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.
Today there is an overall greater awareness and acceptance of ethnic diversity in American society and a clearer definition of the United States as a pluralistic nation. The last U.S. census showed that well over 100 million Americans, white and non white, identify with an ethnic group. Ethnicity is indicative of more than the personal distinc tiveness derived from race, religion, national origin, or ge ography. It denotes the culture of people-that powerful yet subtle factor that shapes values, attitudes, perceptions, needs, modes of expression, patterns of behavior, and identity. From a clinical perspective ethnicity involves conscious and uncon scious processes that fulfill deep psychological needs for se curity, a sense of one's own proper dignity, and a sense of historical continuity as well. These functional aspects of eth nicity reinforce the notion that culture is of significant value to the quality of life and the mental health of all individuals. In the preventive and therapeutic sense, ethnicity sustains a capacity for coping with stress by providing communal support systems which serve to buffer the excessive indi vidualism, alienation, and anomie of modem mass culture. Hence, to ensure appropriate delivery of mental health ser vices to a particular ethnic population, mental health profes sionals must first become cognizant of the positive aspects vii FOREWORD viii and strengths to be drawn from a particular group identity and then incorporate these elements into their treatment strat egies or techniques.
A workable vision of scientific practice has proven to be an elusive, if laudable, goal for professional psychology. The field cannot be faulted for failing to seek scientific wisdom, but it has been slow to integrate that wisdom fully with the wisdom of practice. This has proven to be a major oversight for, despite psychology's long if the standing commitment to science, practitioners are unlikely to think scientifically methods and products of science are described in ways that make it impossible to do so. Unfortunately, the rhetoric of science too often has done just that: So focused has it been on the problem of distinguishing good science from bad that it has inadvertently defeated any hope of a practical science developing in our field. We offer one remedy for this situation: This book is about scientific thinking for the professional psychologist. Specifically, it is a primer on the application of scientific logic to professional practice. We argue that the professional needs a more straightforward and realistic scientific identity than heretofore has been available. The professional consciously must become a local clinical scientist, bringing all the power of scientific thought to the specifics of the clinical situation. Contrary to forces in psychology that promote uncritical acceptance of science as given by academic researchers or, alternatively, that encourage criticism and ultimate disregard of the scientific endeavor, we call for a redoubling of efforts to incorporate scientific thought into practical professional inquiry.
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