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This international collection provides a comprehensive overview of cutting-edge research on autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) by well-known experts in the field, stressing the importance of early diagnosis and a good working relationship between parents and professionals. The contributors cover a wide range of aspects of ASDs, from early assessment techniques, neurodevelopment and brain function to language development, executive function and genetic research. They explore how individuals with ASDs think and give evidence-based guidance on how to handle difficulties with social interaction and language development using appropriate interventions. New Developments in Autism will be of great interest to professionals, researchers, therapists, parents and people with ASDs.
This comprehensive monograph updates progress in understanding children's language learning and its pathologies. It stresses the neurologic basis of normal language acquisition and the consequences of a variety of disorders using such tools as detailed analysis of language comprehension, production and use, as well as functional brain imaging and electrophysiology. It also underlines the import6ance of subcortical circuitry and inner speech and reviews the unfolding or regression of language of language in focal brain lesions, autism, Williams syndrome and developmental disorders of oral and written language.
Winner of the 2015 Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction Shortlisted for the Wellcome Book Prize A Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller Foreword by Oliver Sacks What is autism: a devastating developmental condition, a lifelong disability, or a naturally occurring form of cognitive difference akin to certain forms of genius? In truth, it is all of these things and more - and the future of our society depends on our understanding it. Following on from his groundbreaking article 'The Geek Syndrome', Wired reporter Steve Silberman unearths the secret history of autism, long suppressed by the same clinicians who became famous for discovering it, and finds surprising answers to the crucial question of why the number of diagnoses has soared in recent years. Going back to the earliest autism research and chronicling the brave and lonely journey of autistic people and their families through the decades, Silberman provides long-sought solutions to the autism puzzle while casting light on the growing movement of 'neurodiversity' and mapping out a path towards a more humane world for people with learning differences.
Tom Whitman proposes a new developmental theory of autism that focuses on the diversity of characteristics associated with this disorder, and how these develop over time. This theory is reconciled and integrated with contemporary theories of autism, including the social, cognitive, linguistic, sensorimotor and biological perspectives. The broader societal context in which autism emerges is also explored along with its impact on the family. Whitman draws from extensive clinical experience to examine common education and biomedical interventions and presents recommendations both for practical approaches to the everyday challenges of autism, and for future research. This comprehensive book is essential reading for parents, students, therapists, researchers and policymakers eager to improve or update their understanding of autism.
An extraordinary narrative history of autism: the riveting story of parents fighting for their children ’s civil rights; of doctors struggling to define autism; of ingenuity, self-advocacy, and profound social change Nearly seventy-five years ago, Donald Triplett of Forest, Mississippi, became the first child diagnosed with autism. Beginning with his family’s odyssey, In a Different Key tells the extraordinary story of this often misunderstood condition, and of the civil rights battles waged by the families of those who have it. Unfolding over decades, it is a beautifully rendered history of ordinary people determined to secure a place in the world for those with autism—by liberating children from dank institutions, campaigning for their right to go to school, challenging expert opinion on what it means to have autism, and persuading society to accept those who are different. It is the story of women like Ruth Sullivan, who rebelled against a medical establishment that blamed cold and rejecting “refrigerator mothers” for causing autism; and of fathers who pushed scientists to dig harder for treatments. Many others played starring roles too: doctors like Leo Kanner, who pioneered our understanding of autism; lawyers like Tom Gilhool, who took the families’ battle for education to the courtroom; scientists who sparred over how to treat autism; and those with autism, like Temple Grandin, Alex Plank, and Ari Ne’eman, who explained their inner worlds and championed the philosophy of neurodiversity. This is also a story of fierce controversies—from the question of whether there is truly an autism “epidemic,” and whether vaccines played a part in it; to scandals involving “facilitated communication,” one of many treatments that have proved to be blind alleys; to stark disagreements about whether scientists should pursue a cure for autism. There are dark turns too: we learn about experimenters feeding LSD to children with autism, or shocking them with electricity to change their behavior; and the authors reveal compelling evidence that Hans Asperger, discoverer of the syndrome named after him, participated in the Nazi program that consigned disabled children to death. By turns intimate and panoramic, In a Different Key takes us on a journey from an era when families were shamed and children were condemned to institutions to one in which a cadre of people with autism push not simply for inclusion, but for a new understanding of autism: as difference rather than disability.
Autism is in the public spotlight now more than ever as new research and information appears almost daily. Although in many ways this is a positive development it also presents challenges to families and practitioners who want to keep up with the latest developments and are left to sift through new information by themselves to see what is credible and relevant for them.Each of us needs a personal research assistant who can determine which information we need to pay attention to and let us know how it might affect our daily work and the children we are living with or serve. Since we each don’t have our own research assistants on staff, I am delighted to recommend this wonderful book by Fred Volkmar and Lisa Wiesner. Both of these talented professional leaders have combined their scientific skills and understanding of the field with great practical experience and ideas about how research can be translated into clinical practice. The result is a book that provides the best and most comprehensive information about recent scientific developments and a splendid practical guide for how they are being implemented and what we are learning in the process. The issues are presented in all of their complexity but translated into language that is clear, direct, and easy to follow. The format also lends itself to understanding the complex issues and their implications through excellent charts, question and answer sections, and chapters that vary from describing diagnostic issues to stating very specifically how to expand and evaluate the services one is receiving. The comprehensive references and lists of additional resources also add greatly to the overall package. As a professional dedicated to understanding scientific advances and helping families and teachers to utilize them most effectively, I am very pleased to have an ally like this book available. I am very grateful to the authors for providing a very credible, practical, and relevant addition to our field to help the many advocates and family practitioners to better understand the exciting new developments and how they can be implemented in our day to day work. Those taking the time to read through this superb volume will find it time well spent that pays back dividends in many different ways. —FOREWORD by Gary B. Mesibov, Ph.D., Professor and Director of TEACCH, Treatment and Education of Autistic and Related Communication Handicapped Children University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
From the bestselling author of Disconnected Kids, a clear and compassionate explanation of the causes of the autism epidemic—and a scientifically based approach for prevention and treatment. As he travels the country helping parents and children cope with neurological disorders, Dr. Robert Melillo is always asked one question: Why? Why are autism rates exploding? But an equally important question always follows: What can we do about it as a society—and what can I do to help my child? In this candid, research-based, practical book, Dr. Melillo presents the latest scientific explanation for how we got here and proven, drug-free strategies that parents can employ to help prevent, detect, and address the autism epidemic for themselves and their families. With honesty and compassion, Dr. Melillo explains what the latest scientific research tells us about the role of genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors, dispelling myths and replacing them with the facts. In addition, he presents early warning signs, a prevention plan for parents-to-be, and an intervention program for babies and young children.

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