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3. Can Autism Be Cured?

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In this module, we consider the question whether autism can be cured. We discuss the claim that autism is a behavioural maladaptation which can be resolved through behaviour modification therapy. However, we note that this claim has been shown to be incorrect and that autism should instead be viewed as a permanent condition which can be mediated through different adaptation strategies. In particular, we discuss two such strategies that have been developed to help individuals with autism: (i) facial expression recognition training and (ii) interventions using virtual reality environments.


In this course, Professor Peter Mitchell (University of Nottingham), discusses the condition of autism. We begin, in module one, by asking what autism is before moving on, in module two, to examine the causes of this condition. Module three looks at the question ‘Can autism be cured?’, while module four examines whether autism is an affective or a cognitive condition. In module five, we think about different cognitive theories of autism. Finally, in module six, we take a closer look at a specific cognitive theory of autism, known as the theory of ‘weak central coherence’.


Peter Mitchell gained a BA (Hons) in Psychology and a PhD in Psychology at the University of Liverpool, UK. After that, he spent three years working as a postdoctoral scientist at Birmingham University. He is now serving as Professor and Director of Studies in Psychology at the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus. Previously, he was Head of the School of Psychology in Nottingham UK. He has published around 100 scientific articles in leading international journals, has published six books and he is editor of the British Journal of Psychology. He has served as Chair of the Developmental Section of the British Psychological Society and as Chief Examiner for the Economic and Social Research Council UK PhD studentship competition. Before joining Nottingham University he worked at the University of Birmingham, University of Oxford, University of Wales and University of Warwick. He also served as visiting professor at McGill University in Canada.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Mitchell, P. (2020, February 20). Autism - Can Autism Be Cured? [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Mitchell, Peter. "Autism – Can Autism Be Cured?." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 20 Feb 2020,

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