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Arousal and Childhood Autism

Naturevolume 204pages908909 (1964) | Download Citation



THE clinical features of the syndrome ‘early infantile autism’ were described by Kanner first in 1943 (ref. 1) and more recently in 1958 (ref. 2). The cardinal symptoms of this syndrome are: (a) an inability to form social relationships; (b) an ‘obsessive insistence on the preservation of sameness’. The latter feature often has the corollary that catastrophic reactions are provoked by the introduction of novelty or the change of an established routine. A catastrophic reaction closely resembles infantile rage, consisting of screaming, weeping, threshing movements of arms and legs and sometimes self-directed aggression such as biting the limbs.

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  1. Park Hospital for Children, Oxford

    • , S. J. HUTT


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