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Overview

Introduction

Unraveling the Mystery
by Jeanene Swanson

 

Section 1: Diagnosing Autism

1.1   Searching for the Onset of Autism
        by Mariette DiChristina

1.2   Mixed Signals: Social Intuition Goes
        by Bruce M. Hood

1.3   Extraordinary Perception
        by Wray Herbert

1.4   Early Intervention: Speech Therapy
        by Marissa Fessenden

1.5   The Hidden Potential of Autistic Kids
        by Rose Eveleth

 

Section 2: Autistic Savants

2.1   A Transparent Enigma
        by Madhusree Mukerjee

2.2   Islands of Genius
        by Darold A. Treffert and Gregory L. Wallace

2.3   Inside the Mind of a Savant
        by Darold A. Treffert and Daniel D. Christensen

2.4   Think Better: Tips from a Savant
        by Jonah Lehrer and Daniel Tammet

 

Section 3: Who’s at Risk?

3.1   Why Autism Strikes More Boys Than Girls
        by Janelle Weaver

3.2   Maternal Age and Autism
        by Katie Moisse

3.3   The Father Factor
        by Paul Raeburn

 

Section 4: Genetic Causes

4.1   Genetics Research Challenges Ideas about Mental Illness
        by Jamie Horder

4.2   Gene Sleuths: Looking for Patterns
        by Katherine Harmon

4.3   Runaway Neurons: Excessive Brain Growth in Autism
        by Ferris Jabr

4.4   Autism and the Technical Mind
        by Simon Baron-Cohen

4.5   The Early Origins of Autism            
        by Patricia Rodier

4.6   Broken Mirrors: A Theory of Autism            
        by Vilayanur S. Ramachandran and Lindsay M. Oberman

4.7   What’s So Special about Mirror Neurons?            
        by Ben Thomas  

 

Section 5: Environmental Causes

5.1   Sunshine State: Vitamin D Deficiency            
        by Gabrielle Glaser

5.2   Risk Factors During Pregnancy            
        by Katherine Harmon

5.3   Epigenetics and Our Understanding of Heredity            
        by Kara Rogers

 

Section 6: Understanding the Autism “Epidemic”

6.1   Is There Really an Epidemic?            
        by Scott O. Lilienfeld and Hal Arkowitz

6.2   Redefining Autism: The New DSM Criteria            
        by Ferris Jabr

6.3   By the Numbers: Autism Is Not a Math Problem            
        by Ferris Jabr  

 

Section 7: Treatments and Therapies 

7.1   The Autism Diet            
        by Mark Alpert

7.2   The Autism Pill            
        by Alla Katsnelson

7.3   Detecting Autsim Early            
        by Ulrich Kraft

7.4   Desperate for an Autism Cure           
        by Nancy Shute

7.5   Alternative Treatments: How Good Is the Evidence?            
        by Nancy Shute

 

Understanding Autism: The Search for Answers

Autism is one of three diagnoses that the DSM-5 includes in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). While our understanding of this condition has grown exponentially, research has been fraught with controversy. Autism appears to be on the rise, depending on how you define it, and its causes more complex than imagined. In this eBook, Understanding Autism: The Search for Answers, Scientific American’s editors have gathered the most current information on autism, including how it’s diagnosed, risk factors, treatments and therapies.

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