Pub. date: 2005 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412950565 | Print ISBN: 9780761928201 | Online ISBN: 9781412950565| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Autism, Educational Treatments for
Pamela Dixon & Jamie Kleinman & Juhi Pandey & Elizabeth Kelley & Marianne Barton & Deborah Fein
Autism and related disorders (together called “pervasive developmental disorders” or “autistic spectrum disorders”) are characterized by deficits in three areas: social relatedness, communication, and repetitive behaviors. Social impairments include behaviors such as lack of eye contact, poor nonverbal communication, lack of joint attention (pointing things out to others to share interests), lack of interest in peers or poor peer relationships, and impaired attunement to the emotions of others. Communication deficits include delayed language, poor conversational ability, stereotyped language, and stereotyped or impoverished pretend play. Repetitive behaviors include preoccupations with certain objects or topics, resistance to change in the routine or environment, repetitive motor behaviors, and visual fascinations. Autism is usually apparent by age 3, and sometimes as early as the first year of life. Symptoms evolve with development, but the core impairments often persist throughout childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. Although autism is usually regarded as a lifelong disorder, it can ...