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October 17, 2007

October 17, 2007

Early Diagnoses

I just got home from an appointment with my psychiatrist. He agrees with the following summary of my early diagnoses (and that AS is the primary condition):

I had, in my early years, been diagnosed with childhood schizophrenia (a category which then included autism). Later, as an inpatient for roughly two months (at 11 years old) in a psychiatric hospital, I was inappropriately (in retrospect) given a series of electroconvulsive therapies (ECTs).

Though regrettable, my situation, considering the nomenclature used in the DSM-I (which, initially published in 1952, only placed autism with schizophrenic reaction, childhood type and with schizoid personality disorder) and the DSM-II (which, originally published in 1968, only placed autism with schizophrenia, childhood type and with schizoid personality disorder), was not at all uncommon for the 1960s.

As a side note, the DSM-III, which distinguished infantile autism from schizophrenia, childhood type, was first published in 1980 (and I clearly did not have Kanner’s syndrome, i.e., infantile autism). However, it was not until the DSM-IV (1994) and the DSM-IV-TR (2000) that Asperger’s Disorder was included and childhood-onset schizophrenia was assessed as very rare.

Therefore, I was, in effect, diagnosed with autism by my psychiatrist. Since there was no separate DSM autism category in the 1960s (or 1970s), my earlier recollection (from my mother) that he had changed the diagnosis from autism to childhood schizophrenia would not likely have been accurate (or my mother misunderstood the situation).

Perhaps my mother meant that, contrary to the expectations of the clinicians I had seen earlier, the autistic symptoms of childhood schizophrenia (as the category was then constructed) were not so prominent. Nonetheless, utilizing current terminology, my behavior would have been described as AS with comorbid OCD, not as schizophrenia.

In any event, as a child, and on into adulthood, I was continually being told by others, especially my mother, that I was egotistical and did not care for anyone except myself. I suppose I came to believe it. Taking into account the earlier diagnosis, which included autism, I am perplexed as to why my mother assumed I was being selfish.


“…if you are not like everybody else, then you are abnormal, if you are abnormal , then you are sick. These three categories, not being like everybody else, not being normal and being sick are in fact very different but have been reduced to the same thing.”

~ Michel Foucault

As a Kid

As a kid, I was terrified of words containing (especially beginning with) the letter B. I associated it with bomb and ball. However, that was probably more my comorbid OCD than the AS itself.

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