Edward R. Ritvo MD is an internationally recognized medical expert, researcher and pioneer in the field of autism and Asperger's disorder, and co-author of the official diagnostic criteria in the DSM ("Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders"). Much of what is known about these disorders today is based on his painstaking research and groundbreaking discoveries. In this book, he shares his forty years' experience and opens his extensive UCLA casebook to the reader. "Understanding the Nature of Autism and Asperger's Disorder" is 'a consultation with Prof. Ritvo' - a thoroughly accessible introduction for professionals, families, spouses and individuals with autism and Asperger's Disorder. Prof. Ritvo traces the historical development of understanding about autism and Asperger's Disorder, from the centuries of misdiagnoses and the first recognition of the characteristics of the disorders to his own highly-regarded methods for making a diagnosis. Drawing on case histories from forty years' of clinical practice, he explains their basic nature, what the causes are, what is different in the brain, treatments that work (and those that don't), what a child with a diagnosis might be like when he or she grows up, and what future research may hold. This book will be an absolute must-read for anyone with an interest in autism and Asperger's Disorder, whether a practitioner, a parent, a student, or an affected individual. About the Author Edward R. Ritvo is Professor Emeritus at the UCLA School of Medicine in California, USA. He began his 'quest for understanding' of autism and Asperger's disorder in 1963, and has been on the research trail ever since.