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Doody ReviewsReviewer: Eden B Lesser, MA (Abbott Laboratories)
Description: This book details the historical background for the study of autism. The author presents the early work of the two great pioneers in the field, Dr. Leo Kanner and Dr. Hans Asperger, and continues with interviews with many of the leading professionals working in autism research today.
Purpose: The author provides a practical description of what autism looks like and how the condition has been diagnosed in the past and present. This book is a solid resource for both clinical and nonclinical readers.
Audience: The audience best served by this book includes psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, nurses, parents, and anyone else interested in autism.
Features: The book is unique in the way it takes readers on a journey through autism's history and current research. Specifically, the author discusses the pioneering work that Dr. Kanner and Dr. Asperger began decades before the DSM would identify autism as a disorder of its own. The author then interviews some of the pioneers in autism research today, such as Simon Baron-Cohen and Tony Attwood. Readers will especially appreciate the historical thinking about the disorder, compared to what is known about the disorder today.
Assessment: This is a much needed book on the history of autism. What sets this book apart from the others is the description of the hypotheses about the disorder back when Dr. Kanner and Dr. Asperger were first writing about their unique discoveries. It provides readers with a much needed understanding of the disorder from the past as well as the present.