This book is available as an open access ebook under a CC-BY-NC-ND licence.
What is autism and where has it come from? Increased diagnostic rates, the rise of the 'neurodiversity' movement, and growing autism journalism, have recently fuelled autism's fame and controversy. The metamorphosis of autism is the first book to explain our current fascination with autism by linking it to a longer history of childhood development. Drawing from a staggering array of primary sources, Bonnie Evans traces autism back to its origins in the early twentieth century and explains why the idea of autism has always been controversial and why it experienced a 'metamorphosis' in the 1960s and 1970s.
Evans takes the reader on a journey of discovery from the ill-managed wards of 'mental deficiency' hospitals, to high-powered debates in the houses of parliament, and beyond. The book will appeal to a wide market of scholars and others interested in autism. -- .
Bonnie Evans is Wellcome Trust Postdoctoral Fellow in the History Department at Queen Mary, University of London -- .
Introduction: Perceiving, describing and modelling child development Part I: The first autism: The observation and description of child development before 1959 1: The first autism 2: The first autism controversies 3: Inside the Maudsley Child Psychotic Clinic in the 1950s Part II: How autism became autism 4: The transformation of social life and the transformation of autism in the 1960s 5: How do you measure a social impairment? 6: Epidemiology, epidemics and autism as a global health crisis Conclusion Index -- .