Autism and Practice
Although his theory has now been discredited, for many years Bruno Bettelheim’s refrigerator mother, psychogenic theory of the aetiology of autism was at the center of theory and practice (Bettelheim 1967). It still affects many people both in Europe and the United States, although practice in Great Britain is relatively free of its influence.
Nonetheless, there still is controversy about the basic issues in autism, and what causes the problems for children. In this analysis, the intention is to provide some background on the problems that autistic children experience, developing theories, and implications of two contrasting theories for practice.