Inspired by the often uncomfortable interplay between autistic individuals, parents and professionals in understanding autistic spectrum conditions, Olga Bogdashina uses the concept of Theory of Mind (TOM) to consider these groups' different (and often conflicting) perspectives. TOM is the ability to imagine and make judgements about what others feel and think; its absence in autistic individuals is called 'mindblindness'. This book addresses the 'mindblindness' of people united in their interest in autism but divided by their different angles and perspectives. Divided into four parts, the book first defines autism, then the views of the three main groups working with it - autistic individuals, parents and professionals - under the headings of classifications, diagnosis, causes, development, theories and treatment. By comparing and reconciling the different perspectives in this way, the book helps each group to understand and predict each other's responses and behaviours. This enlightening and innovative book offers a unique way of 'stepping in each other's shoes' and is a valuable resource for all people living or working with autism.
Olga Bogdashina, MA Education (Autism), PhD (Linguistics) has worked extensively in the field of autism as teacher, lecturer and researcher, with a particular interest in sensory-perceptual and communication problems in autism. Since 1994, she has been the director of the first Day Centre for autistic children in Ukraine and the President of the Autism Society, Ukraine. Olga teaches and lectures around the world. She is currently a Visiting Lecturer at Birmingham University and Consultant Psychologist for Services for Adults with Autism, Doncaster, UK. She has a teenage autistic son.