A History of Autism: Conversations with the Pioneers (英語) ペーパーバック – イラスト付き, 2010/6/25
"Recommended. Graduate students, researchers, professionals." (Choice , 1 April 2011)
"Feinstein offers one of the first truly comprehensive overviews of the history of autism research...culminating with a discussion of the projected future of autism research. He interviewed dozens of researchers and prominent autistic people in several countries, in addition to consulting numerous primary sources to compile this authoritative text. Feinstein traces the condition from before it was known as autism through the present day, and in so doing, methodically dissects both the parental blame hysteria that gripped the 1980s and the explosion of autism awareness and controversy in the twenty-first century." (Asperger's Association of New England Journal, Fall/Winter 2010)"This is a much needed book on the history of autism. What sets this book apart from the others is the description of the hypotheses about the disorder back when Dr. Kanner and Dr. Asperger were first writing about their unique discoveries. It provides readers with a much needed understanding of the disorder from the past as well as the present." (Doody's, September 2010)
"This book is more than a collection of facts; it's also a detailed account of often-fierce controversy and professional rivalry....... Feinstein's book is a fascinating and indispensable record of the journey so far." (Special Children, 2010)
- 発売日 : 2010/6/25
- ペーパーバック : 400ページ
- ISBN-10 : 1405186534
- ISBN-13 : 978-1405186537
- 商品の寸法 : 15.24 x 2.08 x 22.86 cm
- 出版社 : Wiley-Blackwell (2010/6/25)
- 言語: : 英語
- Amazon 売れ筋ランキング: - 355,338位洋書 (の売れ筋ランキングを見る洋書)
For me personally, although I am interested in reading about those with autism, and how their experiences might relate to my son in order to help understand him and seek treatment, it is just as important for me to understand the backgrounds of traditional professionals in this field. And this need is especially in light of the fact that, even though I might prefer limiting my son's exposure to professionals that do not keep up with the latest research, the fact is that much of the traditional thinking that is pervasive throughout what the author has to share continues to exist not only in the medical community, but in the culture at large.
Up until now, the only other text I have read that attempts to thoroughly examine the history of autism is "The Age of Autism: Mercury, Medicine, and a Man-Made Epidemic", by Dan Olmsted and Mark Blaxill (see my review). While I still recommend this other text, because of the extensive look that it provides to the Kanner 11 (the first 11 individuals diagnosed with autism by Dr. Leo Kanner, who were born in the 1930s), the breadth that Feinstein shares here is much more thorough when covering traditional professionals, and so I think reading both of these books helps provide a balanced view to anyone trying to understand this field.
After first discussing the two great pioneers in the field of autism, Dr. Hans Asperger and Dr. Leo Kanner, the author walks the reader through successive decades following the first diagnoses, offering great detail with regard to both the professional and public mindset that evolved over that time. During this walk through time, it is clear that although the goal of this text is to be a history, Feinstein also provides insight along the way, and as a parent who has personally witnessed the strength with which many other parents fight to help their children, it is gratifying that the author recognizes the improvements that would not have otherwise occurred were it not for parent involvement.
One interesting aspect that some readers might find of interest is that biomedical treatment of autism started being investigated decades ago, and is not a recent development, even though research in the area of biomedical treatment has continued to grow significantly in recent years due in large part to the increased rate of autism. The possible role that genetics might have to play also entered the research community during the early years as well, but unfortunately genetics was directly associated with the eugenics mindset that started in the United States and was carried out in Germany, and so the focus on psychological aspects of autism continued to dominate for decades.
Another aspect that I personally appreciated is the thoughts that the author has to share regarding autism in developing nations, and the direction that autism treatment might take in coming years, topics that Feinstein presents in the concluding two chapters. And even though I might not necessarily agree with all of his conclusions, he shares a fairly balanced view, and provides hope in the midst of a subject that can be depressing at times. For example, one professional is quoted as saying, after discussing the fact that he has seen children with autism either recover or significantly improve, "Are we going to assume it was a misdiagnosis in each of these cases? Are we prepared to accept that some people can recover from cancer, but not autism? We write these children off ahead of time." Well said.