Helping Autistic Children
den Houting, Jacquiline
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Davis, R., den Houting, J., Nordahl-Hansen, A. and Fletcher-Watson, S. (2022) 'Helping Autistic Children', in P.K. Smith and C.H. Hart (eds.) The Wiley‐Blackwell Handbook of Childhood Social Development, 3rd ed. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell, pp. 729-746.
Given the emphasis on social and communication difficulties in the diagnostic criteria of autism, and the pivotal role they play in development generally, these domains are commonly key targets for autism interventions. This chapter provides an overview of different types of traditional social interventions, and evaluate their effectiveness and validity. It also presents some of the possible risks associated with such interventions, and suggests a number of means for autistic children to develop social and communication capacities on their own terms, in both family and educational settings. There are well-established racial disparities in autism diagnosis: Black and Hispanic children have historically been less likely to receive an autism diagnosis, compared to White children. The chapter concludes by considering some other factors essential for understanding the social development of autistic children in context, and informing development and delivery of supports.