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Preface to the second edition

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  19 August 2009

Fred R. Volkmar
Affiliation:
Yale University, Connecticut
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Summary

Interest in what is now recognized as the pervasive developmental disorders can be traced to the middle of the nineteenth century with the first descriptions of childhood “psychosis” (Volkmar, 1996). This interest stemmed from an increasing awareness of the importance of the factors of both experience and endowment in child development. Early descriptions of childhood “insanity” were followed by descriptions of childhood schizophrenia (DeSanctis, 1906). The latter term became synonymous with all forms of severe mental disorder in children. The particular genius of Leo Kanner was reflected in his description in 1943 of the syndrome of infantile autism, which he initially believed to be quite different from the forms of childhood “psychosis” then recognized. In the subsequent six decades autism has been the focus of considerable interest from clinicians and researchers alike so that, for example, a large body of work both on research and intervention is now available (Volkmar et al., 2005).

Autism has been the focus of a very substantial body of work. While major advances have been made in both treatment (NRC, 2001) and research (Volkmar et al., 2005) precise pathophysiological models have yet to be specified. In an attempt to specify such models essentially all the theories of psychology and neurobiology have been utilized. While specification of such mechanisms remains an important, if as yet unrealized, goal considerable accomplishments have been made.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2007

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  • Preface to the second edition
  • Edited by Fred R. Volkmar, Yale University, Connecticut
  • Book: Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorders
  • Online publication: 19 August 2009
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511544446.001
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  • Preface to the second edition
  • Edited by Fred R. Volkmar, Yale University, Connecticut
  • Book: Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorders
  • Online publication: 19 August 2009
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511544446.001
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Preface to the second edition
  • Edited by Fred R. Volkmar, Yale University, Connecticut
  • Book: Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorders
  • Online publication: 19 August 2009
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511544446.001
Available formats
×