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Being misunderstood in autism: The role of motor disruption in expressive communication, implications for satisfying social relations

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 July 2019

Jonathan Delafield-Butt
Laboratory for Innovation in Autism, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow G1 1QE, United Kingdom.
Colwyn Trevarthen
School of Psychology, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH8 9AD, United Kingdom.
Philip Rowe
Laboratory for Innovation in Autism, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow G1 1QE, United Kingdom. Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow G1 1QE, United Kingdom.
Christopher Gillberg
Gillberg Neuropsychiatry Centre, University of Gothenburg, SE-411 19 Gothenburg, Sweden.


Jaswal & Akhtar's outstanding target article identifies the necessary social nature of the human mind, even in autism. We agree with the authors and present significant contributory origins of this autistic isolation in disruption of purposeful movement made social from infancy. Timing differences in expression can be misunderstood in embodied engagement, and social intention misread. Sensitive relations can repair this.

Open Peer Commentary
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2019 

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