The Development of Autism
Release Date:15 Jan 2004
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The Development of Autism

A Self-Regulatory Perspective

Jessica Kingsley Publishers
Tom Whitman proposes a new developmental theory of autism that focuses on the diversity of characteristics associated with this disorder, and how these develop over time. This theory is reconciled and integrated with contemporary theories of autism, including the social, cognitive, linguistic, sensorimotor and biological perspectives. The broader societal context in which autism emerges is also explored along with its impact on the family. Whitman draws from extensive clinical experience to examine common education and biomedical interventions and presents recommendations both for practical approaches to the everyday challenges of autism, and for future research. This comprehensive book is essential reading for parents, students, therapists, researchers and policymakers eager to improve or update their understanding of autism.
Professor Whitman, a professor of psychology at an American university, presents a systematic, up to date, overview of current knowledge about autism. I found the writing easy to read, helped by a clear layout and regular subheadings to subdivide the text. I found the book stimulating and educational and I think the combination of well-referenced recent research and an accessible format makes this an excellent place to start for the interested, educated, lay reader, and provides a useful refresher for mental health workers.

– European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

Whitman's text is perhaps the first comprehensive book aimed partly at social policymakers as members of the interdisciplinary team... the book is easy to read yet respectful; it does not speak over the layperson, nor does it talk down to him or her. The organization of the chapters serves well for an easy read or a quick reference. The recommendations are feasible and strategic. Furthermore, Whitman does not recommend specific interventions because he has established already that individuals need individual assessment and treatment. As a researcher on ASD, an educator, an aunt of five persons, and a music therapist who depends on policymakers to mandate suitable guidelines based on theory, science, and practical findings in order to fund research, provide for children in need, and support promising interventions, I highly recommend this book to all of the intended audiences.

– Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities

Thomas L. Whitman is a Professor of Psychology at The University of Notre Dame, USA and Co-director of the Graduate Research Training Program in Mental Retardation. He is the author of over 90 empirical articles, chapters and books. His research and teaching has focused on children at risk for developmental problems, with a special interest in studying children who demonstrate significant resiliency in the face of risk.

His most recent books include Interwoven lives: Adolescent mothers and their children (2001) and Lifespan perspectives on health and illness (1999). For the past 10 years he has worked with families, helping them establish educational programs for children with autism spectrum disorders.

Preface. 1. History, Definition and Assessment. 2. Autism and its Characteristics. 3. Theories of Autism, with Kathleen J. Kolberg. 4. Toward a Developmental Theory of Autism. 5. Educational and Biomedical Interventions, with Kathleen J. Kolberg. 6. Family Stress and Coping, with Julie Lounds. 7. Recommendations to Parents, Therapists/Educators, Researchers and Social Policy Makers. References. Index.
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