'The book unfolds in a logical and sensible manner, beginning with a thorough introduction to non-verbal communication. In subsequent chapters, Tantam carefully builds his argument by drawing on evidence from research and clinical practice, also discussing the possible biological underpinnings of his ideas. Finally, he covers the extended consequences of non-verbal communication impairment and considers how the interbrain framework can be used to assist in understanding people with autism-spectrum disorder. The author's influences as a clinical psychotherapist and as a scientist are evident throughout the book and he is particularly impressive at fusing the biological and psychological aspects of autism-spectrum disorder. He makes extensive use of analogy and real-life vignettes to illustrate his ideas, making complex concepts easy to grasp and the book interesting and enjoyable to read.' --The British Journal of Psychiatry
'This thoughtful new book by Professor Digby Tantam is the result of a long career spanning more than two decades focused on understanding the puzzle of autism. As far back as the early 1980s Professor Tantam was studying the related condition of Asperger Syndrome, long before the rest of the English speaking medical community had realized that this subgroup even existed, let alone what its relationship was to classic autism. In this new book, Digby Tantam dissects one of the core 'symptoms' of autism and Asperger Syndrome, namely decoding non-verbal communication. He takes us from the level of behaviour to deep within the brain, to understand how emotional expressions and social signals can be the product of neural systems, and how these can function differently in autism spectrum conditions. And he asks the provocative question of whether such conditions really are disabilities, or whether they bring with them a combination of innocence and originality that are not just attractive but invaluable qualities. Written with the rare combination of scientific curiosity and compassion, this book will enrich both our understanding of and society's stance towards those on the autistic spectrum.' --Autism Research Centre, Cambridge University
In his highly readable and accessible book on the endlessly fascinating subject of autistic spectrum disorder (ASD), Professor Tantam draws on a wide range of respected and accepted research, which encapsulates much of what is known about specific dysfunctions in those affected. He illustrates his points with examples of people who have been diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, including some whose diagnoses are questionable. But, most importantly for this book, he explores the theory he has developed for explaining the benefits in those affected by ASD through a useful contemporary metaphor based around computer technology...This book provides a thought-provoking read, both psychological and philosophically.' Human Givens Journal --Human Givens Journal
About the Author
Maurice Greenberg works within the Student Counselling Service at University College London. Sukhwinder Singh Shergill is a senior lecturer and honorary consultant psychiatrist at the Institute of Psychiatry. George Szmukler is a consultant psychiatrist and medical director at the Maudsley Hospital. Digby Tantam works with DILEMMA in Sheffield.