Drawing from the author’s extensive clinical experience, this autism casebook offers stimulating reflections and a fresh perspective on how we assess, diagnose, and ultimately treat young children thought to be autistic.

Challenging what she perceives as the rampant over-diagnosis and misdiagnosis of autism, and the commonly accepted status of autism as an unchangeable trait, Dr. Levin Fox illustrates how the developmental play strategies of DIRFloortime, combined with the creative psychological perspective of Reuven Feuerstein, create an effective way of identifying the child's strengths behind the autistic symptoms. The chapters are an accessible mix of clinical insights, theoretical reflections and vivid case stories that argue and illustrate that qualitative assessment methods based on play have the power to yield a more accurate clinical understanding of a child's difficulties—and strengths—than conventional symptom-focused autism assessment methods.

This engaging casebook will stimulate practitioners, educators and students in the field of autism to question commonly held assumptions when assessing and treating autistic children, as it both urges and illustrates more reflective practice. Parents of children considered autistic will find renewed encouragement and hope in these enlightening case stories.

chapter |11 pages


A Call from the Trenches

part I|74 pages


chapter 1|11 pages


Misdiagnosis and the Burden of Doubt

chapter 2|12 pages


The Specter of Early Diagnosis

chapter 3|12 pages


Emergence from the Shadows

chapter 4|8 pages


A Longer Journey

chapter 5|13 pages


Was it Too Late?

chapter 6|6 pages


Talk to Your Child

chapter 7|4 pages


The Impact of Oral Dyspraxia

chapter 8|6 pages


Developmental Drama

part II|121 pages

Theoretical Groundings

chapter 11|11 pages

DIRFloortime Basics

chapter 12|20 pages

Islets of Normalcy Revisited

chapter 13|17 pages

The DSM on Autism

A Closer Look

chapter 14|4 pages

Autistiform but Not Autistic

chapter 15|19 pages

Toward a Paradigm Shift

chapter 16|19 pages

Concluding Reflections