The changing face of autism
- Uta Frith
‘The changing face of autism’ examines the history of autism. With the boundaries of the autistic spectrum still in flux, it asks: Will there be a clear line to distinguish autistic disorders from variants of perfectly normal differences in personality? It also examines Asperger syndrome, often considered a mild form of autism. In the 1960s scientists began to analyse the cognitive abilities of autistic children in detail and overturned two ideas: one, that autistic children were mentally retarded overall; the other, that they were secretly highly intelligent. The spectrum of autistic conditions now fully embraces those who have no intellectual impairment when assessed by standard intelligence tests.