By Shubhangi Vaidya

The e-book explores the lived fact of parenting and taking care of kids with autism in modern city India. it's according to a qualitative, ethnographic research of households of youngsters with autism as they negotiate the tough terrain of selecting their baby s incapacity, acquiring a prognosis, gaining access to acceptable companies and their on-going efforts to come back to phrases with and make experience in their baby s designated subjectivity and mode of being. It examines the gendered dimensions of coping and care-giving and the differential responses of mom and dad, siblings and grandparents and the nuclear family community to this advanced and sometimes tremendous demanding situation.
The ebook tackles head at the sombre query, what's going to occur to the kid after the fogeys are long past ? It additionally severely examines the function of the kingdom, civil society and criminal and institutional frameworks in position in India and undertakes a case examine of motion for Autism ; a Delhi-based NGO organize by way of mom and dad of kids with autism. This e-book additionally attracts upon the writer s personal engagement together with her baby’ s incapacity and hence lends an authenticity born out of lived event and in-depth figuring out. it's a precious addition to the literature within the sociology of the relations and incapacity experiences.

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Additional resources for Autism and the Family in Urban India: Looking Back, Looking Forward

Sample text

Bleuler thus used the term as an adjective to describe a symptom rather than as a distinct ‘syndrome’, which is how Kanner deployed the term. So, was ‘autism’ a variant or sub-set of schizophrenia? According to Kanner, these children were different from persons with schizophrenia. They did not have delusions or hallucinations and their syndrome he believed was present from birth. They did not ‘withdraw’ from the social world, rather they were never able to adequately engage with it in the first place (Grinker 2007, pp.

In India, in the 1920s, the case of the sisters Kamla and Amla found together in the forest also provoked much interest (Grinker 2007). Kanner’s insights on the biological or innate nature of the disorder ran counter to the prevalent discourse of the 1940s and 1950s in America which was deeply influenced by psychoanalysis. Autism was therefore conceptualized as a disorder of the psyche, resulting from the child’s emotional withdrawal from a cold, rejecting mother. The notorious ‘refrigerator mother’ hypothesis which demonized and stigmatized a whole generation of mothers of children with autism was the direct outcome of this perspective and held sway over the way autism was conceptualized and treated for a long time.

In a nutshell, autism according to Bettelheim was a disease caused by pathological parenting, and not, as Kanner believed a unique behavioural syndrome. e. by separating the child from the parents. The Orthogenic School which he headed was promoted as one such place where a child would be ‘healed’ from the psychic wounds inflicted by his parents and be exposed to a caring, nurturing environment that would enable the distorted self to flower and develop. It is important to note that when speaking of parents it is inevitably the mother who is targeted, as it was she who spent the maximum and most intimate time with the child.

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