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Bernard Golse

My Struggle For Autistic Children

Bernard Golse, a child psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, is Chief of Child Psychiatry at the Paris children’s hospital Hôpital Necker and a professor of child and adolescent psychiatry at the University of Paris-V.

‘I first met Vincent when he was a little over two years old. He presented the typical symptoms of severe autism. As the years went by, I saw him emerge from his autistic bubble and gradually accede to communication, symbolisation and language. I can still see him: he’s well over eleven and he’s in the fourth grade. A few minutes into the consultation, he says, “Do you remember when I was little I had problems… When I was born, I wasn’t there?”’ writes Bernard Golse.
Beginning with the story of this young boy who benefited from a multipronged approach to treatment (schooling, speech therapy, individual psychotherapy, parental guidance, etc.), Golse goes on to review the latest scientific advances to help deal with a disorder that is serious but treatable — if health professionals and parents work together, taking advantage of existing techniques, without preconceptions or dogmatism.

• At the heart of the current controversy about how to treat autism.
• An appeal for a multifaceted approach to autism, one that takes into account organic and endogenous factors (notably genetics) as well as exogenous factors (the environment).
• On behalf of autistic children, the author urges a multipronged approach to the disorder, integrating behavioural techniques and human relations.