A window on the insular world of autism, this book offers a rare close look at the mysterious condition that afflicts approximately 350,000 Americans and affects millions more. As they make sense of the many features of autism at every level of intellectual functioning across the life span, Marian Sigman and Lisa Capps weave together clinical vignettes, research findings, methodological considerations, and historical accounts. The result is a compelling, comprehensive view of the disorder, as true to human experience as it is to scientific observation.
Children with Autism is unique in that it views autism through the lens of developmental psychopathology, a discipline grounded in the belief that studies of normal and abnormal development can inform and enhance one another. Sigman and Capps conduct readers through the course of development from infancy to adulthood, outlining the differences between normal and autistic individuals at each stage and highlighting the links between growth in cognitive, social, and emotional domains. In particular, Sigman and Capps suggest that deficits in social understanding emerge in the early infancy of autistic children, and they explore how these deficits organize the development of autistic individuals through the course of their lives. They also examine the effects certain characteristics can have on an autistic person’s adjustment over time. Their book concludes with an overview of existing interventions and promising avenues for further research.