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Psychiatric Reform and Autism Services in Italy and Brazil

  • M. Ariel CascioEmail author
  • Bárbara Costa Andrada
  • Benilton BezerraJr.
Chapter
Part of the Culture, Mind, and Society book series (CMAS)

Abstract

This chapter presents an outline of the history, politics, and lived experience of autism in Italy and Brazil, illuminating key similarities and differences. It focuses on the contemporary dilemmas around autism in these countries, particularly the historical developments of Psychiatric Reform (PR) in both countries, and how the post-reform epistemic and institutional matrices address autism. Both countries share a history of radical liberatory anti-asylum movements, deinstitutionalization, and transition to a community-based mental healthcare system that addresses a range of needs often without diagnosis-specific services; both countries have seen conflict between parent groups (and in Italy, self-advocacy groups as well) and this system, as parent groups often call for more diagnosis-specific services. However, there are substantial differences in the landscape of autism politics between Brazil and Italy. Local and historical particularities as well as everyday practice make ideals meaningful, rendering the same perspectives on treatment, intervention, and social organization harmful in one situation, yet helpful in another. Taking a historically informed view of current autism politics moves beyond dichotomies and extremities in these perspectives, opening up the space for the recognition of common ground and, perhaps, integration.

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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Ariel Cascio
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Bárbara Costa Andrada
    • 3
  • Benilton BezerraJr.
    • 4
  1. 1.Institut de recherches cliniques de MontréalMontréalCanada
  2. 2.McGill UniversityMontréalCanada
  3. 3.Institute of PsychiatryFederal University of Rio de JaneiroRio de JaneiroBrazil
  4. 4.Institute for Social MedicineState University of Rio de JaneiroRio de JaneiroBrazil

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