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The Development of Autism A Self-Regulatory Perspective

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Book - The Development of Autism A Self-Regulatory Perspective

by: Thomas L. Whitman

About the author:

Thomas L. Whitman is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana. His research and scholarship have centered on the investigation of biological and social factors that place children at risk for physical, cognitive and socioemotional problems. He is the author of over a hundred research articles and chapters, and five previous books. His current research and publications focus on stress and coping in mothers of children with autism spectrum disorders. He is the co-director of the Notre Dame Research Training Program on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, has been the recipient of numerous federal research and training grants, and has taught courses in the area of developmental disabilities and autism for most of his professional career.

ISBN: 978-1-84310-735-4

Year: 2004

Publication Info: 256pp


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.



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.



‘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.’


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