Mental Illness: The Trance Children

The most tragic, and in some ways most mysterious, form of mental illness in children is infantile autism. Autistic* children live in a lonely and unbreakable trance. As babies, they seldom look into their mothers' eyes, they never reach out to be picked up and cuddled. By the age of about two, they have withdrawn completely from the world, ignoring the people around them in favor of the Teddy bears or dolls to which they become fanatically attached. The smallest departure in routine can send them into screaming paroxysms; some must wear tiny football helmets to prevent them from...

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