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Rethinking Autism with Dolto: Syllable Soup
Kathleen Saint-Onge
Routledge / Softcover / Mar 2024
9781032655147 (ISBN-10: 1032655143)
Psychoanalysis
price: $69.50
304 pages
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Rethinking Autism with Dolto takes up a principal legacy of Françoise Dolto’s immense project—her conviction that autism is a regression to the archaic.

Dolto theorizes that the infant in utero, deep in dreams, is receptive to the audition of “phonemes” during the pre-conscious “archaic stage” of psychosexual maturation. That dream-work on words—an idiosyncratic prehistory at the onset of mental and emotional life—secures the unconscious circulation of affect and the ontogeny of thought long prior to speech, seeding associative thinking and facilitating self-regulation. Kathleen Saint-Onge uses the written work of four nonverbal autistic authors in seeking corroboration for Dolto’s formulations, finding thoughtful self-reflections that relate the experience of living in silence with relentless anxiety while relying on regression as a defence. Dolto’s unprecedented insights into the infant’s earliest learning carry formidable implications for autism interventions, and for primary language and literacy. At issue is an enduring susceptibility to archaic echoes—the haphazard, securing return of pre-invested phonemes—in communicative exchanges, including reading and writing.

Rethinking Autism with Dolto considers unconscious processes as inherently reparative, heralding the responsibility education holds for human health, and supports a rethinking of autism that presumes competence. Readers are invited to new conversations in psychoanalysis, child development, education and linguistics through an exploration of the unconscious concomitants of first language acquisition.

Table of Contents;

Preface

Introduction

PART ONE: ANALYSIS

Preamble for Part One

Chapter 1: Conservation

Preliminary Words

A. Archaic

B. Affect

C. Anxiety

D. Environment

Chapter 2: Circulation

Preliminary Words

A. Third

B. Passivity

C. Regression

D. Symbolization

Chapter 3: Presentification

Preliminary Words

A. Phonemes

B. Traces

C. Witness

D. Exteriorization

Summary for Part One

PART TWO: EVIDENCE

Preamble for Part Two

Chapter 4: Primary Defence

Preliminary Words

A. Regression

B. Anxiety

Chapter 5: Auditory Influence

Preliminary Words

A. Phonemes

B. Passivity

Chapter 6: Resonant Experience

Preliminary Words

A. Exteriorization

B. Witness

Summary for Part Two

PART THREE: PRACTICE

Preamble for Part Three

Chapter 7: Name—Awaiting Echoes

Preliminary Words

A. Inscription

B. Reverberations

Chapter 8: Library—(Re)finding Echoes

Preliminary Words

A. Inscription

B. Reverberations

Chapter 9: Transcription—Producing Echoes

Preliminary Words

A. Inscription

B. Reverberations

Chapter 10: Forest—Following Echoes

Preliminary Words

A. Inscription

B. Reverberations

Summary for Part Three

CONCLUSION

BIBLIOGRAPHY

INDEX


About the Author:

Kathleen Saint-Onge is a researcher and educator originally from Québec, Canada. Interrogating the unconscious, affective roots of language, she earned her master’s and PhD from York University, Toronto. Her previous publications include Discovering Françoise Dolto: Psychoanalysis, Identity and Child Development (Routledge).

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