Schreibman presents a concise yet comprehensive discussion of autism for the reader who has little or no knowledge of the disorder while keeping the discussion sophisticated in terms of child psychology and research issues. She discusses the history of the diagnosis of autism and then details the specific behavioural characteristics associated with the syndrome and the controversy of the diagnostic issues. A section on the etiology of autism describes non-empirical hypothesised relations between the children and their social environments as well as data-based hypotheses focusing on organic factors. The main treatment models applied to autism are presented, followed by the more extensively detailed behavioural model. The impact of autism on child, parents, family and community functioning are presented in a way which integrates clinical material and contemporary research. The author concludes by considering what the future holds for autistic children.