What are the historical foundations of autism and what precisely is meant by the 'autistic spectrum'? How can we explain behavioural patterns of people with autism, young or old, and what are the major theoretical bases for understanding these? What is the latest thinking regarding diagnosis, and what are the most effective strategies for assessment, education and care for people with this condition?
Following on from the popular provocative first edition, the Second Edition answers these questions with the latest research on autistic spectrum disorders, exploring theories at the psychological, neurobiological and 'first cause' levels to methods of assessment, intervention, education and support.
Already popular as an introductory text for those wanting to know more about autism as well as a source of basic information and references for those familiar with the field, this newly updated and enhanced book is invaluable for students, professionals and even families.
Jill Boucher is Professor of Developmental Psychology at City University in London. Initially she trained and worked as a speech and language therapist. Within a few years, however, the need to better understand the brain, and those malfunctions of the brain that cause communication and language impairments, led her to retrain and pursue an academic career as a neuropsychologist. After some years teaching and researching at the University of Warwick, she moved to Sheffield University to supervise an existing vocational course for speech and language therapists. She subsequently played a critical role in developing a multi-disciplinary Department of Human Communication Sciences at Sheffield, where research and practice are equally valued, and mutually beneficial. The conviction that practitioners and researchers must work collaboratively to improve the lives of people with ASD, and to help families and others who support and provide for them, informs the approach taken in the present book.
PART I: WHAT IS AUTISM? Chapter 1 Historical Background Chapter 2 Current Concept and Definition Chapter 3 The Fuller Picture: Shared Characteristics Chapter 4 The Fuller Picture: Sources of Diversity Chapter 5 Facts and Figures: Epidemiology and Lifespan Development PART II: WHAT CAUSES AUTISM? Chapter 6 A Framework for Explaining Autism Chapter 7 Root Causes Chapter 8 Brain Bases Chapter 9. Proximal Causes 1: Diagnostic Behaviours Chapter 10. Proximal Causes 2: Additional Shared Characteristics and Major Specifiers PART III: PRACTICAL ISSUES Chapter 11. Assessment, Diagnosis and Screening Chapter 12. Intervention Chapter 13. Care