Autism. Decade of the Brain.Report as inadecuate

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This booklet provides an overview of autism and discusses strategies for living and working with children with autism. The first section of the guide, "Understanding the Problem," addresses the characteristics of autism, including social symptoms, language difficulties, repetitive behaviors and obsessions, sensory symptoms, and unusual abilities; how autism is diagnosed, including diagnostic procedures and diagnostic criteria; causes of autism; and disorders that commonly accompany autism, such as mental retardation, seizures, and Fragile X syndrome. Descriptions of children with autism illustrate the different profiles of autism, and charts show indicators of normal development and the differences in the behaviors of infants with and without autism in communication, social relationships, and exploration of the environment. The second part of the booklet, "Finding Help and Hope," addresses ways parents and practitioners can help children with autism. It discusses improving social skills and behavior, developmental approaches, behaviorist approaches, nontraditional approaches, types of medications that are available, educational options and planning the Individualized Education Program, adolescents with autism, adults with autism, ways families can cope, and current research efforts. Questions that parents should consider when exploring treatment options are provided. The guide concludes with a list of resource books on autism and relevant organizations. (CR)

Descriptors: Adolescents, Adults, Autism, Behavior Modification, Children, Clinical Diagnosis, Coping, Disability Identification, Educational Strategies, Elementary Secondary Education, Etiology, Individualized Education Programs, Infants, Interpersonal Competence, Intervention, Medicine, Mental Retardation, Seizures, Symptoms (Individual Disorders)

National Institute of Mental Health, Information Resources and Inquiries Branch, 5600 Fishers Lane, Room 7C-02, MSC 8030, Bethesda, MD 20892-8030; telephone: 301-443-4513; fax: 301-443-4279; e-mail: nimhinfo[at]

Author: Neuwirth, Sharyn


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