Autism is a fascinating yet perplexing disorder that continues to intrigue researchers and clinicians studying brain and behavior. In this lucid and elegant book, Francesca Happé provides a concise overview of current psychological theory and research that synthesizes the established work on the biological foundations, cognitive characteristics, and behavioral manifestations of this disorder. She focuses her discussion on the cognitive approaches that deal with both thought and feeling--those hypotheses that link brain to action, deepen our understanding of the autistic person's view of the world, and offer better approaches to effectively managing the behavior of people with autism struggling to live in our world. The book reviews the latest research into the communication, socialization, and imagination impairments in autism, and further distinguishes the levels of severity in the spectrum of autistic disorders. Happé also includes a discussion of the talented few--high-functioning autistic individuals with Asperger's syndrome--and of the many childhood behavioral disorders, unrelated to autism, that manifest autistic-like symptoms.
Autism is an important and much-needed contribution to the literature. It will be valued by parents and teachers of autistic children as well as by students and researchers interested in disorders of language and communication.
Happé's book is a clear and concise guide to the current research. She picks her way carefully through the minefield of controversies to point out a middle ground where she believes consensus might lie. The book will be invaluable for students, but also useful for others interested in this field and who, like her, 'find themselves captivated and mesmerised by the enigma of autism.'
Happé's informative, well-written, and highly readable book provides the reader with current research and thinking in the area of autism. It is organized around three levels of explanation--biological, behavioral, and cognitive--and attempts to explain the deficits that occur in each of these domains...Many interesting topics are explored, such as Asperger's Syndrome and other related clinical entities; epidemiology; autistic children with special talents; and the concept of partial autism. Further references are given for those who want to explore any of the topics in depth. A well-documented book with more than 300 references, reflecting the latest literature.
Happé is a skilled writer...[Her] book is lucid, accurate, and thoughtful on a topic of enormous interest.
Happé's Autism not only conveys the intellectual excitement of a pioneer worker in this field, but gives a critical, scholarly, and balanced account of the whole subject.
- 160 pages
- 5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches
- Harvard University Press
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