Attributes of Autism: Historical Perspectives

Unit Code: EUQ652

Contact hours: 12–15

Unit Description

The aim of this foundational unit is to develop your knowledge and understanding of the attributes of autism and how views of autism have changed over time. To do this, the unit employs a historical and evolutionary lens to discuss some key influences on autism that have occurred over the last 100 years and highlights significant shifts in thinking that have occurred over the last 40 years.

In taking you on this historical and evolutionary journey it is hoped you will:

  • Develop a better understanding of how our perspectives of autism and the attributes of autism have been conceptualised over time and how these have evolved and shifted.
  • By tracking these changes in our understanding of autism we can also see how these shifts have influenced changes in diagnostic tools/criteria and changes in prevalence rates.
  • The adoption of this evolutionary lens also encourages us to think about future understandings and directions in autism.


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