Autism: Debates and Testimonies

Ribas, Denys.



Childhood autism is a fascinating and disturbing disorder that has given rise to contentious debates, which often end in impasse. Here, Denys Ribas reviews this enigmatic condition, focusing on the work of Hans Asperger, which paved the way for institutional care and has wider importance than has often been recognized, and on testimonies provided by former sufferers from autism and on the analytic psychotherapy of a child. The author examines all the theories under discussion today, including developments in genetics and the access to symbolisation and, in a constant concern with clinical practice, instigates a constructive debate between the traditionally conflicting views of psychoanalysis and the cognitive sciences. Written in a lucid style that explains the concepts with reference to a glossary, this book will be relevant not only to students, professionals and parents who are dealing with the psychic difficulties of autistic children and the challenge of treating them, but also to anyone with a general interest in the development of thought and language.

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