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(1967). Bulletin of the Philadelphia Association for Psychanalysis. XV, 1965: Early Ego Development in a Mute Autistic Child. Bruno Bettelheim. Pp. 127-136.. Psychoanal Q., 36:628-628.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Bulletin of the Philadelphia Association for Psychanalysis. XV, 1965: Early Ego Development in a Mute Autistic Child. Bruno Bettelheim. Pp. 127-136.

(1967). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 36:628-628

Bulletin of the Philadelphia Association for Psychanalysis. XV, 1965: Early Ego Development in a Mute Autistic Child. Bruno Bettelheim. Pp. 127-136.

Infantile autism raises questions about origins, steps, and sequences in the development of personality. Are there critical periods for the development of certain functions? If these have been bypassed, does there remain the possibility of making up for the omissions? Hopefully, the autistic child going through a delayed personality development can articulate some of his experiences and thus perhaps shed some light on development which ordinarily occurs in the preverbal infant. Bettelheim describes the treatment of a mute autistic child, beginning when she was ten years and nine months old. Marcia's 'twiddling' was her greatest achievement in her striving toward active mastery. Treatment, based on need fulfilment, acceptance, and permissiveness, was directed toward using 'twiddling' as a basis for developing higher forms of achievement. The infant's experience that efforts bring about positive responses outside himself starts the self going. Marcia demonstrated that remarkable progress could be made, even in an older child, although not as great as it might have been if treatment had begun four or five years earlier.

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Article Citation

(1967). Bulletin of the Philadelphia Association for Psychanalysis. XV, 1965. Psychoanal. Q., 36:628-628

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