Autism, Childhood Schizophrenia and Culture: A Critical Review of the Literature
AbstractOverviewAutism, Childhood Schizophrenia and Culture: A Critical Review of the Literature SAGE Publications, Inc.1981DOI: 10.1177/136346158101800301 Victor D.Sanua Although sociocultural variations in the distribution of adult schizophrenia are quite widely recognized today, the situation respecting childhood schizophrenia and infantile autism is much less clear, in part due to the considerable ambiguity regarding the classification of childhood psychoses which has existed since the latter part of the nineteenth century when psychiatrists began to discuss the existence of such states. As the important categories used today carg-y either an autistic or a schizophrenic connotation, this paper will use the single term childhood schizophrenia to cover all serious disturbances of early childhood which are considered to be of a psychotic nature while the term autism will be used to refer only to children with specific symptoms such as those described by Kanner and Eisenberg (1955), including extr eme self-isolation and the obsessive insistence on sameness. These two diagnostic criteria are the sources from which the other clinical classifications are derived. It is to be noted that the labels "childhood psychosis," "childhood schizophrenia," and 11 infantile autism" are used interchangeably by many researchers. This has resulted in contr adictory findings by various investigators.