Encyclopedia of Sciences and Religions

2013 Edition
| Editors: Anne L. C. Runehov, Lluis Oviedo

Autism

  • Simon Baron-Cohen
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-8265-8_100

Related Terms

 Autistic thinking

Autism is a spectrum condition, meaning that it is manifested to varying degrees of severity. At one extreme, a person may have no social skills, no language, and major learning difficulties. At the other extreme, the individual may have average or even above average IQ, precocious vocabulary (though a lack of interest in small-talk or chatting), and odd social skills (being one-sided or extremely self-centered). The former would receive a diagnosis of classic autism. The latter would receive a diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome (AS). Both of these are subgroups on the autistic spectrum. Both also share a strong preference for routines and repetition, and “obsessional” interest in highly specific topics.

The empathizing-systemizing (E-S) theory proposes that there are empathizing deficits in autism, while systemizing is either intact or superior. Empathy involves imagining another person’s thoughts and feelings, and having an appropriate emotional reaction...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. Baron-Cohen, S. (2008). Autism and Asperger syndrome: The facts. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Autism Research Centre, Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Cambridge, Douglas HouseCambridgeUK