Rethinking Autism with Dolto: Syllable Soup

Author(s) : Kathleen Saint-Onge

Rethinking Autism with Dolto: Syllable Soup

Book Details

  • Publisher : Routledge
  • Published : February 2024
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 270
  • Category :
    Autism and Aspergers
  • Catalogue No : 97490
  • ISBN 13 : 9781032655147
  • ISBN 10 : 1032655143

Also by Kathleen Saint-Onge

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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

1. Conservation

- A. Archaic
- B. Affect
- C. Anxiety
- D. Environment

2. Circulation
- A. Third
- B. Passivity
- C. Regression
- D. Symbolization

- A. Phonemes
- B. Traces
- C. Witness
- D. Exteriorization

4. Primary Defence

- A. Regression
- B. Anxiety

5.Auditory Influence
- A. Phonemes
- B. Passivity

6. Resonant Experience
- A. Exteriorization
- B. Witness

7. Name—Awaiting Echoes

- A. Inscription
- B. Reverberations

8. Library—(Re)finding Echoes
- A. Inscription
- B. Reverberations

9. Transcription—Producing Echoes
- A. Inscription
- B. Reverberations

10. Forest—Following Echoes
- A. Inscription
- B. Reverberations


About the Author(s)

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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