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(p. 243) The Autism Spectrum 

(p. 243) The Autism Spectrum
(p. 243) The Autism Spectrum

Marco Del Giudice

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date: 23 October 2020

The chapter discusses autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Autism is defined by a triad of symptoms: impairments in social interaction, impairments in communication, and restricted/repetitive behaviors and interests. After an overview of this disorder, its developmental features, and the main risk factors identified in the epidemiological literature, the chapter critically reviews existing evolutionary models and suggests new directions for research. The final section applies the criteria developed earlier in the book to classify the disorder within the fast-slow-defense (FSD) model and identify functionally distinct subtypes. The author proposes to distinguish between a slow spectrum subtype with normal or high IQ and a major role of common alleles (S-ASD) and a subtype unrelated to life history variation, with high rates of intellectual disability and a major role of rare and de novo mutations (O-ASD).

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