segunda-feira, 29 de setembro de 2014

Autismo, estamos perto de solucionar o enigma?

Um excelente texto da Dra. Uta Frith.

Autism - are we any closer to explaining the enigma?

Uta Frith introduces a special issue
Pages: 477-745
Autism is a developmental disorder characterised by impairments in social interaction and both verbal and non-verbal communication, along with restricted, repetitive or stereotyped behaviour. Following more than a quarter of a century of extensive research from psychologists, are we any closer to explaining the enigma? Has stretching the diagnostic boundaries helped or hindered scientific and practical progress? A critical step in ‘solving the puzzle’ of autism is to consider the myths and realities surrounding autism, both for those living with it and their relatives. This issue gathers a variety of perspectives from those people and from leading researchers in the field.
At this time about 25 years ago I was nervously awaiting readers’ reactions to my book. Having been persuaded to go with the title Autism – Explaining the Enigma, I knew for certain that I hadn’t explained it. I had laboured on it for years and years, and most of the time I felt ‘Who am I to even try and write such a book?’ The main antidote for this feeling came from fellow psychologist John Morton, who egged me on from draft to draft with words like ‘you have something to say, so say it’.
In those days, books on autism were a rarity, and people were just beginning to ask what autism was. The film Rain Man, starring Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise, was a milestone in the rise of public awareness of autism. I remember how difficult it was for bookshops to decide which of their sections was suitable for the book. Mostly, it was placed with psychiatry texts, and ironically Frith was placed next to Freud. I would have much preferred to be placed with books on experimental psychology, because I believe that psychology provides the space where the enigma might eventually be solved. I could not imagine then that there would be a time when books on autism fill their own section, and when there would be this special issue of The Psychologist.(...)

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