New Developments in Autism: The Future is Today
Edited by Juan Martos Perez et al,
Jessica Kingsley Publishers
STAR RATING: 4/5
As someone with both parental and professional involvement with autism, I found this book of great interest and value, writes Michael Fitzpatrick.
“Parents have a difficult life, but professionals have a difficult job”, write Hilde de Clercq and Theo Peters in a chapter on the troubled issue of partnership, based on their experiences in an autism clinic in Antwerp. Parents will identify with their observation that “many professionals do not have the faintest idea about how difficult it is for a family to survive with a child with autism”. At the same time, they acknowledge that “parents often do not have any idea how limited professionals may be in their professional environment and how many frustrations they have of their own”.
The authors provide a wealth of practical advice for parents and professionals trying to work their way through that troublesome triad of diagnosis, assessment and individualised education guidelines.
An excellent chapter by Manuel Casanova describes “minicolumn” abnormalities in the cerebral cortex in people with autism, suggesting developmental damage in the earliest weeks after conception a finding that “would exclude participation of some postnatal events currently incriminated in the pathophysiology of autism”, such as immunisations or other environmental factors.
Michael Fitzpatrick is a GP and author of MMR and Autism: What Parents Need To Know