BREAKING NEWS: Vaccine Didn’t Cause Autism, Court Rules

12 02 2009

Vaccine didn’t cause autism, court rules

* Story Highlights
* NEW: Autism not caused by specific vaccines, special court rules
* NEW: Panel of “special masters” issues decisions on three test cases
* Cases involved children with autism that parents say was triggered by vaccinations

(CNN) — A special court ruled Thursday that parents of autistic children are not entitled to compensation in their contention that certain vaccines caused autism in their children.

“I must decide this case not on sentiment, but by analyzing the evidence,” one of the “special masters” hearing the case said in denying the families’ claims, ruling that the families had not presented sufficient evidence to prove their allegations.

The decisions came in three test cases heard in 2007 involving children with autism that their parents contend was triggered by early childhood vaccinations.

The three families — the Cedillos, the Hazlehursts and the Snyders — were notified Wednesday night that a decision had been reached, as were the more than 180 lawyers collectively representing the 4,800 families with claims in the Vaccine Court Omnibus Autism Proceeding, said lead plaintiffs’ attorney Thomas Powers. . .

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“Teaching Without Teaching” Even When It’s Math

12 02 2009

New Puzzle Challenges Math Skills:

Mr. Miyamoto said he believes in “the art of teaching without teaching.”

It’s also described as his “philosophy of not instructing” so that students can puzzle through problems by trial-and-error, itself a crucial thinking skill and not just in math.

He provides the tools for students to learn at their own pace using their own trial-and-error methods. If these tools are engaging enough, he said, students are more motivated and learn better than they would through formal instruction.

Engaging, playing at their own pace, reinforcing rather than killing motivation to persist, cool.

And isn’t this what video games are designed to do, too often accomplishing that goal so well that traditional parents and teachers tend to fear their power? I learned something new myself this week, that Spunky and some commenters ban video games in their Christian homeschooling as eroding virtue and work ethic, therefore scripturally sinful.

But I see a new comment this morning, describing a mom’s trial-and-error video game epiphany and repentance:

“. . . to be honest a major component was we couldn’t afford it. (We should all be honest about our reasoning.)

I am now in the camp of thinking I was too extreme in my former banning of all video games. No regrets, no guilt, but to be honest I didn’t know a lot about the games to have formerly hated them so much.”

I’ve been happily puzzling through a series of brilliantly designed video chess mini-games on the computer, having a WONDERFUL time! Judging by Read the rest of this entry »