This book explains the current fascination with autism by linking it to a longer history of childhood development. Drawing from a staggering array of primary sources, it traces autism back to its origins in the early twentieth century and explains why the idea of autism has always been controversial and why it experienced a 'metamorphosis' in the 1960s and 1970s. The book locates changes in psychological theory in Britain in relation to larger shifts in the political and social organisation of schools, hospitals, families and childcare. It explores how government entities have dealt with the psychological category of autism. The book looks in detail at a unique children's 'psychotic clinic' set up in London at the Maudsley Hospital in the 1950s. It investigates the crisis of government that developed regarding the number of 'psychotic' children who were entering the public domain when large long-stay institutions closed. The book focuses on how changes in the organisation of education and social services for all children in 1970 gave further support to the concept of autism that was being developed in London's Social Psychiatry Research Unit. It also explores how new techniques were developed to measure 'social impairment' in children in light of the Seebohm reforms of 1968 and other legal changes of the early 1970s. Finally, the book argues that epidemiological research on autism in the 1960s and 1970s pioneered at London's Institute of Psychiatry has come to define global attempts to analyse and understand what, exactly, autism is.
By the early 1950s, children
classed with ‘psychosis’,
‘schizophrenia’ and ‘autism’ stood at
the heart of controversies over the social and emotional development
of children, as well as the role of parents, educators, social
workers and other agencies in the socialisation of those children.
Childhood psychosis was, therefore, an
In May 1958, and four years into the Algerian War of Independence, a revolt again appropriated the revolutionary and republican symbolism of the French Revolution by seizing power through a Committee of Public Safety. This book explores why a repressive colonial system that had for over a century maintained the material and intellectual backwardness of Algerian women now turned to an extensive programme of 'emancipation'. After a brief background sketch of the situation of Algerian women during the post-war decade, it discusses the various factors contributed to the emergence of the first significant women's organisations in the main urban centres. It was only after the outbreak of the rebellion in 1954 and the arrival of many hundreds of wives of army officers that the model of female interventionism became dramatically activated. The French military intervention in Algeria during 1954-1962 derived its force from the Orientalist current in European colonialism and also seemed to foreshadow the revival of global Islamophobia after 1979 and the eventual moves to 'liberate' Muslim societies by US-led neo-imperialism in Afghanistan and Iraq. For the women of Bordj Okhriss, as throughout Algeria, the French army represented a dangerous and powerful force associated with mass destruction, brutality and rape. The central contradiction facing the mobile socio-medical teams teams was how to gain the trust of Algerian women and to bring them social progress and emancipation when they themselves were part of an army that had destroyed their villages and driven them into refugee camps.
basis of unconscious thought, could not be measured in the same way
Although Gesell’s social development scales
and Isaacs’ theory of social development were creating new
models of psychological development in infancy
and childhood and the formation of subjectivity and subjective
awareness, no one had attempted to
critical history do not dwell on the birth, infant experiences, and childhooddevelopment of Scyld? Does it matter that critics have considered his mysterious abandonment from within the exclusive, expectant purview of fiction and folklore? Like Scyld, Beowulf comes to the Danes from the sea. He is also a child of obscure parentage. And these hazy origins enable him, perhaps, as with Scyld, to be taken into the care of others: as a child, Beowulf is fostered by the Geatish king, Hrethel; and as a young man, he is offered adoption by the Danish king, Hrothgar. In this
The ‘pathology’ of childhood in late nineteenth-century London
fit the established expectations of the ‘modern’ model. When this was not possible, evidence from family, occupation, and domestic spheres was used to demonstrate undeservingness and difference.
Further complexity in the construction of pathologically different childhoods is observed with the case of Frederick F.
He was taken into the care of the Waifs and Strays Society aged just eighteen months old. At this young stage of development it was more difficult to construct the child as falling
of childhooddevelopment once saw the child as a passive sponge who
simply absorbed socialisation, more recent theories see the child as an
empowered agent in their own becoming. 28 Mapped onto the analysis of
consumption, this dichotomous reading of childhooddevelopment sees
children as either exploited and manipulated consumers (along with the
rest of us), or active agents in their
foundation theory of the origins of human relationships as he
focused on building statistical and social scientific
As discussed in Part one, the 1940s and 1950s saw,
human relations psychology, and the theories of childhood psychosis,
schizophrenia, autoerotism, primary narcissism and autism within it,
enter into a general discourse of child development and subjectivity
development. This was, in some ways, a development of
Romantic ideals of childhood formed in the eighteenth century, but
the late nineteenth century saw children’s rights to unique
legal protection established in both the law and in the theory of
political economy. The creation of School Boards in England in 1870
to educate poor communities, and the introduction of compulsory
development and childhood
imagination and creativity. 6 These changing ‘styles of
reasoning’ about autism are being driven by legal, political and
social change as much as scientific developments. They are generating
new perspectives on autism, sometimes highlighting research that had
subsided whilst Wing’s research was dominating the field.
At the same time, several researchers have started to