Saturday, May 14, 2016

The French and Autism

When I was on the Maggie's Farm urban hike, I got to speak with Stuart Schneiderman for a couple of miles. We spoke of many things*, as such conversations go, but the troubling news he brought of how damaging the approach to autism is in France continues to stick with me.  Schneiderman was trained as a psychoanalyst in France many moons ago, but changed direction sharply when he decided other approaches would help his patients more.  He still practices in Manhattan, but uses "coach"-based titles for what he now does.  He seems quite calm and happy about the change.

In France the psychoanalytic approach is still dominant in the treatment of autism.  The belief is that your parents, especially your mother, never really wanted you and this is why your thinking doesn't work like other people's and you have to scramble to fit in.  Betelheim may have long since been exposed as a psychology fraud, but his approach lives on there. I linked to all Schneiderman's posts on autism at his "Had Enough Therapy?" blog, but it is mostly the first two, written about six months ago, that I am putting before you. Very frustrating to read.

*That's Stuart on the left there, me on the right. Or maybe the other way around.


lelia said...

I wept when I saw what is done to autistic people in France.

Sam L. said...

You silly boy, Carpenter!

Autism in France: The left says we should be more like France and Europe.