High-Functioning Individuals with Autism

Springer Science & Business Media
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Designed to advance understanding of the unique needs of high-functioning individuals with autism, this volume details the latest diagnostic and treatment approaches and analyzes the current conceptions of the neurological processes involved in autism.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Springer Science & Business Media
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Published on
Nov 11, 2013
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Pages
316
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ISBN
9781489924568
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Language
English
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Genres
Medical / Psychiatry / General
Psychology / Applied Psychology
Psychology / Clinical Psychology
Psychology / Neuropsychology
Psychology / Physiological Psychology
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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The state of North Carolina has had a longstanding concern and com mitment to the understanding and treatment of autistic, communications handicapped children and their families. This commitment found expres sion in the only comprehensive statewide program for families confronted with this disability, Division for the Treatment and Education of Autistic and related Communication handicapped CHildren (Division TEACCH). Our program staff has been privileged to respond to this commitment by developing and providing the needed services, and to engage in research informed by our clinical experience. Although many of the problems con cerning these developmentally disabled children remain to be solved, substantial progress has been made during this past decade of collabo ration among professionals, parents, and their government representa tives. The TEACCH staff has resolved to mark the effectiveness of this collaboration by holding a series of annual conferences focused on the several major issues confronting these children and their families. The conferences are held in order to bring together the best research knowl edge available to us from throughout the country, and to encourage par ticipation by the different professional disciplines and concerned parents. In addition these annual meetings form the basis for a series of books based on the conference theme. These books are, however, not merely the published proceedings of the presented papers: some chapters are expanded from conference presentations and many others were solicited from experts in the related areas of research and their service application.
This book comprises 26 exciting chapters by internationally renowned scholars, addressing the central psychological process separating humans from other animals: the ability to imagine the thoughts and feelings of others, and to reflect on the contents of our own mindsa theory of mind (ToM). The four sections of the book cover developmental, cultural, and neurobiological approaches to ToM across different populations and species. The chapters explore the earliest stages of development of ToM in infancy, and how plastic ToM learning is; why 3-year-olds typically fail false belief tasks and how ToM continues to develop beyond childhood into adulthood; the debate between simulation theory and theory theory; cross-cultural perspectives on ToM and how ToM develops differently in deaf children; how we use our ToM when we make moral judgments, and the link between emotional intelligence and ToM; the neural basis of ToM measured by evoked response potentials, functional magnetic resonance imaging, and studies of brain damage; emotional vs. cognitive empathy in neuropsychiatric conditions such as autism, schizophrenia, and psychopathy; the concept of self in autism and teaching methods targeting ToM deficits; the relationship between empathy, the pain matrix and the mirror neuron system; the role of oxytocin and fetal testosterone in mentalizing and empathy; the heritability of empathy and candidate single nucleotide polymorphisms associated with empathy; and ToM in non-human primates. These 26 chapters represent a masterly overview of a field that has deepened since the first edition was published in 1993.
TEACCH (Treatment and Education of Autistic and related Communication-handicapped Children) has grown over the past three decades from a small clinic for children to an internationally recognized treatment and support modality for individuals of all ages with autism spectrum disorders. In The TEACCH Approach to Autism Spectrum Disorders, the program’s founders and their colleagues explain its methods and philosophy based on an understanding and respect for "the culture of autism."

The TEACCH program focuses on persons with autism and the development of instruction and supports based on each individual’s skills, interests, and needs. It draws from the research literature in psychology and neuropsychology to create activities and environments that are organized to emphasize meaningfulness—an approach that has proved crucial to an autistic individual’s ability to learn, comprehend, and apply learning across situations.

The TEACCH Approach to Autism Spectrum Disorders explains how:

- TEACCH targets critical areas in executive functioning, engagement, communication, and social skills.

- Strategies can be tailored to an individual’s unique developmental and functional level.

- Parents become involved in all phases of intervention as collaborators, cotherapists, and advocates.

- The program can be introduced and adapted for individuals of all ages, from preschool children to adults.

- Professionals can be trained in the program and its methods.

This progressive program offers individuals with autism, their families, teachers, and therapists both optimism and useful strategies, without minimizing the condition or its effects. All clinicians working with people with autism will find The TEACCH Approach to Autistic Spectrum Disorders a valuable resource.

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