Pediatrics

Autism & Childhood Psychosis by Frances Tustin

By Frances Tustin

This is often Frances Tustin's first ebook and the unique assertion of her perspectives on autistic states of brain and the genesis of types of youth psychosis. In it, she tackles difficulties of prognosis as those relate to healing intervention.

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135-9; Mahler 1963, p. 3 I 6). Her own unresolved anxieties about such a loss, combined with the fact that she had little help from her environment in bearing them, would make it difficult for her to bear similar ones in her infant. In addition,John was an unresponsive infant; it is conceivablethat, as the result ofhis weak sucking, the loss of the teat might be a fairly constant feature of his infancy. The infant's awareness of loss of the teat must bring home to him his own helplessness to replace something that is 'gone'.

Some of the case material illustrates his attempts to deal with it by explosive projection (Sessions 23 and 367). ') demonstrate that as soon as he developed even a limited capacity to tolerate the 'black hole', he was stimulated to get in touch with his therapist as an object separate and different from himself. (See also Sessions 153 and 360. ) It is obvious that getting in touch with the 'not me' holds possibilities beyond the self, but as we have seen this is fraught with difficulties, since something that will not be moulded as part of body stuff becomes an inimical object as it becomes imbued with the terror and rage it provokes.

In the present chapter therapeutic sessions from another psychotic child will be presented to demonstrate processes of secondary autism which arise to protect against psychotic depression (the 'hole'). CASEMATERIAL David was referred aged I o :I o with the diagnosis of child psychosis. The significant facts in his early history were that David was the younger of two boys. Mother had wanted a girl and when David was born with a slightly twisted spine, she felt that she had a flawed child. The father had had the same defect but it had not greatly incommoded him.

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