Social and Interpersonal Needs

  • Lorna Wing
Part of the Current Issues in Autism book series (CIAM)


The question of the specificity of the classic autistic syndrome as first defined by Kanner (1943) is still under discussion. Some workers believe it to be a separate entity while others consider it as part of a wider range of handicaps involving abnormalities of language and social communication. Wing and Gould (1979) used an operational definition to cover autism and autistic-like conditions—that is, absence or impairment of comprehension and use of nonverbal and verbal communication (especially the former), of two-way social interaction, and of imaginative development, with the substitution of repetitive, stereotyped activities in place of flexible pretend play. The present chapter will be concerned with adolescents with these problems, regardless of intelligence level or presence of other handicaps, or of underlying cause, since whether or not autism is eventually proved to be unique and specific, all the syndromes that fit the more general description given above present many similar problems of management. There are differences in behavior and in prognosis between individuals with these handicaps, but these are more clearly related to factors, to be discussed later, other than the presence or absence of all the features of the classic autistic picture. The word “autistic” will be used for convenience, but in this chapter will cover the whole range of related conditions.


Behavior Problem Social Contact Autistic Child Care Giver Pretend Play 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lorna Wing
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of PsychiatryMedical Research Council Social Psychiatry UnitLondonEngland

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