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Rethinking Autism
 
 

Rethinking Autism, 1st Edition

Variation and Complexity

 
Rethinking Autism, 1st Edition,Lynn Waterhouse,ISBN9780124159617
 
 
 

  

Academic Press

9780124159617

9780123914132

480

229 X 152

A provocative book that comprehensively reviews research on autism and suggests the evidence points toward "autism" being several disorders rather than one, and the implications thereof for finding a cure

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Key Features

  • Autism is a massive worldwide problem with increasing prevalence rates, now thought to be as high as 1 in 38 children (Korea) and 1 in 100 children (CDC- US)
  • Autism is the 3rd most common developmental disability; 400,000 people in the United States alone have autism
  • Autism affects the entire brain, including communication, social behavior, and reasoning and is lifelong
  • There is no known cause and no cure
  • Funding for autism research quadrupled from 1995 to 2000 up to $45 million, and the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee has recommended $1 billion funding from 2010-2015

Description

The media, scientific researchers, and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual all refer to "autism" as if it were a single disorder or a single disorder over a spectrum. However, autism is unlike any single disorder in a variety of ways. No single brain deficit is found to cause it, no single drug is found to affect it, and no single cause or cure has been found despite tremendous research efforts to find same. Rethinking Autism reviews the scientific research on causes, symptomology, course, and treatment done to date…and draws the potentially shocking conclusion that "autism" does not exist as a single disorder. The conglomeration of symptoms exists, but like fever, those symptoms aren’t a disease in themselves, but rather a result of some other cause(s). Only by ceasing to think of autism as a single disorder can we ever advance research to more accurately parse why these symptoms occur and what the different and varied causes may be.

Readership

Developmental psychologists, child clinical psychologists, child psychiatrists, pediatric neurologists, and autism researchers.

Lynn Waterhouse

Dr. Lynn Waterhouse was the Director of Child Behavior Study at The College of New Jersey for 31 years, and is currently a Professor in Global Graduate Programs at the College. NIMH, NICHD, and private funding agencies supported her autism research. She worked with Dr. Lorna Wing on the APA DSM-III-R diagnostic criteria for autism.

Rethinking Autism, 1st Edition

Foreword

Preface

Acknowledgements

Chapter 1: Autism Heterogeneity

Chapter 2 Autism Symptom Heterogeneity Exists in Family Members

Chapter 3 The Social Brain is a Complex Super-Network

Chapter 4 Genetic Risk Factors Link Autism to Many Other Disorders

Chapter 5 Environmental Risk Factors Link Autism to Many Other Outcomes

Chapter 6 Savant Skills, Superior Skills, and Intelligence Vary Widely in Autism

Chapter 7 Increasing Prevalence and the Problem of Diagnosis

Chapter 8 Autism Symptoms Exist but the Disorder Remains Elusive

Quotes and reviews

"A seminal book forcing a much-needed change in the way in which we think about autism.  Impressively well-researched and well-argued.  A 'must-read' for all autism researchers."

--Prof. Jill Boucher, City University, London, UK

 

 

"This book by Lynn Waterhouse will ruffle some feathers, with its bold conclusion that "there is clear detriment to maintaining the diagnostic category of autism spectrum disorder." However, the evidence she presents is compelling. In every domain she investigates - symptoms, neurobiology, etiology, correlates - she finds that there is considerable heterogeneity in autism. As well as striking differences among children with an ASD diagnosis, there is also a lack of specificity in symptoms and causes. For instance, genetic variants and environmental risks that are associated with increased risk of autism are also associated with other neurodevelopmental disorders.

Waterhouse is not denying that there are children with severe developmental difficulties involving social interaction, communication and stereotyped behaviours. Rather, she is questioning whether their needs are best served by grouping them all together under a single umbrella label.

Her view is that research efforts directed at finding a unifying theory of autism are misguided, and that we should be focusing on symptoms rather than an abstract diagnostic category that can obfuscate rather than clarify our understanding."

--Prof. Dorothy Bishop, University of Oxford, UK

 
 
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