Variation and Complexity
Developmental psychologists, child clinical psychologists, child psychiatrists, pediatric neurologists, and autism researchers.
Hardbound, 480 Pages
Published: September 2012
Imprint: Academic Press
"A seminal book forcing a much-needed change in the way in which we think about autism. Impressively well-researched and well-argued. A 'must-read' for all autism researchers." --Prof. Jill Boucher, City University, London, UK "This book by Lynn Waterhouse will ruffle some feathers, with its bold conclusion that "there is clear detriment to maintaining the diagnostic category of autism spectrum disorder." However, the evidence she presents is compelling. In every domain she investigates - symptoms, neurobiology, etiology, correlates - she finds that there is considerable heterogeneity in autism. As well as striking differences among children with an ASD diagnosis, there is also a lack of specificity in symptoms and causes. For instance, genetic variants and environmental risks that are associated with increased risk of autism are also associated with other neurodevelopmental disorders. Waterhouse is not denying that there are children with severe developmental difficulties involving social interaction, communication and stereotyped behaviours. Rather, she is questioning whether their needs are best served by grouping them all together under a single umbrella label. Her view is that research efforts directed at finding a unifying theory of autism are misguided, and that we should be focusing on symptoms rather than an abstract diagnostic category that can obfuscate rather than clarify our understanding." --Prof. Dorothy Bishop, University of Oxford, UK