Gresham College Lectures

Changes in the Concept of Autism - Francesca Happé CBE

March 21, 2024 Gresham College
Gresham College Lectures
Changes in the Concept of Autism - Francesca Happé CBE
Show Notes

Our understanding of autism has changed over the last forty years. 

Historically, autism was diagnosed based on narrow criteria. Today, while still defined by social and communication difficulties, rigid interests and repetitive behaviours, the autism spectrum is far wider, and the historical under-diagnosis of women and girls is being addressed.

‘Autisms’ are more often discussed as neurodivergence rather than a single ‘disorder’ to be treated. 

This lecture explores how our understanding of autism has changed, and directions for future research.


This lecture was recorded by Francesca Happé on 28th February 2024 at Barnard's Inn Hall, London

The transcript and downloadable versions of the lecture are available from the Gresham College website:
https://www.gresham.ac.uk/watch-now/new-autism

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