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Guidance on how to diagnose and manage catatonia in people with autism

About the Author

Dr Amitta Shah is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist with over 35 years of clinical and research experience in Autism. She has worked extensively in the NHS and the Medical Research Council, UK. Dr Shah is currently Clinical Director at Leading Edge Psychology, UK, and an Associate Consultant at the NAS Lorna Wing Centre for Autism. She has an international reputation as an expert clinician in complex issues in autism, including behaviour and mental health breakdown and catatonia.


This book will change your life if you have struggled with difficulties in starting, stopping or controlling actions. Pioneering psychologist Amitta Shah, explores these troublesome features of autism, never documented in such vivid detail before. She tells what they mean, how they can be assessed, and what can be done about them. -- Uta Frith DBE, Emeritus Professor of Cognitive Development, University College London
This is a wise and compassionate book, informed by clinical experience and a deep commitment to working with autistic individuals affected by catatonia, a perplexing and enigmatic condition. Through case vignettes, the various manifestations of the condition are revealed together with a psycho-ecological approach to management. -- Dr Sarah Lister Brook, Clinical Director, NAS
Amitta Shah's important book fills a much-needed gap on an aspect of autism that has been neglected and misunderstood for decades. Dr Shah builds on her vast clinical experience of over 30 years to provide a wonderfully clear analysis of these states, including identifying anxiety and stress as potential causal triggers, as well as these states being possible effects of inappropriate medication. Her book will help families, autistic people, and clinicians be alert to such states, and know how to provide effective help and support. This book will be a hugely valuable resource and will reduce the risks of misdiagnosis. -- Professor Simon Baron-Cohen, Director, Autism Research Centre, Cambridge University
We have been identifying catatonia in adolescents and adults with autism for nearly 20 years, yet this is the first comprehensive book to describe how to evaluate the many expressions of catatonia, and outline an approach to alleviate the debilitating characteristics. Clinicians, families and those who have autism will now have a much clearer idea of what to do. -- Tony Attwood, author of The Complete Guide to Asperger's Syndrome and Asperger's Syndrome: A Guide for Parents and Professionals

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