The Development of Autism: Perspectives from Theory and Research

The Development of Autism: Perspectives from Theory and Research

The Development of Autism: Perspectives from Theory and Research

The Development of Autism: Perspectives from Theory and Research

Synopsis

Dedicated to the memory and work of Lisa Capps, this volume is a forum for scholars and practitioners interested in the typical and atypical development of persons with autism. Each chapter is focused on theoretical considerations and the empirical evidence regarding a specific aspect of functioning, but common themes of development are considered throughout. Within this framework, the contributors provide a detailed and comprehensive account of the development of persons with autism. The book is divided into four sections: (1) Developmental, Neurobiological, Genetic, and Family Considerations; (2) Attention and Perception; (3) Cognition, Theory of Mind, and Executive Functioning; and (4) Social and Adaptive Behaviors. With the consideration of this broad range of topics, this volume is both a state-of-the-art resource about autism and a unique contribution to the study of development. It will be of interest to researchers and care providers from several domains, including psychology, psychiatry, social work, developmental psychology, and education. This volume can be used as a text in graduate and advanced undergraduate courses, and as a resource in applied settings.

Excerpt

This volume is the product of a symposium on the development of autism that was presented at the Fifth European Congress of Psychology in Dublin, Ireland, in August 1997. All the participants in that symposium contributed to this volume, and other researchers were invited to submit chapters as well. The presentations in both the Dublin symposium and in this volume reflect a trend that began in the early 1990s toward the merging of three areas of psychological study—autism, general developmental processes, and developmental psychopathology. Accordingly, the contributions are largely influenced by the pioneers of psychological research on autism, such as Neil O'Connor, Beatte Hermelin, and Uta Frith, but are carried out within the larger contexts of traditional and contemporary developmental theories. This interplay is consistent with the premise of developmental psychopathology that the studies of typical and atypical development are mutually informative.

The contributors to this volume vary with regard to scholarly background: some are primarily involved in the study of autism, some in the broader context of developmental disorders, and others in mainstream developmental psychology. The collaborations among researchers with these varying backgrounds enhance our understanding of the behaviors and developmental characteristics of persons with autism. The adaptation of developmental theory, rigorous methodologies, and innovative experimental paradigms and procedures are all contributions from developmental psychology to the study of autism. The authors highlight the benefits of these contributions as they extend and broaden the range of domains of functioning considered in the developmental study of persons with . . .

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