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A Selective Overview Of Issues On Classification, Causation, And Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention For Autism

Lillian V. Pelios, Stein K. Lund

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Autism is a behaviorally defined disorder that comprises a controversial diagnostic category due to heterogeneity in symptomatology, causation, and etiology and significant variance in response to intervention. In this article, the authors provide a brief overview of the clinical category and a summary of diagnostic developments with respect to the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.Regarding causation and etiology, they briefly discuss selected perspectives from the fields of cognitive neuroscience and neuropsychology. The article concludes with a summary of effective behavioral strategies for the treatment of children with autism. This section highlights the importance of early intensive behavioral intervention and includes a discussion of some important aspects of this approach.