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Autism Spectrum Disorder


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Table of Contents

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

About the Author

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.


The book contains the essential elements required to provide a solid background in the field of ASD: historical background, causes of the condition, identification of the disorder, and proven ways to provide education for and care of individuals who have the condition.

One of the best features of the text is the presentation of how the definition and conceptualization of the disorder have evolved over time; the text uses side-by-side comparisons to illustrate this evolution. There are abundant case studies and vignettes that illustrate key concepts about ASD, and that provide clear examples of what is being described.

In addition, the book contains an excellent appendix with 'Assignments' for application of ideas presented in the text. -- J. D. Neal, University of Central Missouri

Boucher's Book offers a welcome update and comprehensive coverage of the historical and contemporary knowledge of ASD, presented in an engaging manner that poses many questions to the reader thereby encouraging critical interpretation of the evidence. It is a valuable resource for those who wish to gain insight into the multidisciplinary perspectives of ASD including its origins, diagnosis, diversity and care.

-- Dr Ruth Lowry

It relates knowledge of up-to-date research, linking these theoretical aspects to practice as well as to the impact on the lives of those with ASD [...]the book is suitable for practitioners and professionals in many spheres, as well as those in training or in different branches of academia [...] Highly recommended.

-- Diana Murdoch * *

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