This selection of contemporary research provides up-to-date perspectives from leading investigators who are at the cutting edge of studies in autism spectrum disorders. The book allows readers to grasp new approaches to understanding the autism spectrum. Key areas of theory and research are covered, from classification and diagnosis, genetics, neurology and biochemistry, to socio-cognitive, developmental and educational perspectives, essential to a broader understanding of the autism spectrum. In addition it introduces new emphases on MEG, epilepsy and memory. In highlighting both biomedical and psychological perspectives, this book reflects the multi-level emphasis of contemporary thinking about autism. By addressing key unanswered questions, Researching the Autism Spectrum acts as a guidepost for future research and provides an authoritative and multidisciplinary perspective.
Dr Ilona Roth is Senior Lecturer in Psychology in the Department of Life Sciences at the Open University. Her textbooks and media materials have a wide audience in and beyond the OU. Her research focuses on alterations of cognitive and socio-cognitive functioning in autism spectrum disorders and dementia. Key recent publications focus on imagination and on the autism spectrum. Dr Payam Rezaie is Reader in Neuropathology in the Department of Life Sciences at the Open University. His research interests and expertise lie in clinical and experimental neuropathology and in developmental neurobiology. He is leading a programme of research into the neuropathology of autism supported by Autism Speaks and the Autism Tissue Program (USA).
Foreword Simon Baron-Cohen; Preface; Introduction; Part I. Classification and Diagnosis: 1. Early assessment and diagnosis of children Ann Le Couteur; Part II. Genetics, Neurology and Biochemistry: 2. Unravelling the genetics of autism spectrum disorders Ines Sousa, Richard Holt, Alistair Pagnamenta and Anthony Monaco; 3. Brain imaging and the neuroanatomical correlates of autism Michael Spencer, Andrew Stanfield and Eve Johnstone; 4. Magnetoencephalography (MEG) as a tool to investigate the neurophysiology of autism Sven Braeutigam, Stephen Swithenby and Anthony Bailey; 5. Autism and epilepsy Christopher Gillberg and Brian Neville; 6. Biochemistry of autism: changes in serotonin, reelin and oxytocin Elizabeta Mukaetova-Ladinska, Jodie Westwood and Elaine Perry; Part III. Cognition, Development and Education: 7. Psychological models of autism: an overview Elizabeth Pellicano; 8. Cognitive flexibility in autism: a social-developmental account R. Peter Hobson and Jessica Hobson; 9. Language in autism spectrum disorders: characteristics and causes Jill Boucher; 10. Memory in autism: binding, self and brain Dermot Bowler, Sebastian Gaigg and Sophie Lind; 11. Measuring executive function in children with high functioning autism spectrum disorders: a clinic referred case study Ayla Humphrey, Ofer Golan, Barbara Wilson and Sara Sopena; 12. Managing autism spectrum disorders in current education provision Rita Jordan; Index.