What Science Tells Us about Autism Spectrum Disorder Making the Right Choices for Your Child


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What have scientists learned about the causes of autism spectrum disorder?

Why do different kids have such different symptoms, and what are the best ways to deal with them?

Will there ever be a cure?

From leading autism researchers, this accessible guide helps you put the latest advances to work for your unique child. Separating fact from fiction about causes, treatments, and prevention, the book guides you to make lifestyle choices that support the developing brain. From the impact of sleep, exercise, diet, and technology, to which type of professional help might be the right fit, the authors cover it all with expertise and compassion.

Learn about the choices you face–and the steps you can take–to build a happier, healthier life for your child and family.


  • Introduction
  • 1. A New Understanding of Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • 2. What Are the Essential Features That Define the Autism Spectrum?
  • 3. What Causes Autism?
  • 4. How Does the Brain Develop Differently in Autism?
  • 5. What Are the Best Practices for Helping a Child with Autism?
  • 6. Exercise, Sleep, and ASD
  • 7. Gastrointestinal and Feeding Problems, Food, and Diet in ASD
  • 8. Technology and ASD: Latest Findings on the Peril and the Promise
  • 9. Adolescence and Autism
  • 10. Adulthood and Autism
  • 11. Tying It All Together Resources

Author Bio:

Raphael A. Bernier, PhD, is Affiliate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioural Sciences at the University of Washington (UW), where he was formerly Associate Director of the Center on Human Development and Disability and the William J. and Lydia N. Gumerman Endowed Chair in Child Psychiatry. He was also formerly Executive Director of the Seattle Children’s Autism Center. Dr. Bernier is an active clinician and researcher whose work focuses on how autism develops, how the brain is involved, and ways to improve the quality of life of individuals with autism spectrum disorder and their families. He is the author of more than 100 scientific articles and book chapters.

Geraldine Dawson, PhD, is the William Cleland Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioural Sciences, Director of the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences, and Director of the Duke Center for Autism and Brain Development at Duke University. She served as Founding Director of the University of Washington Autism Center. An internationally recognized autism expert with a focus on early detection, intervention, and brain plasticity in autism.

Joel T. Nigg, PhD, is Director of the Division of Psychology and Professor of Psychiatry, Pediatrics, and Behavioural Neuroscience at Oregon Health and Science University. He is widely recognized for his research on the neuropsychological and biological correlates of children’s neurodevelopmental problems, including work on developmental connections of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism spectrum disorder. Dr. Nigg is a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science and past president of the International Society for Research in Child and Adolescent Psychopathology.