autism

You were on the neurodevelopmental disorders work group for the latest revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). How have you found that?
It’s been an experience, for sure! It led me to think of lots of questions...

These words come from some correspondence with one of my research participants, who has Asperger’s. What he highlights, to me, is the fact that we still don’t really know what autism is, despite decades of autism research. The fact that the criteria for diagnosing autism in...

Estimates of the global prevalence of autism vary considerably, reaching up to 1 per cent of the total population and even higher in few countries (Elsabbagh, Divan, et al., 2012). In spite of the sparse research data, especially in low- and middle-income countries, mapping...

Mark Rimland was not like other babies. As his father, Bernard, later recalled, ‘Mark was a screaming, implacable infant who resisted being cuddled and struggled against being picked up’. The paediatricians were baffled, and it was only after his mother, Gloria, remembered...

Public awareness of autism has grown immensely in recent decades, thanks in large part to the 1988 multi-Oscar-winning film Rain Man. But so too has the spread of myth and misconception. Today few terms are hurled about with as much hype and abandon as ‘autism’ and ‘...

At this time about 25 years ago I was nervously awaiting readers’ reactions to my book. Having been persuaded to go with the title Autism – Explaining the Enigma, I knew for certain that I hadn’t explained it. I had laboured on it for years and years, and most of the time I...

Transported to a world of emotion

Why would the UK government fund Cambridge University and a Manchester-based production company to make a series of children’s animation? After all, professional-quality animation doesn’t come cheap. The answer is that...

Since autism was first described more than 60 years ago (Asperger, 1944/1991; Kanner, 1943), researchers have been trying to pinpoint the underlying basis of the disorder. Yet autism still continues to perplex, even though the need for an understanding of the disorder is...