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January 1968

Perceptual Inconstancy in Early Infantile AutismThe Syndrome of Early Infant Autism and Its Variants Including Certain Cases of Childhood Schizophrenia

Author Affiliations

Los Angeles
From the Division of Child Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, UCLA Medical School, Los Angeles.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1968;18(1):76-98. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1968.01740010078010

WITHIN the decade since the syndrome of early infantile autism was first described by Kanner,1-2 terms such as childhood schizophrenia,3 atypical children,4 children with unusual sensitivities,5 and symbiotic psychosis6 were used to conceptualize similar, yet apparently distinctive clinical entities. The tendency to create separate entities was reinforced by a desire for diagnostic specificity and accuracy and etiologic preference. As the symptomatology in these children varies both with the severity of the illness and age, it has been possible to emphasize distinctive clusters of symptoms and relate these to particular theories of causation. For instance, the predominance of disturbances of relating coupled with the prevailing belief in the 1940's and 1950's that specific syndromes in children must be outgrowths of specific parental behaviors or attitudes7 led to attempts to implicate the parents in the development of early infantile autism. The

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