Autism by Francesca Happe

By Francesca Happe

This name is meant for complex undergraduate and masters point scholars in psychology; specialist medical, developmental and academic psychologists; common practitioners and others with a unique curiosity in childrens; careworkers; and oldsters of autistic young ones.

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Autism and pervasive developmental disorders: conceptual and diagnostic issues. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 17, 159–86. Wing, L. 1988. The continuum of autistic characteristics. Mcsibov (eds), 91–110. New York: Plenum Press. Chapter 4 Autism at the biological level The psychogenic myth Bettelheim (1956, 1967) was the source of the “refrigerator mother” theory—the idea that children become autistic as a maladaptive response to a threatening and unloving environment. g. detachment and social difficulty) in the parents of the children he treated.

A computer version of the Tower of Hanoi, and a detour reach task) most children with autism do show some impairment when required to act away from the object or to inhibit a prepotent (previously rewarded) response. In this respect, Russell’s theory is clearly related to other recent suggestions that autism involves an executive function deficit similar to that seen in adults with acquired frontal lobe lesions (see Ch. 4) (Ozonoff et al. 1991a, see below). However, Russell differs from some other authors in suggesting that a mentalizing deficit need not be invoked in order to explain the body of theory of mind results.

Thoughts or mental states. However, how can we be sure that their problems are confined to the contents of heads? Do autistic children represent other types of representations? There are many types of representation outside the head, for example culturally-used representations such as pictures, photos and maps. A number of recent studies have explored autistic subjects’ understanding of these non-mental representations. Leslie & Thaiss (1992), for example, compared understanding of an out-of-date belief (as in the Sally-Ann task) and understanding of an out-ofdate photograph.

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