About Michael

TED Conferences

TED2015, TED2014, TED2013

Areas of Expertise

User Experience , User Interface Design, Information Architecture, Content Strategy, Brand & Marketing Strategy, Web / UX / App Design

An idea worth spreading

We each play the role of diplomat for our family, our gender, our race, our nationality, our philosophy, our humanity and, of course, ourselves. We should remember this in all our words and actions.

I'm passionate about

...the power of design to clarify, inspire, and improve, and humanize.

Favorite talks

Comments & conversations

273499
Michael McWatters
Posted 2 days ago
Steve Silberman: The forgotten history of autism
That is one study among many others that suggest the opposite. It's also relevant to note that the author of that study is not an epidemiologist or autism expert, but rather an environmental scientist. Her study focuses on correlations and trends, and hypothesized but not actual causation.
273499
Michael McWatters
Posted 10 days ago
Steve Silberman: The forgotten history of autism
In my childhood neighborhood of +/-30 kids, 40 years ago, there were two boys who in retrospect were clearly autistic. One was diagnosed as "mildly mentally retarded" and the other boy, a good friend, we all considered "quirky and aloof." My high school was affiliated with a special needs school, and there were many children who were diagnosed with any variety of conditions that now, I'm fairly certain, would be identified as autistic. I have an older family member who was diagnosed as mentally retarded 40 years ago who we now know to be autistic. These are all personal, anecdotal cases, I'll grant you. But as the father of an autistic boy, I now see in my mind's eye how many children I grew up with who now would be classified as autistic, and who would have benefited from support and services...and most of all, acceptance. It's a common refrain that there were no autistics years ago, but I just don't think that's the case.
273499
Michael McWatters
Posted 4 months ago
Romina Libster: The power of herd immunity
As the parent of a child who had a compromised immune system, I recognize the incredible importance of herd immunity in helping to protect those who are vulnerable — the very young, the very old, pregnant women, and those suffering illnesses that compromise their immune system. When herd immunity drops below safe levels, we have outbreaks like the one that claimed the life of a toddler with measles yesterday in Berlin.
273499
Michael McWatters
Posted 4 months ago
Romina Libster: The power of herd immunity
11-month-olds can and do receive vaccinations, though not all. This is what the vaccine schedule is meant for. The vaccine injury court you allude to was set up to help expedite claims and reduce legal expenses for families who believe their children may have been harmed by a vaccine. The bar for proof is very low; in fact, it is essentially correlation, not causation: if an incident happens within a pre-determined time-frame, the case will be resolved in the parents' favor. That said, there have been an incredibly small number of settlements given the amount of vaccines administered (and lives saved from preventable diseases).