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Rosenberg, A. (1987). Journal of Child Psychotherapy. IX, 1983: Thoughts on Autism with Special Reference to a Paper by Melanie Klein. Frances Tustin. Pp. 119-131.. Psychoanal Q., 56:416.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Journal of Child Psychotherapy. IX, 1983: Thoughts on Autism with Special Reference to a Paper by Melanie Klein. Frances Tustin. Pp. 119-131.

(1987). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 56:416

Journal of Child Psychotherapy. IX, 1983: Thoughts on Autism with Special Reference to a Paper by Melanie Klein. Frances Tustin. Pp. 119-131.

Asher Rosenberg

After demonstrating Melanie Klein's developing awareness of the syndrome of early infantile autism thirteen years before Leo Kanner's paper on the topic, the author discusses some of her own extensive analytic experience with autistic children. Of special interest is her formulation of the "pathological autosensuous object," the hard objects (such as a toy car) which autistic children characteristically carry about and to which "they cling tenaciously." The author believes she has discovered the phenomena antecedent to these objects from those autistic children who have come to trust her enough to reveal their surreptitious body manipulations (tongue, cheek, regurgitated food, anus). These objects can be relied upon to "provide the sensations the child wants, just when and where he wants them," like the internal, controlled, precursor body sensations. Both the body manipulations and the hard objects are used by the child to ward off the dreaded experience of "not-me" which is the basis of the autistic pathology. Soft transitional objects, the bridge to the "not-me" experience, are rejected.

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Article Citation

Rosenberg, A. (1987). Journal of Child Psychotherapy. IX, 1983. Psychoanal. Q., 56:416

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