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The Information icon (an i in a circle) will give you valuable information about PEP Web data and features. You can find it besides a PEP Web feature and the author’s name in every journal article. Simply move the mouse pointer over the icon and click on it for the information to appear.

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Jacobs, G. (1995). Autistic Disorders: A Spectrum?. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 43:644-646.

(1995). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 43:644-646

Autistic Disorders: A Spectrum?

Gardner Jacobs

December 20, 1994

The letters to the editor by Frances Tustin and Theodore Shapiro (JAPA 42/4) put me in a state of confusion. Tustin, here and elsewhere (1991), describes autistic disorders as an infantile version of a posttraumatic disorder. “First, there is a pathological closeness of mother and child. Second, there is a feeling of being wrenched apart…. I suggest that autism is a reaction that is specific to such an illusory trauma, although in rare cases it can be the reaction to an actual trauma, as witness the little girl described by Cecchi (1990).”

Shapiro states that in the United States there is general agreement about the biological origins of autism. Support for this view may be found in the work of Steffenburg and Gillberg (1986). He differs with the term nonorganic autism and sees part of the problem as semantic.

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