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Weiland, I.H. Rudnik, R. (1961). Considerations of the Development and Treatment of Autistic Childhood Psychosis. Psychoanal. St. Child, 16:549-563.

(1961). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 16:549-563

Considerations of the Development and Treatment of Autistic Childhood Psychosis

I. Hyman Weiland, M.D. and Robert Rudnik, Ph.D.


An evaluation of the therapeutic progress of autistic children exposed to various therapeutic procedures made it apparent that all procedures result in the development of a pseudo object type of relationship by many patients. Progress beyond such a state is rarely attained. Therapeutic and other observations on autistic children raised the possibility that such children consist of two distinct groups. The development of the syndrome of one group is attributed to severe traumatic experiences during the period at which object relationships are just "learned"; the object relationship thereby attains the potential of danger. A second group is composed of children who have failed to experience those particular operations at some "critical period" essential to the organization of behavior that characterizes object relatedness. On the basis of these observations and interpretations, modifications in therapeutic techniques are proposed.

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