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Table of Contents


Chapter 1 - Introduction

Chapter 2 - The History of Autism

Chapter 3 - Autism at the Behavioural Level?

Chapter 4 - Autism at the Biological Level

Chapter 5 - Autism at the Cognitive Level: What makes a Good Theory?

Chapter 6 - Autism at the Cognitive Level: Primary Deficit Models

Chapter 7 - Autism at the Cognitive Level: Developmental Trajectory Models

Chapter 8 - Autism at the Cognitive Level: Domain-General Information Processing Models

Chapter 9 - The Impact of Cognitive Models on Autism Understanding and Practice

Chapter 10 - Looking to the Future


About the Author

Sue Fletcher-Watson is Senior Research Fellow at the Patrick Wild Centre, University of Edinburgh, and leads the Development/Autism/Research/Technology, or DART, lab group. She has been awarded the British Psychological Society Margaret Donaldson Prize and a certificate of excellence from Autism Rights Group Highland for "amplification and inclusion of autistic voices". Francesca Happe (FBA FMedSci) is Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience and Director of the Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London. She has worked in autism research for over 30 years, was President of the International Society for Autism Research and has been awarded the British Psychological Society Spearman Medal, the Experimental Psychology Society Prize and the Royal Society Rosalind Franklin Award.


"If you read one book on autism, this should be the one! There is no other account of psychological theories that is as clear, as engaging and as succinct. The authors not only explain what research has revealed about the nature of this complex condition, they critically analyse the impact of the research on the life of people with autism and their families. They break new ground by exploring the consequences of the still new concept of neurodiversity for a future research agenda, and true to their principles, they constructively incorporate comments by autistic people from all walks of life." - Uta Frith, Emeritus Professor of Cognitive Development, University College London.

"This book gives an accessible overview of psychological theory in regard to autism, including recent developments and controversies. The highlight however is the commentary remarks at the end of each chapter by autistic people. A must read for all those studying autism and those working with autistic people." - Damian Milton, Lecturer in Intellectual and Developmental Disability, Tizard Centre, University of Kent, UK. "For more than two decades, Francesca Happe has led the way in explaining the psychology of autistic people to students and experts alike. Now joining forces with Sue Fletcher-Watson, this new introduction brings the voices of autistic people themselves, their families and communities to the forefront of their analysis. The result is a magnificent book that will cause us all to think anew about autistic psychology and experience." - Professor Liz Pellicano, Macquarie University, Australia "This book is a must-read for everyone interested in understanding the current landscape of autism. It includes everything you will want to know from history to biology; from theory to practice; presented in a balanced and lucid style that will engage all readers. The book is remarkable achievement that will, like the first edition, become an instant classic." - Helen Tager-Flusberg, Ph.D., Boston University, USA. "For many people, myself included, Francesca Happe's 1995 book was their gateway to autism research. This update, written with Sue Fletcher-Watson is much-needed and long overdue. Like the first edition, it provides a wonderfully lucid yet concise introduction to psychological accounts of autism. But it also serves as an historical document, reflecting the seismic changes in our understanding of and attitudes towards autism over the past quarter century and the growing voice of autistic people in challenging preconceptions about their own condition and influencing the priorities and goals of autism science." - Dr. Jon Brock, Macquarie University, Australia.

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