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Tustin, F. (1966). Bernard Rimland: Infantile Autism: The Syndrome and Its Implications for a Neural Theory of Behaviour Methuen. London. 1965. 36/-.. J. Child Psychother., 1(4):69-70.

(1966). Journal of Child Psychotherapy, 1(4):69-70

Book Reviews

Bernard Rimland: Infantile Autism: The Syndrome and Its Implications for a Neural Theory of Behaviour Methuen. London. 1965. 36/-.

Review by:
Frances Tustin

This book demands the attention of those child psychotherapists who are interested in treating children diagnosed as suffering from Early Infantile Autism, if only to be forced to think critically about the author's statement with regard to psychotherapy with these children. He writes: “In view of the present status of research on the efficacy of psychotherapy, and the fact that the evidence for the psychogenic etiology of autism is not ‘unequivocal’, it would seem that the parents of properly diagnosed autistic children might…be deterred from being made ‘pauperized and miserable’ for the time being.”

This reviewer thinks that in view of the encouraging results of pioneering work in the psychotherapeutic treatment of these children, which is taking place in this country, it would seem regrettable that the parents of autistic children, and psychiatrists diagnosing such cases, should be discouraged from seeking help from therapists who have experience with this type of case. Dr. Donald Meltzer says of children suffering from Early Infantile Autism, ‘These children present a wide spectrum of therapeutic response, but generally we have found it to be very good, even with once or twice a week with well-trained therapists…” (Meltzer. “Autism, Schizophrenia and Psychotic Adjustment.” Acts of 11th European Congress of Child Psychiatry. Rome 1963) Meltzer states that his paper sets out his present views”… as my earlier opinions, drawn from child psychiatric training and research in the United States, have undergone considerable modification during the last eight years of work in London utilising the theories and techniques of Melanie Klein.

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