Autism continues to fascinate researchers because of its debilitating effects and its complex nature and origins. The prevalent theory is that autism is characterized by difficulties in understanding mental concepts, but the contributors to this book present arguments for an alternative theory. Their research points strongly to the idea that autism is primarily a disorder of "executive functions", those involved in the control of action and thought. They emphasize the importance of the behavioral rigidity that arises in autism, such as resistance to change and obsession with regularity. The book provides a new and controversial perspective from some of the leading researchers in this field; it will interest psychologists and clinicians working to understand this disabling and baffling condition.
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James Russell is at University of Cambridge.Review:
"Well worth the price. The first chapter, on the neurobiology of autism, is one of the best sources I've seen for lay readers on what is known or suspected about the basic brain biology of autism. The rest of the book is in the main British neuropsychology, to my mind some of the richest psychological thinking on earth . . . There is another terrific chapter comparing the EF deficits in ADHD to EF deficits in autism; this was the first time I've encountered an explanation for my frequent sense that ADHD kids are harder to deal with even though 'technically' autism is the more challenging diagnosis. And last but far from least Russell includes a chapter on the particular strengths of people with autism--an approach that is almost never taken here in America . . . A wonderful, wonderful book."--Catherine Johnson, Ph.D., coauthor of Shadow Syndromes, trustee of the National Alliance for Autism Research
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