Understanding Autism

An educational resource from the Yale Child Study Center

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Overview of Autism

Overview of Autism, Prof. Fred Volkmar

Fred Volkmar | January 8,2010

Prof. Fred Volkmar introduces the Yale College Autism Seminar and provides a general overview of autism and related disorders and what the course will cover.

Overview of Autism, Dr. Ami Klin

Ami Klin | March 15,2010

In this class session, Dr. Ami Klin gives the second part of the lecture, Overview of Autism.

Autism Intervention Programs

Treatments for Autism: Overview of Model Programs, Fred Volkmar

Fred Volkmar | September 28,2010

Prof. Fred Volkmar covers an overview of model programs for the treatment of autism. The Professor reviews the history of intervention programs, possible outcomes that come with intervention, and covers challenges, new issues, strategies and resources that are presented when undertaking an intervention program.

Autism Assessment, Katherine Tsatsanis

Katherine Tsatsanis | September 15,2009

The central theme of this presentation is diagnosis and assessment of autism spectrum disorders. Diagnosis is a clinical endeavor, made by experienced clinicians with knowledge of the features of ASDs. The latter are defined in behavioral terms and fall into three major categories: social, communication, and restricted and repetitive behaviors.

Whereas diagnosis is a means of classification, and captures a childs presentation in a more global way, an important goal of assessment is to document the childs functioning in a more refined, detailed, and descriptive way for that individual. Assessment is aimed at not only identifying areas of vulnerability but also those areas that are strengths in the childs profile. Both are relevant to treatment planning.

Autism in Infants and Young Children

Autism in Infants and Young Children, Dr. Kasia Chawarska

Kasia Chawarska | March 15,2010

In this section, Dr. Kasia Chawarska covers the social disorders in infants and young children. The lecture covers the patterns of onset of autism in young children and the diagnosis, the syndrome expression and atypical face processing in toddlers with ASD.

Social Development in Autism

Social Development in Autism, Dr. Ami Klin

Ami Klin | March 15,2010

Autism is first and foremost a neurodevelopmental disorder impacting on foundational social adaptive skills. This lecture focuses on the emergence of highly conserved and early emerging mechanisms of socialization and their disruption in infants and toddlers with autism spectrum disorders. The vast genetic and behavioral variability in autism necessitates better quantification of social behavior as a bridge between new genetic findings and the behavioral manifestations of this condition.

Electrophysiological Studies of Social Perception

Electrophysiological Studies of Social Perception, Dr. James McPartland

James McPartland | March 8,2010

In this lecture, Dr. James McPartland reviews face perception in social development and its relevance to understanding social perception in autism. Based on research findings from the field of brain electrophysiology, differences in salience and proficiency in processing social versus non-social information are discussed.

Neuroimaging

Neuroimaging, Dr. Kevin Pelphrey

Kevin Pelphrey | March 15,2010

In this lecture, Dr. Kevin Pelphrey discusses recent research, using functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate the brain mechanisms involved in the typical and atypical development of social perception (the ability to understand the intentions and psychological dispositions of other people on the basis of biological motion cues) in typically developing children and children with autism.

Behavioral Treatments

Behavioral Treatments, Dr. Michael Powers

Michael Powers | March 15,2010

Individuals with autism spectrum disorders exhibit a range of behavioral excesses and deficits that can interfere significantly with adaptive functioning at home, in the community, and at school. At times these challenging behaviors can cause harm to others or to the person with autism, and often contribute both to isolation and misunderstanding of the needs of the individual.

This lecture introduces the foundations of behavioral assessment and treatment of significant challenging behavior in persons with autism.

Parental Perspectives & Supporting Families

Parental Perspectives and Supporting Families, Alison Singer

Alison Singer | March 15,2010

This presentation is from the point of view of the parent of a child with autism. Alison Singer, President of the Autism Science Foundation, starts by reviewing the early warning signs of autism, highlighting the red flags and discussing the importance of early intervention. She looks at the effect of an autism diagnosis on the entire family, focusing on the challenges families face finding and paying for treatments, gaining access to appropriate schools, and worrying about their childs future. The lecture also addresses the importance of focusing on evidence-based treatments for autism. Finally, it explains how and why many families fall victim to charlatans offering the latest cure du jour for autism.