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Understanding autism
Understanding autism

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4 Methods for understanding autism

Claims about autism should be based on the careful and balanced evaluation of evidence derived from reliable sources. There are many different ways of obtaining evidence, and no one method can provide all the answers. Key methods, as discussed in this section, typically involve studying autism from an ‘outside perspective’– that is from the stance of the clinician or researcher. In the next section you will consider insights from the ‘inside perspective’ – from personal accounts by autistic people or close family members. Clinical and research methods may also involve working closely with autistic individuals and their families to gain more of an ‘inside view’. Consequently ‘outsider’ and ‘insider’ approaches are not always clearly differentiated.