refrigerator mother


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refrigerator mother

A mother who is especially cold and distant toward her children. The "refrigerator mother" was once seen as a contributing factor in autistic children. I'm really trying to be more affectionate to my children, so as to not be seen as a refrigerator mother.
See also: mother
References in periodicals archive ?
Autism and Gender explores four gendered characters in depth: the refrigerator mother, the mother warrior, the computer geek, and the autism dad.
Autism and Gender: From Refrigerator Mothers to Computer Geeks
Autism: Explaining the Enigma Her book was published in 1989 and its findings have been widely accepted (even though the refrigerator mother thesis hangs on -- shockingly -- for example, in France).
Long ago, the refrigerator mother myth was debunked, thanks to Bernard Rimland of the Autism Research Institute (24) in San Diego, California who discovered the medical realities that autistic children exhibit.
I remember the "authority" who said the cause of autism was clear: refrigerator mother.