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ERIC Number: EJ852039
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 34
ISSN: ISSN-0827-3383
Autistic Spectrum Disorders: Causal Mechanisms and Recent Findings on Attention and Emotion
Bryson, Susan E.; Landry, Reginald; Czapinski, Patrycja; McConnell, Beth; Rombough, Vicki; Wainwright, Ann
International Journal of Special Education, v19 n1 p14-22 2004
This paper provides an overview of selective research on autism. Autism forms part of a spectrum of related developmental disorders that vary in severity. Both their prevalence and severity argue for concerted efforts aimed at improving our understanding and treatment of the many individuals affected. We begin by outlining an important discovery that implicates an early prenatal insult to the developing brain stem in at least some people with autism (hereafter, the thalidomide discovery; Miller & Stromland, 1993). Several lines of evidence consistent with this claim are summarized. We then turn to recent research on early developing mechanisms of attention and emotion in autism. Evidence to be reviewed points to impairment in the disengage function of visual attention, and data are provided on the relationship between disengagement and the regulation of emotional states. Research on emotion focuses on the hypothesis, derived from the thalidomide discovery, that there may be a physical/anatomical basis to the lack of facial expressiveness in autism. We end by discussing the implications of this work for future research and for supporting children and adults with autism.
International Journal of Special Education. 2889 Highbury Street, Vancouver, BC V6R 3T7, Canada. Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A