Background to my interest in teaching children with autism

PSYCHOTHERAPY BEYOND THE FRINGE, continued

                                                                       PART IV

               Madness! Distraction: The bewildering dis-ease …

                        Exploring the Never-Never Land of Schizophrenia

Introduction — Fantastic Fantasies

Why would one want to jump from telling fairy stories about homosexuality into make believe about schizophrenia? I asked myself the same question. The answer I gave myself was: history. The first jobs Felicity and Felicity had as psychologists involved working with children. During that trying time, Felicity developed the understanding that children are subject to those two dreadful diseases called Infancy and Childhood. The profound insight which grew from this understanding was that it is the job of adults, as quickly as possible, to wrench youngsters free from the grip of these unpleasant diseases to grow them into normal adults (like us). Then they could repeat with the next generation the same mistakes we made. Well, Felicity found the task of extricating youth from their dread conditions so unpleasant and so fraught with difficulties that he quickly abandoned that enterprise, leaving it, as he put it, to the more patient, more qualified and more tough-minded good graces of women.

Meanwhile, he had been working in private practice, and many of his clients in those days were people with sexual difficulties, often homosexuality. That is why some of Felicity’s early practice in learning how to apply psychology to problems in the real world led him to begin his fabrications of stories about psychotherapy with fairy tales about homosexuality.

However, when he stopped working with children, he started working in a state-run mental hospital which was old and run down, and which was probably indistinguishable from The Snake Pit. He began to try to come to grips with the people he found there, and thus to examine the nature of the ‘disease’ from which they were most commonly said to suffer, namely, schizophrenia.

So Felicity’s personal history decrees that the topic of schizophrenia has also to be addressed here. If you happen to think that this mix of topics is inappropriate, Felicity would be pleased to join you in raising your voices in protest – addressed, of course, to the Inter-Governmental Office of Governmental Mismanagement, branches of which can be found in the government buildings and in the offices of the government leaders of every state and nation worldwide. If that initiative proves to be as ineffectual as expected, Felicity would be glad to join you in the ancient rite of a good old midnight howl at the ungrateful moon.

However, until those two appeals to higher authority fail, it will be necessary for us to accept patiently the vagaries of Felicity’s history and to press on and to create some fantasies about schizophrenia.

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