I have spent the last few years studying what some mental health professionals name “Complex Primary Motor Stereotypies” (or some variation of that name).
Increasingly, I believe that parents and researchers should begin to move away from that classification. The classification has the benefit of serving as a rallying point (what Lacan named an “imaginary”) but this can also be a serious limitation. The imaginary that the classification offers could in fact be a continuation rather than a challenge to the prevailing discourse which has sustained the behaviour. Moreover, the classification problematically helps direct parents and care-givers toward:
(1) cognitive behavioural strategies designed to increasingly obsessionalize the child,
(2) market-based solutions which intend to sell therapeutic approaches via DVD and specialized institutional care arrangements,
(3) potential bio-/neurological and drug-based solutions,
(4) reaffirmation of the parent child relationship rather than an interrogation of it.
It is absolutely crucial that psychoanalytic discourse intervene into this debate since it relates quite fundamentally to (1) the so-called new symptoms, (2) ordinary psychosis, (3) capitalist discourse.