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Passone, S. (2006). Controverses sur l'autisme et témoignages [Autism: Debates and testimonies] by Denys Ribas Paris: Presses Universitaires de France. 2005. 206 p.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 87(3):904-906.
  

(2006). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 87(3):904-906

Controverses sur l'autisme et témoignages [Autism: Debates and testimonies] by Denys Ribas Paris: Presses Universitaires de France. 2005. 206 p.

Review by:
Sesto-Marcello Passone

There is a vast popular scientific literature on the subject of autism—and on child-hood autism in particular. This disorder exerts a powerful fascination both through its profoundly enigmatic nature and through its consequences for those affected by it. Long overlooked, this major disorder identified by Leo Kanner has now been the source of a field of diverse practices, theories and research for around 50 years. These generally conflict or even clash within a context of passionately held views with ideological tendencies that only raise further questions. The author of other works on the treatment of autism, Denys Ribas focuses his discussion here on the aspects that may foster an open and constructive debate about autism: the nature of the disorder, current scientific theories on the subject and their implications for methods of treating those affected.

Drawing on a fund of experience obtained over several years as director of an outpatient clinic in Paris, his training as a child psychiatrist, membership of the Paris Psychoanalytical Society and editor of the Revue Française de Psychanalyse, Ribas sets out to ‘take apart’ that which in current theories of autism—psychoanalytic and cognitive theories in particular—too often brings an ideological slant to this highly impassioned debate. He asks, however, if it may still be possible to find some points of convergence.

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