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Rhode, M. (2004). Different Responses to Trauma in Two Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder: The Mouth as Crossroads for the Sense of Self. J. Child Psychother., 30(1):3-20.

(2004). Journal of Child Psychotherapy, 30(1):3-20

Articles

Different Responses to Trauma in Two Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder: The Mouth as Crossroads for the Sense of Self

Maria Rhode

Two contrasting cases are discussed of boys with autistic spectrum disorder who had suffered cumulative trauma. Although their material was similar in many respects, the 9-year-old made excellent progress during therapy, while the 4-year-old developed much less in spite of being in intensive treatment. This contrast is discussed with regard to transgenerational issues, in particular the mothers’ relationship to their own internal father. The author proposes the notion of an autistic level of the Oedipus Complex which does not include the concept of perpendicularity, and discusses this in relation to well-known features of children on the autistic spectrum.

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