Social and Communication Development in Autism Spectrum Disorders : Early Identification, Diagnosis, and Intervention book cover
1st Edition

Social and Communication Development in Autism Spectrum Disorders
Early Identification, Diagnosis, and Intervention

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ISBN 9781593857134
Published March 26, 2008 by Guilford Press
348 Pages

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Book Description

From leading clinical researchers, this book presents important advances in understanding and treating the early social-communication difficulties that are hallmarks of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). It is grounded in current findings on typically and atypically developing infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. Contributors highlight the connections between ASD and impairments in joint attention, communication and language, play, and imitation. They review approaches to supporting children's functioning in each area, along with evidence-based screening and assessment strategies. Valuable advice is offered on matching treatment to individual children's needs. The book also explores the developmental and neurobiological processes that underlie social-communication deficits in ASD.

Table of Contents

I. Assessment and Diagnosis

1. Understanding and Measuring Social Communication in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, Amy M. Wetherby

2. Early Diagnosis of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, Catherine Lord and Jennifer Richler

II. Screening and Surveillance

3. Screening for Autism Spectrum Disorders in Populations: Progress, Challenges, and Questions for Future Research and Practice, Tony Charman and Simon Baron-Cohen

4. Early Screening for Autism Spectrum Disorders in Clinical Practice Settings, Lonnie Zwaigenbaum and Wendy Stone

III. Evidence-Based Interventions

5. Treatment of Responding to and Initiating Joint Attention, Paul J. Yoder and Andrea S. McDuffie

6. Evidence-Based Interventions for Language Development in Young Children with Autism, Sally J. Rogers

7. Promoting Social Reciprocity and Symbolic Representation in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Designing Quality Peer Play Interventions, Pamela J. Wolfberg and Adriana L. Schuler

8. Imitation: Some Cues for Intervention Approaches in Autism Spectrum Disorders, Jacqueline Nadel and Nadra Aouka

9. Augmentative and Alternative Communication Systems for Children with Autism, Patricia Howlin

IV. Developmental and Neurobiological Issues

10. A Developmental Approach to Understanding Atypical Development, Tedra A. Walden and Jennifer J. Hurley

11. The Neural Basis of Early Joint-Attention Behavior, Peter Mundy and Danielle Thorp

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Tony Charman, PhD, is Professor of Neurodevelopmental Disorders in the Behavioural and Brain Sciences Unit at the Institute of Child Health, University College London. He studies early social-cognitive development in children with autism and the clinical application of this work via screening, diagnostic, outcome, early intervention, and epidemiological studies. Dr. Charman is Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, Associate Editor of the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, and is on the editorial/advisory boards of Autism, Autism Research, British Journal of Developmental Psychology,Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, and Research into Autism Spectrum Disorders. He has served on a number of expert panels for the Medical Research Council in the United Kingdom and the National Institutes of Health in the United States, and is a scientific member of the Advisory Group to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Autism.

Wendy Stone, PhD, is Professor of Psychology and Director of the READi Lab (Research in Early Autism Detection and Intervention) at the University of Washington. Her primary research interests are early identification and intervention in autism, and the influence of early social-communicative development on later behavioral and diagnostic outcomes. She developed the Screening Tool for Autism in Toddlers (STAT), and conducts research on improving community health care practices for toddlers with autism through implementation of early screening and evidence-based interventions. Dr. Stone serves on the editorial board of Autism Research, on the autism advisory panel for Sesame Street/Workshop, and on the Baby Siblings Research Consortium.


Never before has an entire volume been devoted to examining central social and communication processes in early autism. What the book does so remarkably well is present carefully analyzed, thorough, and readable reviews of the literature from multiple theoretical perspectives, while also drawing out the clinical implications for screening, assessment, diagnosis, and treatment. Rarely have I seen a book that will be so useful to researchers and clinicians alike. This book will serve as an indispensable source of information on the core features of early autism for clinicians and researchers in child psychiatry, clinical psychology, developmental psychology, language development and pathology, and early intervention. All of the chapter authors are well known in their areas, and bring a developmental theoretical framework to inform their interpretation of the autism literature. In many chapters, reviews of typical development precede the description of autism findings, placing the latter in a developmental context for the reader. This work would be an appropriate text for advanced undergraduate- and graduate-level courses in developmental psychopathology, social development, and developmental cognitive neuroscience.--Deborah Fein, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of Connecticut

This timely book reasserts the importance of social and communication factors in our understanding and treatment of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and brings together a wealth of research on neuropsychology, psychology, medicine, and education in order to do so. Clearly written, it will be essential reading for students focusing on ASD and all those interested in both typical and atypical child development.--Rita Jordan, PhD, Professor in Autism Studies; Inclusion, Special Education and Educational Psychology Division; School of Education; University of Birmingham, UK

This is the most important, ambitious, and exciting volume to be published on autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in the last several years. The volume brings together leading scholars and researchers whose work has led to revolutionary changes in early diagnosis and innovative, effective intervention. Presented are theoretically grounded, developmental perspectives on the emergence of social-communication difficulties in ASD. Taken together, the chapters demonstrate the feasibility of identifying every toddler at risk and providing interventions to significantly reduce the severity of symptoms and promote language acquisition. This is a 'must read' for all clinicians and researchers who work on autism!--Helen Tager-Flusberg, PhD, Lab of Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, Boston University School of Medicine

This book could not be more timely in its coverage of crucial questions related to early identification and intervention for children with autism spectrum disorders, with a focus on understanding the central role of social-communication development. Charman and Stone have recruited foremost authorities to summarize in clear and considerable detail what the science shows, the clinical implications of existing knowledge, and the directions toward which we need to move in future research. This book is destined to be a truly influential contribution for autism researchers, clinicians, graduate students, and policymakers seeking to ground their decisions in scientific evidence.--Samuel L. Odom, PhD, School of Education, Indiana University

Tony Charman and Wendy Stone have put together a marvelous volume containing the most up-to-date information on the social and communication development of infants and toddlers with ASD. Moreover, they have ensured that the information is new, clinically relevant, and based on the most valid scientific findings. It will be a long time before another volume comes along that succeeds in reaching as many goals and as wide an audience.--Peter Szatmari, MD, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences, McMaster University, Canada
Charman and Stone have brought together an impressive group of experts in research and practice. In doing so, the editors have ensured that each chapter in this book is grounded in sound research evidence as well as clinical experience and psychological and neurological theory. It is this strong panel of expertise that makes this book a must-read for all professionals involved in ....Each chapter provides a comprehensive review of relevant literature, and clearly articulates its relevance to practical issues. This results in a book that provides a detailed overview of current practice, and which, importantly, also evaluates the scientific evidence for various interventions...A valuable resource for those seeking to expand or consolidate their knowledge of early social communicative development and Spectrum Disorders....An inspiring example of what can be achieved by a truly multidisciplinary group of professionals, and critically highlights some important future directions.
--Autism, 1/16/2008ƒƒ
This book is a must-have for the bookshelves of graduate students, clinicians, and researchers specializing in autism....A phenomenal resource.
--PsycCRITIQUES, 1/16/2008