Encyclopedia of Autism Spectrum Disorders

Living Edition
| Editors: Fred R. Volkmar

Autism in Ecuador

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6435-8_102532-1

Historical Background

As in other countries from the region, the field of mental health in Ecuador has been documented during pre-Columbian times, the colonial period, and the modern republics. Children and adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), especially those situated in the most severe end of the spectrum, may have received treatments available for individuals with atypical and challenging behaviors long before ASD was recognized and named. Different treatments used for mental health conditions have been documented since pre-Columbian times, such as the use of hallucinogens (ayahuasca, bejuco), animals (chickens, guinea pigs), songs, and dances with mythical and religious allusions (Naranjo 1983). In different parts of the country, it is still possible to observe practices of shamanism or crusaderism, offered to individuals with mental health difficulties (Zuniga Carrasco and Riera Recalde 2018), or read billboards advertising the services particularly for children’s...

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty de Psychology and Educational SciencesUniversity of GenevaGenevaSwitzerland