Bleuler And Autism

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Autism has through history, and will continue to cause widespread debate over many aspects, terminology, associated co-morbid conditions, diagnostic criterion, interventions, therapies and treatments to name just a few. It has been faced with both negative and positive media attention, those affected with Autism have been misunderstood, parents of those with Autism have been subject to criticism about their parenting skills or lack of. Since the 1940’s research has continued to develop, it is clear to see that the understanding of Autism has radically changed our understanding of it, the treatments available and care of people with Autism. This research continues to develop providing many discussion points and will more than likely continue…show more content…
The word is derived from the Greek autos (self) and ismos (a suffix of action or of state). Bleuler used the word to describe idiosyncratic, self-centred thinking that led to a withdrawal into a private world of patients with schizophrenia, defining it as a morbid self-admiration and self-withdrawal. (Cremone, 2015, p. 3). The term has since been attributed to other historical accounts of children and young people suffering psychiatric disorders. In his paper “The History of Autism” Wolff (2004) claims that Uta Frith convincingly argues that Hugh Blair had Autism, Blair 1747 when he was 39 years old appeared in court in in order to make a decision on his mental capacity to contract a marriage. Signs exhibited by Blair included social relationship impairment, abnormal gaze, severe learning difficulties and language problems in particular echolalia. In 1798 Jean Itard found Victor "the wild boy of Aveyron" - described as the enfant sauvage, he was found naked and covered in scars in the woods in 1798 aged about 11/12. Itard a young French physician spent 5 years educating and humanising Victor. Itard devised a behavioural program for Victor, which he graded, encouraging social attachments initially, then awakening his nervous sensibilities, extending out to the induction of…show more content…
John Haslam in 1807 published "Observations on Madness and Melancholy" in the chapter titled "cases of insane children" His account names some traits we now associate with Autism - Obsessive preoccupations, poor grasp of distance, speaking in the third person; and referenced associations to Asperger syndrome. Henry Maudsley in the 1879 edition of The Pathology of Mind, made reference in some detail of a 13-year-old boy who may have has Asperger Syndrome. However, most notably it was Leo Kanner, an Austrian-American psychiatrist and physician known for his work related to autism, who borrowed Bleuler’s word to first define
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