AutismDiscussion-Wk1 - What do you think are some of the social and political issues behind earlier perspectives on the causes of autism such as Leo

AutismDiscussion-Wk1 - What do you think are some of the...

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What do you think are some of the social and political issues behind earlier perspectives on the causes of autism such as Leo Kanner’s concept of ‘refrigerator mother’ and ‘undemonstrative father’? After deciphering through my readings and conducting further research, it seems to me that the social and political issues behind earlier perspectives on the causes of autism, in the beginning, was mainly politically geared towards labeling and making sure this new found disability was placed in the correct category. These categories were created to disseminate the various disabilities that existed at the time, in order to: talk about, study, draw conclusions from, categorize people, and make recommendations about policies that needed to be examined [Holzman, 1982]. Due to Kanner’s [1943] success of being the first scientist to clearly define and label Autism, the disability became more prevalent to affluent and rich white families with disabled children. It seems the term Autistic, was a more valued label, and sounded more aesthetically pleasing than the label Mentally Retarded, Moron or Idiot [Holzman, 1982]. As Kanner [1943] continued his research in autism, and due to his deep drive and passion for helping autistic children, Kanner noticed the coldness and neglect that the rich affluent parents were expressing towards their disabled children; this is how his coined term ‘refrigerator mother’ & ‘undemonstrative father’ got started and began the era [1940’s to 1960’s] of blaming the parents [History Of Blame, 2002].

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