Saturday, November 22, 2008

Toastmasters speech No. 9, ‘Persuade with Power’

I gave my ninth speech this week; the purpose was to “Persuade with Power.” I chose as my topic, “Vaccines do not cause autism.”

Ever since I learned, almost a year and a half ago, that I have Asperger syndrome, I have devoted much study to  Asperger syndrome and ASDs. I made use of much of this information when presenting my Toastmasters speeches.

One of the notions I encountered was that vaccines caused children to become autistic. So in the midst of my overall studying, I examined this argument as well.

I decided that increases in diagnosis between 1993 and 2003 could be more than adequately explained by expansion of criteria into an autism “spectrum,” elimination of diagnostic substitution and improved record-keeping. This, to me, is a cause for rejoicing because it means that more individuals will gain understanding and support.

I made use of much of this research for my seventh Toastmasters project, in which I argued against the notion that there is an autism “epidemic.”

In order to examine the vaccine controversy with greater in-depth detail, I decided to reserve it for my ninth speech, which was to “Persuade with Power.”

With the completion of my ninth speech, I have only one more to go and I will be a “Competent Communicator.”

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