Throughout the book, Silberman situates events in their larger cultural context, an illuminating contrast that works well to explain how the "refrigerator mother
" idea took hold, for instance.
By the end of the twentieth century, the poisonous "refrigerator mother
" was replaced by a very different gendered character, the "mother warrior." The term was coined by Jenny McCarthy, a celebrity champion of the movement against childhood vaccines after her son, Evan, was diagnosed with autism in 2005.
As a mother, I can only imagine what his parents had to have gone through to commit him, in a time even before the false "refrigerator mother
theory" had its heyday.
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).
Blaming moms for autism is nothing new In the mid-20th century, the concept of the "refrigerator mother
" held that mothers' "coldness" and emotional distance caused their children's autism.
Washington, March 8 ( ANI ): The "Refrigerator Mother
" theory suggests that autistic behaviours in children stems from lack of maternal warmth and emotional attachment.
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
. I remember my son's caseworker telling me that if I wanted to help my son, I had to understand that I was a major part of the cause.
In these early cases of autism, the condition was considered something caused by "refrigerator mothers
." Later, some blamed vaccines.
Labeled "refrigerator mothers
," these women suffered the twin effects of guilt and shame while struggling to raise their children.
Many of us recall the fad for denying custody to supposedly pathogenic parents such as "refrigerator mothers
." Another fad involved awarding custody to the "primary psychological parent" with no attention to other factors.
"There's been a great deal of misinformation about the causes of autism-from the 1950s misconception that the distant maternal behaviour of what were dubbed 'refrigerator mothers
' was at fault to the ill-informed myth that vaccines can cause autism," Losh added.
Many psychologists falsely blamed so-called "refrigerator mothers
," who they felt had psychically wounded their children by being too cold and distant.