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Top Researcher Writes on Autism for Britannica; Baron-Cohen, Others, Report on Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment of Widespread Condition
Date:4/30/2010

blank" title="Autism Awareness Month">Autism Awareness Month in the United States, Britannica editors were also keen to highlight the encyclopedia’s broader coverage of autism. It includes a general article about the disorder by Professor Gene Blatt of Boston University School of Medicine, another on “atypical autism,” and a short entry on the history and definition of autism spectrum disorder. Professor Blatt’s article was revised recently to incorporate current estimates of the incidence of autism and new research findings.

There have also been important developments recently in the culture of autism sufferers, who have coalesced into something akin to a civil-rights movement seeking to reduce the social stigma of their condition.

“The adult Asperger community has generated its own term for those who do not have Asperger syndrome or autism: 'neurotypicals,'” writes Baron-Cohen. “This is in part intended to convey that one view of autism spectrum conditions is that they are not a disease or a disorder but simply an atypical form of neurological development, akin to left-handedness. This view is less stigmatizing and makes an important political point—namely, that those individuals whose brains develop and work differently need not be judged to be inferior to the majority. They are simply ‘different.’” He points out, for example, that people with Asperger syndrome are often h
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