This course offers a review of psychological research and practice aimed at understanding and explaining autistic spectrum disorders (ASDs) and helping people who have them. The discussion ranges from problems of identification and diagnosis, through theoretical research into causes, to an evaluation of selected therapeutic approaches. The chapter highlights the diversity of perspectives that exist in this area. It draws on the personal testimony of people with autism and their families, as well as on more formal sources of evidence. It will be of relevance to all those who are interested in autism, whether from an academic, practical or personal perspective. The coverage is necessarily selective: it poses many questions for consideration, but does not claim to offer definitive answers.
This OpenLearn course provides a sample of Level 2 study in.
Update September 2018: There is a brand new free OpenLearn Badged Open Course – Understanding autism – comprising 8 weeks of study of a range of up to date materials. Personal accounts, including recently recorded interview material play an important role in this new course.