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ERIC Number: ED026749
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1967
Pages: 484
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Empty Fortress; Infantile Autism and the Birth of the Self.
Bettelheim, Bruno
The nature, origin, and treatment of infantile autism are explored with a consideration of the child's world of encounter and case histories. The beginning of life, called the region of shadows, is mentioned; and the world of the newborn, body language, mutuality, autonomy, the autistic anlage, and the right side of time are examined for the beginning of the self. Disturbed children are considered as strangers to life and the development of emotional disturbance is discussed in terms of a reason to act, the extinction of feeling, extreme situations, and in spontaneous reaction. In particular, the dynamics of autism, including the dialectics of hope, the decline of the self, and the human craving for order are presented. Case histories are given of three autistic children treated at the Orthogenic School at the University of Chicago: Laurie and Marcia, two mute girls; and Joey, a talking, mechanical boy. In persistence of a myth, reported cases of wolf children are discussed in terms of autism. Finally, the writings of other scientists and the author's own beliefs on the etiology, treatment, and nature of infantile autism are considered. Thirty-three illustrations and a 193-item bibliography are included. (DF)
The Free Press, 866 Third Avenue, New York, New York 10022 ($9.95).
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A