Accueil MSH-Alpes


The crisis of French psychiatry through the case of autism

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TitleThe crisis of French psychiatry through the case of autism
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
AuteursBorelle, Céline
Autre titreCrisis and imagination, workshop 123
Lieu d'éditionMaynooth, Ireland
Titre de collection11th Biennial EASA Conference
Date détaillée2010/08/27

The associations of parents with an autistic child emerging in the nineties have rejected the dominant psychoanalytic approach as making the mother responsible for the child's disorder. They have been promoting the definition of autism as a neurological and cognitive disorder that implies disability. They refuse to consider autism as a mental disorder that should be cured in psychiatric institutions and propose alternative ways of caring for autistic children inspired by behavioural and educative methods imported from the United States. Some parents consider that those methods are more efficient in terms of normalizing the child's behaviours and they value the fact that they can get implied in their child's care. Through analyzing trajectories of parents with an autistic child, we intend to show how the psychiatrists are questioned in their conceptions and practices, how conflict may emerge between different approaches and how practical arrangements of care are imagined. The case of autism reveals that French psychiatry is confronted with the lost of its monopoly over the psychiatric field’s ordering.