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Is Autism Statistically Linked to Early Non-Maternal Child Care?

McDowell, Doctor Maxson J. (2004) Is Autism Statistically Linked to Early Non-Maternal Child Care? [Journal (On-line/Unpaginated)] (In Press)

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Abstract

Autism represents a pervasive cascade of developmental (psychological) failures. Therefore the primary deficit in autism, the necessary and sufficient cause, should be a very early psychological failure. Genes and other biological factors linked to autism are neither necessary nor sufficient to cause autism. Nor could biological factors have changed quickly enough to account for recent changes in the incidence of autism. Biological factors must work indirectly, by increasing the probability of the primary deficit. Brain differences may be secondary to early social deprivation. The personality, like all other dynamic systems, must self-organize from a few simple components. I summarize in this paper some of the evidence that a very early step in the self-organization of the personality is the internalization of the image of the mother's eyes. I propose that failure to internalize that image is the primary deficit in autism. Recent dramatic increases in the incidence of autism coincide with dramatic increases in the very early use of non-maternal child care including TV, video and computer games. Reduced exposure to the mother's gaze would mitigate against internalizing the image of the mother's eyes. My hypothesis predicts that autism is statistically linked to early non-maternal child care. This prediction has implications for preventing autism. It should be confirmed or refuted by the current Norwegian-American study, The Autism Birth Cohort.

Item Type:Journal (On-line/Unpaginated)
Keywords:Autism, cause, cascade, psychological failure, non-maternal childcare, image, eyes, self-organization, early, infant, television, video, primary deficit
Subjects:Psychology > Developmental Psychology
ID Code:3747
Deposited By:McDowell, Doctor Maxson J.
Deposited On:10 Aug 2004
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:55

References in Article

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