Social Histories of Medicine is concerned with all aspects of
health, illness and medicine, from prehistory to the present, in
every part of the world. The series covers the circumstances that
promote health or illness, the ways in which people experience and
explain such conditions, and what, practically, they do about them.
Practitioners of all approaches to health and healing come within
its scope, as do their ideas, beliefs, and practices, and the
social, economic and cultural contexts in which they operate.
Methodologically, the series welcomes relevant studies in social,
economic, cultural, and intellectual history, as well as approaches
derived from other disciplines in the arts, sciences, social
sciences and humanities. The series is a collaboration between
Manchester University Press and the Society for the Social History
has no responsibility for the persistence or accuracy of URLs for
any external or third-party internet websites referred to in this
book, and does not guarantee that any content on such websites is,
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Autism is an essential concept used in the description of child development and its variances. This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book traces the radical transformation of the concept of autism in Britain, exploring the reasons behind the shift and the impact that it has had on psychological sciences relating to infants and children. It locates changes in psychological theory in Britain in relation to larger shifts in the political and social organisation of schools, hospitals, families and childcare. The book explores how government entities have dealt with the psychological category of autism. The history of child psychology in Britain has largely been compartmentalised into the history of child guidance, the history of intelligence testing, the history of special education and the history of psychoanalytic theory.