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Autism and Asperger Syndrome
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Book description

Is Asperger syndrome a syndrome in its own right or is it a form of autism? Sufferers from the syndrome are like autistic individuals in that they show the same kind of impairments from early childhood; yet they are unlike them in being far more verbally articulate and socially adapted. They can be highly intelligent and reminiscent of eccentrics with their unusual interests, special skills and unworldliness. In this volume several of the major experts in the field discuss the diagnostic criteria of the syndrome, named after Hans Asperger who first described the condition in the 1940s, and illustrate their views with case studies drawn from their clinical practice. They also provide surprisingly practical suggestions on the education and management of autistic children. Current opinion on Asperger syndrome and its relationship to autism is fraught with disagreement and hampered by ignorance. This book gives the first coherent account of Asperger syndrome as a distinct variant of autism.

Reviews

‘Our concept of autism, all too often, is one of grossly-disabled, poorly-functioning children - the classical syndrome described by Kanner. This concept needs to be expanded, for there are also children and especially adults who have good language and intellectual skills, who can sometimes, indeed, manage to pass as ‘normal’, and yet are still fundamentally autistic. This higher form of autism was described nearly fifty years ago by Asperger, but is still not accorded the recognition it deserves. In this very scholarly but also highly-readable volume, Uta Frith not only provides the first-ever translation into English of Asperger’s paper, but has brought together a variety of fascinating phenomenological and narrative accounts, of the syndrome and its varied presentations, accounts which are by no means entirely negative, for they show how much adaptation and learning and personal development is possible if there is a sensitive understanding of the precise problems involved. Autism and Asperger Syndrome is an invaluable book, not only for researchers, therapists and clinicians, but for parents and teachers, for everyone concerned with understanding autism, and seeing its clinical and its human dimension too.’

Oliver Sacks

‘This book is highly commended to a variety of readers, including medical and behavioural scientists, parents, friends and even sufferers from Asperger syndrome. It is clear, succinct and so far unique in its presentation of important findings relating to this impairment. There are many suggestions as to the next steps in empirical investigation, and a wealth of human wisdom pervades the whole.’

Source: Nature

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