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Book Reviews

A Strange World - Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome & PDD-NOS MARTINE F DELFOS Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2005 £22.50 ISBN: 1-84310-255-2

This is a fascinating but dense text targeting an academic and lay readership. It offers a scholarly analysis of cognitive theories currently influencing our understanding of autism, and demonstrates that these theories provide only a partial explanation for the complexity of the autistic condition.

The author is concerned by the lack of insight these theories provide into emotional development, in particular the capacity of individuals with autism to generate internal anxiety.

In response, she presents a new conceptual framework, the ‘socioscheme’. This construes autism and autistic behaviour as a distinct variation of normal development as opposed to a consequence of dysfunction. The core issue becomes one of underdeveloped self- other differentiation with consequent impact on social interaction and behaviour. Male/female differences in brain function and behaviour are fundamental to the theory.

The socioscheme incorporates and expands on theory of mind, central cohesion and executive functioning theories, combining cognitive and biopsychological models with psychotherapeutic principles.

The translation from Dutch is occasionally awkward and the book suffers from insufficient editing. Focal points and summaries following each chapter are helpful. This weighty book is informed and creative, driven by the author’s extensive experience and commitment to the autistic community.

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JANE MACER Independent Specialist SLT Social Communication Consultancies

www.rcslt.org

FEEST Flexible Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing With Sensory Testing JONATHAN E AVIV, MD,THOMAS MURR , PhD Plural Publishing Inc, 2005 £75 ISBN 1-59756-000-6

This is the first book devoted to the technique of laryngopharyngeal sensory testing. It will appeal to experienced dysphagia therapists with knowledge of FEES who may be developing FEEST and may also interest ENT colleagues working in this field. The authors cover the practical aspects of sensory testing including equipment requirements, procedures and the safety of FEEST.

Overall, the explanations are very clear but the drawbacks of the technique are not presented fully. The book explores the wider applications of sensory testing, namely detection of laryngopharyngeal reflux and the technique of transnasal oesophagoscopy, which is probably more applicable to ENT.

The book describes a voice and swallowing centre approach to dysphagia management. It stresses the importance of a sensory testing

BOOK OF THE MONTH

A Career in Speech and Language Therapy JANNET A WRIGHT, MYRA KERSNER Metacom Education, 2004 £12.95 ISBN: 0-95474-570-1

This book aims to inform parents, teachers, career advisers and prospective students about speech and language therapy as a profession. Readers ‘interact’ with the text through self-study questions that guide them to reflect on their own experiences and how these relate to speech and language therapy.

Parts one and two focus on the breadth and depth of the profession and the skills and qualities required to be both a student and a therapist. Relevant terminology is explained clearly. The authors address the complexity of the communication process and outline factors influencing communication breakdown from a holistic perspective. Of particular interest is the case study section that illustrates the diversity and range of speech and language therapy

book reviews

tool; however, a heavy emphasis is placed on its sole use.

Clinical scenarios and case studies of a range of conditions illustrate the applications of FEEST. These are enlightening but may appear unbalanced in advocating FEEST over and above other instrumental assessments such as FEES and videofluoroscopy. As a result the reader should not rely on this text alone to guide crucial decision-making over choice of instrumental assessment.

There are useful colour photographs of nasal and laryngeal anatomy and of sensory testing equipment. This book, at only 123 pages, is expensive but will be of practical value to SLTs who want to familiarise themselves with FEEST.

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SARAH WALLACE RCSLT adviser and clinical lead in dysphagia, South Manchester University Hospitals NHS Trust

clients and environments. Parts three and four focus on the application process and the various routes to qualification. Guidance is given on completing application forms and interview techniques. There is also an overview of the professional and legal bodies associated with speech and language therapy, together with CPD requirements. The authors provide a fair perspective of the intensity of the course and the difficulties of balancing study and social life. This is essential reading for all those considering a career in speech and language therapy.

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SAMANTHA HAWKESFORD RCSLT student research prize winner, 2004

April 2006 bulletin

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