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(p. 77) Commentary 

(p. 77) Commentary
Chapter:
(p. 77) Commentary
Author(s):

Michael E. Kelley

DOI:
10.1093/med:psych/9780199733668.003.0021
Page of

date: 12 November 2019

Willams, Greenwald, and Seniuk provide a systematic description of a case study involving one individual who exhibited symptoms consistent with a diagnosis of autism. One of the most interesting features of this case description is that Jorge exhibited many of the types of behavioral excesses and deficits found in individuals diagnosed with autism. In a sense, Jorge is a prototypical individual diagnosed with autism because he provides clear-cut examples of the excesses and deficits that are often described by parents, teachers, and caregivers. On the other hand, one of the confusing aspects of autism is that several individuals diagnosed with autism may present with very different symptoms. Specifically, some individuals may engage in vocal speech, while others may not. Some individuals may establish specific routines or repetitive behaviors that are difficult to compete with, and others may not. Some individuals may seek out some social interaction; others may tolerate social interaction, at best, while others will purposely avoid social interaction. Some individuals may develop significant food selectivity. There are several other possible symptom clusters that might covary among individuals diagnosed with autism. Simply considering the above potential symptom presentations, it becomes exceedingly clear that diagnosing autism and subsequent assessment and treatment of the core and associated behavioral deficits and excesses of autism are an exceedingly difficult set of tasks....

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