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Revista Mal Estar e Subjetividade

versão impressa ISSN 1518-6148


CAMARA, Yzy Maria Rabelo et al. Portrait of a contained life: a case study of autism with prolonged hospitalization. Rev. Mal-Estar Subj. [online]. 2011, vol.11, n.2, pp. 751-777. ISSN 1518-6148.

This article aims at an understanding of autism taking as starting point a case with prolonged hospitalization. Autism here will be based in two viewpoints: psychiatry and winnicottian psychoanalysis. Concepts, possible causes and symptoms will be approached by psychiatry; the importance of the familiar support and a healthy environment for an emotional development will be approached by winnicottian theory. The lack of familiar support and of a healthy environment can hinder the subject's integration and autism is shown as a possible failure in this structure. The clinical case chosen refers to a patient abandoned by family, with strong and constant states of self-aggression, who spent 21 years hospitalized in public hospital mental health reference center, where, most of the time, was under restriction, as a way of preserving their physical integrity. The first children's CAPS in the State of Ceará, which caters to children and teenagers of 67 districts of the city of Fortaleza, was named, posthumously, after this patient. To this end, a survey was made of all documentary records of the subject, in the period between December 2009 and May 2010. The results show reports collected from medical records that point to the characteristic behaviors of autism, as well as episodes of aggression, restlessness, attempts of socialization by the multidisciplinary team, therapeutical adopted and limitations suffered by the team before the global commitment of the subject.

Palavras-chave : Child; autism; hospitalization; psychoanalysis; winnicottian theory.

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