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Bull Menninger Clin. 1995 Fall;59(4):443-59.

Autistic defenses and the impairment of cognitive development.

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Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.


The authors suggest that unbearable early life experiences that force the infant to use autistic defenses often constitute a significant factor leading to cognitive impairment. These autistic defenses are self-generated (sensory) soothing devices that shut out consciousness of the world and foreclose the need to relate to anyone or anything that is not under the complete control of the subject. Two clinical examples are given from opposite ends of a continuum of patients with varying degrees of cognitive impairment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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