Bettelheim, Bruno

Early Infantile Autism and the Refrigerator Mother Theory (1943-1970)

Early Infantile Autism and the Refrigerator Mother Theory (1943-1970)

In 1943, child psychiatrist Leo Kanner in the US gave the first account of Early Infantile Autism that encouraged psychiatrists to investigate what they called emotionally cold mothers, or refrigerator mothers. In 1949, Kanner published "Problems of Nosology and Psychodynamics of Early Infantile Autism." In that article, Kanner described autistic children as reared in

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