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Over the years, I suspect I have heard far more about autism than about any other developmental disorder, even those that affect greater numbers. Hundreds of press releases that end with 'such research may lead to early diagnosis of conditions such as autism'; countless conference presentations; dozens of broadsheet articles from parents of a child with the condition. But do I have a true picture of the person, the realities behind the myths?
Although some people with autism fight against labelling it a 'puzzle' (see www.unpuzzled.net), for many psychologists that is surely what it remains. Across this special issue (taking in all our regular formats as well as a set of articles), we consider how scientific approaches to autism have changed, and we get to meet people with autism and their relatives. As Uta Frith (p.744) says, 'Only by putting together many different viewpoints will we eventually know what autism is really like'.
As ever, please share your views via [email protected].
Dr Jon Sutton
Managing Editor @psychmag
Autism - are we any closer to explaining the enigma?
Uta Frith introduces the special issue
Autism - myth and reality
Christian Jarrett talks to researchers, people with autism and their relatives
Combining the old and the new
Jon Brock looks at Bayesian and predictive coding accounts of autistic cognition
Risk and resilience in the developing brain
Mayada Elsabbagh looks at lessons from autism
New voices: What is autism anyway?
Eilidh Cage with the latest in our series for budding writers
Policing tactics; reporting suicide; child protection; faith-based organisations; and more
President's column; Lifetime Achievement Award; understanding psychosis; Society hubs; autism and the criminal justice system; and more
The assisted dying debate; expertise and being a woman; memory; dyslexia; EMDR; practitioner titles; sex offenders; obituaries; and more
Autistic traits and altruism; Google Glass; media reports of terrorism; and much more from our free Research Digest (see www.researchdigest.org.uk/blog)
Our editor Jon Sutton talks to Francesca HappÃ© about autism, DSM-5, women in science and more
We meet Stella Acquarone as part of our autism special issue; Aidan Horner on his 'negative CV'; and Nick Hatton on an unusual PhD setting
'My son's not Rainman': John Williams on being a parent of 'The Boy' with autism
One on one
with Simon Baron-Cohen, Director of the Autism Research Centre in Cambridge
Eye on fiction: Generic images of autism
Douwe Draaisma on stereotypes in novels, films and real life
The Man with His Head in the Clouds; We are All Completely Beside Ourselves; should research fraud be a criminal offence?; and more, in our 'Reviews' section
A continuing journey. Patricia Howlin considers where more than 70 years of research and intervention has left us in understanding autism
Nine years ago
Go to www.thepsychologist.org.uk for our archive, including Sergio Della Sala on 'the anarchic hand'
Big picture centre-page pull-out
An image by William Tipple, a 15-year-old with autism. Comment from Uta Frith