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Autism: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)

Autism: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) [Kindle Edition]

Uta Frith
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

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Product Description


"Uta Frith′s Autism has been an indispensable reference, an instant classic, since it was first published, and in this new edition it has been radically revised, with striking enrichments and enlargements in almost every chapter, most especially with dramatic new brain imaging studies which clarify the fundamental nature of autism. But it remains a deeply personal book, as moving and delightful as it is authoritative." Oliver Sacks, MD

"One of the most recognised names in autism research ... Her [Frith′s] book is valuable for educated parents interested in learning about autism in a larger historical context ... enlightening." Library Journal, July 2003

"provides a valuable introduction to contemporary cognitive theories." Sally Bigham, Brunel University, British Journal of Developmental Psychology, Vol.21, Part 3, September 2003

"Uta Frith has long been regarded as one of the leading experts in current autism research and psychological theory in this country ... this second edition presents an easy–to–read and logical journey through autism, from what it is and how it is and has been perceived, through current psychological theory to neurological explanation and practical implications. It is an extremely worthwhile book for anyone who wants a research–led understanding of the psychology of autism, particularly students interested in the topic or parents and professionals who may wish to understand the theories feeding future interventions and current understanding of this complex spectrum of conditions." Fiona J. Scott, Psychological Medicine, Vol. 34, 2004

Library Journal, July 2003

Valuable for educated parents interested in learning about autism in a larger historical context.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 795 KB
  • Print Length: 144 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford; 1st edition (23 Oct 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199207569
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199207565
  • ASIN: B003CXAM2I
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #59,634 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well-written and insightful 4 July 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book as I was interested
in finding out more about autism,
as well being a student of psychology.

I found it well-written, informative
and plenty of detailed and up-to-date information.

Highly recommended.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The prospect of understanding 22 Jan 2009
By Jon Chambers VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Mysterious, traumatic, intriguing ... autism is all of these things. Uta Frith sheds welcome light upon a phenomenon which keeps getting bigger year on year but which remains elusive and enigmatic. Many of the questions we might want to ask are dealt with as fully as current understanding allows: What is autism? Why does it affect boys disproportionately? Why does it show in the second year of infancy and not the first? What are the classic indicators of autism? etc.

Frith briefly considers the (short) history of autism as a recognised and well-defined condition. She notes that it has core features (minimal social interaction, communication problems and limited interests coupled with repetitive behaviour). An individual's condition might be anything from slight to severe, which is why it is appropriate to talk of an Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD), along which continuum sits the rather trendy, genius-inducing Asperger's Syndrome, familiar to millions via Rainman and The Curious Incident of the Dog.

The book is forthright. It runs the risk of offending some sensibilities by preferring to be more honest than p.c. Frith uses the frank language of mental 'deficits', behavioural 'impairment' and autism 'sufferers'. Although there are triumphs, she argues, there are more usually difficulties. Although many autistic individuals can achieve acceptance and find happiness, 'this is not the norm': social impairment is. Carers, meanwhile, face anxiety, frustration and upset. Frith is clear that autism amounts to more than just 'differences' in behaviour and mental make-up.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An essential introduction 30 Jan 2013
By Nicky01
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you want an authoratative, easy to read and personable introduction to autistic spectrum disorder I cannot recommend this book highly enough. The research is good quality and up to date and the descriptions are accurate. The writing style is accessible for a lay audience. Everyone should have one of these.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It does what is says on the tin. 29 Jun 2013
By Tanya
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A brief overview in plain English real examples used, readable with a few gestalt moments. A must for those who work within any classroom environment as autism is so far reaching - in fact I think that a basic knowledge of autism is would be useful to anyone who works with the public.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
By edrm
Quite embarrassingly, I didn't know so much about autism itself before I dealt with this tremendous guide. Although it doesn't have so many pages, I found it very informative and useful. Especially, I'm intrigued by Dr. Frith's explanations on the follows:
1. What neurotypical means
2. Weak central coherence
I wasn't quite sure what the prefix, neuro- means though neurotypical (NT) is one of the key words on autism/Asperger's. Sure thing, I couldn't find the word even in my dictionary. I mean, I could manage to guess it might mean the opposite to people with developmental impairments. However, I didn't quite catch why. I felt like I could clear up my haze when I found out Dr. Frith says neuro- definitely means the brain. "I guessed right! Neurotypical shows the brain works normally or typically." - That's what I exactly thought!

I realized central coherence is crucial for neurodevelopment. People with strong central coherence can see the whole point, while those with weak one tend to dwell on parts. So I suppose some autistic people have such weak central coherence that they tend to be perfectionists, which makes life more stressful. Positively, they seem to know the details pretty well. In my case, I was incredibly good at kanji (Chinese characters) in my childhood. But the trouble was that I was horrible at comprehending the whole sentence. And I suspected that slowed communication skills. The thing is people with weak central coherence find it so hard to catch the whole content they often tend to miss what matters most.

Overall, this autism guide is suitable if you would like to know the difference between NT's and people with autism/Asperger's with regard to neurodevelopmental psychology.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fine introduction with two minor faults 28 Dec 2012
On the positive side, here are some gems in a nutshell. I especially like the five different "big ideas" about the underlying problems, and the mismatch of top-down and bottom-up processes as a possible link between these ideas.

On the negative side, I have two remarks:
First, the described Sally-Anne-test on the "theory of mind" might reveal delayed development in young children but has no similarity to the problems older children and adults are facing. The reader might get the wrong impression that autistic people are unable to apply simple logic to situations involving other people. The real problems are at least partly based on the fact that autistic people maintain a one-layer-communication toward obvious goals (as receiver *and* as sender) while NTs communicate also via sound of voice, facial expressions and so on, sometimes toward hidden goals. Thus in communications between autistics and NTs, *both* sides have a theory-of-mind problem: Since even autistics cannot avoid to produce sounds and facial expressions but do not attach meaning to them, the NT is often unable to mask these layers, even when being ask to give attention just to the words, and jumps to wrong conclusions about the state of mind of the autistic person.

Secondly, at the end of the section titled "Asperger syndrome" (pp. 37, 38), the author, after mentioning highly intelligent "Aspies" who are glad not to be NTs, labels the extreme point of view that autism is *generally* not a deficit but a different make-up as "perverse". Well, this is literally true but, the author being an NT, one could look for her hidden goal. Why does she mention an extreme, obviously untenable position in a *very short* introduction? My impression is that she lacks a certain empathy for the "glad aspies".
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 8 days ago by PATRICIA MADDY
5.0 out of 5 stars Autism: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions )
The series Very Short Introductions, is well known to undergraduates and graduates alike as an up-to date, intelligent
exposition of phenomena of the modern and not so... Read more
Published 3 months ago by stephen Walsh
3.0 out of 5 stars Information is there but a difficult read
There is plenty of information in this book. But it is not well structured making it difficult to skim read or to pick up what is important
Published 5 months ago by Lily anne
4.0 out of 5 stars A great little book.
I chose this as my first step to understanding more about Autism and it was exactly what I was looking for. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Simon Osborne
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
Bought this book as my nephew has Autism and I wanted to learn abit more about it. Very informative, would highly recommend.
Published 11 months ago by Mrs Susan Crowther
5.0 out of 5 stars Autism: A very short introduction
This was bought after hearing Uta Frith talking on the radio. She is world renown upon the subject and gives talks to the Royal institutions. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Mrs. A. Harris
5.0 out of 5 stars A very fine piece of work
Once again I find the observations by the preceding readers to be correct. A very fine piece of work and in my view the bibliography is worth the book price on its own. Read more
Published 22 months ago by H. Popeck
5.0 out of 5 stars Autism
Excellent introduction to autism and the science behind it. Would highly recommend this book to anyone with an interest in autism.
Published 22 months ago by Claire
5.0 out of 5 stars An insight into the biology, psychology and behaviour of Autism
A well written and easy to follow book which gives us some insight into the mind of the autistic person. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Anon
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent overview
Utah frith is an expert in this field of work. Her book 'understanding the enigma' is no less relevant today. Read more
Published 23 months ago by gadget queen
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Popular Highlights

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The first of the core features of ASD concerns reciprocal social interaction. &quote;
Highlighted by 10 Kindle users
there are three critical impairments—the ‘triad’ of impairments in socialization, communication, and imagination—that hold over a whole spectrum of autistic disorders. At the same time she became aware that social impairment comes in different varieties—the aloof, the passive, and the odd. &quote;
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The second related core feature concerns communication. &quote;
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