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Article
August 1967

The Empty Fortress: Infantile Autism and the Birth of the Self.

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By Bruno Bettelheim. Price, $9.95. Pp 468. The Free Press, A Division of the Macmillan Co., 866 Third Ave, New York 10022, 1967.

Am J Dis Child. 1967;114(2):221. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1967.02090230151037

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Abstract

Certain syndromes are notable for their uniqueness, certain others for their bizarre character, and still others, although rare, for the relationship which they bear to other more common disorders. All of these are true of early infantile autism. The fact that this particular symptom complex may be related to schizophrenia, and therefore may improve an avenue for understanding about such children, has been recognized for some time. Equally important, the behavorial and emotional processes seen in such children suggest a possible avenue of knowledge concerning the normal development of children as portrayed in an abnormal situation.

Outstanding among American authors in the handling of such children is Bruno Bettelheim. His work has paved the way for the intensive understanding of the therapy of very disturbed children for decades. This book combines much previous work into a rather entrancing presentation of three seriously disturbed, autistic children with a presentation of the

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