Resilience and Developmental Health in Autism Spectrum Disorder

P. Szatmari, L. Zwaigenbaum, S. Georgiades, M. Elsabbagh, C. Waddell, T. Bennett, S. Bryson, E. Duku, E. Fombonne, P. Mirenda, W. Roberts, I. Smith, T. Vaillancourt, J. Volden

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

4 Scopus citations


The goal of this chapter is to discuss the concept of "resilience" against the background of the remarkable heterogeneity seen in the natural history of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Classically, resilience refers to the occurrence of an unexpected "good outcome" in the face of adversity. In this chapter, adversity is the diagnosis of ASD and resilience becomes a marker of heterogeneity in prognosis in the context of that adversity. However, it is important to adopt more current concepts of resilience which emphasize better-than-expected outcomes as a result of the interactions between the characteristics of the child and those of his/her environment. It is also important to think of resilience in a developmental context and to consider the views of parents and individuals with ASD in defining a good outcome. Research in resilience can assist the field in moving toward a "strengths-based" approach in understanding children with ASD and in intervening to improve the lives of all people with ASD, not only those who are "resilient.".

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPositive Mental Health, Fighting Stigma and Promoting Resiliency for Children and Adolescents
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9780128044148
ISBN (Print)9780128043943
StatePublished - Jun 27 2016


  • Autism
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Developmental health
  • Optimal outcome
  • Prognosis
  • Resilience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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