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The metamorphosis of autism

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Book Series: Social Histories of Medicine ISBN: 9781526110015 9780719095924 Year: Pages: 512 DOI: 10.26530/OAPEN_625488 Language: English
Publisher: Manchester University Press Grant: Wellcome Trust - 103203
Subject: Medicine (General) --- Languages and Literatures
Added to DOAB on : 2017-03-14 11:01:11
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"What is autism and where has it come from? Increased diagnostic rates, the rise of the 'neurodiversity' movement, and growing autism journalism, have recently fuelled autism's fame and controversy. The metamorphosis of autism is the first book to explain our fascination with autism by linking it to a longer history of childhood development. Drawing from a staggering array of primary sources, Bonnie Evans traces autism back to its origins in the early twentieth century and explains why the idea of autism has always been controversial and why it experienced a 'metamorphosis' in the 1960s and 1970s. Evans argues that changes in the way that we observe, understand and think about child development have fuelled reported increases in autism and led to current debates about neurodiversity. She explains how 'the first autism' of the early twentieth century spawned a new industry of child psychology focused on ego development and human relations. It was only after the closure of 'mental deficiency' institutions in the late 1950s that autism took on new meanings as an epidemiological entity. This enabled the 'metamorphosis' of autism and turned it into the phenomenon that we all know today. Evans takes the reader on a journey of discovery from the ill-managed wards of 'mental deficiency' hospitals, to high powered debates in the houses of parliament, and beyond. The study explains how children's rights and psychological models of autism have always been inextricably linked, and why this should make us reconsider how we think about autism. This book will appeal to a wide market of scholars and others interested in autism, neurodiversity and how this relates to wider theories of children's psychological development."

Chapter 3 ‘Ordering the infant’ (Book chapter)

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Book Series: Social Histories of Medicine ISBN: 9781526113498 Year: Pages: 24 Language: English
Publisher: Manchester University Press Grant: Wellcome Trust
Subject: Medicine (General) --- History --- Languages and Literatures
Added to DOAB on : 2017-08-10 11:02:10
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This chapter focuses on the specific forms of health care given to newborn babies in early modern England, a hitherto almost entirely neglected category in histories of health. Drawing on printed health advice and correspondence the chapter charts the various stages of the care offered to newborns, which was based on very specific management of the six non-naturals appropriate to their uniquely hot, damp constitutions, and fragile, malleable bodies. This care was determined particularly by attentive observation and physical ‘searching’ of the body. It was crucial to ensure first that all forms of ‘excretion’ were possible: whether via the mouth or the anal passage; whether excreting excessive moisture from the throat, stomach and brain through crying or removing excrements from the skin through wiping and bathing. Gentle forms of exercise were necessary and procured through crying, bathing or gentle rubbing of the skin. Excessive crying however endangered its health and carers were given advice on calming and soothing babies whilst sleep was of utmost importance, not only in terms of duration but also the baby’s position whilst sleeping.

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2017 (2)