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Psicologia & Sociedade

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SANTOS, Michele Araújo  and  SANTOS, Maria de Fátima de Souza. Teachers' social representations on infantile autism. Psicol. Soc. [online]. 2012, vol.24, n.2, pp.364-372. ISSN 0102-7182.

Based on the social representations theory, this study aims at investigating teachers'commom sense thinking on infantile autism, its anchorage and objectivation. Sixteen teachers participated in this study, divided into two groups: 9 female teachers with experience on working with autistic children and 7 other teachers with no such experience. This article analyzes data obtained from semi-structured interviews. Paradoxically, despite being closer to autistic children, teachers do not become more familiar with them. In general, there is uncertainty and fluidity on considering autism as an organic disease or the result of poor mothering; there are also doubts on believing that these children are gifted or intellectually handicapped. Therefore, teachers create various "autisms", a process which seems to be anchored on different repertoires, from psychoanalysis to neurosciences.

Keywords : social representations; infantile autism; education.

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