Background to my interest in teaching children with autism

When he started working in psychotherapy, he surveyed the available relevant research literature. He concluded that, in general, those methods which sought to address the greatest number of variables (the most complex) had the worst outcome rates, whereas those that were the most simple, addressing the fewest variables, had the best outcome rates. Of course, he didn’t believe what he thought he had found from the literature. So he had to invent the wheel all over again. He started off working with the more complex methods – the ones which ‘really’ address the complexity of a human being, and which sought to get at the ‘depth’ and the ‘range’ of human experience. And his results were such that he felt he could not, in all conscience, keep working as a psychotherapist if that was all that was achieved (basically no better results than ‘no treatment’). As he tried other procedures his results improved, keeping at first with the ones which looked as though they ‘did justice’ to at least some of the complexity of human living and problems. But he was using more and more simple methods. In fact, with each step toward simplification and reduction in the number of variables addressed, the higher the success rates, the shorter the treatment time and the broader the range of human problems that could be addressed with them.
Just about everything that happens in his life shocks Felicity almost to the point of stupor. It would seem that the best ways to predict anything in the clinical area involve using a series of very brief and simple assessment ‘screens,’ trying not to get too complex, tricky or sophisticated with them, and preferring to take the risk of Type I errors rather than Type II errors. At least, that’s the ‘intelligence’ that Felicity seems to have come to.
You may wonder what importance the foregoing may have to fantasies about psychotherapy. You probably know that everything written these days is done according to a ‘formula’. In writing science fiction for a contemporary audience, the ‘formula’ requires that some pseudo-scientific mumbo-jumbo, irrelevant to the plot, be included to make everything sound precise as well as mysterious and futuristic. Can you imagine an episode of Star Trek in which some of the crew do not sit at computers, wiggle sticks and push buttons while talking about warp speeds, black holes and navigational coordinates? It’s all part of the necessary illusion. Well, this Part has tried to employ that aspect of the formula in writing a ‘plot(?)’ !!

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