Book: A Practical Guide to Mental Health Problems in Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder

Book Title:

A Practical Guide to Mental Health Problems in Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder: It’s Not Just Their Autism!.

Author(s): Alvina Ali, Michelle O’Reilly, and Khalid Karim.

Year: 2013.

Edition: First (1st).

Publisher: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Type(s): Paperback and Kindle.


Exploring the relationship between ASD and mental health difficulties, this book offers practical guidance to help parents and professionals recognise and handle co-morbid conditions, and dispels the myth that they are just a part of autism. The authors cover a wide range of common mental health problems experienced by children with ASD, including Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), anxiety, ADHD, eating disorders, psychosis, stress, tics and depression, and illustrate these issues with case studies. They also provide vital advice in an accessible format and suggest strategies to ease the difficulties which arise from these co-morbid conditions. This book is essential reading for professionals working with children on the autism spectrum and is an accessible and practical resource for parents and carers.

Book: A Guide to Mental Health Issues in Girls and Young Women on the Autism Spectrum

Book Title:

A Guide to Mental Health Issues in Girls and Young Women on the Autism Spectrum: Diagnosis, Intervention and Family Support.

Author(s): Judy Eaton.

Year: 2017.

Edition: First (1st).

Publisher: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Type(s): Paperback and Kindle.


This book addresses the specific mental health needs of girls and young women with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Looking at the ways autism presents differently in girls than in boys, and the mental health conditions that occur most frequently in girls with ASD, this is the essential guide for clinicians and educators on tailoring interventions and support to meet girls’ needs.

Describing the current assessment process for autism diagnosis, the book explains why girls are under- or mis-diagnosed, leading to later mental health issues. It outlines the types of intervention that are particularly helpful for working with girls to reduce anxiety, improve social interaction skills, and manage self-harm. The book also covers how to manage eating disorders and feeding difficulties, focusing on working with girls with sensory processing difficulties. There is advice on how to deal with the emotional impact on parents, carers and families, and the challenges they face when negotiating appropriate psychological and educational support.

In Vogue: ASD

Research Paper Title

What is Austism?


The term “Autism spectrum disorder” (ASD), in vogue at present, has evolved after continual substantial developments taking place over more than a century.

ASD is a heterogeneous, multi-factorial, developmental disability in which an unusual pattern of development takes place during infant and toddler years.

As per DSM-5, Autism spectrum disorder is a combined phrase for a family of complex developmental disabilities inclusive of “Autistic Disorder, Pervasive Developmental Disorder not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS), and Asperger’s Disorder”.

“ASD is characterized not only by persistent impairments in reciprocal social communication and social interactions, but is also manifested by restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities”.

The classical clinical signs that exist in two major domains, viz. the ‘social domain’ and the ‘behavioral domain’ for the precise diagnosis of ASD have been tabulated and major differences between DSM-5 and DSM-4 are depicted with the help of a figure in this basic review article.

A sharp rise in the incidence of ASD cases has been observed worldwide owing to various risk factors such as genetic predisposition coupled with adverse environmental conditions, gynaecological interventions, etc.

Two official manuals viz. the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders” (DSM) (published by the American Psychiatric Association), and the “International Classification of Diseases” (ICD) (published by the World Health Organization) is being regularly updated to facilitate diagnosis of ASD.

ICD-11 guidelines being prospectively implemented with effect from January 2022 have attracted global attention.


Joon, P., Kumar, A. & Parle, M. (2021) What is Autism? Pharmacological Reports. doi: 10.1007/s43440-021-00244-0. Online ahead of print.

Book: A Clinician’s Guide to Mental Health Conditions in Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Assessment and Interventions

Book Title:

A Clinician’s Guide to Mental Health Conditions in Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Assessment and Interventions.

Author(s): Eddie Chaplin, Debbie Spain, and Jane McCarthy.

Year: 2019.

Edition: First (1st).

Publisher: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Type(s): Paperback and Kindle.


This comprehensive and much-needed guide addresses the issues faced by clinicians in assessing and treating the range of mental health conditions, which can affect adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Its particular focus on adults fills a notable gap in the ASD professional literature, with an extensive array of contributors from across the psychology and healthcare professions.

Covering a wide variety of common co-occurring mental health conditions including mood disorders, anxiety, psychosis, OCD, personality disorders, and eating disorders, this guide also explores broader issues to do with promoting positive mental health and wellbeing. Authoritative and detailed, this is an essential resource for all clinicians and professionals looking to understand and tailor their approach to mental health in autistic adults, and the need for specific methods and strategies to enhance assessment and treatment.

Book: Right from the Start – A Practical Guide for Helping Young Children with Autism

Book Title:

Right from the Start – A Practical Guide for Helping Young Children with Autism.

Author(s): Karin Donahue and Kate Crassons.

Year: 2019.

Edition: First (1st), Illustrated Edition.

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

Type(s): Hardcover and Kindle.


Right from the Start: A Practical Guide for Helping Young Children with Autism asserts that autistic children can be successful when parents and teachers understand key principles of autism and have the tools to help these children expand their social and emotional skills. This book explains the importance of self-regulation, the ability to moderate our feelings and reactions. In prioritising this essential skill, Right from the Start is an indispensable resource for parents, professionals, and educators. It describes practical strategies to help children manage their emotions and behaviour, learn social and play skills, and cope with challenging sensory experiences. With these techniques, we can lay a positive foundation that enables autistic children to be confident and successful in any environment.

On This Day … 09 December

People (Births)

  • 1926 – Jan Křesadlo, Czech-English psychologist and author (d. 1995).
  • 1972 – Saima Wazed Hossain, Bangladeshi psychologist.

Jan Kresadlo

Václav Jaroslav Karel Pinkava (09 December 1926 to 13 August 1995), better known by his pen name Jan Křesadlo, was a Czech psychologist who was also a prizewinning novelist and poet.

An anti-communist, Pinkava emigrated to Britain with his wife and four children following the 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia by the Soviet-led armies of the Warsaw pact. He worked as a clinical psychologist until his early retirement in 1982, when he turned to full-time writing. His first novel “Mrchopěvci” (GraveLarks) was published by Josef Škvorecký’s emigre publishing house 68 Publishers, and earned the 1984 Egon Hostovský prize.

He chose his pseudonym (which means firesteel) partly because it contains the uniquely Czech sound ř; in addition, he was fond of creating more pseudonyms such as Jake Rolands (an anagram), J. K. Klement (after his grandfather, for translations into English), Juraj Hron (for his Slovak-Moravian writings), Ferdinand Lučovický z Lučovic a na Suchým dole (for his music), Kamil Troud (for his illustrations), Ἰωάννης Πυρεῖα (for his Astronautilia), and more.

Pinkava was also active in choral music, composing (among others) a Glagolitic Mass. As well, he worked in mathematical logic, discovering the many-valued logic algebra which bears his name.

A polymath and polyglot, Pinkava was fond of setting intense goals for himself, such as translating Jaroslav Seifert’s interwoven sonnet cycle about Prague, ‘A Wreath of Sonnets’. He published a collection of his own poems in seven languages. Perhaps his most staggering achievement is ΑΣΤΡΟΝΑΥΤΙΛΙΑ Hvězdoplavba, a 6575-line science fiction epic poem, an odyssey in classical Homeric Greek, with its parallel hexameter translation into Czech. This was published shortly after his death, in a limited edition. Only his first, prize-winning novel has been published in English translation, as GraveLarks in a bilingual edition in 1999 and in a revised edition in 2015.

He is the father of film director Jan Pinkava who received an Oscar for Geri’s Game in 1998 and also illustrated GraveLarks.

Saima Wazed

Saima Wazed Hossain (born 09 December 1972) is a Bangladeshi autism activist. She is the daughter of Bangladesh’s Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina. She is a member of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) 25-member Expert Advisory Panel on mental health. To her family, she is known simply as “Putul”.

Early Life and Education

She was born to Sheikh Hasina, the present Prime Minister of Bangladesh, and M.A. Wazed Miah, a nuclear scientist. Her brother is Sajeeb Wazed Joy. She graduated from Barry University. She is a licensed school psychologist.


She organized the first South Asian conference on Autism in 2011 in Dhaka, Bangladesh. She is the chairperson of National Advisory Committee on Autism and Neurodevelopmental disorders. She campaigned for “Comprehensive and Coordinated Efforts for the Management of Autism Spectrum Disorders” resolution at the World Health Assembly which adopted the resolution, Autism Speaks praised her for spearheading “a truly global push for support for this resolution”.

In November, 2016, Wazed had been elected as chairperson of International Jury Board meeting of UNESCO for Digital Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities.

In April 2017, Wazed has been designated as WHO Champion for Autism” in South-East Asia. In July, 2017 she became the Goodwill Ambassador of the WHO for autism in South-East Asia Region.


In 2016, Wazed has conferred WHO’s South-East Asia Region Award for Excellence in Public Health. In 2017, she has been awarded the International Champion Award for her outstanding contribution to the field of autism. She received a distinguished alumni award from Barry University for her activism.

On This Day … 11 November

People (Births)

  • 1891 – Grunya Sukhareva, Ukrainian-Russian psychiatrist and university lecturer (d. 1981).

People (Deaths)

  • 2002 – Frances Ames, South African neurologist, psychiatrist, and human rights activist (b. 1920).

Grunya Sukhareva

Grunya Efimovna Sukhareva (11 November 1891 to 26 April 1981) was a Soviet child psychiatrist. She was the first to publish a detailed description of autistic symptoms in 1925. The original paper was in Russian and published in German a year later. Sula Wolff translated it in 1996 for the English-speaking world.

She initially used the term “schizoid psychopathy”, “schizoid” meaning “eccentric” at the time, but later replaced it with “autistic (pathological avoidant) psychopathy” to describe the clinical picture of autism. The article was created almost two decades before the case reports of Hans Asperger and Leo Kanner, which were published while Sukhareva’s pioneering work remained unnoticed. This is possibly because of various political and language barriers at the time. Her name was transliterated as “Ssucharewa” when her papers appeared in Germany, and the autism researcher Hans Asperger likely chose not to cite her work, due to his affiliation with the Nazi Party and her Jewish heritage.


Sukhareva was born in Kiev to the Jewish family of Chaim Faitelevich and Rachil Iosifovna Sukhareva. Between 1917 and 1921, she worked in a psychiatric hospital in Kiev. From 1921, she worked in Moscow, and from 1933 to 1935 she was leading the department of Psychiatry in Kharkov University (Kharkov Psychoneurological Institute).

Sukhareva studied autistic children, and described them in a way which has been compared to the modern description of autism in the DSM V. She helped open schools for autistic children where they participated in multiple activities, such as gymnastics, drawing, and woodwork.

In 1935, Sukhareva founded a Faculty of Pediatric Psychiatry in the Central Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education. In 1938, she led a clinic of childhood psychosis under the Russian SFSR Ministry of Agriculture and Food. For many years, she worked as a councillor and leader of the Psychiatric Hospital of Kashchenko in Moscow.

Sukhareva believed that for personality disorders to appear in children and teenagers, a significant social factor was required. Some of the factors she discussed for personality disorders were a poor family environment and societal structure. She was a pioneer in using the method of suggestion, and fought for children’s rights, stating that difficult children should not be sent to labour camps, but to medical institutions. She also studied PTSD from war injuries sustained by children.

By order of the Moscow Department of Health, the Moscow Scientific and Practical Centre for Mental Health of Children and Adolescents was named after Sukhareva, with the prefix G.E. Sukhareva appended to the front. The centre is the leading specialised medical institution for the treatment of suicidal states in children and adolescents under 18 years of age.

Frances Ames

Frances Rix Ames (20 April 1920 to 11 November 2002) was a South African neurologist, psychiatrist, and human rights activist, best known for leading the medical ethics inquiry into the death of anti-apartheid activist Steve Biko, who died from medical neglect after being tortured in police custody. When the South African Medical and Dental Council (SAMDC) declined to discipline the chief district surgeon and his assistant who treated Biko, Ames and a group of five academics and physicians raised funds and fought an eight-year legal battle against the medical establishment. Ames risked her personal safety and academic career in her pursuit of justice, taking the dispute to the South African Supreme Court, where she eventually won the case in 1985.

Born in Pretoria and raised in poverty in Cape Town, Ames became the first woman to receive a Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Cape Town in 1964. Ames studied the effects of cannabis on the brain and published several articles on the subject. Seeing the therapeutic benefits of cannabis on patients in her own hospital, she became an early proponent of legalization for medicinal use. She headed the neurology department at Groote Schuur Hospital before retiring in 1985, but continued to lecture at Valkenberg and Alexandra Hospital. After apartheid was dismantled in 1994, Ames testified at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission about her work on the “Biko doctors” medical ethics inquiry. In 1999, Nelson Mandela awarded Ames the Star of South Africa, the country’s highest civilian award, in recognition of her work on behalf of human rights.

Early Life

Ames was born at Voortrekkerhoogte in Pretoria, South Africa, on 20 April 1920, to Frank and Georgina Ames, the second of three daughters. Her mother, who was raised in a Boer concentration camp by Ames’ grandmother, a nurse in the Second Boer War, was also a nurse. Ames never knew her father, who left her mother alone to raise three daughters in poverty. With her mother unable to care for her family, Ames spent part of her childhood in a Catholic orphanage where she was stricken with typhoid fever. Her mother later rejoined the family and moved them to Cape Town, where Ames attended the Rustenburg School for Girls. She enrolled at the University of Cape Town (UCT) medical school where she received her MBChB degree in 1942.

Medical Career

In Cape Town, Ames interned at Groote Schuur Hospital; she also worked in the Transkei region as a general practitioner. She earned her MD degree in 1964 from UCT, the first woman to do so. Ames became head of the neurology department at Groote Schuur Hospital in 1976. She was made an associate professor in 1978. Ames retired in 1985, but continued to work part-time at both Valkenberg and Alexandra Hospital as a lecturer in the UCT Psychiatry and Mental Health departments. In 1997, UCT made Ames an associate professor emeritus of neurology; she received an honorary doctorate in medicine from UCT in 2001. According to Pat Sidley of the British Medical Journal, Ames “was never made a full professor, and believed that this was because she was a woman.”

Cannabis Research

Ames studied the effects of cannabis in 1958, publishing her work in The British Journal of Psychiatry as “A clinical and metabolic study of acute intoxication with Cannabis sativa and its role in the model psychoses”. Her work is cited extensively throughout the cannabis literature. She opposed the War on Drugs and was a proponent of the therapeutic benefits of cannabis, particularly for people with multiple sclerosis (MS). Ames observed first-hand how cannabis (known as dagga in South Africa) relieved spasm in MS patients and helped paraplegics in the spinal injuries ward of her hospital. She continued to study the effects of cannabis in the 1990s, publishing several articles about cannabis-induced euphoria and the effects of cannabis on the brain.


Ames struggled with leukaemia for some time. Before her death, she told an interviewer, “I shall go on until I drop.” She continued to work for UCT as a part-time lecturer at Valkenberg Hospital until six weeks before she died at home in Rondebosch on 11 November 2002. Representing UCT’s psychiatry department, Greg McCarthy gave the eulogy at the funeral. Ames was cremated, and according to her wishes, her ashes were combined with hemp seed and dispersed outside of Valkenberg Hospital where her memorial service was held.

On This Day … 21 October

People (Deaths)

  • 1980 – Hans Asperger, Austrian physician and psychologist (b. 1906).

Hans Asperger

Johann ‘Hans’ Friedrich Karl Asperger (18 February 1906 to 21 October 1980) was an Austrian paediatrician, eugenicist, medical theorist, and medical professor for whom Asperger syndrome is named.

He is best known for his early studies on mental disorders, specifically in children. His work was largely unnoticed during his lifetime except for a few accolades in Vienna, and his studies on psychological disorders acquired world renown only posthumously. He wrote over 300 publications, mostly concerning a condition he termed autistic psychopathy (AP).

There was a resurgence of interest in his work beginning in the 1980s, and due to his earlier work on autism spectrum disorders, Asperger syndrome (AS), was named after him. Both Asperger’s original paediatric diagnosis of AP and the eponymous diagnosis of AS that was named after him several decades later have been controversial.

The controversy has intensified since revelations that, during the Nazi years, Asperger sent at least two disabled children to the Am Spiegelgrund clinic, knowing they would be the subject of cruel experiments and be likely to be euthanised under the Nazi programme named, post-bellum, ‘Aktion T4’.

Book: Family Therapy and The Autism Spectrum

Book Title:

Family Therapy and The Autism Spectrum – Autism Conversations In Narrative Practice.

Author(s): Marilyn J. Montero.

Year: 2016.

Edition: First (1st).

Publisher: Routledge.

Type(s): Hardcover, Paperback, and Kindle.


The autism spectrum presents a range of communication, social, and sensory differences that are challenging for clinicians to address. Family Therapy and the Autism Spectrum provides a guide to conceptualising those differences and ways to discuss them with clients and their families. Readers are provided with narrative examples illustrating the application of key concepts introduced in the text. These case examples address issues that range across the life cycle, from families with young children to ones with teens who are emerging as adults. Using the techniques learned in this book, clinicians will be able to guide families towards their positive autism narrative.

This book also features a visual framework to organise the compelling narrative of each person’s autism spectrum pattern of developmental differences or brain style. Using this visual framework and the corresponding descriptive language, clinicians and families can work together to create their “autism conversations.” The conversations lead to the transformative experiences of developing competencies, resiliency, and advocacy for individuals and their families. The conversations also lead individuals with spectrum differences to use empowering language, supporting their ability to develop self-advocacy and self-determination skills.

Book: Raising Generation Rx

Book Title:

Raising Generation Rx – Mothering Kids with Invisible Disabilities in an Age of Inequality.

Author(s): Linda M. Blum.

Year: 2015.

Edition: First (1ed).

Publisher: American Psychiatric Association Publishing.

Type(s): Hardcover, Paperback and Kindle.


Recent years have seen an explosion in the number of children diagnosed with “invisible disabilities” such as ADHD, mood and conduct disorders, and high-functioning autism spectrum disorders. Whether they are viewed as biological problems in brain wiring or as results of the increasing medicalisation of childhood, the burden of dealing with the day-to-day trials and complex medical and educational decisions falls almost entirely on mothers. Yet few ask how these mothers make sense of their children’s troubles, and to what extent they feel responsibility or blame. Raising Generation Rx offers a groundbreaking study that situates mothers’ experiences within an age of neuroscientific breakthrough, a high-stakes knowledge-based economy, cutbacks in public services and decent jobs, and increased global competition and racialised class and gender inequality.

Through in-depth interviews, observations of parents’ meetings, and analyses of popular advice, Linda Blum examines the experiences of diverse mothers coping with the challenges of their children’s “invisible disabilities” in the face of daunting social, economic, and political realities. She reveals how mothers in widely varied households learn to advocate for their children in the dense bureaucracies of the educational and medical systems; wrestle with anguishing decisions about the use of psychoactive medications; and live with the inescapable blame and stigma in their communities.