Bruno Bettelheim
Child Health   Autism

[Jewish by birth.]

Age of Autism Weekly Wrap: All Apologies    Apology Number One: From the University of Chicago and its Sonia Shankman Orthogenic School. This was the stomping ground -- literally and figuratively -- of bully boy Bruno Bettelheim, who cooked up the idea of homicidal mothers driving their appropriately terrified infants into the "empty fortress" of autism. Beloved during his life as a wise and benevolent guru of disturbed children, revelations after his death showed him to be abusive to the children at the school. And his blame-mom paradigm slowed by decades the understanding of autism as a biological disorder.  The damage he did to families and individuals coping with autism is beyond description. But you'd never know it by checking the Orthogenic School's Web site. Yes, it's still there, still treating disturbed children -- and, unfathomably, still shilling for Bettelheim!

Three Kinds of Lies by  Mark Blaxill, MBA