Uta Frith

Autism: Explaining the Enigma (Coll. Opus) Publication date : March 1, 1996

Why do certain children live walled in by silence, cut off from the world and others? What is the reason for this mystery called autism? Subject to conflict and fantasy, the painful subject of autism has long aroused the interest of researchers, and has become the source of a number of myths. In this book, Uta Frith presents the first general theory to really express the workings of the autistic mind. Autism is not an illness that results from family conflict, a lack of affection or early childhood suffering. Rather, it is the product of perturbed cognitive development which prevents the child from forming a coherent image of the world, a representation of his own thoughts and desires, and in particular those of others. By remaining outside the controversy, Uta Frith succeeds in lifting a corner of the veil that shrouds this illness. Finally we can begin to fathom the "empty fortress".

Psychologist Uta Frith is a member of a study group on cognitive development at the Medical Research Council of Cambridge.