Autism in France: Psychoanalysis, Packing, Other Travesties

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IChris
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16 Dec 2012, 7:17 am

I do not see so much of a problem that the word autism is linked with "refrigator mothers"; it has a valid historical foundation. But the problem is when the specifical diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders are linked with "refrigator mothers", since this has none historical foundation. The etymology of the word autism can't be changed and must still be seen as Eugene Bleuler's transformation of Sigmund Freud's term autoerotism. In this case it is fully valid to use both in understanding of what today is called attachment disorders and as a description of a schizophrenic symptom as well as the most common use in autism spectrum disorders.

Bruno Bettelheim's work is so not to be dismissed, but to be understood as what it was; a description of kids who indicated autism in Bleuler's definition as a core symptom and not kids with a specifical autism spectrum disorder. Compared with today's understanding of attachment disorders the work of Bettelheim does not look alien, and it even looks useful. And both with the similarities between autism spectrum disorders and attachment disorders which today pose a problem in the differential diagnosis of those disorders, and the fact that one of the defence mechanisms often involved in attachment disorders is termed 'autistic thinking', it is understandable that the concepts of autism may have been mixed up and the result have been a 'war' between the use of a term rather than seeking the value of the diverse knowledge.

'Refrigator mothers' exist as well as much as congenital autism spectrum disoders exist. The results of a 'Refrigator mother' (as well as a 'Refrigator father') on a kid and the result of the congenital disorder of autism may both come to expression with very similar traits; both fitting the Bleuler's term autism. Of that reason it is important to be aware that different causes may result in similar symptoms. Without this awareness situations like the french psychoanalysts who threat all autistics in light of refrigator mothers instead of doing a very important differential diagnosis first may be the result. Or it may happen the other way, all kind of autismlike symptoms are being treated as congenital autism which both may contribute to a statistical rise and a weaker diagnosis. Before the diagnosis of serial murders often seemed to be some kind of attachment disorder, today it seem to more often be autism spectrum disorder. This change in diagnostic practice pose the question if it may also have something with the understanding of the term autism to do.

The etymology of autism is further complicated in cases where there both exist a congenital autism spectrum disorder and an attachment disorder; each may mask its other and end up with a treatment of only one of them when the other or both may be in need of treatment.

Well, that is my view on the case.



Anty28
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17 Dec 2012, 6:44 am

Bruno Bettelheim was a crook and a liar, furthermore he inverted cause and effect about autism.

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'Refrigator mothers' exist as well as much as congenital autism spectrum disoders exist.


I don't think so. Autism has little to do with an attachment disorder. There are now known biological/organic causes, all known elements point toward an organic etiology.

If autism was an attachment disorder, you'd see more of it among orphans, in times of war, etc...



IChris
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17 Dec 2012, 8:32 am

Anty28 wrote:
Bruno Bettelheim was a crook and a liar, furthermore he inverted cause and effect about autism.

Quote:
'Refrigator mothers' exist as well as much as congenital autism spectrum disoders exist.


I don't think so. Autism has little to do with an attachment disorder. There are now known biological/organic causes, all known elements point toward an organic etiology.

If autism was an attachment disorder, you'd see more of it among orphans, in times of war, etc...


Autism is a symptom inventend by Paul Eugene Bleuler to better define Sigmund Freud's autoerotism. It is not a diagnosis in itself, but a symptom which may occure in many diagnosis; including schizophrenia, autism spectrum disorders and attachment disorders. Before both Kanner, Asperger and Bettelheim studies this symptom, many different people used the word autism to describe a variety of conditions; like Minkowski, Rosanoff and Binder to name a few. It is in this regard, before the diagnosis falling under pervasive developmental disorder in ICD-10, was created I see the word autism. And in this regard it is a symptom which both can be a result of trauma and which may be congenital.

As I have experience trauma in addition to being born with Asperger syndrome, I have been in long time therapy which have tried to treat my injuries after the trauma. The only one who has been able to describe what I have been through and have postulated a treatment which have worked was Bruno Bettelheim. Of that reason Bettelheim stands as a very valueable source in understanding the effects of trauma and its defence mechanisms. In reading him with the understanding of autism in its etymological meaning this pose no problem to me. My Asperger syndrome is something completely different from my injuries from the trauma, but their share the feature of autism; the event in hyperfocusing on some of the environment such that other parts of the environment are ignored or sometimes lost; or said in the more common word the action of disconnecting from the world and falling into an own world.



ScottyN
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12 Feb 2013, 2:16 am

This does not really surprise me, considering how the French place such a high value on social relationships.



littlebee
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25 Apr 2013, 1:12 am

Anty28 wrote:
Bruno Bettelheim was a crook and a liar, furthermore he inverted cause and effect about autism.

Quote:
'Refrigator mothers' exist as well as much as congenital autism spectrum disoders exist.


I don't think so. Autism has little to do with an attachment disorder. There are now known biological/organic causes, all known elements point toward an organic etiology.

If autism was an attachment disorder, you'd see more of it among orphans, in times of war, etc...


I have been thinking about "refrigerator mother" ever since I first read this thread over a month ago and am preparing to eventually write here but not ready yet, so this is just a preliminary message. I used to have some Bettelhiem books but got rid of them a few years ago as something seemed off, but forget what..

A point I am making now is that the idea of "refrigerator mother" seems like an over-generalization and a kind of catch phrase which imo does not lead to much understanding, even if there is some truth there, but the idea about the orphans really does not make sense in terms of disproving that autism is in some way related to an attachment disorder, as one kind of brain might tend to encapsulate as a defense in a particular way that another kind of brain may not.

The way you speak of the known cause of autism seems to me to be naive, though maybe I am the one who is naive. Who is to say exactly where a causal chain is initiated in an instance such as this? Sometimes it is not so clear, as many things are interdependent, different causal chains intersecting to form a result, and, also, individual bias and black and white thinking can influence what one sees as "the beginning.".

Re packing in France, let me make it clear--- I do not condone that practice nor am I even a fan of the psychoanalytic profession which I perceive to be in many ways corrupt, though this does not mean I dismiss all of their theory or might not admire the work of an individual practitioner.



velocirapture
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06 May 2013, 11:00 am

The conversation at this point reveals the limitations of current knowledge about autism spectrum disorders and attachment disorders. Part of the problem is that the diagnosis of attachment disorder requires trauma. You can take a set of symptoms and have it labeled ASD in the absence of trauma, but when there is a known trauma, that same set of symptoms may be labeled an attachment disorder. Are they truly mutually exclusive disorders? How does one account for the highly subjective nature of trauma? Must we develop a trauma scale to assist in diagnoses? If so, how would that even work? In addition, some of these diagnoses are age-sensitive, where a child under 5 is diagnosed with PDD temporarily, to see if the symptoms improve, worsen, or "clarify." What if they remain exactly the same? What if the symptoms present in some other way not described in the DSM?

I am not anti-psychiatry. Indeed, I probably would not function as well as I do without the years of help I received from mental health professionals. Rather, I think the limits of current knowledge should be tested and exposed regularly, so it is clear where the shortcomings exist and work can be done to remedy them. Clearly, the field of autism spectrum research is full of shortcomings, and the recent decision to remove Asperger's from the DSM highlights them.



manav95
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19 May 2013, 9:01 am

France really should modernize their approach.



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19 May 2013, 11:29 am

manav95 wrote:
France really should modernize their approach.


Well, I appreciate the good intent of your message, but I do not think France will do it because you say so, and, by the way, France does not think and feel or read messages here or anywhere else. "France" is what is called a personification. I do get what you're saying, but how do ideas afffect changes in the world? Probably not by magic....there has to be some kind of grip, meaning connecting of dots in such a way that they stick together, have a pull, an adhesive that affects other people. So what if packing is stopped in France, and I think it should be, but that is still an external facet of even deeper wrong thinking, not just in France, but in us, yes us.



Anty28
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19 May 2013, 12:39 pm

manav95 wrote:
France really should modernize their approach.


Easier said than done. Despite some good intentions displayed by politicians (whatever their party, by the way), doctors already in place staunchly resist any change in their profession. So, wait and see...



IChris
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20 May 2013, 9:53 pm

velocirapture wrote:
The conversation at this point reveals the limitations of current knowledge about autism spectrum disorders and attachment disorders. Part of the problem is that the diagnosis of attachment disorder requires trauma. You can take a set of symptoms and have it labeled ASD in the absence of trauma, but when there is a known trauma, that same set of symptoms may be labeled an attachment disorder. Are they truly mutually exclusive disorders? How does one account for the highly subjective nature of trauma? Must we develop a trauma scale to assist in diagnoses? If so, how would that even work? In addition, some of these diagnoses are age-sensitive, where a child under 5 is diagnosed with PDD temporarily, to see if the symptoms improve, worsen, or "clarify." What if they remain exactly the same? What if the symptoms present in some other way not described in the DSM?

I am not anti-psychiatry. Indeed, I probably would not function as well as I do without the years of help I received from mental health professionals. Rather, I think the limits of current knowledge should be tested and exposed regularly, so it is clear where the shortcomings exist and work can be done to remedy them. Clearly, the field of autism spectrum research is full of shortcomings, and the recent decision to remove Asperger's from the DSM highlights them.


The knowledge exist and it is not limited at all, but the therapists who diagnose PDD and attachment disorders often lack this knowledge; making many with attachment disorders getting an PDD diagnosis, and many with PDD an attachment disorder diagnosis. That is unfortunate.

One therapist I was in contact with told me that kids which was evaluated for symptoms as a result of abuse got an attachment disorder diagnosis, but that adults with the same symptoms which was evaluated with regards to abuse rather got a diagnosis of Asperger syndrome. According to that therapist, this was fairly common.

ICD-10 has the tools to differentiate between PDDs and attachment disorders, and the diagnoses are mutually exclusive disorders in ICD-10. With a known trauma, the procedure of checking for attachment disorder in ICD-10 should be follow so that one know for sure if that is the right diagnosis or not. Outside this the history of autism has such a clear and broad field of knowledge that it should not be a problem to understand why both attachment disorders and PDDs have been termed with autism, and what the similarities and differences are.



ScottC
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21 May 2013, 2:41 am

slovaksiren has obviously never been in a bar at closing time. or seen a homeless person's open air bathroom.

so..french think the mother's depression is the cause of autism? hmm...darwin and modern correlation analysis would instead seem to imply the apple doesn't fall from the tree. Most mothers of autistic children are also carrying a whole portfolio of dna markers for social skill/anxiety/depression weaknesses. Mine does...



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21 May 2013, 3:08 pm

velocirapture wrote:
The conversation at this point reveals the limitations of current knowledge about autism spectrum disorders and attachment disorders. Part of the problem is that the diagnosis of attachment disorder requires trauma. You can take a set of symptoms and have it labeled ASD in the absence of trauma, but when there is a known trauma, that same set of symptoms may be labeled an attachment disorder. Are they truly mutually exclusive disorders? How does one account for the highly subjective nature of trauma? Must we develop a trauma scale to assist in diagnoses? If so, how would that even work? In addition, some of these diagnoses are age-sensitive, where a child under 5 is diagnosed with PDD temporarily, to see if the symptoms improve, worsen, or "clarify." What if they remain exactly the same? What if the symptoms present in some other way not described in the DSM?

I am not anti-psychiatry. Indeed, I probably would not function as well as I do without the years of help I received from mental health professionals. Rather, I think the limits of current knowledge should be tested and exposed regularly, so it is clear where the shortcomings exist and work can be done to remedy them. Clearly, the field of autism spectrum research is full of shortcomings, and the recent decision to remove Asperger's from the DSM highlights them.


Hi. This is a very well-thought out message. I would have responded sooner,but have kind of been mulling it over....Selection from your message.

Quote:
You can take a set of symptoms and have it labeled ASD in the absence of trauma, but when there is a known trauma, that same set of symptoms may be labeled an attachment disorder. Are they truly mutually exclusive disorders? How does one account for the highly subjective nature of trauma? Must we develop a trauma scale to assist in diagnoses? If so, how would that even work? In addition, some of these diagnoses are age-sensitive, where a child under 5 is diagnosed with PDD temporarily, to see if the symptoms improve, worsen, or "clarify." What if they remain exactly the same? What if the symptoms present in some other way not described in the DSM?


You make some extremely good points about trauma, and I would like to respond to that in the future......

There is a big problem with the DSM and the exploitive culture of tatus and financial gain seeking and general social ignorance that has developed around the publication of this book, and I would attribute a lot of this to the overly subjective nature of the industry behind it. It's not that a person shouldn't try to change the DSM and/or that there is not some functional value there,

Psychoanalytic theory, specifically object relations theory, in my opinion, can be very helpful; however a person does not necessarily need therapy to study that subject or to study oneself, though I think therapy could be in some instances be helpful, but it could also slow a person down and even keep him from ever getting real help or even be out and out harmful.

Quote:
Rather, I think the limits of current knowledge should be tested and exposed regularly, so it is clear where the shortcomings exist and work can be done to remedy them. Clearly, the field of autism spectrum research is full of shortcomings, and the recent decision to remove Asperger's from the DSM highlights them.


Imo that needs to happen, and there will be gradual changes over time to to well meaning effort,,but that it it is way too slow.

Why is packing in France happening? Because this is the kind of thing people do, their own various exotic versions of it, and it is happening everywhere (meaning in people's daily lives). I suggest to of course, for those who want to put their energy to ending packing in France to do that, as this is a worthy endeavor, no question, and I hope by writing here I will be part of that, but also, for those who are interested and can, to address this problem from the angle that we all are probably to some degree and in some way doing various form of this, both mental and in some ways even physical---namely packing.



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22 May 2013, 1:20 am

Speaking about trauma and autism; it is known that those with small hippocampuses are much more likely to develop PTSD in situations where someone with an average hippocampus does not. Autistics in general have much smaller hippocampuses - not atrophied or shrunken but purely miniaturized with many smaller connections. This is why stress is so bad for us as it hurts the hippocampus.
By using "packing" in France they are traumatizing them. I can't figure out how they think it would benefit anyone at all. I wonder if it's misguided attempts to "scare them straight" or traumatize them to the point they develop AsPD as that's a more acceptable way to be? It's hard to be anxious in social situations if you're emotionally numb. Of course most wouldn't be so lucky...
When I learned SSRIs almost shut down the part in the brain that were already running slow because of depression - causing people to not have that many emotions so not crying as much - I realized that industry doesn't care how they go about getting people to look normal.
And re:SSRIs - it is only beneficial for short term use when feeling nothing would help, never never never for long-term use.



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22 May 2013, 10:50 am

Anomiel wrote:
Speaking about trauma and autism; it is known that those with small hippocampuses are much more likely to develop PTSD in situations where someone with an average hippocampus does not. Autistics in general have much smaller hippocampuses - not atrophied or shrunken but purely miniaturized with many smaller connections. This is why stress is so bad for us as it hurts the hippocampus.
By using "packing" in France they are traumatizing them. I can't figure out how they think it would benefit anyone at all. I wonder if it's misguided attempts to "scare them straight" or traumatize them to the point they develop AsPD as that's a more acceptable way to be? It's hard to be anxious in social situations if you're emotionally numb. Of course most wouldn't be so lucky...
When I learned SSRIs almost shut down the part in the brain that were already running slow because of depression - causing people to not have that many emotions so not crying as much - I realized that industry doesn't care how they go about getting people to look normal.
And re:SSRIs - it is only beneficial for short term use when feeling nothing would help, never never never for long-term use.


Hi Anomiel. This link addresses what you wrote about brain volume. It is actually not so cut and dried but kind iffy. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2223073/ Scroll down till you get to STRUCTURAL IMAGING OF HIPPOCAMPUS, AMYGDALA, AND BASAL GANGLIA. So what are you trying to suggest here? That there is not an environmental factor, such as perhaps certain kinds of mothering, in how a child becomes autistic? Or that there may be some kind of genetic factors that interact with the environment in some way to produce autism? I think that there is a combinations of factors, but that people who are autistic (and all people) tend to have all kinds of stories about things, whatever fits into whatever their story already is, which story cannot be just that their brain works a certain way, as they way they have been conditioned to think or use thinking to avoid emotional pain is factored into the way they are thinking and this bias affects the way they are perceiving. An autistic person would have to observe himself to really get to the bottom of it all---for himself, but that requires an extraordinary degree of attention and also a real dedication. It would be good to have the support some dedicated others in doing this.



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24 May 2013, 6:43 am

littlebee wrote:
Anomiel wrote:
Speaking about trauma and autism; it is known that those with small hippocampuses are much more likely to develop PTSD in situations where someone with an average hippocampus does not. Autistics in general have much smaller hippocampuses - not atrophied or shrunken but purely miniaturized with many smaller connections. This is why stress is so bad for us as it hurts the hippocampus.
By using "packing" in France they are traumatizing them. I can't figure out how they think it would benefit anyone at all. I wonder if it's misguided attempts to "scare them straight" or traumatize them to the point they develop AsPD as that's a more acceptable way to be? It's hard to be anxious in social situations if you're emotionally numb. Of course most wouldn't be so lucky...
When I learned SSRIs almost shut down the part in the brain that were already running slow because of depression - causing people to not have that many emotions so not crying as much - I realized that industry doesn't care how they go about getting people to look normal.
And re:SSRIs - it is only beneficial for short term use when feeling nothing would help, never never never for long-term use.


Hi Anomiel. This link addresses what you wrote about brain volume. It is actually not so cut and dried but kind iffy. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2223073/ Scroll down till you get to STRUCTURAL IMAGING OF HIPPOCAMPUS, AMYGDALA, AND BASAL GANGLIA. So what are you trying to suggest here? That there is not an environmental factor, such as perhaps certain kinds of mothering, in how a child becomes autistic? Or that there may be some kind of genetic factors that interact with the environment in some way to produce autism? I think that there is a combinations of factors, but that people who are autistic (and all people) tend to have all kinds of stories about things, whatever fits into whatever their story already is, which story cannot be just that their brain works a certain way, as they way they have been conditioned to think or use thinking to avoid emotional pain is factored into the way they are thinking and this bias affects the way they are perceiving. An autistic person would have to observe himself to really get to the bottom of it all---for himself, but that requires an extraordinary degree of attention and also a real dedication. It would be good to have the support some dedicated others in doing this.


Yes, it was a half-formed comment in many ways, sorry.
I gave the information so anyone that wishes can make the connections themselves as I'm not so sure myself what they are, and because I find it interesting. That there are natural factors does not exclude nurture, because I only present one of the factors does not mean the others do not exist.

Handbook of Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorders wrote:
Hippocampal volume was found to be smaller in autistic subjects only after correction for total brain volume, which was larger in autistic subjects.


The word minituarized was slightly wrong, as it is small compared to the rest of the brain, but maybe not smaller than an NTs as they have smaller brains. A smaller hippocampus relative to total volume is correlated with audio processing disorder and autism, and a tendency to get traumatized is also correlated to having a small hippocampus relative to total volume (the specific study I read was about PTSD after traumatic events, but as any stress hurts the hippocampus we can assume it plays some role in other disorders that arise after trauma, but I do not know enough yet), and we have much more "immature connections" - that might say something about how we process the world if it looks so young ("immature").

http://legacy.autism.com/families/therapy/auditory.htm wrote:
We do not know the underlying reason for auditory processing problems in autism; however, autopsy research by Drs. Bauman and Kemper have shown that an area in the limbic system, the hippocampus, is neurologically immature in autistic individuals (Bauman & Kemper, 1994). The hippocampus is responsible for sensory input as well as learning and memory. Basically, information is transferred from the senses to the hippocampus, where it is processed and then transferred to areas of the cerebral cortex for long-term storage. Since auditory information is processed in the hippocampus, the information may not be properly transferred to long-term memory in autistic individuals.

Auditory processing problems may also be linked to several autistic characteristics. Autism is sometimes described as a social-communication problem. Processing auditory information is a critical component of social-communication. Other characteristics that may be associated with auditory processing problems include: anxiety or confusion in social situations, inattentiveness, and poor speech comprehension.

Interestingly, those individuals who do not have auditory processing problems are often ‘auditory learners.’ These children do very well using the Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) approach, whereas those who are visual learners do not do as well with this approach (McEachin, Smith and Lovaas, 1993). Given this, one might suspect that many visual learners have auditory processing problems and that visual learners will do quite well with a visual communication/instruction approach. It is also possible to provide visual support with ABA programs that have an auditory component. In this way, the visual learner can process the auditory information more easily.


They have actually done studies about something like the "refrigerator parent"- thing which showed children to "non-supportive" parents had smaller hippocampuses. But the children in the study who had that were already diagnosed with something! Which came first? Maybe the genes that made them so showed in their parents, so all they have proved then is that people with these genes might not raise their children like fully neurotypical people.

http://www.livescience.com/18196-maternal-support-child-brain.html wrote:
The research is part of an ongoing project to track the development of children with early onset depression. As part of the project, Luby and her colleagues previously measured the maternal support that children — who were ages 3 to 6 and had either symptoms of depression, other psychiatric disorders or no mental health problems — received during a so-called "waiting task."

The researchers placed mother and child in a room along with an attractively wrapped gift and a survey that the mother had to fill out. The children were told they could not open the present until five minutes had passed — basically until their mothers had finished the survey. A group of psychiatrists, who knew nothing about the children's health or the parents' temperaments, rated the amount of support the mothers gave to their children.

A mother who was very supportive, for example, would console her child, explaining that the child had only a few more minutes to wait and that she understands the situation was frustrating. "The task recapitulates what everyday life is like," Luby told LiveScience, meaning that it gives researchers an idea of how much support the child receives at home.

Now, four years later, the researchers gave MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scans to 92 children who underwent the waiting task. Compared with non-depressed children with high maternal support, non-depressed children with low support had 9.2 percent smaller hippocampal volumes, while depressed children with high and low support had 6.0 and 10.6 percent smaller volumes, respectively.


My guess concerning RAD is that maybe some or all already were autistic, as we would be more likely to develop something like that. Or that we as autistics are very traumatized already too?
Like panicking and stimming when hearing an unexpected loud sound. What is this panic if not slight trauma? I did not recognize it as such until recently as it is so far from what is considered traumatizing. NTs actually DO stim too! But only when extremely traumatized so it is relatively rare!
There is also a unproven hypothesis that the hippocampus stops growing in response to trauma, as so many with different "disorders" have smaller hippocampuses compared to total brain volume. If so - and I do not know if it is correct, but you should know about it anyway - then someone could end up with brain proportions similar to us, and maybe that could cause some "autistic traits"?
But statistics show that neurodiverse people are much more likely to be abused than NTs.
All fields of science might be somewhat right, they just have to collaborate.


And this is off-topic concerning what I said about SSRIs:
I do not want someone to think that being that kind of emotionless would be preferable to feeling the pain of depression. The part of the brain that they affect does not only handle emotions, but also has something to do with empathy and moral. Every time I've been prescribed SSRIs I have been very very very depressed and as such it probably came to almost a complete stop. I don't take them anymore.