September 2009 Archives

Refrigerator Mothers

When Bruno Bettelheim was presented with new evidence that countered his own, he dismissed it out of hand. Because of his popularity, the public followed right along with his dismissal, just like sheeple.
Could this phenomenon of mindless following be prevalent in other areas of life? More specifically, in the public opinions of autism and its affect on people? 

Refrigerator Mothers Response- Rachael Dashiell

I found this video very disturbing and sad. After thinking about it I still can't imagine why, after accusing the mothers of the autistic children of neglecting them, the doctors would "treat" the children by isolating them! What was the logic behind this so-called treatment?

Refridgerator Mothers

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What doesn't make sense to me is why, if autism was seen as a disorder caused by isolation and frigidity, doctors decided to treat it by completely isolating the child. Why try to correct the problem by perpetuating the cause?

I'm still upset, i guess you could say, about the fact that it was never the father's fault. They were the people not in the lives of the children most of the time.  Why is it, the only person there for the child was blamed?

Refrigerator Mothers Movie

How can a mother be blamed for being unloving or disconnected when she has another child that does not suffer from autism? What would Bettelheim or other Dr.'s of that time say she was able to connect with one son, but not the other?

How could the Psychiatrists blame the mothers without any concrete evidence? 

Refrigerator Mothers

In the movie one of the mothers had two kids. One her kids was "normal" and the other was autistic. How can they blame this mother for making her kid autistic when she's obviously capable of raising a non-autistic child? I just can't understand this logic. 

Refridgerator Mother Film

In the film, it stated that autism is a neurological disorder.  From what we have been studying and discussing class, we have leaned towards autism as a behavioral disorder and that it can only be tested by observing behavior.  My question from the film is, besides behavioral clues, does an autistic child's or adult's brain "fire" differently neurologically?  Has there been any tests done on an autsitic child/ adult's brain to see how neurons are fireing?  Lastly, does the brain have a chemical imbalance or an imbalance of neurons that make autistics act so unexpectedly, sensitively and severely that cause the types of behavior discussed in class?


I apologize for the lengthy question(s).


-Janell Campbell

Refrigerator Mothers Question

The psychiatrists blamed the mothers for their children with autism because apparently the mothers were cold and emotionally inaccessible.  Why then as treatment did they isolate the children from their mothers?  Aren't they just reinforcing the isolation by taking the kids away from their families?  

Refrigerator Mothers

Do you think that the isolation they kept these children in was just another form of mental institution? It was stated in the movie that the treatment wasn't working but it was continued anyway but what was the reasoning behind the isolation? Why was it decided that children who seemed distant should be put in isolation? It doesn't really make sense does it?

Refrigerator Mothers

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I agree with all these statements and also am curious as to why when the parents bring the children into psychologists, why the mothers are pretty much treated like the patients. I thought it was strange how the doctor tried to discover what was wrong with the mother rather than examing the child. In the movie they said, "If you have seconds thoughts, the problem is yours," I found this fascinating that the doctors almost punish the mothers for bringing the children in, when they are really doing the right thing. 

I am also curious where the theory of autism only being limited to middle class, intelligent, and white children came from and how it was actually followed. 

Refrigerator Mothers

Why are only the mothers getting blamed? What about the fathers? 

I think it is so strange that they blame the mothers when most of the time the mothers of these children are far from rejecting or cold to their children. As the brother of an autistic child said that his mother was a hero. 

Isolation Treatment vs Refrigerator Mothers

Psychologists stipulated that children were made Autistic by "refrigerator mothers" at the time. How would an isolation treatment be any different if they are locked away in a room would that not produce the same effect psychologists blamed?

"Refridgerator Mothers"

When the autistic children were put in the schools, they were isolated from everyone. How did that affect the children emotionally and did it make their symptoms worse?

Refrigerator Mothers

Obviously the women in the video were very upset about the "refrigerator mother" theory but what effect did the "refrigerator mother" theory have on the mothers at that time? Did it have an effect on the rest of the family as well?

If a mother had one child with Autism and other children without it, was she considered a "refrigerator mother" just to that child? 

Why would doctors ever think that socioeconomic status and race plays a role in who has autism and who doesn't?

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