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12-03-2016 | Review

Fred R. Volkmar; Sally J. Rogers, Rhea Paul; Kevin A. Pelphery: Handbook of Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorders

4th Edition, Volume 1 and 2, John Wiley and Sons, Inc, 2014, 1312 pp, ISBN: 978-1-118-14068-0, $300.00 (hardcover)

Auteur: Oren Shtayermman

Gepubliceerd in: Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders | Uitgave 7/2016

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If anyone is interested in immersing themselves with valuable evidence regarding Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), pick up the two volume Handbook of Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorders and you will quickly encounter an unmatched level of comprehensiveness and detail from this well-known and respected group of editors (Volkmar, Rogers, Paul & Pelphery). The two volume book brings to the reader top quality group of authors who came together for a single purpose: to deliver an exhaustive, complete, and in-depth look into the various aspects of Autism Spectrum Disorders. Volume I provides the foundation for a better understanding of the discourse on Autism and other Pervasive Developmental Disorders. The first volume includes three components: Diagnosis, Assessment and Brain Mechanisms. Volume II responds to issues surrounding: Assessment, Intervention and Policy. This is a book that corresponds better in the library of a researcher or practitioner can also benefit educators who provide services for individuals on the spectrum and their families. The editors and the authors of the book chapters placed a significant emphasis on bringing the latest and preeminent information of the various issues related to ASD. While some of the book chapters were anticipated (Epidemiology of Autism Spectrum Disorders; Autism and the Autism Spectrum: Diagnostic Concepts; Social Development in Autism) other chapters were a refreshing perspective to encounter. The chapter on Medical Care in Autism and Related Conditions and Autism and Emotions are the two that stood out for me. The chapter on Medical Care was one which covered not only medical conditions associated with ASD but also included the spectrum of development across the life course and discussed the concerns related to children, adolescents and adults as each of them present a unique set of needs at different developmental stages. Developmental needs are rarely presented separately from ASD and at times, age related needs and developmental needs are blurred by the common denominator of the ASD diagnosis. The chapter on Emotion in Volume I is one that I especially find interesting and a major contribution in the field as many previous studies and information present individuals on the spectrum as not having the same capacity for emotional reciprocity as neurotypical individuals. The chapter discusses not just emotions but also the capacity for empathy and provide support from the research and the literature as well as from parents. One of the many unique features of this two volume set of books is the detailed outline at the beginning of each chapter that provides a great reference and a overview of the information that will be explored and presented. Perhaps for the non-academic or non-scholar reader, the chapters may appear overwhelming in the amount of statistical data included. However, the authors and editors continuously and consistently translate the numbers and figures from the statistical language to ‘English’ and perhaps more importantly, provide context for the information. The two volume handbook is masterfully presenting information that is applicable to the micro environment (diagnosis), the mezzo environment (treatment models) and the macro (policy related issues). I believe the multidimensional view of the diagnosis is providing a much more elaborate perspective than any other handbook on the topic. There are multiple points in which I was pleasantly surprised by the diversity of the chapters included in this set. The two that stood out to me were the chapters about Autism in the Courtroom and the second was the Economic Aspect of Autism. I believe that many of us tend to think of autism or ASD as a condition or a diagnosis with a set of symptoms or behaviors associated with it. We may even consider the influence and impact the diagnosis has on the quality of life of the person and the impact on the immediate family. Seldom, we engage in a conversation on how the legal system views and responds to the spectrum of issues the diagnosis of autism can surface. Moreover, for some of us in the academic and treatment world, with much of the time focusing on etiology and nosology of the condition, we rarely stop, think and assess economic concerns to individuals, families, organization and society at large. One of the disappointing aspects of the handbook was related to the systematically exclusion of some important information on autism and suicide that is considered an emerging area of investigation. In the last 5 years, there were two meta analysis on the topic of suicide and autism and those should have been included in the handbook in order to provide the best available information for the reader. Nevertheless, this is a must have handbook for anyone who is engaged in research, education and treatment of individuals on the autism spectrum. It is important for me to acknowledge that there is a continuous and significant amount of information to compile on autism and the related aspects it is influencing. And so, it will be impossible to assume or approach any book as one that will address each and every part of the conditions and its arms. The editors and authors of this two set handbook have truly produced a respectful, meaningful and mostly useful contribution to the scientific community in the field of autism and developmental disabilities. …
Fred R. Volkmar; Sally J. Rogers, Rhea Paul; Kevin A. Pelphery: Handbook of Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorders
4th Edition, Volume 1 and 2, John Wiley and Sons, Inc, 2014, 1312 pp, ISBN: 978-1-118-14068-0, $300.00 (hardcover)
Oren Shtayermman
Springer US
Gepubliceerd in
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders / Uitgave 7/2016
Print ISSN: 0162-3257
Elektronisch ISSN: 1573-3432

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