October 1965

Early Infantile Autism and Receptor Processes

Author Affiliations

Department of Psychiatry, University of North Carolina School of Medicine.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1965;13(4):327-335. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1965.01730040037007

A CURRENTLY emerging view of early infantile autism characterizes this illness as a cognitive disorder involving an inability to relate sensory experience to memory.55 In this context the infant's use of his receptor systems for obtaining meaningful sensory information about his surroundings presents a critical issue for the study and treatment of the autistic child. It is through the use of end organs such as vision, audition, touch, taste, and smell that the child develops an adaptive interaction with his environment. The autistic child's profound adaptational problems are considered in terms of dysfunction in receptor usage. The avoidance of distance receptors as audition and vision and the preference for near receptors as touch, smell, and taste have been extensively reported from clinical observation.27,29 This paper attempts to trace normal development from near to distant receptor dominance, the effect of near receptor stimulation

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