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The concept of 'compensation' makes sense of several autism puzzles

18 October 2017

A process involved in neurodevelopmental disorders that we are only just beginning to understand is “compensation” – the way that a deficit can be partially or wholly masked by automatic mental processes and/or deliberate behavioural strategies.

For instance, a person with dyslexia may achieve typical levels of reading ability after an earlier diagnosis, not because the disorder has gone away (subtle tests might show continuing problems in phonological processing, for example) but through the use of behavioural strategies, such as reverse-engineering a tricky word from the meaning of words around it.

In a new review Lucy Anne Livingston and Francesca Happé, at the Institute of Psychiatry in London, take us through what compensation might mean for autism.

Read more on our Research Digest blog.

You can watch Chris Packham's documentary Asperger's and Me on the BBC iPlayer.

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