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A history of child development in Britain

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.

psychological framework model for recognising both disability rights and children’s rights. This chapter explores how British epidemiological research on autism in the 1960s and 1970s came to define global attempts to analyse and understand what, exactly, autism is. It argues that these changes have been associated with wider global changes relating to the definition and construction of children’s rights. Studies of

in The metamorphosis of autism

health was closely connected to imperial and wartime politics, as well as discourses of health rights, responsibilities, and citizenship in liberal and socialist traditions. 30 At the same time, clinical medicine was also organising itself around technologies and concepts of the collective. By the 1940s, experiments had been undertaken with multi-sited clinical trials and community-focused epidemiological research, both of which were later geared towards determining clinical and public health practice. 31 When launched in July 1948, the NHS was

in Managing diabetes, managing medicine
South Korea’s development of a hepatitis B vaccine and national prevention strategy focused on newborns

vaccine, which became known as ‘Kim's vaccine’, using serum from the blood of HBV-infected patients. Although he made use of clinical data, his research contained no data from experiments on primates. Two years later, the hepatitis rate in Korea became a prominent issue. In 1979, Dr Kim and Dr Hong, his pupil, researched sero-epidemiological patterns of hepatitis B in Korea. 10 There had been some previous sero-epidemiological research into

in The politics of vaccination
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their logic, for staying in or re-entering if expelled. On the classical liberal view, criminal policy was the junction point of this system, segregating those unable to re-enter and trying, at least in principle, to enable them to do so after an intensive ‘treatment’. The classification of people into classes defined by the statistical findings of epidemiological research draws a different image of society as a homogeneous

in Political concepts
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constituted ‘society’. These were arguably just as abstract as definitions of mental states, although epidemiological researchers did not view it this way. In descriptions of the early stages of socialisation in the first two to three years of life, one could argue that ‘the social’ could be measured quite successfully through behavioural criteria such as reaching to be carried, seeking eye contact and

in The metamorphosis of autism

between British doctors and international diagnostic standards will be considered further in Chapter 5 . However, it is important to note here that discourses of risk management and patient surveillance became a key part of discussions of GP care. For some GPs and hospital clinicians, new epidemiological research confirmed a link between diabetes and long-term complications, corroborated by their clinical experience and some smaller-scale clinical trials. 107 As one GP put it, ‘good diabetic control is most important in preventing complications’, and though ‘extra

in Managing diabetes, managing medicine

objects of overt political interest. Elite practitioners, clinical researchers, service administrators, and Ministry of Health officials all saw the NHS as either an opportunity for research or as an institution in need of significant management. The information that new records might produce was considered of great value to service management, as well as to epidemiological and clinical investigations. 54 Major professional and government bodies introduced centralising pressures – from collective epidemiological research programmes to standard data systems for

in Managing diabetes, managing medicine
Open Access (free)
Perceiving, describing and modelling child development

tests for measuring autism and ‘social impairment’. The legal changes of the 1970s and 1980s thus supported the efforts of the new autism psychologists and enabled them to establish the psychology of the autism spectrum as the dominant model for understanding child development and its variations. The final chapter argues that epidemiological research on autism in the

in The metamorphosis of autism

concept of ‘deprivation’ was expanded within psychological sciences and disciplines to cover all forms of ‘social deprivation’, not just ‘maternal deprivation’, and this is how new epidemiological researchers such as Tizard and Rutter understood it. 61 Writing in 1970, Michael Power from the Social Medicine Research Unit at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine argued

in The metamorphosis of autism