Autism: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) - Uta Frith

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Autism: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) - Uta Frith

What causes autism? Is it a genetic disorder, or due to some unknown environmental hazard? Are we facing an epidemic? What are the main symptoms, and ...

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Review of "Autism: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) - Uta Frith"

published 23/07/2017 | ravingreviewer
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Pro Covers a wide variety of subjects.
Cons Can appear a little daunting at first.
very helpful
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"A good basis for understanding."

There are a group of books that come under the more general title of Very Short Introductions, and are books that have been written about quite academic type subjects by experts in their own rights in those fields - but in such a way that they don't come over as too academic or unintelligible, meaning that they are aimed at as wide an audience as possible.

Published through the Oxford University Press disguise, the first in the series came out in 1995 and now cover such areas as The Bible; The Koran; Marx; The French Revolution; Citizenship; Music; Schizophrenia, and even Shakespeare - and so as you can see, the wide range of topics is so vast and continues to be so even with more titles being added with Scotland and Free Speech being just two of them.

The reason that one feels that this is something that appeals to so many people is because to my mind it is something that falls in between two forms of thinking - it is not a comic book because it has obviously been written by an expert, but although it is something that has been written by an expert is not too over the top. And by this I mean that because it is meant to be a 'short introduction' (if there ever can be such a thing!), all of the information that has been provided has been kept perhaps just a little bit more compact than if the topic matter to hand had been the subject of a much larger study guide or handbook.

Yes the information may come across as perhaps being a little bit over the tops of heads for some people, but many people would not really entertain reading these books unless they already had a vested interest of some sort in the subject from the off - and so will have at least some idea of what the book is talking about in the first place. I have used this series of books in various forms in the past when working in the healthcare sector, because some of the titles are geared somewhat to some of the areas in which I was having to deal with at that time.

However, we must move on to the particular matter at hand here now - that being, the book in the series that is related to Autism. Having first been published in 2008, it was written by Uta Frith - she is Emeritus Professor of Cognitive Development at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience at University College London, and has written many books or papers on autism thus giving her some authority in being able to write about this subject in such a way as this.

With an RRP of £7.99, I bought my copy recently in Waterstones for the greatly reduced price of £1 - I didn't buy it purely for the price, but more for having my own understanding of autism following my recent diagnosis of it (hence my own personal vested interest in the area). Waterstones do sell a lot of the titles in this series, and I have also seen some of them on sale in WHSmith - and you can also buy them through the Oxford University Press website, as well as through other such websites as Amazon and Ebay.

The book in itself is a paperback copy, and is just slightly larger than your average 6' by 4' postcard. With some 130 pages or thereabouts, the contents are as follows:

ix - Acknowledgements
xi - List of illustrations
1. The autism spectrum - a general overview of what autism is.
2. The changing face of autism - how the whole area of autism has changed over the years.
3. A huge increase in cases - what the future may hold for autism.
4. Autism as a neurodevelopmental disorder - looking at genes and other possible effects on the person who is diagnosed with autism.
5. Social communication: the heart of the matter - how people with autism cope and react in society.
6. Seeing the world differently - how people with autism may perceive the world around them compared to those who aren't autistic.
7. From theory to practice - how to put head knowledge (theory) into the actual doing (practice).
Specialist references - those in the main text to back up what is being discussed from other sources.
Further reading - where to go for more support and guidance.
Index - a quick guide to what is where in the book.

For some people however, the language in this book may be a little difficult to understand at first but once you get it in to the proper context then it is extremely easy to glean information from. There are a lot of diagrams on offer too, all of which try and give a more visual description of what the text is trying to put across.

But for those people who are trying to gain an understanding of autism and how it can affect people as well as those people who are maybe supporting those with autism and their families, then this little book is one that I cannot recommend thoroughly enough to you all. I have read other books that attempt to convey how to live a life with autism but those have either been too wishy washy or too over the top, but this one to me hits the nail on the head spot on - and with it backing from the Oxford University Press, you know it is going to be a good one.

Thanks for reading!

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Comments on this review

  • Saraa23 published 20/08/2017
    Sounds helpful
  • ANNExTHExFLAN published 02/08/2017
    Exceptional.
  • lj1989 published 28/07/2017
    My partners little brother has autism this sounds like an informative read :)
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Product Information : Autism: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) - Uta Frith

Manufacturer's product description

What causes autism? Is it a genetic disorder, or due to some unknown environmental hazard? Are we facing an epidemic? What are the main symptoms, and how does it relate to Asperger syndrome? This Very Short Introduction answers the key questions and offers a clear statement on what is currently known about autism and Asperger syndrome.

Product Details

Publisher: OUP Oxford

Author: Uta Frith

Genre: Health & Beauty

Title: Autism: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)

Type: Non-Fiction

EAN: 9780199207565

ISBN: 0199207569

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Listed on Ciao since: 28/12/2010