The Many Faces of Asperger's Syndrome

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Maria Rhode, Trudy Klauber
Karnac, 2004 - Psychology - 302 pages
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This pioneering book is a multidisciplinary collection of papers from psychiatrists, psychologists and child psychotherapists that aims to address the issue of variation within the diagnostic category of Asperger's Syndrome. Until now, books on the subject have been written from an organicist/cognitive viewpoint with few papers from a psychoanalytically informed basis, despite an increasing number of child psychotherapists treating children and adolescents with the syndrome. Children diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome share core anxieties but present a wide spectrum of strikingly different character traits and coping devices. There exists considerable overlap with other conditions such as Attention Deficit (Hyperactivity) Disorder, Borderline Personality, Schizoid Personality Disorder and psychopathy.

The collection boasts a new translation of Asperger's original paper and a historical review of the changing psychiatric perspectives on Asperger's Syndrome, including recollections from Lionel Hersov, a personal acquaintance of Asperger. A child psychotherapist provides a commentary on Asperger's paper from the perspective of recent developments in the psychoanalytic treatment of children with autistic spectrum disorders. Cognitive approaches are reviewed and compared and contrasted to psychoanalytic theory. Two first-person accounts are included and studied as to how they link with and differ to psychoanalytic theory and the case study of a 10-year-old boy is discussed in relation to various diagnostic criteria.

This groundbreaking book will be of interest to mental health professionals, teachers and all those concerned with Asperger's Syndrome.

Contributors include Anne Alvarez, Lionel Hersov, Sally Hodges, Trudy Klauber, Maria Rhode, Judy Shuttleworth, David Simpson.

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About the author (2004)

Maria Rhode is Professor of Child Psychotherapy at the Tavistock Clinic and the University of East London. She is co-editor of Psychotic States in Children (1997), and is currently working on an early intervention project for toddlers with communication difficulties.

Trudy Klauber is a Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist at the Tavistock Clinic where she is Organising Tutor of the MA in Psychoanalytic Observational Studies. She lectures and teaches in Europe and the USA, and is particularly interested in the significance of trauma in work with extremely disturbed children and with parents. She has been a guest editor of The International Journal of Infant Observation and has contributed chapters to several books.

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