I went to a really interesting conference this week on developments in autism research - specifically the biology of autism. The work of Courchesne seems very interesting and the idea of the spectrum being a little misguided also came up - ie there is autism full stop. But sometimes it is accompanied by language or intellectual impairment.
The focus is very much on this being a developmental disorder and the function of genes so children develop differently and what a child is at 4 may not naturally be what a child will be at 11 and the idea of 'emergers' based on a genetic predisposition.
Very interesting, very scathing about 'theory of mind' and a back to basics about the biological nature of autism reflecting the earlier findings of Kanner and Asperger. Kanner also spotted 'emergers' at a time when there was really no expensive therapeutic inputs.
Just flagging it up in case anyone is interested. Courchesne speaks on You tube if you google it.
that was really fascinating -- and I got the ironing done! but in this particular talk he doesn't mention "emergers" - do you mean that in some asd children, social or language skills will eventually emerge the way they would in a neurotypical child? I'd like to hear more as I have recently been treated to "oh once he is comfortable in secondary school, he will naturally develop organisational skills etc" of course my argument is that he needs support to develop these skills not just help with the transition.