Wednesday, 24 November 2010


I may be somewhat disappointed with the quantity of data I have to deal with, but not with the quality of it, nor the variety of ways it can be analysed. I do of course hope that time remains to gather more, and for those who have already participated, you can be sure I will be contacting you again, and will hope to interview some of you in more depth.

What is interesting is what is beginning to emerge from the first sights of the data. I cannot be sure of course, since I need to apply statistical analyses of variance, but I think there may be some interesting effects there.

What is also interesting in the 'Chinese' sense of that, is that when I submitted two sample chapters of my eventual write up, one of the criticisms, or some might say back handed complements depending upon your perspective, is that I was called upon for being too positivist, too empirical.

Well that is the consequence of standing midway between science and the humanities in my "epistemology"

The qualitative data that I can cull from this, as someone embedded in the phenomenon, with my own "verstehen" will be second to none, thanks to you, my participants. You might not realise it from the task that you given me such invaluable information regarding not only the cognitive realities of autism, but the social construction of the situation we all find ourselves in and the way society attempts to remedy this educationally.

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Half way

I am approximately half way through my research. That is to say I am in the latter half of my third year. (unlike undergrad and taught degrees, research degrees run from September to September)

I believe that I am on track and where I ought to be at this stage, the data will soon be ready for analysis, which will be the next step, after I have got through a summer of presenting on ethics. The ethical dimension of research and the problems within the science, are what could be called a subsidiary finding of this research, which is always cognisant of the sociological dimension and reflective with regard to the position of the researcher being a part of the group he researches, and therefore having a position within that with regard to the wider ethical implications of such research. It will be a major achievement to present a humanities biased poster at an important scientific conference at Cambridge in September

Thursday, 27 May 2010

The next stage

The next stage of my research is taking place this month with a live video showing and questionnaire to compare with the online results.

This is taking place over the following days
Tuesday 8th June 10.00 - 12.00
Friday 18th June 2.00 - 4.00

In room 410 (4th floor) School of Education,
University of Birmingham,
Edgebaston, Birmingham

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Problems with email

It would appear that at least in some cases the mail from the discussion and communication list set up for this project is being identified as spam. It is not something I can control, though it is surprising that an academic list is being treated this way by various ISP's spam heuristics. It seems that the spammers have a lot to be responsible for in destroying the potential of the internet.

Therefore I am having to communicate individually again and have set up a new distribution list to remind participants who are yet to complete the video viewing task and questionnaire.

If you are recieving multiple reminders and have completed it already, my apologies.

I would also wish to remind participants not to discuss the project on any mailing lists they share as this could compromise the results from an academic viewpoint.

If anyone has any public comment they wish to share about the research they can use the comments feature on this blog, or otherwise please use the mailing list

autvideo(at)jiscmail(dot)ac (dot uk.

People who are new to this study and want to volunteer please fill in the Questionnaire on

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Ready to go:

By the end of the 2nd of November (GMT) the online video experiment will be live. Those who are signed up to the mailing list will recieve a message concerning the URL and mirror URL.

I will also be launching an appeal for new participants as well, who will need to fill in the initial questionaire which details I will also publish again tommorrow.

Following this there will be an appeal for NT online participants (as a control group)

There will also be a version of the AQ/EQ test online which participants will be encouraged (though not compelled) to complete. Completion of the test will not be taken to be an endorsement of approval of the ethics or methodology of the test.

Sunday, 8 March 2009

More setbacks but getting ready to go.

As stated in my last post I have been concentrating recently on a video co-operation with a final year Student from Coventry University.

There have been some setbacks due to computer problems this time, with my main editing machine having to go back for repairs, with a problem that is still not resolved, so it will go back again next week.

However I am at a more advanced stage in the preparation of my experimental material, which will feature some of the co-operative work.

There has been some change of plan due to the financial restrictions on me. Those of you who have volunteered over the internet will not now receive a DVD through the post but will be able to view the video on a password protected site, via flash. This will mean the quality of the video is less than I would prefer but I hope that should not impact upon the observations I wish to record.

Participants will be able to access the video and then answer questions via the same website set up for the initial questionnaires. Alternatives will be available for those who find this difficult or who would prefer an email copy of the questionnaire, to return, or to print out and post back.

Monday, 12 January 2009

Since my last report, personal misfortunes and delays have continued. It is now proving impossible to source the copyright and a decent copy of the DVD I originally intended to use, and I am now on the point of using another, which is somewhat less satisfactory than the original in some respects though perhaps not from others.

In addition I have had hold ups due to administrative and practical delays in providing me with a suitable computer and software for all the editing work that the preparation of my experimental materials entails. A fortnights evacuation from my flat due to fire, the aftermath of that and the inevitable Christmas holiday have not expedited things either.

The most recent setback comes from Research Autism's refusal of my grant application on the grounds that they do not fund individual students. I think that is a bit antithetical of the spirit in which that organisation is founded, particularly as my application had the full backing and support of the University to be included as a piece of official research. It is almost as if they do not want autistics poking around in their territory, the lunatics are taking over the asylum what!

Anyway my research has taken a new turn in that I intend to incorporate the work of a collaborator from Coventry University, who is currently making an awareness raising video as part of her coursework. I am very impressed with the novel approach she is taking to this, something which will be very different from any other video that has so far been made and a real mythbuster for some autistic stereotypes.

That is the way with research, when one avenue is blocked, one has to find other avenues to explore.