Description: This book promotes a dimensional approach to the sorting out of autism spectrum disorders. It presents solid clinical findings from internationally recognized mental health professionals which form the basis of new insights into systematic and comprehensive treatments targeting specific symptoms and behaviors.
Purpose: The purpose is to integrate the latest scientific findings on the neurobiology of autism in order to provide optimal clinical care. The editor aims to emphasize the need to integrate treatments supported by clear empirical data from sources as diverse as the pharmacological, biological, behavioral and language-based approaches. This is a valuable contribution to the field because of the significant progress in the understanding of the genetic mechanisms underlying the development of autism spectrum disorders. The editor and the contributors to this book have done an outstanding job in attaining these objectives.
Audience: The intended audience includes healthcare professionals who are treating individuals with autism, particularly clinicians committed to providing pharmacological strategies targeting specific symptom dimensions. The author is the recipient of two national research awards from the American Psychiatric Association and has also received a Distinguished Investigator Award from the National Alliance for Research in Schizophrenia and Depression.
Features: The book is organized into several sections. It begins with the making of a diagnosis, followed by the detailed dimensional assessment of different mental domains, which are essential for a logical treatment plan. The next section addresses the neurobiology of autism, detailing molecular genetics and immune dysfunction findings, brain structures involved in autism, the neurobiology of serotonin function, and consequences of environmental toxins. Following are chapters reporting on a variety of psychopharmacological, biological, behavioral, and educational treatment approaches. The book concludes with important chapters on consumer advocacy and autism as well as a deeply insightful personal account of one person's life with autism.
Assessment: This is an outstanding contribution to the literature examining the scientific findings from several related disciplines that support a dimensional approach to the diagnosis, treatment, and evaluation of clinical response to the treatment of autism. It communicates clearly the latest scientific findings in autism as well as promotes future, promising research in identifying links between specific genes, brain mechanisms, and particular autistic dimensions.