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An illustration of Dr. Natalie Engelbrecht looking through a magnifying glass.

Work behind the scenes

Hey peeps! We haven’t posted a lot of articles recently. But we have been working diligently behind the scenes, so I want to tell you about what we’ve been up to.


Busy

I often feel guilty for not being able to publish more. We have a lot of posts in draft form, some of which nearly complete but missing some artwork, while others need a deeper exploration into the research to connect certain concepts better. It all takes a lot of time, but there are so many other things that need to be done as well.

Embrace ASD | Work behind the scenes | illustration Work

Fortunately, I just about finished one very large project, meaning I will probably have more time to get articles up!


New website

The project I’m talking about—which I’m very proud to announce—is a new website for Natalie! Go have a look at Natalie-Engelbrecht.com.

A banner of Dr. Natalie’s website (natalie-engelbrecht.com).
What do you think of this character of Natalie in a more figurative style?

I designed the website and illustrations, and Quinn Rusnell translated my design into a working website. The work is not quite done though. Here are a few more things I have planned:

  • Creating an illustration for the credentials page, and adding a few more credentials. If her academic record wasn’t so extensive, I would have a lot less work. So I am quite comfortable in blaming the educational system for the fact we haven’t put up more content recently.
  • Adding a Q&A page. If you have questions for Natalie that you think should be on that page, please feel free to comment on this post with suggestions!
  • Quinn will add a custom 404 page soon.
  • And of course, we need to establish a proper connection between our websites. To that end, I will add an assessment page to her website that links to Embrace ASD, and add links on this website to hers.

By the way, Natalie has her own blog now, where she will post interesting things about trauma, growth, the brain, psychological hacks, etc. On the downside, each post needs some artwork, and who do you think will do that? I’m a bottleneck in our organization. Actually, I think we are all bottlenecks in different ways.

In any case, if you want weekly updates on whatever Natalie publishes on her website, subscribe to her mailing list:

Dr. Natalie Engelbrecht Newsletter

Other projects

I don’t want to dwell too much on everything we are working on; we will post more about them once we are ready to announce them. But here are just some of the projects we have going on:

  • Automated scoring of tests — A lot of you have expressed frustration about the lack of automated scoring of some of the tests presented on our website, in particular the CAT-Q. I feel your pain! It took me quite a bit to derive my scores as well. Note though that we didn’t develop any of these tests, and are ultimately not responsible for how they are scored. In some cases we don’t even have access to the exact formula. But obviously, the intent of our articles about autism tests is to make it easier for you to do the tests, and get more accurate results. So if we can make it easier to do the tests, that seems to be a noble pursuit. To that end, we have been working on a sophisticated system to ultimately score each test through our own website. What is also exciting about this is that once the system is implemented, we could develop our own test as well! After researching many of the psychometric tests available, we have a better understanding of their limitations, and what we can do to overcome those.
  • Refined assessment process — We are still refining our autism assessment process, and automated scoring is definitely a significant part of that as well. On a happy note, Dr. Natalie Engelbrecht did her 50th autism assessment last week!
  • An editorial team — We established a small team of editors to help us prepare articles, and I created a page where you can easily subscribe to create an account. If you would like to help us out in any way, send us a message. We could use the help!
  • The Embrace ASD Podcast — We managed to get our podcast published on various platforms besides YouTube and Podbean. For example, you can now find us on Spotify as well! On the downside, we got burned out producing the episodes. But we are preparing ourselves for more audio and video content, including two more episodes of the podcast.
  • A research paper on alexithymia — Some weeks ago we submitted a paper that explored the difference between autism with and without alexithymia, to get a better view on what autism is and what aspects have been misattributed to autism. Our paper didn’t get accepted, but we received feedback on how to proceed, and will soon give it another go. We’re actually really excited to present you our findings, but we will have to get our work published first.
  • Back to school — On a personal note, I am doing a course in scientific methodology in psychology, which should prove useful to our research endeavors, whether it’s for research papers on Embrace ASD content.

And there is more to come! For example, I updated the design of my character, since I no longer look like the character below. Okay, arguably I never did. But expect to find the updated character on the website within the upcoming days!

An illustrated portrait of Martin Silvertant.

Embrace ASD, Natalie Engelbrecht, Quinn Rusnell, Update

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