Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: February 22, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412957403 | Print ISBN: 9781412956642 | Online ISBN: 9781412957403| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Joni L. Baldwin
Autism was first defined in the 1940s by Leo Kanner, a psychiatrist, and was considered a disorder caused by an emotionally unavailable mother. This theory was the prevalent thought throughout the 1970s, with a gradual shift to understanding that autism is a brain-based disorder of undetermined origin. Educational implications and theories of how to help children with autism learn have been a part of this shift in thinking, with continued controversies on treatment and methods. This entry provides a definition of autism and information on models of instruction and therapeutic treatments, which remain a point of dissension within the educational community. Autism is one of a group of neurobiological disorders identified as pervasive developmental disorders by the American Psychiatric Association. Autism is defined as a condition that includes impairments in social interaction and communication with repetitive, stereotypical, or restricted patterns of behavior that interfere with interactions and learning. Identification of ...