Eye Tracking Study on Rapid Prompting Method (RPM) Users

Many piano students who are nonspeaking autistic (or for other neurological reasons), also have dyspraxia. I have dyspraxia (and I’m autistic). Dyspraxia is a neurological motor movement disorder. It is difficult to sustain the arm in playing position, and it is very difficult to play the notes as you want them. Just because you know the note, does not mean you can ‘prove’ that you are note-reading, due to the brain/body disconnect.

Thank you Vikram K. Jaswal, Allison Wayne, and Hudson Golino, for this landmark Eye Tracking study. “Users not only looked at and pointed to letters quickly and accurately even in lengthy responses, but patterns in their response times and visual fixations revealed planning and production processes suggesting that they were conveying their own thoughts.”

figure1

Participants wore eye-tracking glasses that provided a video record of their field of view and their right eye’s movements.

How much more research do we need to make communication accessible to all people? The continued bashing of facilitated communicated (FC) and Rapid Prompting Method (RPM) is ableist, classist, and absolute discrimination. It is a gross misjustice of power from the Ivory tower, heralded by the white men promoting #abatherapy. If we allow autistics to communicate their own thoughts, we will not be able to force them to comply with #aba (this is their panic).

If there is any single researcher who challenges the purposeful authorship of nonspeaking autistics who utilize AACs, please contact me. We will SILENCE those who have silenced us for so many years. Down with the patriarchy.

As educators, we must know that motor movement differences are at the core of productivity. Does your student’s joints collapse, do they have trouble with fingers twitching, arms being hyperextended, posture issues….and on and on? As pedagogues, it is incumbent upon us to find the most appropriate teaching modalities that supports the student in gaining confidence in their productivity.

The Perfect Perch™ -How can a simple plastic device help a person with dyspraxia or motor planning issues? Our current clinical trial includes autistic subjects, as well as cerebral palsy or post-stroke paralysis.

Imagine being nonspeaking, autistic, unable to toilet independently because your hands can’t grip your pants. Imagine sitting in a piano lesson where the teacher puts stickers everywhere, thinking that the student is simply not able to ‘cognitively’ process the lesson, because heck, they’re not showing you the ‘proof’. With this population, the proof is not in the pudding. The proof is in your pedagogy. I have been asked many times, “but why does perfect pitch matter?”. It matters because if you are familiar with my research, you will know that 97% of autistic people have perfect pitch (82% other disabilities, 52% of neurotypicals). With that said, having perfect pitch (you’re born with it) means that we MUST target what *is* intact, in order to activate purposeful motor movements.

If you have questions about this technique, please ask! I have somehow become a leading expert in the science of neuroplasticity, motor movement disorder, hand eye coordination, visual tracking anomalies, and resuntently, a pedagogy scientist. Let’s talk about why nonspeaking people should be considered for piano lessons just like everyone else.

“Why autistics love teleconferencing, and why professionals should make the switch

Autistics have been online for decades.

Why autistics love teleconferencing, and why professionals should make the switch. Register for this 1:1 Webinar with Dr. Henny Kupferstein (90 minutes)
Dr. Henny Kupferstein: “Why autistics love teleconferencing, and why professionals should make the switch.”

Why autistics love teleconferencing, and why professionals should make the switch.

  1. Accommodating sensory needs of the student – client
  2. Technology and device support for both parties
  3. Time management, planning, and note-taking
  4. Maintaining professional standards
  5. Boundaries for interacting with people in their homes
  6. Providing multiple means of instruction and multiple means of assessment
  7. Incorporating AAC communication methods during session
  8. Research on innate abilities supporting the presumption of competence.
  9. How to stand out on a web-conference.

👉 Click here for payment and scheduling page
no-show and short-notice cancellations are not refundable. 

Supplemental Reading:

Research Study: “I KNOW SOMEBODY: Evaluating the Autistic Cultural Impact of Trauma Exposure to Suicide”

Key Information for my Study “I KNOW SOMEBODY: Evaluating the Autistic Cultural Impact of Trauma Exposure to Suicide”

Sad young man looking through the window

Have you experienced exposure to suicide or suicidality?

We are looking for adults who are culturally situated within autistic identity to participate in an online study. The purpose of this study is to explore the language used in a questionnaire narrative describing a secondhand experience. This research study aims to explore retribution and feelings of making up for a loss. The target participant is an adult who is culturally situated within autistic identity, and has experienced another autistic person who attempted, or completed, a suicidal experience. Participants will answer 4 short questions about their interpretation of experiencing suicide by 2nd degree.

  • The study takes around 10 to 15 minutes to complete.
  • You will not be paid for participating.

PARTICIPATE NOW
Choose the link below to begin.


This study was approved by Advarra IRB (Pro00043529)

Bump Dots, So Flappy!

My bump dots arrived and I’m jazzed that my confidence around my independent living skills have soared. Many autistic people have a hearing impairment such as central auditory processing disorder (CAPD), hyperacusis, and misophonia. Autistic people also have vision impairments ranging from cortical vision impairment (CVI), simultanagnosia, double vision, and distortions. Lastly, the autistic motor movement impairments are neurological, but not every autistic person is properly assessed for dyspraxia or dystonia. Rather, they end up with a diagnosis of low muscle tone, poor fine motor skills, and motor planning problems. I am one of the rare lucky ones to also have Balint Syndrome, and I know the odds. I’m a spectacular zebra unicorn to western medicine practitioners. 

 

Mixed Bump Dots, Mixed Sizes and Colors - 80 Count

Mixed Bump Dots, Mixed Sizes and Colors – 80 Count

Bump Dots, Yay!

Mixed Bump Dots are ideal for low vision, and autistic sensory deprivation and processing disorders. These Bump Dots allow a variety of uses from tactile marking of everyday items such as computer keyboards, telephone keypads, multiple switches, and kitchenware. Low vision labelers are perfect for homes or offices with both blind and sighted people. Use the clear dots so the view of keypad displays are not obscured. I got my Mixed Bump Dots, Mixed Sizes and Colors – 80 Count all the way from the Amazon.

bump dots on my microwave keypad

bump dots on my microwave keypad – click to enlarge and zoom in

Matching Bump Dot Selections to Tasks Requirements

  • I used a clear medium sized dot to place on the Power button on the microwave so others can also find it. The dot is not only clear and shows the text it sits on, but it also somehow magnifies!
  • I used a small red dot on the Start button on the bottom right. This was tricky because I didn’t want to cover the text on the button, but the button requires the dot to be squarely in the center in order to word as a pressing function.
  • I used a medium clear dot on the number 2 of the number pad. It magnifies and is perfect for sharing the microwave with sighted people.

Motor Planning

In this arrangement, I first find the power dot with my index finger, and then find the #2 dot with my middle finger. I can then imagine the rest of the numbers relative to the 2. Finally, I scoot down to the start button with my pinkie, and my job is done. My hand stays in the exact position on the keyboard throughout the task, and builds motor memory for the future.

What are you using bump dots for? Please share!

Stanley Krippner’s lawsuit against Saybrook University and TCS Education

Stanley Krippner (born October 4, 1932) is an American psychologist, parapsychologist, and an former executive faculty member and Professor of Psychology at Saybrook University in Pasadena, California. Krippner was director of the Kent State University Child Study Center (of Kent, Ohio), and director of the Maimonides Medical Center Dream Research Laboratory (of Brooklyn, New York).

DR. STANLEY KRIPPNER WAS FIRED AT AGE 87 AFTER 42 YEARS OF SERVICE TO THE INSTITUTION, TWO WEEKS BEFORE EMERITUS STATUS

In Stanley Krippner PhD against Nathan LongSaybrook University and TCS Education Services: ‘Complaint-Wrongful Termination Filed’ Case number RG19035758 was filed in the Alameda County Superior Court.

Henny Kupferstein with Dr. Stanley Krippner

Henny Kupferstein with Dr. Stanley Krippner

Information on the $90 million dollar lawsuit:

 

Why Caregivers Discontinue Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and Choose Communication-Based Autism Interventions

Figure 1: Percentage of PTSS by autism intervention

Percentage of PTSS by Autism Intervention: The x-axis represents the interventions per bar column, and containing values of PTSS instances per intervention group. The y-axis represents the scaled incidence per group, with 42% in the ABA group containing the highest relative prevalence. Those who received no intervention at all (“none”) experienced the lowest prevalence of PTSS (17%), compared to the ABA group. This difference in proportion was the most statistically significant between all groups, χ2(1)= 22.87, p <.001.

The objective of this study was to explore why autistic people and their caregivers chose interventions other than Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), and how their decision impacts them over their lifespan. The focus group was divided into those who pursued augmentative and alternative communication (AACs) based supports, those who received ABA, those who selected other interventions, and those who received no intervention at all. The reported posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) of ABA recipients were compared to non-ABA recipients in order to evaluate the long-term impacts of all intervention types. Using a mixed-method thematic analysis, optional comments submitted alongside a quantitative online survey were reviewed for emergent themes. These comments augmented the survey Likert scores with a qualitative impression of the diverse intervention-related attitudes among participants. Investigating the lived experiences of autism intervention recipients illuminated the scope of the long term impacts of each intervention that was chosen. Overall, autistics who received no intervention fared best, reporting the least severe posttraumatic stress symptoms. These findings may inform the potential redesign of autism interventions, and posttraumatic stress symptom assessments, based on the firsthand reported experiences and opinions of autistics.

Keywords: Autism, intervention, therapy, Applied Behaviour Analysis, communication, support

Also Read Research Study: Correlation between PTSD and ABA: Parents tend to continue ABA despite lack of satisfaction with the intervention. Evidence of Increased PTSD Symptoms in Autistics Exposed to Applied Behavior Analysis Kupferstein, H. (2018) Evidence of Increased PTSD Symptoms in Autistics Exposed to Applied Behavior Analysis. Advances in Autism, 1(1), 19-29. DOI :10.1108/AIA-08-2017-0016 [PDF]

APA Citation:

Kupferstein, H. (2019) Why caregivers discontinue applied behavior analysis (ABA) and choose communication-based autism interventions. Advances in Autism. doi: 10.1108/AIA-02-2019-0004

Help Oppose Bill A08711 DMV Autism Mark on NY Driver’s License 

Henny Kupferstein, Ph.D. Candidate, Psychology Rebecca Botta-Zalucki, LMSW

URGENT ACTION: Contact your assembly members and help us oppose the “communication impairment” bill to prevent a DMV autism mark on the driver’s license of autistic adults in New York. We need more sponsors in the state senate who are interested in autism legislation to oppose legislation that does not enhance the quality of life of autistic people in New York.

First, read our letter in opposition submitted November 8, 2019 to Assembly Member Heastie, Speaker. Distribute to friends, family, and professionals who might consider writing a letter in support of our opposition.

[Follow Legislative Action on this bill]
[Follow advocacy on HennyK / FaceBook]

Here’s what else you can do:

  1. Contact your state assembly person and ask them to oppose this bill (list here)
  2. Ask if they are willing to write a letter in opposition of this bill.
  3. Share your personal anecdotes of how this bill affects you and/or your organization.
  4. Share this page on social media, with colleagues, friends, and family. We need the word to get out!

Step Up Your Advocacy Skills!

  1. Contact Carl E. Heastie NY Speaker of the Assembly, and ask him to oppose this bill which is now in the hands of the transportation committee.
  2. Contact the members of the Transportation committee (list here), and ask them to dismiss this bill.
  3. Contact Assemblyman Nader J. Sayegh and tell him why you oppose the bill that he introduced to the Assembly. 

Remember:

  • Share personal reasons as to why this bill is harmful.
  • Sign our letter in opposition.

My Autistic Fractals in the 4th Dimension of Consciousness

In UNIPAZ, Brasilia, I had the honor of presenting my lived experience to a class of transpersonal psychology students. In my presentation, I demonstrate how my eyes sees objects as conceptual fractals from within the 4th dimension of consciousness. You may notice some gaps in the talking. This video has been edited to remove the Portuguese translation provided in realtime by Alfredo. 

English transcription of presentation at UNIPAZ, Brazil:

Being in the United States diagnosed as autistic, provided me a really nice fancy package to understand my differences. But the more I understood myself, the more I was witnessing the trauma of those who did not have the privilege of this identity. As you are going through transformation in your education, you are experiencing an evolution of your own identity. That is a privilege that you now have, because you can choose this process. 

The autistic child is under identity threat all the time. They enter the world with genetic memory and skills that cannot be explained. I can explain it in language that is accessible to the mainstream. I made it my mission to become an academic student and to use theories of transpersonal psychology to explain what people cannot observe. When we say, “autistic people are deficient” in this, that, or that, we are using traditional metrics to put people into a box of comprehension. 

Hypothetically, if my eyeballs work differently than your eyeballs, this is what the world looks like to me. I’m looking outside the window at the tree. 

The nautilus is a mathematical shape. Where does it begin, and where does it end? So, just for aesthetic purposes, I will begin from the center, because I like my lines to be clean. 

So this is the traditional nautilus shape that you see if you’re interested in this stuff. The more you stare at it, the more distortions begin to take shape. Perhaps in the first second that you looked at it, it appeared one dimensional. I believe that the brain has a 3-second time-lapse of perception, and after 3 seconds, you may start noticing a second dimension. So after three seconds, you may notice a 2-dimensional shape.

The moment you have a third dimension, it becomes obvious because you now have to have a negotiation in your brain, if the nautilus shape begins at the tip, or the center. This negotiation is your fourth dimension. 

My eyes give me a perceptual sphere that begins in the 4th dimension, and then I have to do a negotiation to dissect the components. Here is my fourth dimension. My eyes see a grid on an axis, but I don’t see all of the boxes simultaneously.

Every three seconds, the boxes change—and I will show you. 

So perhaps in the first three seconds, I receive A3, A4, C3. Inside A3, A4, C3, I have to make a picture-puzzle, which is this. 

But I wait three seconds, and now I have this. 

So, this might look like abstract art, but my work is very deep and very meaningful. Because not only do I have the privilege of doing these negotiations, I also have the privilege of taking every cube, and going into the fractal of its meaning. So although you see the nautilus as a potential fractal, I perceive my world primarily as existing perceptually in the negotiation space of creativity, where I can hold the multitudes simultaneously and it becomes irrelevant on that material dimension. I say material because that is my baseline, because that is my normal, and in that beautiful place, it becomes irrelevant to me whether the nautilus begins in the middle or at the end. 

Therefore I challenge the traditional explanation of moving up or coming down, because I believe that autistic people have access to the potential of thoughts and concepts from the interstitial space, the space between the one and the one. It’s the space that is the beginning of everything in the future. 

So if you’re asking an autistic child in the classroom to do reading comprehension and he says “oh look it’s a beautiful bird,” then in the United States we say “you’re stupid, you have to go to the special class” and we rob the child of the opportunity to gather information in a setting that is considered normal. So the autistic child learns to derive pleasure from the paranormal.

I call this the party in my head and I only share it with people that feel safe to me because my worldview exists of objects which are also fractals which are also fractals, and fractal objects that have infinite possibilities of perception. I can do that with observing children in a classroom and knowing immediately the depth and breadth of their existence. I can do this by reading multiple research papers and finding a connection. When I do data analysis it feels to me like a synthesis of deeply meaningful symbols.

Many researchers like to share their work but they don’t derive pleasure from doing the mundane mathematical work. So I want more people to be envious of the pleasurable experiences that I have and to eliminate the stigma of difference by recognizing that the child who has a revelation in his creativity, this is the child who is not having deficiencies that can be defined by the non-autistic person. It’s only the autistic child himself who can describe how he perceives his deficiencies.

The privilege I have with transpersonal psychology is to use scientific terms to provide meaning and to make meaning of my existence. But I don’t intend for my work or my research, I don’t intend to colonize the experience of other autistic people with my worldview. If there’s somebody who wants to identify with deficiency, I can accept that. if you want to say that you have a sister who suffers from lesbianism, that’s okay. If you want to say this is a person living with autism, that’s okay. 

For me to have an identity to feel like something normal, I have to be allowed to say I am autistic. I have been able to feel like my experience is indigenous to me, so all my work that I do takes the position of liberating my experience from the medical pathology paradigm and moving through it, not up or down to it, so that other people can make meaning of my experience. 

So I want to invite you as you are encountering people who are severely other than you, remember that they come at you from the fourth dimension and in  your social encounter you have an opportunity to play creatively and create something new together. And that is called transcendence.

Thank you so much.


You may notice some gaps in the talking. This video has been edited to remove the Portuguese translation provided in realtime by Alfredo. 

 

 

Kodi Lee Wins, Parents Asking About Piano Lessons for Autistic Students

He’s got perfect pitch. He is 22, and sings with a rasp and vibrato through that last high note. Kodi’s piano accompaniment shows off technical precision that stole my heart. 

Kodi Lee just won the 2019 America's Got Talent competition

Kodi Lee won the 2019 America’s Got Talent competition

He’s also blind and autistic, and Kodi Lee just won the 2019 America’s Got Talent competition, and I WAS THERE IN HOLLYWOOD TO SEE IT! #heckyeah

Henny Kupferstein with Kodi Lee’s piano teacher YiYi Ku, at America’s Got Talent finals

Autistic people have talent, and nearly all autistic people have perfect pitch (read my research study). Autistic musical savants like myself want to be recognized for musical talent, the practice time we devote to showcasing perfection, and the music theory training that helps us fit in to a group of quality musicians, because we are usually the strongest one in the room

Kodi’s win made parents and teachers think about autistic talent, and now everyone wants piano lessons for their autistic child. 

Autistic's Got Talent (fake pose)

All my piano students are autistic. Every autistic piano student should have equal access to the arts, whether they are nonverbal, blind, or poor motor skills. We can all do it, because we have the gift. But do all piano teachers have the gift to teach? 

Current research is critical to work with a demographic that is misunderstood by mainstream education. Those who put together homegrown curriculum and color-basedprograms are truly demonstrating incompetent teaching skills. Teaching down to the diagnosis is a form of discrimination, and parents need to learn how to recognize a poor teacher-student relationship.

How to Know if Your Autistic Child’s Piano Teacher Is Trained for the Job

  1. The teacher will begin the lessons even if the student does not have an appropriate instrument in their home
  2. The teacher plays all assignments for the student, and then teaches by rote
  3. The teacher assigns scales and flashcard work for home practice
  4. The teacher does not hold a 4-year music degree from a nationally accredited institution.
  5. The teacher focuses on correcting posture and finger shape more times than the student is playing during the lesson.
  6. The teacher’s rates are below market rate for professional services in your region
  7. The teacher refuses to teach online (skype/facetime) to accommodate the student
  8. The teacher uses “student with autism” or “definitely has a spectrum disorder” language without regard for the prevailing preference of autistic people to be called primarily “autistic”
  9. The teacher talks slow, loud, and with vocabulary that feels infantilizing.
  10. The teacher is not autistic, and therefore, cannot serve as a positive role model. 

Thankfully, I’ve done the work for you! 

Henny Kupferstein posing with a fake Hollywood star

Piano teachers looking for an evidence-based piano pedagogy, read about my professional training program for LDME™ Training – Developmental Music Education™ Training  to  become a licensed developmental music educator®

Research Study about autism and perfect pitch: Non-Verbal Paradigm for Assessing Individuals for Absolute Pitch Kupferstein, H., & Walsh, B. J. (2016). Non-Verbal Paradigm for Assessing Individuals for Absolute Pitch. World Futures, 72(7-8), 390-405. [PDF]

Parents who want to learn more about piano lessons for autistic and nonverbal students using a method that guarantees these goals through neuroplastic changes, BOOK A CONSULT and let’s set a time to talk.

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Behaviorists Claim Rebirthing and Crisis-Debriefing Interventions Linked to PTSD and Deaths

Scott Lilienfeld is a professor of psychology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. He is also  best known to advocate for behavior modification interventions for autistic children. Lilienfeld promotes Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and collaborates with behaviorists to insist that anything other than ABA is pseudoscience.

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) published a position statement urging speech therapists to avoid promoting RPM or FC, because it would violate the ethical standards of forcing a child to use speech, rather than encouraging them to communicate using augmentative devices. Their position is supported by Lilienfeld’s campaign to eradicate access to non-speaking autistic’s communication style. What is most concerning is the promotion of ABA while knowing from current research that Autistics who are exposed to ABA are 86% more likely to meet the PTSD criteria than autistics who were not exposed to ABA. Any autistic person who is systematically silenced when communication supports are withheld, and then forced into a behavior modification program, will suffer untold trauma to their identity as a human being.

Stop listening to Lilienfeld and his colleagues, because they unearth medieval research about therapies linked to the refrigerator mother theory, and hysteria, to illustrate what pseudoscience looks like. A behaviorists who cries foul to these statistics, and uses his argument to fuel misinformation to unsuspecting parents, is a psychologist who is rendered incapable of measuring the impact of his own professional behavior onto autistic people as a whole.

Rebirthing is a technique based on really questionable psychological claims, that a lot of current psychological problems stem from the early trauma of birth, and have to be, in essence, repeated by recapitulating that trauma. This is a technique that has actually led to the deaths of several children who have been smothered to death during rebirthing sessions.

Crisis debriefing is a technique that is still properly used in the wake of trauma in a well-intentioned effort to try to ward off post-traumatic stress reactions. Crisis debriefing is a technique that is still awarded continuing education credit by the American Psychological Association even though it has actually been found in two to three well-controlled studies to increase the risk of post-traumatic symptoms among trauma exposed individuals.

Lilienfeld, S. (Academic). (2008). Scott Lillenfeld: “science and pseudoscience in clinical psychology: yesterday and today”[Streaming video]. Retrieved from SAGE Video.