Skip to main content
Kent Academic Repository

So what exactly is autism?

Milton, Damian (2012) So what exactly is autism? . Autism Education Trust, 15 pp. Online article. (KAR id:62698)


Autism was once considered to be an extremely rare ‘disorder’ that affected a tiny proportion of the population, however in recent decades the numbers of those diagnosed as being somewhere on the wider ‘autism spectrum’ has massively increased to an approximated figure of 1 in 100. Autism has been variously described as everything from an evil spirit that robs parents of their children, to a fundamental asset to human evolution as a person with a differing style of thinking. It is no wonder that the ‘enigma’ still evades simplistic description, as scientists and psychologists search in vain for the cause of ‘what it is’. This article attempts to help the reader navigate through the maze of explanations that have been suggested and some of the problems such explanatory models possess. Such a text can never be fully comprehensive however, and so the reader is encouraged to never think that they understand what ‘autism is’, but to strive to understand the ‘autistic people’ they work with as well as they can, and to see this as an ongoing process and mutually respectful interaction.

Item Type: Internet publication
Uncontrolled keywords: Autism, Education, Monotropism, Double empathy problem
Subjects: L Education > LC Special aspects of education > LC4717 Autistic children and youth
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research > Tizard
Depositing User: Damian Milton
Date Deposited: 14 Aug 2017 12:19 UTC
Last Modified: 20 Dec 2021 08:44 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

  • Depositors only (login required):

Total unique views for this document in KAR since July 2020. For more details click on the image.