Talk:Donna Williams

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Biographical Information?[edit]

Where was Williams born?

Melbourne, Australia

There's no biographical information about her early life or family.

all here

I can't find any info about her university years or qualifications.

clearly set out in Nobody Nowhere
also set out here

Who diagnosed her?

clearly set out here

In what country was Williams diagnosed?


Was the diagnosis Asperger syndrome or Autistic Disorder or something else?

clearly set out here

Does Williams have any other developmental of psychiatric diagnosis?

clearly set out here

Has she been diagnosed with Multiple Personality Disorder? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 11:49, 14 April 2007 (UTC).

clearly set out here
MPD is a defunct diagnosis, the correct term is DID, Dissociative Identity Disorder.

This occurs in human beings of any type, disabilities or otherwise, when subjected to extensive inescapable trauma under age 3 and is on a continuum with PTSD. I was diagnosed with this in 2010.

A back issue of "Our Voice" (I can't remember which issue and I can't find my collection at the moment) says Lawrie Bartak diagnosed her.
Lawrie Bartak brought the earlier diagnostic label up to date in 1991

I was diagnosed at age 2 in a 3 day inpatient hospital assessment in 1965 when autism was deemed infantile psychosis. The diagnosis was infantile psychosis at that time

see here

She has said a number of times that she is diagnosed with autism and not Asperger's,

Lawrie Bartak diagnosed autism in 1991

diagnosis of adults with Aspergers in English speaking countries began around 1995. the info is here

I'm sure you can find that on her website if you look enough.


There is genealogical and family information available on her website.


Not all information is publicly available though.

totally public

A lot of Wikipedia subjects don't have exact dates and places of birth for instance. Silentmiaow 22:51, 17 June 2007 (UTC)

Yes, where I was born and my university qualifications are on my artist's resume
my diagnosis was by Dr Lawrence Bartak in 1990 who was a senior Educational Psychologist, Monash Medical Centre, Melbourne.
The diagnosis was autism. This was on the basis of additional language processing disorder.
I was assessed as psychotic at age 2 after a 3 day assessment at St Elmo's Private Hospital, Brunswick, Melbourne in 1965. I was assessed as disturbed in Primary School by the Psych and Guidance Service visiting my primary school.
all info is here
Other adult diagnoses have included Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome, Receptive Language Processing Disorder, Mood Disorder, Primary Immune Deficiency, Gluten Intolerance, Salicylate/Phenol Intolerance, Type 2 Diabetes with Severe Reactive Hypoglycemia, Multiple Food and Chemical allergies, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
There has never been any formal diagnosis of Multiple Personality Disorder. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:40, 17 March 2008 (UTC)


I think "author" is a more appropriate disambiguation term than "writer". Q0 08:41, 2 April 2006 (UTC)

Done. —Nightstallion (?) Seen this already? 07:04, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

Conflict Of Interest, Non-neutral Source[edit]

As noted by wikipedia at the top of the Discussion area:

The creator of this article, or someone who has substantially contributed to it, may have a conflict of interest regarding its subject matter. It may require cleanup to comply with Wikipedia's content policies, particularly neutral point of view. Please discuss further on the talk page.

Donna Williams herself has been an active editor and contributor to this article on her. The person who is the subject of the article shouldn't take part in the construction and editing of the article.--Appto (talk) 16:59, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

yes, I removed information for which there were no references and supplied references where these were requested. At that time I didn't realise I was meant to do this on the talk page and have just learned, with help from my techie husband, how to do this. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:44, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

I'd like to request that Donna's additions and editing be looked at. It appears that she uses this encyclopedia as a personal website to promote and draw attention to her books, websites, blogs, media coverage, etc, as she does on her website. --Appto (talk) 17:22, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

Controversial diagnosis[edit]

The Health Report; controversy over Williams' diagnosis. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 18:50, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

ABC Radio National - The Health Report. From Australia (Williams lives in Australia) "Autism - a special report by Kathy Gollan" An investigation by Kathy Gollan [[1]] The legitimacy of Donna Williams's diagnosis of autism is discussed by autism experts.--Appto (talk) 19:00, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

[Comments removed by Q0 (talk) 17:28, 11 March 2008 (UTC) for WP:BLP concerns] Regarding the last action: Inappropriate and unwarranted removal by Q0 of my useful, objective, and free speech comments by a suspected non-neutral and biased user Q0. See my comment below this users next entry (immediately below)--Appto (talk) 17:59, 11 March 2008 (UTC)

It appears that Donna's diagnosis is highly questionable. I didn't know the extent until I saw the Australia article [2], an exceptional article interviewing world renowned autism specialist Fred Volkmar of Yale, and William's doctor herself, and a former professor of her who attests to how she was very socially and communicatively functional in the 1980's, and a former friend/acquaintance who observed the apparent intentional adoption and claiming of autism. [Comment removed for WP:BLP concerns by Q0 (talk) 17:31, 11 March 2008 (UTC)] --Appto (talk) 19:00, 10 March 2008 (UTC)
How reliable is this source? [3] If it is not reliable (see WP:RS) then I think it should be a WP:BLP violation to repeat information from it on the talk page, given the seriousness of the charges. The rest of the above comment should probably be removed for WP:BLP concerns if that source is unreliable. I was about to remove it but I wanted to be sure about how reliable that source is concered first so that I can make sure I am following Wikipedia's policies regarding this matter. Q0 (talk) 17:36, 11 March 2008 (UTC)
I don't think we have any basis in policy for questioning the Australian Broadcasting Corporation interviewing an esteemed researcher like Fred Volkmar. I'm not sure why you question its reliability? Do you want me to ask an Australian practicing professional to have a look ? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:39, 11 March 2008 (UTC)
I agree with the above reply by SandyGeorgia Furthermore, Q0's question of the article's and source's reliability is a showing of this person's non-neutral status and bias. Administrators please note this. is a major media entity in Australia, and the article is of the highest investigative quality. Also note that this user removed my full entry based on this users biased suspicion of the reliability of the source, and I will now redo my entry (below) because the source is highly credible and reliable.--Appto (talk) 17:56, 11 March 2008 (UTC)
I would like to note that user Q0 is not neutral, but rather, has been involved in biased and interested advertising and promotion of various claimed or real autistic individuals on wikipedia as well as promotion and advertisement of the "autism rights movement" in the form of templates attached to the article pages at many claimed or real autistic person's wiki articles. Furthermore, user Q0 has been editing many of my Discussion entries and I would like for an administrator to check this person's editing of my entries, and undo any entries that are warranted, and in light of this persons non-neutral status, to ask this person to not edit any of my future entries but instead let any administrators do so.--Appto (talk) 17:56, 11 March 2008 (UTC)
I was suspicious of its reliability because parts of it seem to question Donna William's diagnosis. Since autism is related to how Donna Williams is well known, I was concerned that claims like that could be damaging. I also had concern because it is very frequent for people to doubt the diagnosis of well known autistic people. I am unfamiliar with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and Fred Volkmar and am unsure how notable or reliable they are. However, I wanted to ask about it because out of concern that its contents might be damaging or unreliable given what seemed to me to be similar to other things that have been said about people. Q0 (talk) 18:02, 11 March 2008 (UTC)

With no question, the article is an exceptional piece of investigative journalism, and a rarity as well, and hopefully there will be more in the future; and as noted above several times, the people interviewed are William's own doctor, a former professor of Williams, a past friend, and many others, including eminent autism physician and researcher Fred Volkmar of Yale University.--Appto (talk) 18:10, 11 March 2008 (UTC)

It was a reasonable question. Appto, you are violating Wiki policies of WP:AGF and WP:CIVIL and verging on WP:NPA. Add this to the repeated copyvio issues and BLP issues, and you are skating on thin ice. Please stop. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 18:07, 11 March 2008 (UTC)
Perhaps I got ahead of myself when I said that I was about to remove the comment. I apologize for that. I should have waited for an answer as to the reliability of the source first. Instead, I probably should have said, "If the source turns out to be unreliable, then I'm not sure the above comment is acceptable for the WP:BLP policy," instead of the sentence that started with, "The rest of the above comment ..." However, I am not from Australia, so I think that should explain my unfamiliarity with the Australian broadcasting company. Also, the reason I have removed comments is because they contain serious but unsourced information about Amanda Baggs. Q0 (talk) 18:18, 11 March 2008 (UTC)

I do not think that people with clearly biased interests such as Q0 and many others that have been involved in the construction of Templates such as this one [4] that is advertising and promotional and not objective in nature should be involved in wikipedia. Rather, the creation of these articles should be done by neutral sources, and if they were, I doubt there would be such articles, or, they would be very different...maybe a sentence or two rather than the having the personal website nature.--Appto (talk) 17:56, 11 March 2008 (UTC)

Excerpts removed--Appto (talk) 18:45, 11 March 2008 (UTC)
And yet your obvious bias is okay? Additionally, you have yet to explain just what about that template is promotional, as you were asked to on another talk page. It is a subject-specific template - you'll find them all over Wikipedia if you'd care to look. Having a template that groups articles about the same subject is in no way promotional - does our discrimination, abortion, glbt issues, or war template promote any specific ideology? Not any more than categories in a bookstore do. Natalie (talk) 19:48, 11 March 2008 (UTC)

<removed combination of copyvio and BLP from Appto> SandyGeorgia (Talk) 18:04, 11 March 2008 (UTC)

Appto, please stop it or I am going to ask that you be blocked. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 18:04, 11 March 2008 (UTC)

Appto, do not remove other people's posts unless they are WP:BLP violations, personal attacks, or copyvios. Please see WP:TALK for guidelines. Since you have removed my warnings from your talk page, I will leave them here. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 18:51, 11 March 2008 (UTC)

Q0, I'm struggling to keep up here (because of all the fires spreading across these talk pages), but Fred Volkmar is arguably the leading autism authority in the United States; he is also the director of the Yale Child Study Center. If the issues on these talk pages slows down, I will read the full ABC transcript and try to gel it down to something that can be added to the article, but because it's a lot of opinion, it will need careful wording. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 19:57, 11 March 2008 (UTC)

I think things will be quiet for at least the next 12 hours - Hu12 just blocked Appto for that time. We can all take some time and do something less frustrating. Natalie (talk) 20:01, 11 March 2008 (UTC)
Two and a half hours to get through my morning watchlist :-) Q0, I'll write this text after I catch up on my WP:FAC duties. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:03, 11 March 2008 (UTC)
I am declaring up-front to begin with that I am an online penpal of Donna Williams, and that she has interviewed me in the past. For reference, I believe (from what I have read previously, so it needs to be checked out by someone with access to it) that there is an article in the "Family Circle" magazine, that also discusses this matter and that, if someone could track it down, it might have information about the source of the "controversy" in it. The article is called "Understanding Donna: The Story of A Remarkable Friendship", and the author is Mary Kay Blakely. The issue of "Family Circle" is March 2001, and it appears to be dated March 13, 2001. I am saying this article should probably be checked out on the basis of my own memory of what I was told was discussed in it, and that memory might be faulty. So someone ought to track down the article and read it to see if anything in it applies. (I have no access to such articles, so I'm putting it out there as something people might want to look up.) It might also be worth figuring out whether Fred Volkmar continues to hold these opinions today, given the fact that when Donna Williams first published her book, the idea of autistic people with her level of ability in certain areas was still controversial, whereas it is far less controversial today. It is also not clear whether Volkmar had the full story when he made these comments about Ms. Williams, and even if he did, it is not possible for someone to conduct an actual diagnosis over such a distance. It might also be worth reading this link about the "controversy" as well, which includes some directions as to how to find evidence that at least one of the people (such as one teacher) interviewed was even mistaken as to which student Ms. Williams was when she was remembering her. Other people can decide whether this is relevant, because of my closeness to the subject of this article, but I wanted to mention that the information was out there in case someone more distanced and objective might want to look these other articles up. Silentmiaow (talk) 20:33, 11 March 2008 (UTC)
I will try to track down that source as soon as I have time; I am also concerned about what proposed wording to use around this issue because of the date (1996) of the ABC report. It is fine and good to take our time to get this right, as it will need careful wordsmithing. We have to stick to reliable sources, though; your own opinions can't really enter into what goes on Wiki. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:39, 11 March 2008 (UTC) PS, I'm getting a dead link at the internet archive link. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:40, 11 March 2008 (UTC)
Yes, the reason that I declared my relation to her was so that it would be obvious that I am not an objective source, rather than to promote my particular opinions. I just wanted to point out those two potential sources. What I'm getting right now as an error is "We're sorry. Your request failed to connect to our servers. We may be experiencing technical difficulties and suggest that you try again later." so presumably it will be up later. I noticed that if I plug directly the link into the archive it does show the archived page, though. Silentmiaow (talk) 21:57, 11 March 2008 (UTC)
Note that Volkmar didn't discuss Williams' diagnoses; he discussed the books. See my proposed wording below, which incorporates Williams' rebuttal. I wasn't able to glean much useful content from the rebuttal, as it didn't specifically relate to the Gollan interview. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:59, 12 March 2008 (UTC)
Volkmar does discuss William's diagnoses, and also considers the testimony of the various people interviewed such as William's own doctor, a college professor of Williams, past people who knew her, and others. See my comments in the section below related to this.--Appto (talk) 23:26, 12 March 2008 (UTC)
To support this, etc, I'll prepare my own Talk or Discussion on the article, and will parallel the one you offered below, and stay within the parameters that you yourself abide by. I also have to ask- I find it confusing that a different wiki editor allowed another person's lengthy response to my criticisms about another article, yet deleted all of my criticisms, 100%. If my criticisms were 100% unacceptable, then why allow a several page long reply to each of my criticisms, yet delete all of my criticisms? To me it appears there is often a lack of objectivity here. It would seem that if an article is not ENTIRELY objective and has NO QUESTION of being neutral, then it should not be allowed. I also find the strange self-promotional aspects of many of these autistic authors articles to be sad, and especially that they took part at all in any aspect of the articles. Is this neutrality? I would think that these articles should be done by 3rd party sources, not individuals personally involved who have INTEREST and PREFERENCE in having these articles on wiki, and having them of a particular content.--Appto (talk) 23:34, 12 March 2008 (UTC)
Appto, this exact complaints was discussed on Talk:Amanda Baggs. Did you read it? I can only assume you did not, since you are claiming, yet again, that you are being held to a different standard. Let me try to explain again: Your posts were not the only posts removed; some of Bettwice33 (talk · contribs) posts were also removed. They were not deleted because they are long, or because they were criticisms of the article, or because we don't like you, or because you used the word "the" too many times. The portions that were deleted contained negative, unsourced information about a named living person, in violation of our WP:BLP policy. That particular policy is one of the most strictly interpreted and enforced policies on Wikipedia because we've had problems in that arena before (if you'd like the background of the BLP policy, read Seigenthaler incident). The long defenses you are referring to did not contain any unsourced, negative information about a named living person, which is why they were deleted. Length or criticism makes no difference, but things that could be interpreted as libel do. Natalie (talk) 14:21, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

Please note. Dr Chris Eipper, the SOCIOLOGY lecturer featured in the ABC interview was NOT in ANY WAY my medical doctor, not my psychologist, not my psychiatrist, not in any way my therapist, not in any way qualified to be my diagnostician nor anyone's diagnostician. So it is COMPLETELY INCORRECT to ever portray this PHd as a medical doctor, psychologist, therapist etc. I knew Professor Eipper as my SOCIOLOGY SUPERVISOR. My involvement with him was limited to 10 private 1-1 appointments in his office as per the terms of my honours year pass requirements. I had no personal involvement with the man beyond this. He has never been to my home nor I to his. We did not have involvement therapeutically or socially beyond his relationship to my honours thesis whilst studying sociology. Please also note, I was diagnosed at Monash Medical Centre, by Dr Lawrence Bartak - an educational psychologist with 20 years experience at the time ( I was also diagnosed with language processing disorder by Dr Leslie Tan and Dr Bartak ). Please also note that the US psychologists interviewed in the ABC interview - namely Dr Fred Volkmar and Dr Kathleen Dillon had never met me, had never met with my diagnostician to discuss my case, and were 10,000 miles away from me in another country when featured in this ABC interview, and yet they are being quoted as though they have expert opinion on the validity of my diagnosis. Please note that I had never even met the interviewer, Kathy Gollan and whilst excerpts from an earlier interview with Geraldine were edited into her interview I was neither present nor had I ever met Kathy Gollan - Donna Williams —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:59, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

Proposed wording on diagnostic controversy[edit]

I'll add some proposed wording here later today. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:10, 11 March 2008 (UTC)

Here is what I propose, based on the transcript. I've taken care to date it and attribute it, and I've left out college classmates who may not be "reliable" observors:
In a 1996 radio interview, Kathy Gollan (a producer for Australian Broadcasting Corporation) raised questions about whether Williams is autistic at all, or characteristic of persons with autism. According to the Gollan interviews, Dr Kathleen Dillon (a Professor of Psychology at Western New England College in Massachusetts) "thinks that Donna's symptoms owe more to the abuse she suffered as a child than to autism". Gollan said there was "serious doubt about whether Donna Williams is autistic, and her books should be read with that in mind". Fred Volkmar, an autism expert and the director of the Yale Child Study Center said, " ... it's hard for me to know what to make of Donna Williams. Donna Williams' books in my view, while very interesting, are not typical of the experience of at least the 20, 30 or 40 higher functioning autistic people that I have come to know fairly well."
I tried to be conservative, and leave out the more sensational parts of the transcript. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:03, 12 March 2008 (UTC)

Williams says these claims are an attempt to discredit her.

Respectfully, SandyGeorgia, I'd like to ask about your discussion and interpretation of the article on Donna Williams. You offer you own personal interpretation of the article, yet, (1) you deleted my interpretation of the article; all aspects of my interpretation, (2) it seems that you and others stated that personal discussion and personal interpretation are not appropriate for wiki Talk pages, and (3) I find your own personal discussion and personal interpretation of the article on Williams to not take fully, nor throughly, nor carefully take into account the multitude of criticisms and the full extent of the impressive investigation that was done. You tried to provide a summary of the article, and did so inadequately: Your summary of Volkmar's overall position is inaccurate, in my view, and as I can easily show; you stated above, "I've taken care to date it and attribute it, and I've left out college classmates who may not be "reliable" observors", this is a personal opinion of yours, you provide no basis or verified reference to support your opinion, you appear to use only hearsay to support your claim (namely Silentmeow's claims), and you, on your own, and without the involvement of the wiki community, decided to stricken a major part of the professional investigation, namely the testimony of people who knew Donna Williams and came forward courageously to provide their testimony. Respectfully, it seems not your position to decide which parts of the major media article you would prefer to discuss, and which you would prefer to characterize as not having value, and which you'd prefer to claim are doubtful (based on your own personal opinion, and with no factual or referential or verified support except hearsay). You also state above, "I tried to be conservative, and leave out the more sensational parts of the transcript." Again, it is inappropriate, it seems, for you to make any statements about whether the article or parts of it, and which parts, are "sensational". This is highly subjective, and you are offering non-neutral discussion.--Appto (talk) 23:22, 12 March 2008 (UTC)
A direct interpretation of the article can be made, a direct summary of each of the interviewee's positions can be made, and while I admit that my original wiki entry on this extended many of the positions of the article, I, still, believe it was a more careful, exhaustive, and especially useful introduction and summary of the article.--Appto (talk) 23:22, 12 March 2008 (UTC)

Important note - in 1996 the width of the Autistic Spectrum was still widening. The impact of the DSM-IV was still to be felt. The comments read like people who did not know about that width in 1996. I wonder what the feelings of Gollan and Volkmar are now? This I think would be very important to take into account - especially in light of the DSM-IV-TR, which came three years AFTER this interview.

I personally think any queries over the diagnosis of Donna Williams should not come from a radio interview. (talk) 11:26, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

It is a reliable source, it interviews reliable sources, but it is dated; considering the date, I believe it appropriate to represent it in the article conservatively, without giving it undue weight. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:35, 13 March 2008 (UTC)
I'd tend to say include it, since I am an inclusionist, but the age of the source is a major issue. To resolve that issue, I'd also cite a source saying (correctly AFAIK) that the diagnostic umbrella has expanded since 1996. I don't think that's too WP:SYN-ish given that in science and medicine a lot can change in ten years. regards, Jim Butler (t) 02:42, 14 March 2008 (UTC)
I think what you are suggesting is specifically a perfect example of synthesis, which is why instead I avoided those portions. The intent of the sample I put together is to give the overview, while avoiding anything that may be outdated or problematic. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 03:00, 14 March 2008 (UTC)
It's a tough thing, given that the diagnostic umbrella has widened. Synthesis is an issue, but so is weight, specifically misleading readers with a lack of context; cf. global climate change, where scientific opinion has also changed (more clearly than with autism, but same kind, just smaller degree). --Jim Butler (t) 03:40, 14 March 2008 (UTC)
For those reasons, I think all we can say is what I proposed; there were doubts in 1996 (date it, that covers that problem), and Volkmar said <whatever> about the book (not about *her*). SandyGeorgia (Talk) 03:57, 14 March 2008 (UTC)789
On reflection, I think it boils down to this: contentious claims in BLP's must be supported by highest-quality references, and outdated sources do not suffice when a field is changing. The diagnostic umbrella for autism has continued to expand (convenience link to review article here). My original suggestion, in the spirit of ignore all rules, was to caveat the outdatedness of the source with a syn-ish statement that the diagnostic umbrella has been expanding. But since this is a BLP it's probably better to err on the side of caution and not include questionable stuff at all. regards, Jim Butler (t) 20:59, 14 March 2008 (UTC)
Uh, that blog source isn't very helpful here :-) Yes, I agree we must uphold the highest standards on BLPs, particulary the respect for human dignity, and I don't believe there's anything in my proposed wording that violates the intent and core of BLP; I intentionally chose conservative wording and avoided the sensational for the very reason that we must adhere to BLP, but it is *definitely* a high quality source that conforms to the standards expected in BLPs that shouldn't be ignored. I'm feeling stuck between a couple of competing POVs on this page; we've got a high quality source, and I've proposed a conservative summary of it to uphold the principles of WP:BLP. Unless someone proposes a better summary, I suggest it's time to add the text. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:28, 14 March 2008 (UTC)
Sorry if I wasn't clear. The review I mentioned was peer-reviewed (abstract here; the blog link was just a convenient way to view it. On the material you're proposing, I agree the source is high-quality except in one critical respect: it is outdated. And that makes a huge difference in this case, because autism is diagnosed differently now than it was 12 years ago, so the claim of a "controversial" diagnosis is problematic. When the science changes, claims about misrepresentation in BLP's (whether climate change, diagnoses of autism, what causes ulcers, etc.) are superseded. Therefore, I don't believe this is a reliable source in a BLP. Maybe post to BLP/N or some such for further input? regards, Jim Butler (t) 23:51, 14 March 2008 (UTC)
Your view that the highly credible Australian Broadcasting Corporation investigative article "is dated" and as such "appropriate to represent it in the article conservatively, without giving it undue weight" is highly contentious, and a demonstration of your non-neutrality and your apparent bias. It is a highly relevant work of investigative journalism, that is just as relevant today as it was then in July 1996, and as it will continue to be in the future. Time doesn't undermine the relevance nor value nor importance nor strength of journalistic articles. I have to ask, respectfully, do your statements and decisions arise from some interest in this matter? I'll shortly provide a direct discussion of the article, providing citations where required. This is the Discussion section of this article on Donna Williams, and I'll proceed with direct discussion of the text, and offer my opinion about the relevancy and weight of the text, as you have, and I'd like to ask that you discontinue intervening into my discussion. Also, I'd like to ask that a neutral administrator review your handling of these matters, and especially your last comment above. While of course your opinion is fine, you, nonetheless, seem to readily edit and delete others opinions, and seem to highlight your opinions as having some higher standing, based on perhaps your status at wikipedia. The article on Williams, linked above, is of high relevancy and weight, and is extremely important with regard to the status of William's diagnosis and credibility, and I'll discuss this shortly and will quote from the article readily, and also provide a support email from that I am now permitted to copy the article and post it where I'd like.--Appto (talk) 01:07, 14 March 2008 (UTC)
WP:NPOV states, "NPOV requires views to be represented without bias. All editors and all sources have biases - what matters is how we combine them to create a neutral article." It is not relavent whether or not any editors have a bias. What matters is whether or not what they write into the articles has any bias. Also, I don't see how taking time into consideration indicates any sort of bias. Beliefs and understanding of information changes over time. What people believe about autism has changed an awful lot over the years, and what people say about someone's autism diagnosis in an outdated article could very well be based on an outdated understanding of autism. It could be based on information that was considered true at the time but is now considered false. I think it is justified for someone to want to use caution when using an outdated article. Also, I think you might need to review WP:AGF (assume good faith), which is a Wikipedia policy that basically means to assume other editors have good intentions and are trying to be helpful to Wikipedia. Q0 (talk) 08:43, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

regarding reliability of the ABC interview, here is some verifiable information quite simply, the following should be verifiable:

a) that Kathy Golan never met me
b) that Dr Volkmar had never met me
c) that Dr Bartak who diagnosed me had the same number of years experience with autism as Dr Volkmar
d) that the lecturer, Chris Eipper interviewed was a sociologist with no qualifications in child development or autism
e) that Ms. Nan Caterina once featured in the interview but has been edited out (see archived editions) because she in fact had never been my teacher.
f) that Marcia Devlin, the student featured who claimed to have been in my class all year had in fact been in the other of the two classes that year and the only shared class time with her was a 1 hr a week English class where the two groups joined.
g) that both Chris Eipper and Marcia Devlin feature negatively in the books Nobody Nowhere and Somebody Somewhere and they have not mentioned this at all in the interview.
h) That Lawrie Bartak was not actually present in the Kathy Golan interview and that the recording of him featured there is in fact edited in from a different ABC interview with another journalist some years before.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 09:58, March 17, 2008
Please read WP:SELFPUB, specifically, claims about third parties and contentious claims. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:17, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
Also, please sign your entries by entering four tildes (~~~~) after your posts. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 19:27, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
The ABC transcript at least verifies (c) of User:'s message, that Donna Williams was diagnosed by Dr. Bartak in 1991. Q0 (talk) 00:28, 20 March 2008 (UTC)


I just read over this article on Donna Williams again. It presents like an advertisement, a promotional, and infomercial. Like her personal website on wikipedia. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:12, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
Donna herself mentioned above that she wasn't aware she wasn't supposed to edit the article, just provide information on the Talk page, until her more technology-capable husband helped her figure it out. It looks like a misunderstanding to me. Remember to assume good faith. Silentmiaow (talk) 18:44, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
It may be a misunderstanding, but whether 1210donna is her or her husband or someone else, it has been an ongoing problem. I've been struggling alone on this article for months, trying to keep it to some sort of standard in accordance with Wiki guidelines and policies, and it has often reflected bias, unencyclopedic tone, non-independent sources, and a COI. I hope it will stop; it's still not an encylopedic article, and Wikipedia is not Myspace or Donna William's personal website. I'm not likely to continue with much interest in maintaining this article to any Wiki standard considering there is now POV coming from all sides, in addition to the COI issues. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 19:15, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
To me, this article doesn't look "encyclopediatic" but also doesn't look like an advertizement or personal site or anything like that. I think it resembles an entry at the IMDB. It is basically a list of books she has written, television documentary appearances, and some brief trivia about her artwork and marriage. Q0 (talk) 19:42, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
You should look in the history tab at some of what I've had to clean out of here; it has been constant and unrelenting (not to mention the ongoing WP:MOS cleanup), and it has been far worse than it is now. At times, I've given up, because keeping this article just somewhat clean has been tedious and unrelenting. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:19, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
And, it carried over to many other articles, like autistic art. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:25, 19 March 2008 (UTC)


As it is now late July, it appears this issue has been resolved for some time now (4 and 6 months, respectively), so I am going ahead and removing the "neutrality" and "conflict of interest" tags. As a side note, it is completely within Wikipedia rules for the subject or original author of an article to edit it (and there are copious examples of each), so long as such edits do not violate any of the other basic tenets. (talk) 11:16, 23 July 2008 (UTC)

My two cents is this: not every facet of a person's being is affected by autism. Autistics have a wide variety of personalities, and are capable of being weird in ways that are not typical of autistics. e.g. most autistic people don't have Borderline personality disorder, but having BPD does not mean that one cannot also be autistic. Soap Talk/Contributions 15:37, 17 September 2008 (UTC)

Sources in article[edit]

(I) In Diagnostic Controversy area, this statement's source is Donna Williams' own blog. Not neutral. And, blogs are not credible/legitimate sources:

She sought and received clarification from Professor Volkmar on his comments.[5]

(Ia) The "clarification" from Volkmar mentioned here is, only, Donna's copying and pasting an alleged email sent to her by Volkmar to her blog. Not an external source, not neutral, not 3rd party, and tha like.

(II) The first statement of the article is also sourced with Donna William's own blog:

Donna Williams (born 1963 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia) is a best-selling author, artist, singer-songwriter, screenwriter and sculptor diagnosed with autism after being assessed as a psychotic infant in 1965 at age two,[1]

Request to have these 2 sentences removed or revised.--USinopt (talk) 02:46, 25 October 2010 (UTC)

  • Hello I removed the one particular sentence in the article & refer reader to this discussion area and my comments above here. Cee (I) and (Ia) above for the sentence removed.--USinopt (talk) 06:53, 3 November 2010 (UTC)

Vandalism? Section on Diagnostic Controversy was deleted[edit]

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On June 17, 2011, this edit was done removing the entire section and there was no reason provided for why. As such I undid the person's deletion of the section. Please advise if I did something wrong, or if the editor did. I'm also curious why 4 months went by with no one catching that. Aren't there editors who "watch" the page for apparent vandalism like this? I didn't see any Talk discussion on the editors huge deletion.Hello90hello (talk) 07:03, 28 November 2011 (UTC)

The ABC article for the Diagnostic Controversy section is temporrily not available, but this cached versiion is available Could ya use this link in the meantime?Hello90hello (talk) 09:53, 28 November 2011 (UTC)

Don't worry about it, it might really have been vandalism. If there is a dispute over this, our editors usually know to check the talk page first. You should remember to explain your Undo-edits in future though so that people know, why you restored that material. As for the archive URL, the template actually supports that, I fixed it accordingly. Regards SoWhy 18:19, 28 November 2011 (UTC)
The link to the ABC Austrailia Health Report article has expired, but the company "Radio National Enquiries " said they are trying to resolve the issue. I'll apply the update link when I'm sent it.Hello90hello (talk) 10:35, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

I'm pretty sure that Radio National isn't a company. The ABC is a government-funded corporation. It has independence but it's publicly funded. Yahoo still has the document cached. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:22, 16 December 2011 (UTC) Google no longer have a cached copy of the Radio National story. You've got a dead link in the article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:11, 19 December 2011 (UTC)

I added a cached version of the ABC Australia article in place of the expired links that were there previously. In the section Diagnosis Controversy.Hello90hello (talk) 02:59, 14 January 2012 (UTC)

Recent edits[edit]

I have had a go at addressing many of the concerns expressed above. I hope the article reads better now. Some weak references remain e.g. IMDB (entries by Williams &/or her representative(s)?), Williams personal blog/official website, and perhaps others. I'm not sure of her mother's name and whether she is still alive. I'm not sure of her first husband's last name or whether he is still alive. I have included mention of scepticism over her autism diagnosis. Both sides of that issue require delicate handling but ignoring the point is not justified. It is part of her biography, although the claim is dated at 1996, reliable sources discuss it.shaidar cuebiyar (talk) 02:54, 7 January 2013 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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  1. ^ Autism; it ain’t all physical. | Donna Williams’ Blog