Autism: Its Causes and Treatment
May 14, 2009
from 12:30 AM to 02:00 AM
|Contact Name||Jack Sechrest|
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We have come a long way from the 60s when Bruno Bettelheim’s book, The Empty Fortress: Infantile Autism and the Birth of the Self, was a best seller, calling attention to children who showed marked social isolation and regressive verbal skills. Bettelheim’s premise was that children who landed on the autistic spectrum were suffering from inadequate parenting and affection ranging from the verbal to the physical. This became the prevailing explanation and, for decades, many mothers suffered from blame, guilt and self-doubt. Today’s research has proven autism to be a behaviorally defined neurodevelopmental disorder that begins in early childhood, a problem that can be mitigated but not reversed. Numerous therapies include sensory integration, occupation and speech therapy and behavior modification all of which can be enormously expensive. Come and hear what the current perspectives are regarding this troubling disability.
Dr. Anthony Rotatori is professor of psychology at St. Xavier University. He has spent much of his career exploring the world of special education, researching the problems of children who don’t conform to developmental expectations. His son and daughter in law, Paul and Liz, are active members of HWSC.