalion disorder and have it have the same symptoms of CADD and that the NT partners give the aspie partner this disorder."

    And it would probably have more diagnostic validity than this Cassandra shite ever had.

    "I could cash in on this just like ashton did but I cannot because I feel like shit for being a fraud. I wouldn't be able to handle the guilt of it."

    Same here. How she can do it, I dunno.

    "I actually agree with Lili Marlene on this even though you are 10 times more blunt than I am on this. If neither can work it out between each other than both may need to split and make arrangements to do so including the arrangement on how custody of the children will be decided if there are any children."

    Thing is... on the Cassandra thing itself, I absolutely agree with her too. What I have an issue with is the stupid way she'd trying to blame everything that goes wrong for on of his clients on him:

    a- when there's no evidence for her to do so; and,

    b- when there's no logical reason to attach that blame in the first fucking place.

    "In fact, more and more I proably would be better off with another aspie/autie woman instead of an NT most likely unless the NT woman has an extremely open mind."

    Yup. And even then, the ability to qualify for that diagnosis on both parties is still no guarantee it'd work out. It's ultimately down to the match between the people involved, and what they are prepared to work on within themselves in order to make the relationship work.

    SWLAPWA...

    "... where Tony Attwood is concerned.
    I held him with higher regard than this. "

    I used to, too.

    "... not only does Tony Atwood give these unprofessional and damaging individuals and their groups an undue credibility, but he reduces his own level of credibility and respectability to little higher than those he has now become known to associate with."

    This is one my issues with him. Another is the reported notion that it is okay to conduct an assessment of someone under false pretences (which is actually against at least half a dozen BPS Code of Ethics and Conduct points).
    Another is the Aspie-walk thing... he may think he's demonstrating something funny, but... I'm not sure about that. It's one thing to use humour in a lecture, but ... has he taken steps to ensure that he's not crossed a line here? I'm not sure, myself.

    What I won't do is to try (like some) to blame him for things that he cannot possibly control for (such as sensitive information that becomes available to the press during court proceedings, where that information is essential in order for a jury to determine guilt or lack of guilt, in the absence of reporting restriction and which is then misused by the press in their reporting of the issue being tried in court; that is a matter to blame the press for, not Attwood).

    "My respect for him as a professional has dropped from how I saw him.
    This is very tacky involvement with these three woman, on his part."

    I can't say that I disagree with this, sadly. I'm not convinced that his work for a certain member of a certain Antipodean rock band lacked any ethicality or professionality; but I do think that it is pretty piss-poor to engage in association with people whose actions and activities are clearly unethical, which brings him into conflict again with the BPS Code of Ethics and Conduct.

    "I would like to see him become aware of the damage being done and denounce association with these three women in particular and others like them."

    This is what I'd like to see. This won't be achieved with people trying to blame him for everything that goes wrong in the life or career of one of his clients, as one person seems hell-bent on doing here. By engaging in THAT tactic, the person concerned is going to do no good to anyone trying to get him to see the reason behind asking him to not associate himself with those people (Aston, Rodman, etc) in the future.

    "The autistic community needs an advocate of their own who can undo the harm already caused. Not add to it.
    Tony Attwood. Is that advocate going to be you?"

    I have some ideas who it could be (not me; at least, not just now... busy trying to be my own advocate against a system that just refuses to listen to those occupying client roles).

    By Blogger David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction), at 4:04 AM  

  • Anonymous wrote:

    ""Singer said April 14 in San Francisco at a meeting of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society. About 10 percent of people in the
    general population may have alexithymia. But people with Asperger's syndrome are far more likely to have alexithymia, with 60 to 80 percent of this group having the condition."

    Which means of course that 20-40% dont have alexithymia."

    Possibly true, but I think it is even more important to consider that a rate of 10% of Alexithymia in the general (presumably mostly non-autistic) population would be a very large number of people. Because there are many, many more non-autistic people than autistic people, I believe this would mean that there would be a far greater proportion of the total population of people with Alexithymia who are NOT autistic than those who are. Does my maths make sense? 90% of the population have neither AS nor Alexithymia, 9.5% of the population have Alexithymia BUT NOT AS, .4% of the population have AS and Alexithymia, and .1% of the population have AS only. I appear to have mislaced .1% somewhere. Any mathematicians out there?

    David Andrews wrote:

    "This won't be achieved with people trying to blame him for everything that goes wrong in the life or career of one of his clients, as one person seems hell-bent on doing here. By engaging in THAT tactic, the person concerned is going to do no good to anyone trying to get him to see the reason behind asking him to not associate himself with those people (Aston, Rodman, etc) in the future."

    I had thought of that angle. I do not believe a sincere apology from the Dr is a realistic possibility. I'm sure you would disagree.

    Someone asked:

    "The autistic community needs an advocate of their own who can undo the harm already caused. Not add to it.
    Tony Attwood. Is that advocate going to be you?"

    How could Dr Attwood be an advocate of our own if he does not have AS? I don't look to NTs to be community leaders, advocates and role models for the AS community. There are plenty of good and capable autistic people out there who are leaders, advocates and famous role models.

    By Blogger Lili Marlene, at 5:29 AM  

  • "I do not believe a sincere apology from the Dr is a realistic possibility. I'm sure you would disagree."

    Sadly, I am not sure we'd get one.

    "Any mathematicians out there?"

    Not quite a mathematician, but I taught remedial mathematics to adult students.

    "Does my maths make sense?"

    Bit of curate's egg, to be honest.

    "Possibly true, but I think it is even more important to consider that a rate of 10% of Alexithymia in the general (presumably mostly non-autistic) population would be a very large number of people."

    As an absolute number, yes.

    "Because there are many, many more non-autistic people than autistic people, I believe this would mean that there would be a far greater proportion of the total population of people with Alexithymia who are NOT autistic than those who are."

    Proportionally, the number would be lower still, because there are fewer per hundred in the general population (including autistics) who are alexithymic than in the autistic population: 60-80% is a greater proportion, although if one looks at that absolute numbers, that 60-80% of autistics who are also will be smaller than the 10% of the general population (including autistics) who are also alexithymic.

    "90% of the population have neither AS nor Alexithymia, 9.5% of the population have Alexithymia BUT NOT AS, .4% of the population have AS and Alexithymia, and .1% of the population have AS only. I appear to have misplaced .1% somewhere."

    This can happen purely from round-up and round-down figures being quoted. 0.1% going missing isn't really statistically significant in a discussion on this topic: the relevant numbers are large enough to swallow up the effect of this type of error.

    (It's like 3 x ⅓; ⅓ is, as a decimal, 0.33333333333333 recurring; but 3 x 0.3333333333333 recurring is 0.9999999999999 recurring... which we have to define as being 1; I hope that made sense).

    Not sure about the statistic on the 0.1% of general population being asperger-autistic, though; diagnostically speaking, it is possible for someone who is 'classically autistic' (F84.0) to develop in such a way that s/he later satisfies the criteria for being Asperger-autistic (F84.5).

    The problem here is that all the known diagnostic instruments (Asperger Syndrome Diagnostic Interview; Australian Scale for Asperger Syndrome; Asperger Syndrome Screening Questionnaire; Childhood Asperger Syndrome Test; and others) will pick up autism generally (mostly in intellectually high-performing individuals, as per intellectual ability tests). This issue makes it problematic to speak of F84.5 as being meaningfully distinct from F84.0 in any way.

    By Blogger David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction), at 6:53 AM  

  • "How could Dr Attwood be an advocate of our own if he does not have AS?"

    Here I am in agreement on what he can and cannot do: as a non-autie-of-any-sort, I can't really see him as being an advocate in the sense of someone who is like us but has the skills and contacts to be able to speak on our behalves to legislators and policy makers. That again is not something that is down to him as a person, although I don't really detect anything that you said as indicating that you thought it was. Because of his not being one of us, he wouldn't understand sufficiently what our perceptions/feelings/actions-activities meant to us as individuals or as a group. And those are the things that an advocate really should understand.

    In a sense, it's actually cultural (or at least para-cultural) in that - whilst autism as a diagnosic category is not a culture - the experience of being autistic is every bit as much a cultural thing as being Scottish, or Australian, or Yoruba, or Fennic, and so on: whatever it is that makes us autistic pervades one's being and impacts on one's perceptions of other people and of events/objects, and it affects how we react emotionally to them; and it also affects how we related to them at the begaviorual level. There is even an extent to which our values in regard to people, objects and events are affected by whatever it is that makes us autistic; and so 'being autistic' is indeed a cultural issue.

    Can a person from a non-Yoruba culture advocate effectly for a Yoruba community? Not very likely. And it is the same with non-autistics advocating for autistics.

    By Blogger David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction), at 7:05 AM  

  • I suspect that alexithymia tests, as applied to autistics, suffer from the same problems that I described with respect to Baron-Cohen's theory of mind study. Using words differently is not the same as inability to perceive the underlying thing.

    By Blogger abfh, at 8:23 AM  

  • "Using words differently"

    That seems a vacuous statement. Care to elaborate?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:41 AM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction), at 10:23 AM  

  • ABFH: ""Using words differently"

    Someone not prepared to say who they are: "That seems a vacuous statement. Care to elaborate?"

    Do you care to prove that it is, in fact, a 'vacuous statement'? If not, you can't expect a response. It looks perfectly understandable to me...

    Without understanding that different people have slightly different definition sets for how they might use a given word. We're talking here about Wittgenstein's second phase philosophy in which he eschews the earlier work he did on Picture Theory (essentially a semantic philosophy of language), and moved into a more pragmatic way of thinking about language: namely, how language is used. In this case, the issue is tied to the use of words to mean things, and the problem referred to by ABFH is that of: does the autistic person use a given word from his/her vocabulary in the same way as his/her non-autistic counterpart would?

    I'm going to make anonynous get off his/her arse now, and tell him/her exactly how to figure this out. For 90e/hr, I'll tutor him/her (s/he comes to Finland and stays in the hotel virtually opposite my house). Otherwise... you want an answer - find it out yourself, anon.

    First- read up on culture and its relationship to language; then, look up Wittgenstein's second theory; then look at a mathematics text that deals in some depth with set theory.

    The figure out what a definitional set might be; then figure out how a person's culture might affet his/her use of a given word; and then figure out what happens if you treat 'being autistic' as a para-cultural phenomenon, and examine its effects on the formation of definitional sets by the autistic person.

    By then, you may have set yourself on a course that will lead you to your requested elaboration.

    Alternatively, you might have gone down a path that would lead you to give up because you know you asked for an elaboration that you weren't intelligent enough to understand.

    By Blogger David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction), at 10:37 AM  

  • Thanks for educating the anon, David. Much appreciated.

    How are things going with your project on the ways in which different cultures view autism?

    By Blogger abfh, at 4:38 PM  

  • "How are things going with your project on the ways in which different cultures view autism?"

    I fucking LOVE Autismiliitto... making it SO bloody hard to organise the start to any work because the MD wanted to he controlling everything about it.

    Still waiting to start. And my course will soon be over.

    That and other issue related to exactly how the Finnish organisational cultures view autism are currently conspiring to fuck things up too.

    Vitutusainetta koko ajan, vittu ....

    re- educating the anonymous... that's alright. I learned by finding things out for my bloody self... s/he should try it some time. Best way to learn (yes, anon, this has been researched).

    By Blogger David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction), at 4:59 PM  

  • Looks like Attwood is getting in on the alexithymia thing:

    “We now have a psychological term, alexithymia, to describe another characteristic associated with Asperger’s syndrome… Clinical experience and research have confirmed that alexithymia can be recognized in the profile of abilities of people with Asperger’s syndrome.” [Tony Attwood]

    Aston has quite an influence!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:04 AM  

  • Seems he also blames Aston's alexithymia for meltdowns:

    “Other reasons for problems with anger management include having a difficulty expressing feelings using words (alexithymia), and using physical acts to articulate the mood and release the emotional energy. Sometimes the anger is deliberately targeted at a person as a mood restorative. A girl with Asperger’s syndrome was famous at school for her polite and compliant behaviour but notorious for the opposite when she returned home. She had contained her stress in the classroom and playground but on returning home was verbally and physically abusive to her younger sister. When I asked her why she was so mean to her sister when she came home from school, she looked at me as though the reason was obvious and replied, “Because it makes me feel better”.

    What I dont get is if Aston and Attwood both see alexithymia as the supposed basis of CADD, then why o why do they not mention that 20-40% of those with AS cant cause CADD because they dont have alexithymia. Duh!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:13 AM  

  • Thos quotes are out of Atwood's THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO ASPERGER’S SYNDROME.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:16 AM  

  • "“We now have a psychological term, alexithymia, to describe another characteristic associated with Asperger’s syndrome… Clinical experience and research have confirmed that alexithymia can be recognized in the profile of abilities of people with Asperger’s syndrome.” [Tony Attwood]"

    Bullshit that it is associated with AS - in total numbers more non-autistic people apparently have it than do autistic people. Most cases of alexithymia are apparently associated with a lack of autism!

    Perhaps it can be recognized among the characteristics of some people with AS, but it can also be recognized among the profile of abilities of MANY MORE people who do not have AS.

    This statement apparently quoted from Dr Attwood is seriously misleading.

    By Blogger Lili Marlene, at 2:24 AM  

  • Fuck me sideways....

    I've already explained this. If you're THAT intelligent, why am I havign to explain it again?

    "Bullshit that it is associated with AS - in total numbers more non-autistic people apparently have it than do autistic people. Most cases of alexithymia are apparently associated with a lack of autism!"

    In terms of absolute numbers, you are right. In terms of proportions, your idea is do fucked up it's a wonder you can work out your tax bill.

    "Perhaps it can be recognized among the characteristics of some people with AS, but it can also be recognized among the profile of abilities of MANY MORE people who do not have AS."

    In terms of absolute numbers, yes: more non-autistic experience this alexithymia. In terms of proportions, you have it wrong.

    "This statement apparently quoted from Dr Attwood is seriously misleading."

    You're so fucking desperate to make Attwood out to be a bastard that you're clutching at some very dodgy straws. You're unbelievably stupid if you think that people can't see through you.

    This is how an association works, in the sense of what has been said, re- the association between alexithymia and Asperger syndrome.

    When there is noted a 'co-morbidity' (I hate the term, but I can't think of another to use except maybe 'co-occurence') of two diagnostic entities in which the second diagnostic entity presents more often in people who are diagnosed with the first diagnostic entity than in people who do not warrant that first diagnostic entity, then there is a statistical association.

    It really IS that fucking simple.

    And since the presentation rate in the general population (including autistics) is around 10%, we can expect a slight but not significant reduction in that rate to account for the non-autistics. If we try to control for all ICD 10 Chapter 5 diagnostic categories, then the figure would naturally be lower, since alexithymia may present alongside other diagnoses as well.

    In contrast to this, the presentation rate in autistics, especially Asperger autistics, is quoted as being between 60% and 80%. Now, the difference between a 10% (or lower) presentation rate in non-diagnosables is significantly lower than a 60-80% presentation rate in diagnosed autistic people. The 60-80% presentation rate statistically associates alexithymia with autistic spectrum diagnoses.

    That is how this 'association' works, like it or fucking not.

    Therefore you're claim that the statement made by Attwood, in which he says that "We now have a psychological term, alexithymia, to describe another characteristic associated with Asperger’s syndrome… Clinical experience and research have confirmed that alexithymia can be recognized in the profile of abilities of people with Asperger’s syndrome..." is "seriously misleading" is complete and utter bullshit.

    No wonder you didn't get through university. This sort of understanding of basic statistics is very basic level stuff... stuff you should get from an O-level (or equivalent) in mathematics. SO if you haven't the first clue about how this works, then you'd be pretty much fucked for understanding a lot of what is done in higher education where statistical associations between two or more events is required.

    Of course, your failure to complete university may have been due to your constant tendency to disagree with anyone who knows more about something than you do. Or to the fact that you express your prejudices way too freely. You haven't yet offered a single justification for hating Attwood except that 'he's just this type of guy that i hate'.

    How fucking stupid does one have to be to use THAT as a justification?

    Seriously.

    You're as fucked up as John Best Junior is, and he really IS fucked up.

    By Blogger David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction), at 4:24 AM  

  • David

    I have a question. Do we have any figures on how many of those who are not on the spectrum(NTs) who have alexithymia in the entire world?

    I think we need this figure before we can compare ratios and make an accurate determination.

    Lili Marlene, there is another possibility to Tony Attwood. Maybe he is trying to bridge the gap between the ASD world and the NT world. Maybe Tony Attwood is trying to actually test the CADD model.

    Neither of us do not know what's going on in the man's mind. It could be a political move on his part and he could be using NT politics to gain the help and understanding that we all need.

    Lil Marlene, I think for the most part NTs go by appearance and style. I could be wrong but it seems like a lot of NTs do not go by reason and logic when determing things. They think in a fast paced way or what they call thinking on their feet. Tony Attwood maybe trying to maneuver things to get us the help we need. I could be wrong on this as I said. If I'm right, would it not make some logical sense in a strange way?

    By Blogger Cube Demon, at 10:03 AM  

  • Ms Andrews, you have gotten lost in a world of fantasy again. How did you ever ger the idea into your head that I failed to complete any university studies? A's and A+'s do not constitute failure, by anyone's standards.

    Mr Andrews wrote:

    "In terms of absolute numbers, you are right. In terms of proportions, your idea is do fucked up it's a wonder you can work out your tax bill."

    One of the most important things that I have learned from my study of evidence-based medicine methods of interpreting study findings and statistical information is that you must alway keep in mind the absolute numbers, and not be fooled by scare-mongering by means of manipulative reporting of things such as risk ratios and proportions that fail to report absolute numbers and absolute risks. And one of the biggest things I've learned in my study of critical thinking is to not fail to consider the whole story or "the big picture", even if the author of what you are reading gives only part of the story.

    It is misleading to write that X condition is associated with Y condition, without any further explanation or qualification, when most people who have X condition don't have Y condition. For argument's sake, what if the piece of writing about Alexithymia and AS had instead been about Tourette's :

    “We now have a psychological term, Tourette syndrome, to describe another characteristic associated with Asperger’s syndrome… Clinical experience and research have confirmed that Tourette syndrome can be recognized in the profile of abilities of people with Asperger’s syndrome.”

    I'm sure you would not disagree that there is some type of link or comorbidity (I hate the term too) between TS and AS, but the above statement seems nuts, because most people who have TS don't have AS, and vice-versa. And if our ticcy friends read such a statement, they would surely be spitting chips to see their condition described as though it is just an autistic trait.

    Cube Demon posed this question about Dr Attwood:

    "Neither of us do not know what's going on in the man's mind. It could be a political move on his part and he could be using NT politics to gain the help and understanding that we all need."

    In my opinion, the ends don't justify the means. Everything that we do is political. Everything that we write is political. In my case, I'm not looking to the NT world for help of any kind, all I wish for is an end to persecution and discrimination.

    By Blogger Lili Marlene, at 11:08 AM  

  • Alexithymia occurs with all chemical addictions such as with alcohol drug and sex addiction.

    Also in some with personality disorders, as well as many other developmental conditions.
    And also in male depression.

    Its by far not unique to autism.

    There are many more who are chemically addicted than those who have autism.

    So please don't start seeing this as something else aspies and auties need to feel inferior over.

    Its just not so.

    By Anonymous Professor Rex, at 11:27 AM  

  • Did you know that in one study involving autistic people, using two different instruments to measure Alexithymia, the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20) and the
    BermondVorst Alexithymia Questionnaire(BVAQ-B), "On the BVAQ questionnaire the HFA/AS group did not differ from the controls on the total score ..." and "Control participants were screened for any preexisting
    neurological or psychiatric disorders
    using a questionnaire/interview."

    By Blogger Lili Marlene, at 11:28 AM  

  • "Ms Andrews, you have gotten lost in a world of fantasy again. How did you ever ger the idea into your head that I failed to complete any university studies? A's and A+'s do not constitute failure, by anyone's standards."

    Firstly, get your Ms/Mr thing right. I'm Mr Andrews.

    Second... given your lack of critical thinking skills as demonstrated on this blog (your over-indulgence in prejudice and your unrelenting and unacknowledged bent on succumbing to confirmation bias), it is immaterial what your grades were at any university, since you're not applying those thinking skills to anything in the real world. Or is it that you just have an irrational fucking chip on your shoulder about Tony Attwood? Because if that is all it is, you should be getting some fucking help with it, instead of foisting it on the fucking rest of us. Deal with it however you like, but take it the fuck away from here. It makes you look like an arse.

    "It is misleading to write that X condition is associated with Y condition, without any further explanation or qualification, when most people who have X condition don't have Y condition."

    You're grasping at straws again for a reason to hate Attwood. Nothing else. It's a one person hate campaign against Attwood, this. No matter how many time it is explained to you, it will not sink in because it is DISCONFIRMING EVIDENCE that would fuck up your little confirmation biased petty hatred of one man -ATTWOOD.

    "One of the most important things that I have learned from my study of evidence-based medicine methods of interpreting study findings and statistical information is that you must alway keep in mind the absolute numbers, and not be fooled by scare-mongering by means of manipulative reporting of things such as risk ratios and proportions that fail to report absolute numbers and absolute risks."

    The fact is that alexithymia IS associated with AS: it's there in the statistics and it is irrefutable. Doesn't make it 'part of' the thing. And nobody is claiming that it is a necessary part of the thing. GET THAT INTO YOUR HEAD.

    "I'm sure you would not disagree that there is some type of link or comorbidity (I hate the term too) between TS and AS, but the above statement seems nuts, because most people who have TS don't have AS, and vice-versa."

    Would only seem so if one CHOSE to see it as such.

    If there is a statistically significant presentation rate, then that's what an association is. If TS were said to be a 'part of' AS, then THAT would be misleading, because it clearly isn't.

    "Alexithymia occurs with all chemical addictions such as with alcohol drug and sex addiction."

    Professor Rex (whoever the fuck that is!):

    "Alexithymia occurs with all chemical addictions such as with alcohol drug and sex addiction.

    Also in some with personality disorders, as well as many other developmental conditions.
    And also in male depression.

    Its by far not unique to autism."

    Which is why it is only associated with autism, in the same way that it is associated with the things mentioned in the above quote.

    "There are many more who are chemically addicted than those who have autism."

    And what's the presentation rate of alexithymia in the chemically-addicted? Is it higher than 10%? Is it higher than 60%? 80%? Do you even know?

    "So please don't start seeing this as something else aspies and auties need to feel inferior over.

    Its just not so."

    It ISN'T something for anyone to feel inferior over. I'm not saying it is. I'm not even sure that Attowood is saying that it is.

    LM has the fucking issue with it, and she seems to be using it in her little fucking obsessive hate campaign against Attwood. She's determined to see wrong-doing where there isn't any, and I'm getting fucking pissed off with her doing it. If THAT's what she learned at university, then it wasn't a very good university.

    Jesus fucking Christ. Something pathological is driving this woman.

    By Blogger David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction), at 12:41 PM  

  • "Did you know that in one study involving autistic people, using two different instruments to measure Alexithymia, the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20) and the
    BermondVorst Alexithymia Questionnaire(BVAQ-B), 'On the BVAQ questionnaire the HFA/AS group did not differ from the controls on the total score ...' and 'Control participants were screened for any preexisting
    neurological or psychiatric disorders
    using a questionnaire/interview.'"

    Notice how you left out the author names, the title of the paper, the name of the journal... and the results found with the other alexithymia test compared in the study.

    Talk about fucking cherry-picking!

    You are fucking DESPERATE!

    By Blogger David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction), at 12:51 PM  

  • I found a study involving the two instruments Lili Marlene was talking about. Interesting what she left out of her 'precis'.

    Dissection time, ladies and gentlemen.

    First, the abstract:

    AbstractPurpose.

    "The current paper focused on the validity of using self-reports to assess emotion regulation abilities in autism spectrum disorders (ASD)."

    Validity in psychometrics is concerned with the extent to which we can be confident in the predictions we make on the basis of the results of the test, and in this case, we're talking about the likelihood of a case of alexithymia being demonstrably true.

    "To assess this we sought responses to two alexithymia self-reports and a depression self-report at two time points from adults with and without ASD."

    This creates a pre- and post- test study, with six conditions at each stage - three self-report instruments and two groups.

    Materials and methods.

    "An initial sample of 27 adults with ASD and 35 normal adults completed the 20-item Toronto alexithymia scale (TAS-20), the Bermond and Vorst alexithymia questionnaire-form B (BVAQ-B), and the Beck depression inventory (BDI), at test time 1."

    Fair enough... says what they did at the start.

    "Of these individuals, 19 ASD and 29 controls participated again after a period ranging from 4 to 12 months."

    Says what they did at the second stage.

    Results.

    "ASD participants were able to report about their own emotions using self-reports."

    Watch this space....

    "BVAQ-B showed reasonable convergent validity and test-retest reliability in both groups."

    Reasonable is fine...

    "Scores on both alexithymia scales were stable across the two participant groups."

    Not much change as a result of time.

    "However, results revealed that although the TAS-20 total score discriminated between the two groups at both time points, the BVAQ-B total score did not."

    This is probably because the psychometric characteristics of the instruments differ somewhat.

    Now remember this when reading the conclusion part, below!

    "Moreover, the TAS-20 showed stronger test-retest reliability than the BVAQ-B."

    And that could be a significant factor in why the BVAQ-B did not pick up certain things related to alexithymia... well, that and the fact that the BVAQ-B has a very interesting cut-off determination: the cut-off for clear absence of alexithymia is 43 (scores less than this indicate absence), and the cut-off to determine presence is 53, including and above which the presence is seid to be determined and the diagnosis therefore is viable. The scores from 44 to 52 form a grey area in which it can only be said that the condition has not been determined, but cannot be said to be absent (see here.

    Conclusion.

    "ASD participants appeared more depressed and more alexithymic than the controls." "

    The association is demonstrated.

    "The use of the BVAQ-B, as an additional assessment of alexithymia, indicated that ASD patients have a specific type of alexithymia characterised by increased difficulties in the cognitive domain rather than the affective aspects of alexithymia."

    Somewhat different from Lili Marlene's stated claim that any association is "bullshit".

    And, in addition to making the association of alexithymia clear, the study gives a possible reason why it is picked up by one instrument and not the other (remember what I said about the instruments' different psychometric characteristics).

    I think that LM's statements are the misleading ones. I think she needs to get over her hatred of Arttwood and stop seeing malevolence where nothing of the sort exists. Doing that is based on a fucking obsessive paranoia that has fuck all place here.

    I'm not here defending Attwood, although he isn't here to defend himself (and, actually, should he not be given the chance to cross-examine his accuser?); I'm here defending the fucking science, because that's what we base our decisions on in the real world.

    I'm done for tonight.

    By Blogger David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction), at 2:03 PM  

  • "Arttwood"->"Attwood"

    By Blogger David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction), at 2:04 PM  

  • The conclusion that "ASD patients have a specific type of alexithymia characterised by increased difficulties in the cognitive domain rather than the affective aspects of alexithymia" seems consistent with the results of the empathy study by Rogers et al. that I discussed recently on my blog, which showed that the autistic subjects had lower test scores for cognitive empathy but not for affective empathy.

    Thanks for posting this, David. It's always good to see more science that refutes Maxine Aston's bogus "affective deprivation" claim by showing that there are no significant differences between the affective responses of autistics and non-autistics.

    By Blogger abfh, at 2:28 PM  

  • "Thanks for posting this, David."

    No worries.

    "The conclusion that 'ASD patients have a specific type of alexithymia characterised by increased difficulties in the cognitive domain rather than the affective aspects of alexithymia' seems consistent with the results of the empathy study by Rogers et al. that I discussed recently on my blog, which showed that the autistic subjects had lower test scores for cognitive empathy but not for affective empathy."

    Indeed. It also probably relates to this issue:

    "I suspect that alexithymia tests, as applied to autistics, suffer from the same problems that I described with respect to Baron-Cohen's theory of mind study. Using words differently is not the same as inability to perceive the underlying thing."

    The demand characteristics of an experiment or a a psychometric instrument can have plenty to do with the score that is finally obtained, as can cultural processes that surround the individual in assessment.

    "It's always good to see more science that refutes Maxine Aston's bogus "affective deprivation" claim by showing that there are no significant differences between the affective responses of autistics and non-autistics."

    Both of her degrees (the BSc and the MSc) are BPS accredited and the MSc is the professional training (academic stage) for becoming a Chertered Health Psychologist.

    However... looking at the module listing (assuming she yook that degree at Coventry, where she took her first degree, and where she is based), there's an interesting thing crops up:

    M96PY – Health Promotion and Behaviour Change (15 credits) - an introduction to health psychology as a discipline, biopsychosocial models of health and illness and health promotion.No mention of psychodiagnostics training/content.

    M97PY – Interactions and Outcomes in Healthcare Practice (15 credits) - psychological aspects of health care contexts, including health professional-patient communication, adherence to treatment programmes, decision making, patient satisfaction, impact of hospitalisation and representations and perceptions of illness and symptoms.Again, no psychodiagnostics.

    M98PY – Biopsychosocial Aspects of Stress, Health and Illness (15 credits) - relationship between stress, illness and health, individual differences in health and illness and the ways in which the impact of stress on health and illness is mediated, biological bases of health and illness, emotion and psychoneuroimmunology.Lots of psychological processes related to health... but... no psychodiagnostics.

    M99PY – Management of Long-Term Conditions and Disability (15 credits) – quality of life, adjustment to diagnosis, self-management of chronic conditions, the Expert Patient Programme and care for those with terminal conditions.Again - no psychodiagnostics... just the issue of assisting a client to adjust to the implications of a diagnosis.

    M80PY - Advanced Research Methods in Psychology (30 credits) - knowledge and skills in planning, carrying out, analysing and writing about research in applied psychology at a post graduate level, and a sophisticated awareness of problems, issues and ethics in applied research in psychology.Still... nothing about psychodiagnostics.

    M101PY – Professional Practice (30 credits) - theoretical, research, professional and practice issues in health psychology including: ethical codes of conduct and career opportunities in health psychology.As I know from the BPS syllabus, again - no psychodiagnostics...

    M102PY - Dissertation (60 credits) - supervised but independently undertaken research at an advanced level which allows students to investigate any area of health psychology of specific interest to them. This module includes the option of placement-based study.Research... not really a place for learning psychodiagnostics.

    She has - if she's studies health psychology (which she says she has) - no training in psychodiagnostics.

    What the fuck is she doing in something that is not inside her area of competence?

    By Blogger David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction), at 3:02 PM  

  • She was punching well above her weight as soon as she got her first degree and worked on that article that went on to be incorporated in Canada's guidance.

    I'm sure Michelle will be happy to rip the Heffier to pieces on that one...

    Check out her (non) diagnostic service the "Asperger's Assessment" and then compare it to the Royal College of Psychiatrist's best practice diagnostic guideline.

    Fuck me - they expect a new Consultant to only be able to diagnose "straightforward presentations" and that anything more tricky must be booted up to tertiary level...

    The conning, scamming, horse-faced, bitch-slapper from Coventry.

    By Blogger Socrates, at 3:07 PM  

  • Don't forget her long running "Research" that she uses to tout for business.

    By Blogger Socrates, at 3:09 PM  

  • And don't forget the two commercial properties, two flats (or is it three) and the house she lives in.

    She's fucking caning it.

    By Blogger Socrates, at 3:09 PM  

  • Planning Committee 13/10/2005
    Report of Head of Development Regulations
    APPLICATION No. - 32817/D
    Description of Development - Demolition of existing building and erection of a
    three storey unit of accommodation and rear amenity area
    Site - 62 XXXXXX Road
    Applicant - Maxine Aston
    Ward - XXXX

    By Blogger Socrates, at 3:12 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction), at 3:16 PM  

  • "She was punching well above her weight as soon as she got her first degree and worked on that article that went on to be incorporated in Canada's guidance."

    Yes. I think so. Many BSc grads can do a lot of good work, but it has to be under supervision (I got a BA-equivalence, because the practice of granting Bachelor degrees wasn't current in Finland in 2001; but I was working then under the supervision of a much better experienced and qualified psychologist).

    "I'm sure Michelle will be happy to rip the Heffier to pieces on that one..."

    Fuckin' what? Watch THAT fight and mind your popcorn!

    "Check out her (non) diagnostic service the 'Asperger's Assessment' and then compare it to the Royal College of Psychiatrist's best practice diagnostic guideline."

    Any point? Yo've already done it... wanna do a blog post on it? Because I'd love to see that!

    "Fuck me - they expect a new Consultant to only be able to diagnose 'straightforward presentations' and that anything more tricky must be booted up to tertiary level..."

    I'd say that for ANY consultant, the 'booting upwards' is obligatory if one is to remain professional and ethical about it.

    "The conning, scamming, horse-faced, bitch-slapper from Coventry."

    She no looking too goooood, is she now?

    By Blogger David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction), at 12:25 AM  

  • I do apologize for calling Mr Andrews a "Ms". This was a genuine mistake.

    Mr Andrews, you have dug up an interesting study, but it wasn't the one from which I plucked my quotes. You need to work harder at double-checking your assumptions.
    It is interesting that two different studies have apparently found that the same instrument for measuring Alexithymia has not distinguished between AS and "normal" controls. Of course this could be due to a problem with that particular instrument, or a problem with the definition of the condition that it is supposed to measure. I think this is typical of the confusion that surrounds the ill-defined concept of "Empathy". Apparently the EQ has sub-scales that measure different aspects of empathy, and I believe one study of mirror-touch synaesthetes found they only have higher scores for the affective aspect measured by that instrument (but of course the media reported this satudy as though these synaesthetes were all-round more empathetic, and the media also reported this as thought it confirmed all of those silly theories about mirror-neurons and empathy.
    This is the study from which I took the quotes:
    http://www.socialbehavior.uzh.ch/singer/publications/silani07.pdf

    Another point - I'll be #$cked if I'm going to be falsely associated with some with emotional problem that other people get from drug abuse and alcoholism! #$ck off!!!

    By Blogger Lili Marlene, at 5:46 AM  

  • Link appears to not be copied properly. Here are the details of the study:

    Levels of emotional awareness and autism: an fMRI study.

    by

    Silani G, Bird G, Brindley R, Singer T, Frith C, Frith U.

    in

    Social Neuroscience. 2008;3(2):p.97-112.

    By Blogger Lili Marlene, at 5:51 AM  

  • LM,

    You still did not quote the results of the study properly, did you? And why?

    "I'll be #$cked if I'm going to be falsely associated with some with emotional problem that other people get from drug abuse and alcoholism!"

    Stupid sod! There's no evidence that they get it from substance abuse; the evidence is that it co-occurs with those things in a lot of cases. You're obviously not up to reading these things properly.

    What you did wrong:

    You quoted: "On the BVAQ questionnaire the HFA/AS group did not differ from the controls on the total score ..." from the study, but you neglected to quote the continuation of the sentence immediately atfer it: "... but showed poor insight and impaired cognition". Also, you completely ignored the two sentences immediately before your cherry-picked quote: "As expected (Hill et al., 2004), the
    HFA/AS group had a significantly higher total
    TAS-20 score than controls. Their problem was particularly associated
    with describing feelings".

    This means that what I found tells exactly the same as this study: that alexithymia is associated with autism, and that the problem is one of describing feelings.

    "You need to work harder at double-checking your assumptions."

    You need to work harder at actually being fucking right. You were caught cherry-picking quotes to support a misleading statement you made concerning an issue that is based entirely on your own fucking prejudice. Grow up and fucking deal with it.

    "It is interesting that two different studies have apparently found that the same instrument for measuring Alexithymia has not distinguished between AS and 'normal' controls. Of course this could be due to a problem with that particular instrument, or a problem with the definition of the condition that it is supposed to measure."

    Given that it picks up the problem in either group, you might find that it is an issue of being able to describe feelings.

    "I think this is typical of the confusion that surrounds the ill-defined concept of 'Empathy'".

    Red herring. Like a lot of the obfuscations you have been using here. I would seem that this 'alexithymia debate' has its root and an obfuscation, probably yours.

    "I do apologize for calling Mr Andrews a 'Ms'. This was a genuine mistake."

    To whom were you apologising? Because - if it was an apology to me, you would have phrased that differently. You've addressed me directly as 'Mr' before.

    You're losing this argument because you're trying to argue from the basis of a poor understanding of psychology with a psychologist. Never a good starting poing. You need to give it up now, before you make more of a fool of yourself. I think a few people would agree.

    I could say more, but I'm not going to. With you, rational debate is impossible, since you clearly do not think outside of your prejudices.

    By Blogger David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction), at 9:42 AM  

  • "Their problem was particularly associated
    with describing feelings".

    Describing feelings - now couldn't or wouldn't that have something to do with LANGUAGE or COMMUNICATION? Aren't language and communication things that AUTISTS do differntly or are poor at doing?

    Caught cherry-picking indeed! I quoted correctly, making it clear to anyone who can read properly that the quotes are taken from longer sentences where this was the case. I never claimed to be writing a review of the study. Anyone can see that I was quoting, not reviewing. And why don't you accuse someone else of misrepresenting the truth with that slippery prose that makes it sound like Alexithymia is some condition on the autistic spectrum?

    And, Mr Andrews, if I did have some extreme and irrational grudge against "the prof", how do you explain the fact that I have written virtually nothing about the man in my blog in all the years I have been blogging? I have known about his work and have had major reservations about it for years now, but I've not used my surprisingly well-read blog to vent anything at all about the smiling Doctor. Please explain, Mr Andrews.

    By Blogger Lili Marlene, at 10:28 AM  

  • Just yesterday, I joined what is apparently the only Asperger's support group in my area. They're having a meeting on 4 May. There's going to be a speaker, Rudy Simone, (a woman, despite the name), who has a book coming out next month. "22 Things a Woman Must Know: If She Loves a Man with Asperger's Syndrome" by Rudy Simone (Paperback - May 2009)

    I looked it up on Amazon, it seems the foreword was written by - Maxine Aston !!! Of course, Jessica Kingsley is the publisher. Wonder why she couldn't get Tony to write it?

    My original motivation for looking up the support group was to see if they're actually doing autistic advocacy, or had been co-opted by some oppositional group, such as AS or GR. Well, there's enemies everywhere, or just someone looking to make a quick buck. Any suggestions on how I might proceed?

    By Blogger Clay, at 12:47 PM  

  • Clay, I'm sending you an e-mail to answer your comment.

    By Blogger abfh, at 1:44 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction), at 2:30 PM  

  • "And, Mr Andrews, if I did have some extreme and irrational grudge against "the prof", how do you explain the fact that I have written virtually nothing about the man in my blog in all the years I have been blogging?"

    Um... because you've written it on this post?

    Smartarse.

    "I quoted correctly, making it clear to anyone who can read properly that the quotes are taken from longer sentences where this was the case. I never claimed to be writing a review of the study. Anyone can see that I was quoting, not reviewing. And why don't you accuse someone else of misrepresenting the truth with that slippery prose that makes it sound like Alexithymia is some condition on the autistic spectrum?"

    By ignoring parts of sentences, you were DELIBERATELY misleading. By definition, stating that there is an 'association' is NOT misleading because it is not stating that something is 'PART of' something else. By splitting a sentence you were, like it or not, cherry picking. And it doesn't matter a fucking pig's bollock that you weren't reviewing the paper you cherry-picked from... the fact is that you ignored a vital part of the sentence that changed the whole fucking meaning.

    If that isn't deliberately misleading, then I dunno what is.

    I've taught this sort of thing to Finnish students in the past, and their first language isn't English. They get this difference between 'association' and 'part of' distinction very well.

    So, what is YOUR problem?

    Like I say, logical and rational argument with you isn't possible.

    By Blogger David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction), at 3:19 PM  

  • I'm not clear on the place of alexithymia in AS. David and several studies tell it is associated or correlated. Then I read this which suggests that it is part of AS

    'Every well known AS measure reflects the centrality of alexithymic phenomena in its diagnostic criteria: e.g. Lack of social or emotional reciprocity (DSM-IV), Impaired or deviant response to other people's emotions (ICD-10), Difficulty sensing feelings of others (Szatmari criteria), Difficulties expressing themselves, especially when talking about emotions (NAS definition), Emotionally inappropriate behaviour… Impairment of comprehension (Gillberg criteria).'

    Could it be that alexithymia is part of AS but the makers of diagnostic definitions have not used the word, but intended it anyway? or are those references above to something not related to alexithymia?

    Lili Marlene you are getting most everything you say about this subject and Attwood screwed up. You are confusing me!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:01 PM  

  • Anon:

    "I'm not clear on the place of alexithymia in AS. David and several studies tell it is associated or correlated. Then I read this which suggests that it is part of AS

    'Every well known AS measure reflects the centrality of alexithymic phenomena in its diagnostic criteria: e.g.

    - Lack of social or emotional reciprocity (DSM-IV),

    - Impaired or deviant response to other people's emotions (ICD-10),

    - Difficulty sensing feelings of others (Szatmari criteria),

    - Difficulties expressing themselves, especially when talking about emotions (NAS definition),

    - Emotionally inappropriate behaviour… Impairment of comprehension (Gillberg criteria).'"

    Indeed they do mention this sort of thing. But...

    Firstly... name the study. Provide evidence that it exists. Secondly, if you take the quoted passage as read, it suggests that this set of features (essentially, all different ways of saying the same thing) are required for the diagnosis (i. e., without them the diagnosis cannot be made). Such as suggestion is complete bollocks.

    For example: in Gillberg & Gillberg's criteria, we find the following in their 'Area 1':

    "Severe impairment in reciprocal social interaction (at least two of the following)

    1. inability to interact with peers
    2. lack of desire to interact with peers
    3. lack of appreciation of social cues
    4. socially and emotionally inappropriate behavior"

    Note that this item is one of four items that must present, and of which two as a minimum should present. If we look at the simplest case of just two items being required, then the likelihood of it's cropping up is as follows:

    using nCr for the combination of 'n objects from which one can choose r', then the formula for computing nCr tells us that the likelihood is this-

    n!/(n-r)!r!, where n=4, r=2 and ! is factorial (4! = 4x3x2x1 = 24, and 2! = 2x1 = 2)

    substituting then, we get-

    4!/2!2!, or 24/2x2, which is 24/4, or 6.

    So there are 6 ways in which the four items can be combined in pairs, and the pairs formed are as follows-
    1,2
    1,3
    1,42,3
    2,43,4
    As we can see, there are only three combinations in which item 4 appears. This means that only a half of the combinations include item four.

    If we now calculate the odds with strictly three items being chosen from four, then the formula gives this result-

    4!/1!3! = 24/6 (since 3! = 3x2x1 = 6), which is four ways of choosing three items, in the following triads-

    1,2,3
    1,2,41,3,42,3,4
    Of these four combinations, three include item 4.

    Taking the extreme case, where all four items are chosen, then there is only one combination for choices from four items (siis niinku, Dah!) and that is this one-

    1,2,3,4Since the allowed conditions are groupings of 2, 3, and 4 items, the individual probabilities for which item 4 will occur are multiplied, since each grouping is an independent event:

    ½ x ¾ x 1 = 0.5 x 0.75 x 1.0 = 0.375.

    Hence the likelihood of item 4 - the 'alexithymia' item (for want of a better name to pin it down) - has only three chances in eight of appearing in any one person's case.

    Significant though the 'alexithymia' item might be in its chance of cropping up as part of a person's diagnosis, the item is hardly central, since its likelihood of occurring is less than 50%; and even a 50% presentation rate likelihood would be insufficient to call anything 'central'.

    "Could it be that alexithymia is part of AS but the makers of diagnostic definitions have not used the word, but intended it anyway? or are those references above to something not related to alexithymia?"


    Actually - neither.

    The probability analysis above should demonstrate that:

    a - since it has a 0.375 probability of presenting in an individual for diagnosis; and,

    b - there is a 5 in 8 chance that the Asperger-autistic diagnosee's overall presentation on that first Gillberg area will not include the 'alexithymia' item, it is not a part of Asperger syndrome per se, but that it is indeed associated with the being asperger-autistic.

    It is, of course, very important to be aware that alexithymia is not an independent diagnostic category in DSM IV (or in its text revision); it is, rather, an enduring dimensional personality trait 'that places individuals at great risk for several medical and psychiatric disorders (e.g., substance related, panic, posttraumatic stress, somatoform, and eating) and reduces the likelihood that these individuals will respond to conventional treatments for these disorders'. (source here)

    As Fitzgerald & Molyneux say: "It appears to us that from a clinical perspective a diagnosis of Asperger’s syndrome should be considered in patients with alexithymia".

    This does not mean, however, that alexithymia should be suspected in all patients diagnosed with Asperger syndrome.

    By Blogger David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction), at 7:50 PM  

  • For some reason the formatting is off because Blogger's software is fucking up with the html tags.

    It is hoped that readers will be able to gain the intended meanings in the probability analysis provided, and in which the html fuck-ups have occurred.

    By Blogger David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction), at 7:52 PM  

  • Your probability analysis made clear sense and clears up my question completely. Thank you.

    (notice how easy it is to make sense when you know your subject)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:17 PM  

  • "Your probability analysis made clear sense and clears up my question completely. Thank you."

    Welcome.

    About knowing my subject... thank you for saying that. Someone once said that 'a little learning is a dangerous thing', and the phrase is often used as an anti-academic epithet; but the fact is that it was not meant as such. The phrase implies that - in order to be good at what you do - you really do need a lot of learning.

    My M. Ed. thesis was in psycho-diagnostics, using partly quantitative methods (specifically psychometrics for standardised measure of standardised behavioural outputs... and approach that always leaves a shitload of gaps in what you get to know) and also qualitative methods (specifically grounded theory as a methodology for filling in the gaps in the knowledge gained by the tests).

    By Blogger David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction), at 9:11 PM  

  • A marriage and family therapist strongly supporting this petition opposing what these three women are doing, and an end to these destructive hate groups.
    Thank you for clearly bringing this to the attention of these well acclaimed psychologists.
    I look forward to seeing a positive outcome to this action.
    Tammy

    By Anonymous Tammy, at 11:19 PM  

  • Anonymous quoted:

    "'Every well known AS measure reflects the centrality of alexithymic phenomena in its diagnostic criteria:..."

    Where's the quote from? Says who? But if this is a genuine quote, it's claim is very much in conflict with the apparent fact that two different studies have found that subjects with AS got the same total scores as normal control groups with an instrument for diagnosing Alexithymia.

    David Andrews wrote:

    "It is, of course, very important to be aware that alexithymia is not an independent diagnostic category in DSM IV (or in its text revision); ..."

    Why should we have to waste time discussing the finer points of supposed relationships between AS and some condition with little scientific status? I've never bothered to read up on the condition because it appeared to me that there wasn't even a stable and coherent definition. First time I heard of it, it was a mild form of depression. Now it is an inability to read emotions? What will it be tomorrow? A sub-type of AS?

    By Blogger Lili Marlene, at 1:15 AM  

  • "Why should we have to waste time discussing the finer points of supposed relationships between AS and some condition with little scientific status? I've never bothered to read up on the condition because it appeared to me that there wasn't even a stable and coherent definition. First time I heard of it, it was a mild form of depression. Now it is an inability to read emotions? What will it be tomorrow? A sub-type of AS?"

    Well, I know a little Greek. The "a" means without. The "lexi" means word. The "thymia" means emotions.

    So it *should* mean an ability to express emotions with words. Which isn't necessarily true of autistic people. Some autistics have no language and communicate entirely non-verbally, but others communicate entirely verbally and express emotions through words more than body language.

    This whole "alexithymia" thing reminds me of "The Princess Bride", when Inigo says "You keep using that word. I don't think it means what you think it means."

    By Anonymous sanabituranima, at 5:30 AM  

  • "Why should we have to waste time discussing the finer points of supposed relationships between AS and some condition with little scientific status?"

    You're classically stupid. You're intent on making yourself look like an arsehole. YOu're like Best... always has to have the last word, no matter how wrong it fucking is!

    Alexithymia isn't a condition and its 'scientific status' is pretty significant, in terms of understanding personality as a trait phenomenon.

    "I've never bothered to read up on the condition because it appeared to me that there wasn't even a stable and coherent definition."

    You never bothered because your were too fucking lazy to arm yourself with the proper facts in order to debate it.

    "First time I heard of it, it was a mild form of depression."

    If that was your understanding of it, you read up on it fucking wrong, then!

    "Now it is an inability to read emotions?"

    Wrong again. it is a significant difficulty in describing emotional states.

    "What will it be tomorrow? A sub-type of AS?"

    Classic idiot, aren't you? I've just demonstrated above why it isn't a 'part of' AS, and you come up with that sort of shit-for-brains remark?

    There's a reason why some of us get master's degrees and some of us don't. I'm good at what I do, and you're shite at it. And all you're doing is making yourself look like a total arsehole.

    That, of course, is your pregrogative, but who the fuck is going to take you seriously when you act like a female version of John Best Junior? Like... stop the impulsive shit and actually THINK about what you're doing. You come up with bullshit arguments, based entirely on an obsessively paranoid mindset and a need to tear some guy's reputation down, and someone keeps tearing those arguments to pieces... and you STILL insist that you're right?

    Did you pay for your university tuition?

    If so, get a refund. You learned fucking nothing.

    By Blogger David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction), at 5:53 AM  

  • David, I think in a former life you must have been a Company Sergeant Major...

    You're wasted here - you should come back home and be in charge of sorting out secondary schooling...

    By Blogger Socrates, at 6:06 AM  

  • He's not wasted for everyone. He's layed out some very complex topics in simple but accurate ways for those more uneducated readers. Complex rendered simple is no easy task, but he made it look simple. Several readers here will have a better understanding of this trait as a result.

    In reply to the person who talked of the Greek origins of the word I tentatively suggest that an etymology of a word may not always be the same as its modern or clinical definition. Take for example the word 'nice' which etymologically means 'foolish and stupid' but is defined in the dictionary today as 'pleasant and agreeable'. Likewise alexithymia may mean 'no words for emotions' but the clinical definition seems to go further than that (if I'm understanding right) to define it as the inability to 'identify' emotions. I suppose you cant find words for something you havnt identified?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:31 AM  

  • In other words if it were a simple matter of not being able to verbalize emotions than every voice impaired or mote person would automatically have clinical alexithymia which is a stupid proposition.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:33 AM  

  • that was 'mute person'.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:34 AM  

  • Sanabituranima...

    "Well, I know a little Greek. The "a" means without. The "lexi" means word. The "thymia" means emotions."

    Um... yep... and that leads you to say:

    "So it *should* mean an ability to express emotions with words. Which isn't necessarily true of autistic people."

    Which is also true. And guess what...

    From the wiki article:

    "Alexithymia is defined by:[5]

    1. difficulty identifying feelings and distinguishing between feelings and the bodily sensations of emotional arousal 2. difficulty describing feelings to other people 3. constricted imaginal processes, as evidenced by a paucity of fantasies
    4. a stimulus-bound, externally oriented cognitive style."

    The other two aspects of the definition would seem to be upshots of the issues raised in the first two, and the first two are pretty well named by what is really an approximation from the Greek. I don't like to use wiki as a source, but this is a referenced article and the author cites a psychiatric text that deals with this aspect of personality (Taylor, et al).

    Incidentally, note to LM here...

    "Why should we have to waste time discussing the finer points of supposed relationships between AS and some condition with little scientific status?"

    After an anonymous commenter brought up the issue, you picked up the fucking issue... and then you ran with it!

    All over the fucking place! Shall I go on?

    You ran with it until you were demonstrated to have pretty much fuck all clue what you were talking about whilst trying to dissociate yourself from an idea that - based on your own fucking prejudices - pissed you off.

    "I've never bothered to read up on the condition because it appeared to me that there wasn't even a stable and coherent definition."

    Like I say, you were too fucking lazy to read it up properly. I did it properly, and I don't see why you bloody couldn't have too!

    "First time I heard of it, it was a mild form of depression. Now it is an inability to read emotions? What will it be tomorrow? A sub-type of AS?"

    Total fucking straw man, with a bit of slippery slope thrown in for good measure! Like I say, if that's how you understood it at first, you read it wrong. And your current understanding is as fucked up as your first.

    If you were my tutee/supervisee, I'd recommend your dismissal from the course.

    My current supervisee is a Finnish woman, who was formerly a biologist (BSc, MSc - University of Helsinki). Her first language is Finnish, not English; her background is in plant physiology, genetics and biochemistry... not education or psychology; she is herself autistic, and has a busy work and family life. She took a post-graduate diploma, in which she achieved mostly distinction grades (one merit grade, the rest distinctions; and all in her third language - first and second being Finnish and Swedish respectively). She is converting the PgDipSpEd into a Master of Education degree and I was elected - over ALL the Finnish experts on autism - as her supervisor.

    If my supervisee can be arsed to read things properly, and come up with a good strong argument to back up what she says - and all in a foreign language - then you've basically got fuck all excuse for the pathetic 'arguments' you've posed here, and all the fucking sidesteps you've tried to make, and all the - well - blustering you've done in order to try and make yourself look fucking right (like always having to have the last word, regardless of how plain fucking wrong you are!).

    Against the distractions and areas of linguistic difficulty that my supervisee faced whilst researching and writing her thesis (and still managing to put together one of the best pieces of educational psychological research I've seen in fucking YEARS), I've got fuck all patience for you and your prejudiced bullshitting.

    By Blogger David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction), at 7:13 AM  

  • Erratum:

    "'So it *should* mean an ability to express emotions with words. Which isn't necessarily true of autistic people.'

    Which is also true. And guess what...'

    What Sanabituranima said was actually not true.... so much shit flying around it's hard to tell when someone's trying to make a proper argument.

    Alexithymia means 'without (the) words (for) emotions', in the clinical meaning. Strictly, it means a difficulty with the identification and description of emotional states.

    It has never meant mild depression. It is not autism specific, so it is never going to be a sub-type of AS or any other specis of autism. It is seen as an enduring personality issue that can get in the way of the forming and development of relationships.

    By Blogger David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction), at 7:24 AM  

  • "David, I think in a former life you must have been a Company Sergeant Major...

    You're wasted here - you should come back home and be in charge of sorting out secondary schooling..."

    Cheers, Socrates... make it universities, and I'll be there. With my wee one behind me!

    "He's not wasted for everyone. He's layed out some very complex topics in simple but accurate ways for those more uneducated readers. Complex rendered simple is no easy task, but he made it look simple. Several readers here will have a better understanding of this trait as a result."

    Thank you, too, anonymous. That was one of the ... well, I won't say 'nicest', especially given what you said about the word 'nice' ... but I will say it's one of the most validating comments on my input into discussions here (when I'm not having to deal with timewasters like Cresp, who exist purely to fuck threads).

    By Blogger David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction), at 7:59 AM  

  • Don't start me going on about the murder of the Polytechnics... :-((

    By Blogger Socrates, at 8:02 AM  

  • "Don't start me going on about the murder of the Polytechnics... :-(("

    Fuck, wasn't that a fuck up?

    Nothing wrong with a place being called a polytechnic, and the standard of the degrees they gave was usually pretty good, since they were all CNAA-validated degrees.

    The ways in which polytechnics did things was quite different, and even subjects like history and the like had a flavour to them that was about skills you could use in your work and everyday life... outside of academia but up to that level.

    Fucking government interference again.....

    By Blogger David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction), at 8:27 AM  

  • David Andrews wrote:

    "Alexithymia isn't a condition and its 'scientific status' is pretty significant, in terms of understanding personality as a trait phenomenon."

    Well that's odd. I recently read a recently published book about the psychology of personality, based on many decades of research on stuff like "the big five", and as far as I can tell, alexithymia wasn't mentioned once in the book. How strange.

    Mr Andrews, have you ever thought of trying arguments instead of profanity and rudeness? It's so much more interesting.

    By Blogger Lili Marlene, at 9:24 AM  

  • "Well that's odd. I recently read a recently published book about the psychology of personality, based on many decades of research on stuff like 'the big five', and as far as I can tell, alexithymia wasn't mentioned once in the book. How strange."

    Firstly, I said 'it is seen', and some do seem to see it as such.

    Secondly... what book was it? Was it an introductory text book? Who wrote it? You're doing it again - being fucking vague. Given that alexithymia is something you would encounter more as a personality trait (as some see it) in clinical settings, one might expect to see it in - say - a text on abnormal psychology or clinical psychology, or even developmental psychopathology. I don't know. Personally, I don't care.

    What I've been doing is trying to make the notion easier for people to understand; and there's a bit of evidence to suggest that most people who didn't understand it before I set out to make it easier to understand would now 'get it'.

    Thirdly, I administer personality tests based on the Big Five Theory of Personality (actually, the Five Factor Theory or personality!), and in the professional handbook for the NEO PI-R - oddly enough - we see reference to:

    O3- Feelings - incl. receptivity to one's own and those of others;

    A6- Tender-mindedness, incl. sympathy and concern for others.

    Others can be found that would link to the notion of alexithymia, including the experience of fantasy and other mental-life phonomena.

    Are you saying that - if things are noted that look like parts of contruct X but X has not been named - that they are not possibly parts of construct X anyway?

    Because if you are, you'd also have to agree that there was no autism (outside of the contruct named by Kraeplin in his deliniation of what schizophrenia was) before Kanner put a name to it.

    "Mr Andrews, have you ever thought of trying arguments instead of profanity and rudeness?"

    Not with you. It'd be wasting my skills. I guess you have a talent for bringing that sort of thing out in people.

    Now, Lili...I'm going to do you a favour. A published source, quite recent, considering the relationship of the construct of alexithymia to personality.

    This is about as much as we know:

    *Alexithymia has been identified as a cluster of issues related to the biological aspects of personality and ability that themselves relate to emotional understanding (identifying, describing, recognising... pretty much a set of cognitive issues in emotional intelligence - for want of a better thing to call it).

    *It is not a diagnostic category in either ICD 10 or DSM IV(-TR), and certain aspects of this group of of psycho-biological aspects of personality seem to crop up in a lot of things. Hence the use of the term 'associated with' and not 'part of'.

    Most people actually get this. Why the fuck don't you?

    Can't? Or won't?

    You tell me.
    -----------------------------------
    Objective:

    In our study we explored the associations between alexithymia (Toronto Alexithymia Scale 20, TAS-20) and the dimensions and subscales of Cloninger's theoretically based and empirically validated psychobiological model of personality to further clarify the relationship between alexithymia and personality traits.

    Methods:

    Psychiatric in- and outpatients (n = 254) were investigated with the TAS-20, the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI) and the Symptom Check List SCL-90-R to control for the severity of current psychopathology. Correlation and regression analyses were performed.

    Results:

    The regression analysis identified the TCI dimensions low self-directedness (SD), low reward dependence (RD) and to a minor degree harm avoidance (HA) as independent predictors for alexithymia. At the level of subscales, interpersonal detachment (RD3), low resourcefulness (SD3), low responsibility and blaming (SD1) and shyness with strangers (HA3) were predictors for alexithymia. The degree of explained variance of the TAS-20 scores by the TCI dimensions and subscales ranged between 43 and 45% whereas the inclusion of the general severity index into the regression models accounted for an additional 5% of the variance.


    Conclusions:
    Alexithymia is best explained by a mixture across different dimensions and subscales within Cloninger's psychobiological model of personality. However, alexithymia is captured only partly by current concepts of personality, and additional contributing psychological and biological factors need to be identified to understand alexithymia more extensively.

    Copyright © 2001 S. Karger AG, Basel
    -----------------------------------

    I'm out now. I have dinner to make. A friend of mine - a prominent autism researcher and teacher - has been monitoring this thread, and his statement to me was this:

    Never try teaching a pig to sing. The pig never learns. And it annoys the pig.

    Hmmm.... interesting ...

    *walks off to make dinner ... what about a ham sandwich before I cook?*

    By Blogger David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction), at 11:26 AM  

  • *gapes slightly at the flame war going on in the comments section*

    I find it disturbing that Attwood would do such a thing. I have attended things by him before, and once did a workshop thing with him, and found him to be an intelligent man who seemed to understand AS quite well. I am surprised and disappointed that he would associate with these people...

    By OpenID felinophile, at 12:56 AM  

  • "I find it disturbing that Attwood would do such a thing. I have attended things by him before, and once did a workshop thing with him, and found him to be an intelligent man who seemed to understand AS quite well. I am surprised and disappointed that he would associate with these people..."

    I'm not happy that - as a doctoral psychologist - he's apparently not pulling his chum Aston up on her very unscientific approach to something that she isn't even qualified to do.

    To be honest, I've read a good few of his papers and there's not a lot that seems brilliantly original in them. Last night, I marked a thesis for someone's Master of Education degree. It was the first time that we know of that anybody had tackled the topic ANYwhere in the world; it was a brilliantly done piece of research in which the student was clearly familiar with her topic; the linked to her professional practice were clear; and it was in English - which is not her first language. We know it will get a Distinction grade; only question is how high a Distinction grade?

    Sadly, Attwood is more famous than my supervisee (he's also a colleague on a board of international associate editors with me for Good Autism Practice); so his not-really-that-original work will get noticed more, whereas my supervisee's highly original piece of work will go largely un-noticed... a fact that pisses me off in many ways and for different reasons.

    By Blogger David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction), at 2:38 AM  

  • Regarding the status of Dr. Attwood at the university, I have sent an email to the head of the psychology department at the Gold Coast campus of the university. In this e-mail, I have asked him to confirm (or otherwise) the following:

    1- that Dr. Tony Attwood is indeed an 'adjunct associate
    professor';

    2- that he is - as an adjunct associate professor - entitled
    to be called 'professor';

    3- that it is not misleading for him to be mentioning on his
    website that he hold such an appointment; and,

    4- that he is indeed responsible for the Child Psychopathology
    course at the university
    .

    I shall inform of the result as soon as I hear from the Professor with whom I have been in conctact.

    By Blogger David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction), at 3:12 AM  

  • David Andrew asked:

    "Secondly... what book was it?"

    This book:

    http://www.oup.com/us/catalog/general/subject/Psychology/Health/~~/dmlldz11c2EmY2k9OTc4MDE5OTIxMTQyNQ==

    I thought Cloninger's was to do with temperament rather than personality (not that I'm all that interested). Doesn't "the big five" has more scientific crediblity?

    David Andrews wrote:

    "I have asked him to confirm (or otherwise) the following:..."

    "2- that he is - as an adjunct associate professor - entitled
    to be called 'professor';..."

    You should ask specifically whether he is entitled to use "Professor" (not "Associate Professor") as a formal title in front of his name.

    Common sense tells anyone who possesses such a gift that the answer to this is "no".

    By Blogger Lili Marlene, at 10:11 AM  

  • Link no good - the book I referred to is "Personality" by Daniel Nettle, Reader in the Centre for Behaviour & Evolution, Newcastle University.

    By Blogger Lili Marlene, at 10:19 AM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction), at 3:13 PM  

  • You should ask specifically whether he is entitled to use 'Professor' (not 'Associate Professor') as a formal title in front of his name.

    Common sense tells anyone who possesses such a gift that the answer to this is 'no'."

    Fuck off and learn to read...

    For one thing, if his appointment is as an adjunct associate professor, he is allowed to mention it, regardless of whther or not you fhink he should. You don't rule the fucking world.

    Secondly, I said:

    "2- that he is - as an adjunct associate professor - entitled
    to be called 'professor';"

    And what I asked for the person to do with regard to ALL points was:

    "to confirm (or otherwise)".

    What bit of that are you too stupid to get?

    Seriously.

    You're a pain in the fucking arse.


    "I thought Cloninger's was to do with temperament rather than personality (not that I'm all that interested). Doesn't 'the big five' has more scientific crediblity?"

    Isn't temperament the biological basis of personality? There are a number of bases to personality and one of them is temperament, which is the biological one.

    By Blogger David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction), at 8:12 AM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction), at 7:52 AM  

  • UPDATE:

    Regarding the status of Dr. Tony Attwood in his connection to Griffith University, I have received an email from the Professor who heads the Psychology Department at the university's Gold Coast campus.

    He is currently on leave until next week, and he will contact me regarding this matter next week when he returns. He has copied ABFH into the mail, and she is able to confirm that this has happened.

    By Blogger David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction), at 7:53 AM  

  • He works on the Gold Coast and he's gone on leave. Gone for a holiday to Hobart to take a break from all of the sunshine and beaches and resorts and bikinis? It's a hard life!

    By Blogger Lili Marlene, at 9:28 AM  

  • he's on leave to bring his Tony Attwood Enterprises Pty Ltd Roadshow to the uk:

    Canada

    October 23 - Toronto
    Leading Edge Seminars
    88 Major Street, Toronto, ON M5S 2L1

    Contact: Michael Kerman

    Tel: +416-964-1133

    Email: info@leadingedgeseminars.org
    Web: www.leadingedgeseminars.org

    Denmark

    May 27 and 28 - Copenhagen
    Aspergers Resource Centre
    Oester Soegade 32, 4. sal
    Copenhagen 1357, Denmark
    Contact: Kirsten Callesen

    Tel: +45 2160 4601

    Email: info@aspergers.dk
    Web: www.aspergers.dk

    France

    May 30 - Paris
    Asperger Aide France
    132 bis rue Etienne Dolet
    Alfortville, France 94140

    Contact: Elaine Hardiman Taveau

    Tel: 06 83 50 35 74

    Email: aspergeraidefrance@yahoo.fr
    Web: www.aspergeraide.com

    greece

    May 22, 23 and 24 - Athens
    E.E.E.S. - Association of Greek Autistic Asperger & HFA Adults
    Contact: Bryan Craig

    Tel: 01246 58326

    Email: autismcentre@tiscali.co.uk
    Web: www.autismcentre.co.uk

    New Zealand

    September 21 - Wellington
    Autism New Zealand
    PO Box 42052 Tower Junction
    Christchurch 8149, New Zealand

    Contact: Michelle de Boer

    Tel: +64 3 3329 2627
    Fax: +64 3 339 2649

    Email: training@autismnz.org.nz
    Web: www.autismnz.org.nz

    September 25 - Nelson
    NZ Resource Teachers of Learning Behaviour
    NZ Resource Teachers of Learning Behaviour Conference 2009
    PO Box 1254,
    Nelson, New Zealand

    Contact: Rose Shepard

    Tel: +64 (0)3 5466022
    Fax: +64 3 5466020

    Email: rtlb@confer.co.nz
    Web: www.confer.co.nz/rtlb2009

    United Kingdom/Scotland

    May 12, 2009 - Norwich, Norfolk
    Asperger East Anglia
    Charing Cross Centre
    17-19 St John Maddermarket
    Norwich, Norfolk NR2 1DN

    Tel: 01603 598 940 / 620 500
    Fax: 01603 620503

    Email: info@asperger.org.uk
    Web: www.asperger.org.uk

    May 14, 2009 - Bromley, Kent
    Bromley Autistic Trust
    129 Southlands Road
    Bromley, Ken BR2 9QT

    Contact: Mrs Wendy Warne

    Tel: 020 8464 2897
    Fax: 0208 464 2994

    Email: wendy@bromleyautistictrust.co.uk
    Web: bromleyautistictrust.co.uk

    May 19 and 20, 2009 - Isle of Wight
    Isle of Wight Council Directorate for Children and Young People
    Thompson House, Sandy Lane
    Newport, Isle of Wight PO30 3NA

    Contact: Dr Michael Vickers

    Tel: 01983 533 723
    Fax: 01983 528 383

    Email: mike.vickers@iow.gov.uk
    Web: www.iwight.com

    United States

    July 10 - Hartford, CT
    Future Horizons Inc
    Contact: Teresa Corey

    Tel: 1-800-489-0727

    Email: teresa@Fhautism.com
    Web: www.FHautism.com

    July 13 - Columbia, SC
    Future Horizons Inc
    Contact: Teresa Corey

    Tel: 1-800-489-0727

    Email: teresa@Fhautism.com
    Web: www.FHautism.com

    July 15 - Richmond, VA
    Future Horizons Inc
    Contact: Teresa Corey

    Tel: 1-800-489-0727

    Email: teresa@Fhautism.com
    Web: www.FHautism.com

    July 17 - Dallas, TX
    Future Horizons Inc
    Contact: Teresa Corey

    Tel: 1-800-489-0727

    Email: teresa@Fhautism.com
    Web: www.FHautism.com

    July 20 - Wichita, KS or Lincoln, NE - To Be Confirmed
    Future Horizons Inc
    Contact: Teresa Corey

    Tel: 1-800-489-0727

    Email: teresa@Fhautism.com
    Web: www.FHautism.com

    July 22 - Lincoln, NE or Butte, MT - To Be Confirmed
    Future Horizons Inc
    Contact: Teresa Corey

    Tel: 1-800-489-0727

    Email: teresa@Fhautism.com
    Web: www.FHautism.com

    July 24 - Portland, OR
    Future Horizons Inc
    Contact: Teresa Corey

    Tel: 1-800-489-0727

    Email: teresa@Fhautism.com
    Web: www.FHautism.com

    October 3 - Boston, MA - USA
    AANE - Asperger's Association of New England
    85 Main Street
    Watertown, MA 02472

    Contact: Lisa Graffeo

    Tel: 617 393-3824 Extn: 0
    Fax:617 393-3827

    Email: Lisa.Graffeo@aane.org
    Web: www.aane.org (online registration available from July 09)

    October 5 - 19, Dates to be advised - Locations to be advised

    By Blogger Socrates, at 11:10 AM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction), at 12:33 PM  

  • "He works on the Gold Coast and he's gone on leave. Gone for a holiday to Hobart to take a break from all of the sunshine and beaches and resorts and bikinis? It's a hard life!"

    Piss off, Lili. You're like an arse: you let very little in and all you come out with is shit.

    Sounds like you're bloody scared of something, to me...

    By Blogger David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction), at 12:34 PM  

  • No, that's Tony Attwood you're talking about; I'm on about the professor in charge of the university's psychology dept at the Gold Coast campus.

    By Blogger David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction), at 12:37 PM  

  • from that you can gauge the level of my interlektual involvement in the argument.

    i'll get my coat...

    By Blogger Socrates, at 1:47 PM  

  • "from that you can gauge the level of my interlektual involvement in the argument.

    i'll get my coat..."

    don't worry, Socrates... i'm waiting for this guy to come back and tell me and ABFH what the crack actually is. at least he can give a definitive answer if anyone can.

    gonna try and work on some short notes later explaining the link between temperament and personality, and why that paper i linked to might have some clues about what alexithymia actually is: we know what it isn't... but what actually is it?

    but first ... more thesis marking... have to do it thoroughly.

    By Blogger David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction), at 1:51 PM  

  • Copied from a post I made on Change.org


    I disagree strongly with this petition.

    First, I should like to point out that Tony Attwood is a member of this advocacy group, here. I'm not sure about the netiquette of targetting another member? Maybe someone could elucidate?

    Also, I'd like to point out that it's not the groups themselves which are 'hate' groups, it's some of the stuff they choose to print on their websites, and I'm one of the people who for the last 6 years has been trying to get that filth removed.

    The worst offender is Sheila Jennings Linehan, who wrote a truly offensive and disgraceful paper about domestic abuse potential in divorce cases and the unsuitability of Aspergers to bring up children. There is no research WHATSOEVER to support her view, and it is a view TOTALLY OPPOSED to what Tony Attwood believes. Last year, at completely his own expense, and for several weeks of his precious time, he supported me in my efforts to overturn a Family Court decision to have an Asperger son removed from his Asperger mother. I know that he is also handling a similar case in Australia, and is again working pro bono.

    Maxine Aston is not a psychologist. She has a degree in psychology and an MSc in Health and counselling. She has invented a 'disorder' in which she has stolen ONE word 'Cassandra' from something unrelated in Tony Attwood's first book, and she and FAAAS between them have turned it into a fictitious 'disorder' called CADD.

    Tony Attwood says of this, 'Yes, there can be affection deprivation, it can contribute to feeling depressed but it is not and never can be a diagnosable disorder.'

    He cannot be held responsible for the wrongdoing of others.

    If ASPIA asked me to speak to them, I would, because I could put them straight about some of the things they publish on their website which are so offensive that it's embarrassing to all of us who have had, or still have, excellent and mutually-rewarding relationships with partners on the spectrum.

    So,let me ask you, why don't you take this up with them? Why not ask FAAAS and ASPIA to take the offending material off their websites? Why not target the REAL offenders, like Maxine Aston and Sheila Jennings Linehan?

    Why involve a good and honourable man who has no control over these websites? And one who has for many years, tried to educate people as to what Asperger's Syndrome really is, and why it is a perfectly acceptable and natural way to be.

    Some of the vicious comment this unwise and inaccurate petition has spawned, not here but on other sites where the witchhunt is at full steam ahead, amount to libel. Some threats to Tony Attwood himself amount to harassment.

    It's a real shame that in all the great work that ASAN has done, and continues to do, this petition, with all its inaccuracies, is being touted and sent out to other disability groups.

    What on earth are you trying to do?

    By Blogger Barbara, at 1:54 PM  

  • we are trying to remove two members of FAAAS Inc's advisory board:

    Professional Advisory Panel
    (in alphabetical order by last name...)

    Tony Attwood, Ph.D.
    Jackie Briskman, Research Psychologist
    Isabelle Hénault, Ph. D.
    And to get them to publicly state that they do not support this continuing abuse of autistic men.

    It's quite simple.

    By Blogger Socrates, at 3:54 PM  

  • Phah, petition against Tony Attwood. You people not got anything better to do?
    Disgusting behaviour towards someone who has done more for the Aspie community than any other I can name.

    My son is 12yrs old, he adores the bones of Dr Attwood, without him, he wouldn't understand who he is himself.

    So before you all stick pins into him, remember.........only cowards hurt their own supporters. Phah I am DISGUSTED with the lot of you. You just show the autism spectrum up as pathetic.

    Personally and this is only my opinion, you should check out other 'autistic celebrity's/experts' most of them aren't worth the paper they have their 'qualifications' written on.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:13 PM  

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