Catalogue


Understanding autism [electronic resource] : parents, doctors, and the history of a disorder /
Chloe Silverman.
imprint
Princeton : Princeton University Press, c2012.
description
x, 340 p. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
9780691150468 (acid-free)
format(s)
Book
More Details
imprint
Princeton : Princeton University Press, c2012.
isbn
9780691150468 (acid-free)
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
catalogue key
8848302
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 313-327) and index.
A Look Inside
Excerpts
Flap Copy
"Too few books tell the history of autism. Chloe Silverman bravely takes this on, without avoiding the difficult eras in this history. Sensitively exploring Bruno Bettelheim and Andrew Wakefields involvement, while skillfully painting the evolution of modern genetic theory, Silverman describes even the more controversial treatments with a sense of balance and calm. Her book unearths new insights."-- Simon Baron-Cohen, University of Cambridge "This fascinating book combines historical perspective with ethnographic investigation of the grassroots autism movement. What unites past and present is the unwavering power of parents to influence the dizzying array of theories, practices, and interventions that have been advanced in response to the challenges posed by autistic children. Parental love and labor, long overshadowed by scientific discovery and professional authority, finally take center stage. Silverman makes a persuasive case for the interdependence of affect and objectivity in autisms dramatic narrative."-- Ellen Herman, University of Oregon "This timely book traces the history of autism as a diagnostic category, the various ways that researchers, practitioners, and parent activists have interpreted and acted upon autism, and some of the current controversies surrounding this contested diagnosis. With sensitivity and respect, Silverman makes a significant contribution by addressing seriously the role of love in the production of scientific knowledge, the practice of biomedicine, and the advocacy and research of parents."-- Gail H. Landsman, author of Reconstructing Motherhood and Disability in the Age of "Perfect" Babies
Flap Copy
"This fascinating book combines historical perspective with ethnographic investigation of the grassroots autism movement. What unites past and present is the unwavering power of parents to influence the dizzying array of theories, practices, and interventions that have been advanced in response to the challenges posed by autistic children. Parental love and labor, long overshadowed by scientific discovery and professional authority, finally take center stage. Silverman makes a persuasive case for the interdependence of affect and objectivity in autism's dramatic narrative."--Ellen Herman, University of Oregon "This timely book traces the history of autism as a diagnostic category, the various ways that researchers, practitioners, and parent activists have interpreted and acted upon autism, and some of the current controversies surrounding this contested diagnosis. With sensitivity and respect, Silverman makes a significant contribution by addressing seriously the role of love in the production of scientific knowledge, the practice of biomedicine, and the advocacy and research of parents."--Gail H. Landsman, author of Reconstructing Motherhood and Disability in the Age of "Perfect" Babies
Flap Copy
"Too few books tell the history of autism. Chloe Silverman bravely takes this on, without avoiding the difficult eras in this history. Sensitively exploring Bruno Bettelheim and Andrew Wakefield's involvement, while skillfully painting the evolution of modern genetic theory, Silverman describes even the more controversial treatments with a sense of balance and calm. Her book unearths new insights."--Simon Baron-Cohen, University of Cambridge "This fascinating book combines historical perspective with ethnographic investigation of the grassroots autism movement. What unites past and present is the unwavering power of parents to influence the dizzying array of theories, practices, and interventions that have been advanced in response to the challenges posed by autistic children. Parental love and labor, long overshadowed by scientific discovery and professional authority, finally take center stage. Silverman makes a persuasive case for the interdependence of affect and objectivity in autism's dramatic narrative."--Ellen Herman, University of Oregon "This timely book traces the history of autism as a diagnostic category, the various ways that researchers, practitioners, and parent activists have interpreted and acted upon autism, and some of the current controversies surrounding this contested diagnosis. With sensitivity and respect, Silverman makes a significant contribution by addressing seriously the role of love in the production of scientific knowledge, the practice of biomedicine, and the advocacy and research of parents."--Gail H. Landsman, author of Reconstructing Motherhood and Disability in the Age of "Perfect" Babies
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2012-05-01:
Silverman (Penn State) provides a very good account of autism; knowledgeable readers will find themselves nodding along with the details. The author excellently portrays the relationship of autism with its social history. However, the book's title is misleading since it does not provide an understanding of autism but rather a synopsis. The emphasis on love in the first half of the book becomes redundant very quickly. Part 2 provides a chronologically ordered summary of the scope of the scientific research that has been conducted over the decades. The author includes some extremely effective details, such as describing the process of healing as a journey and how "parents using biomedical treatments take part in a longstanding US culture of childrearing." This is nothing new as far as data go, but it feels therapeutic and validating. Chapter 6 addresses the controversy surrounding immunizations and autism, including Andrew Wakefield's report. This chapter did not effectively convey the desperation that many parents feel, including how researchers, medical professionals, and even celebrities take advantage of this desperation. The book completely ignores the fact that many parents are now facing a situation where their autistic children are becoming young adults, with few productive choices available. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above; general audiences. J. L. Young Luzerne County Community College
Reviews
Review Quotes
Silverman provides a very good account of autism; knowledgeable readers will find themselves nodding along with the details. The author excellently portrays the relationship of autism with its social history. -- "Choice
Silverman's book presents a vivid picture of the ongoing and somewhat dialectical (in the Hegelian sense) relationship between parents of autistic children and professionals who specialize in autism.
" Understanding Autism provides a much-needed and thorough history of autism. In addition, it makes a convincing case for incorporating affective relationships into science and technology studies and our understandings of the foundational elements of expertise. At moments in the book, however, the tension between affect and science are incompletely resolved. These moments of tension will likely prove elucidating in future research."-- Marissa King, American Journal of Sociology
Silverman provides a very good account of autism; knowledgeable readers will find themselves nodding along with the details. The author excellently portrays the relationship of autism with its social history.
"Silverman provides a very good account of autism; knowledgeable readers will find themselves nodding along with the details. The author excellently portrays the relationship of autism with its social history."-- Choice
For Chloe Silverman, 'understanding autism' means understanding how autism has become a diagnostic category and why for some people, in autism advocacy groups for example, it isn't a pathology at all but just a different way of seeing the world. . . . Silverman's remarkable book is a testimony to the difference parents of autistic children have made to the understanding of autism, and it also has things to say about the difference a parent's understanding can make to understanding many other things that children suffer from. -- Adam Phillips, London Review of Books
"Silverman's book presents a vivid picture of the ongoing and somewhat dialectical (in the Hegelian sense) relationship between parents of autistic children and professionals who specialize in autism."-- W. R. Albury, Bulletin of the History of Medicine
Understanding Autism provides a much-needed and thorough history of autism. In addition, it makes a convincing case for incorporating affective relationships into science and technology studies and our understandings of the foundational elements of expertise. At moments in the book, however, the tension between affect and science are incompletely resolved. These moments of tension will likely prove elucidating in future research.
Autism remains a contested condition, and given the steep rise in research, diagnosis rates and media coverage, the debate is set to run and run. Science historian Chloe Silverman gives a balanced, sensitive social history of autism that unflinchingly covers many controversial byways. She explores the theory and biomedical advances, and how gene banks, schools and autism organizations have enriched understanding--augmented by parents of children with autism, whose experiences have informed and inspired much research.
"Autism remains a contested condition, and given the steep rise in research, diagnosis rates and media coverage, the debate is set to run and run. Science historian Chloe Silverman gives a balanced, sensitive social history of autism that unflinchingly covers many controversial byways. She explores the theory and biomedical advances, and how gene banks, schools and autism organizations have enriched understanding--augmented by parents of children with autism, whose experiences have informed and inspired much research."-- Nature
Autism remains a contested condition, and given the steep rise in research, diagnosis rates and media coverage, the debate is set to run and run. Science historian Chloe Silverman gives a balanced, sensitive social history of autism that unflinchingly covers many controversial byways. She explores the theory and biomedical advances, and how gene banks, schools and autism organizations have enriched understanding--augmented by parents of children with autism, whose experiences have informed and inspired much research. -- Nature
Comprehensive, well annotated, and fascinating to read, Understanding Autism will appeal to readers from a broad variety of disciplines. Silverman provides an honest and refreshing perspective on encouraging dialogue about a condition that will likely continue to be in the public spotlight for decades to come.
"Comprehensive, well annotated, and fascinating to read, Understanding Autism will appeal to readers from a broad variety of disciplines. Silverman provides an honest and refreshing perspective on encouraging dialogue about a condition that will likely continue to be in the public spotlight for decades to come."-- Science
Comprehensive, well annotated, and fascinating to read, Understanding Autism will appeal to readers from a broad variety of disciplines. Silverman provides an honest and refreshing perspective on encouraging dialogue about a condition that will likely continue to be in the public spotlight for decades to come. -- Science
For Chloe Silverman, 'understanding autism' means understanding how autism has become a diagnostic category and why for some people, in autism advocacy groups for example, it isn't a pathology at all but just a different way of seeing the world. . . . Silverman's remarkable book is a testimony to the difference parents of autistic children have made to the understanding of autism, and it also has things to say about the difference a parent's understanding can make to understanding many other things that children suffer from.
"For Chloe Silverman, 'understanding autism' means understanding how autism has become a diagnostic category and why for some people, in autism advocacy groups for example, it isn't a pathology at all but just a different way of seeing the world. . . . Silverman's remarkable book is a testimony to the difference parents of autistic children have made to the understanding of autism, and it also has things to say about the difference a parent's understanding can make to understanding many other things that children suffer from."-- Adam Phillips, London Review of Books
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, May 2012
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Summaries
Main Description
Autism has attracted a great deal of attention in recent years, thanks to dramatically increasing rates of diagnosis, extensive organizational mobilization, journalistic coverage, biomedical research, and clinical innovation. Understanding Autism , a social history of the expanding diagnostic category of this contested illness, takes a close look at the role of emotion--specifically, of parental love--in the intense and passionate work of biomedical communities investigating autism. Chloe Silverman tracks developments in autism theory and practice over the past half-century and shows how an understanding of autism has been constituted and stabilized through vital efforts of schools, gene banks, professional associations, government committees, parent networks, and treatment conferences. She examines the love and labor of parents, who play a role in developing--in conjunction with medical experts--new forms of treatment and therapy for their children. While biomedical knowledge is dispersed through an emotionally neutral, technical language that separates experts from laypeople, parental advocacy and activism call these distinctions into question. Silverman reveals how parental care has been a constant driver in the volatile field of autism research and treatment, and has served as an inspiration for scientific change. Recognizing the importance of parental knowledge and observations in treating autism, this book reveals that effective responses to the disorder demonstrate the mutual interdependence of love and science.
Bowker Data Service Summary
Autism has attracted a great deal of attention in recent years. 'Understanding Autism,' a social history of the expanding diagnostic category of this contested illness, takes a close look at role of emotion - specifically, parental love - in the intense and passionate work of biomedical communitites investigating autism.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introduction: Love as an Analytic Toolp. 1
Research Programs, "Autistic Disturbances," and Human Differencep. 29
Love Is Not Enough: Bruno Bettelheim, Infantile Autism, and Psychoanalytic Childhoodsp. 61
Expert Amateurs: Raising and Treating Children with Autismp. 93
Inerlude Parents Speak The Art of Love and the Ethics of Carep. 125
Brains, Pedigrees, and Promises: Lessons from the Politics of Autism Geneticsp. 141
Desperate and Rational: Parents and Professionals in Autism Researchp. 167
Pandoras Box: Immunizations, Parental Obligations, and Toxic Factsp. 197
Conclusion: What the World Needs Now: Learning About and Acting on Autism Researchp. 229
Notesp. 237
Bibliographyp. 313
Indexp. 329
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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