Autism: From Research to Individualized Practice

Autism: From Research to Individualized Practice

Autism: From Research to Individualized Practice

Autism: From Research to Individualized Practice


Despite an increase in the awareness of autism, families and professionals still struggle to find treatments that will fulfil the individual needs of their child. This work bridges the gap between the latest research findings and clinical practice.


I am pleased to introduce this important volume focusing on the interchange between research and clinical practice in the field of autism. The critical nature of this interchange has been emphasized for many years by leading clinicians and investigators in our field. Unfortunately, it is easier to describe the many ways in which research can inform clinical practice and that clinical practice can stimulate research, than to actively pursue a dynamic collaboration or describe precisely how it might occur.

I hope that the situation will begin to change with the publication of this book. From the outset the major goal is to close the 'research to practice gap' and the editors have collected a marvelous range of examples that accomplish just that. Starting with the areas of diagnosis and assessment, where clinical work and research have overlapped most substantially and interacted most effectively, the chapters describe the collaborative possibilities that are being implemented and the rich possibilities that might still be developed. Other sections include child-centered interventions and family-community interventions where research/clinical practice interactions have not been as evident, but where excellent opportunities are abundant. The chapters in these sections are very stimulating in pointing out how and where these collaborative possibilities could be expanded.

I have no doubt that you will find this book to be as thought provoking, stimulating, and most important, motivating as I have. Through the examples and recommendations, it reminds all of us of the many rich possibilities for improving our clinical and research programs in the field if we more seriously and intensively pursue the many collaborative opportunities that are available. I thank the editors and authors for highlighting so many important opportunities and for showing us the way to make better use of them in the years ahead.

Gary B. Mesibov, Ph.D. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, February 2002 . . .

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