October 9, 2000

Return to Home Page, Links to More Papers
Go To the Addendum Paper on Autism
Go To the Paper on High Functioning Autistic Temple Grandin
Go To the Paper on the Astrology of One Individual Diagnosed with Asperger’s Disorder
Go To the Paper on the Astrology of One Twin Autistic, One Normal
Go To the Paper on "Saturn/Pluto" Autism

Developmental Astrology:
The Message in Autism
Five Autistic Children

by Sandra Weidner
One Description of Autism
Note: This astrology uses the sideral zodiac. For my take on why that zodiac is superior to the traditional, tropical, "Western" one, please read the following: The Tropical and Sidereal Zodiacs: A Discussion.

This is a long paper--thirty-seven word processing pages. However, those pages include appendices, citations, and data for five people for three of their twelve charts. Undoubtedly some of them can be scanned.

This paper has to be updated when I find time. I also want to point out that many readers of these papers on medical, psychological or sexual conditions read only about that condition, or perhaps one other. They thus have no idea how well this very different astrological method works. To get some idea of that, read some of the sixteen (with more to come!) papers on twins on this site. In traditional astrology, twins are hard to differentiate. This astrology demonstrates the differences in astrology which account for their life differences. Here is a link to one of the twin papers:The Silent Twins. Links to the other twin papers are found in each paper.

We should start with one comment and a question.

The comment: It is likely, as occurs with some genetic diseases, that there are environmental factors (diet, pollution, physical behavior, etc.)--along with the astrology--that affect the expression of autism and Alzheimer's disease. At the same time, I am less likely to believe that true of strictly autistic conditions as represented in the paper entitle "Autism Saturn/Pluto" or in Asperger's Syndrome.

The question: What is autism?

Autism is a developmental disorder of childhood, usually diagnosed between two and three years of age. At that time it becomes apparent these children, who appeared normal physically and mentally from infancy, are not developing. They are not developing socially. They are not even developing the skills--language, eye contact, feelings of attachment and desire--needed for socialization. Such children have been called autistic because they seem content to live in their own (aut=self) world.

Medically, the definition of autism has become complex, developing several subcategories. Its divisions may, as is the case with Bipolar Disorder (see “Patty Duke and Manic Depression” at Home Page) be tainted with non-autistic disorders.

Two of autism’s main early divisions, called Kanner’s Syndrome and Asperger’s Syndrome, have their characteristics set out in tables in Appendix A and Appendix B, respectively, below. Appendix C compares their differences.

For a practical picture of one autistic child, the biographic description below is taken from The Siege (1967) by Mrs. Clara Claiborne Park about her autistic daughter, Elly (book cited below; numbers in parentheses show page quoted).

Later authorities on autism found fault with Mrs. Park’s work. I liked her book. Mrs. Park was a careful observer. She was passionately interested in her daughter’s odd isolation, and pragmatic in her efforts to affect it. She was honest about her motivations. She was, at the time, working against the gradient of American psychologists (erroneously, it seems) blaming the cold, uncaring parents, particularly the mother, for her child’s autism. Their unsubstantiated targeting of the autistic child’s mother made their own behavior censurable and often even bizarre. Considering that climate, Mrs. Park’s quiet, persevering work is a monument of sanity erected in a country of fashionable diagnostic reactions.

Elly was, I understand, a Kanner’s Syndrome autistic child. I do not have her birth data, so cannot include her chart. Instead, the charts of five children for whom we have no description--just the label, autistic--are presented. All of them share a common astrological pattern, which, for the time being, is representative of Kanner’s Syndrome. Whichever subclassification they belong to, their pattern is shared, unique, and noteworthy.

Mrs. Park on Elly:

Elly had been something over a year old when her progress began to slow. Nothing had happened to her--no illness, no absence, no change in the environment. (8)
One speaks to her, loudly or softly. There is no response. (3)
She will sit, contented, in her crib for hours. She rocks and rocks and rocks.
(Doctors) said, “She seems like a child who has been raised very much alone.” Alone? In a house with three older brothers and sisters, neighbor’s children constantly in and out? She was alone, but she created her aloneness, sought it, guarded it. (4)
(At the beach, age two): [Elly is now] walking easily. On she walks, into family groups, by picnic baskets, sand castles, and buckets. She grazes human beings by a quarter of an inch. You would think she does not see them. But she does see them, because no matter how close she comes, her eyes fixed, it seems, on some point beyond them or to one side, she never touches them. (5)
Elly did not point. Nor did she try to get objects that were not within her reach; she seemed unconscious they were there. Content in crib or pen, when removed from them she crawled freely from room to room. But it was motion, not exploration. She did not push or poke, open drawers, pull at lamps, or tables. (Yet)...unconscious of so much, she was conscious of the location of every edge or limit; she could be left safely on any bed. (7)
Elly didn’t try, but the few things she had learned to do she had done neatly and successfully the first time she got around to it. She was never sloppy, never hesitant. (9)
As time went on, she began to acknowledge some rudimentary desire. (She usually would not use her own arms to reach for something she wanted.) Instead, she firmly picked up the human arm that happened to be nearest her and threw it toward the object desired. (9)
Through sound I could achieve no contact with Elly. Her sense of sight was hardly more promising...except in exceptionally favorable situations, she ignored me too. Unless I came very close. When I touched her, she noticed that. And although she did not seem to hear or see, her small legs and arms and fingers moved. She could inhibit her senses, but she could not entirely deny she had a body. (43)
What did Elly want enough to meet any conditions for getting it? Not a cookie, not a toy, not a ride in the car. A baby who like a Zen adept acquires the knack of inhibiting its desires approaches something akin to the Zen satori. Serene, in perfect vegetative equilibrium, it can be content to do nothing at all. When a creature is without desires the outside world has no lever by which to tempt it into motion. (45)
As 18-month-old Elly flipped the pages of her colored picture books, what did she see? ...I could only observe that she flipped the pages rapidly, steadily, with never a pause. Once--only once--she had shown she recognized a picture, of a blue teddy bear like her own. That was at seventeen months. Months passed, one year, another, and never did Elly give another sign that she could see a picture. (55)
One day--she was two years and eight months old--I was putting on her snowsuit. Ordinarily she was eager to go out, but today she acted oddly. Instead of submitting passively to being dressed, she tried to get away, and as soon as the suit was on, she headed upstairs. (She was involved with a set of colored parquet shapes, composed of diamonds, triangles, and squares). ...as I watched incredulous, (Elly had) selected four diamonds and combined them into a larger diamond, rejecting in the process a couple of right triangles that came to hand. She did this twice more, then began on the squares, working with a concentration that is difficult to describe. For twenty minutes her whole attention was focused on the task. The abstract, meaningless shapes seemed to have intrinsic importance for her. (57-58)

We have the chronicle of her first words: “Teddy” at 14 months; “mama” at 15 months, and “dada” at 16 months.

but it takes some time to realize that the new word is being substituted for the old one, that is, at any given time she has a one-word vocabulary. Not only that, she is not using them to communicate nor to label. By the time she was two years old, Elly had spoken six different words.
She had no idea of language as a tool to make things happen.” (74) (Elly’s words) were things-in-themselves that led to nowhere and nobody. (75)
Elly did not see, but what she did not see was people.” (87)

Such is the description of one autistic child. All autistic children are not the same. Some exhibit more fear and anxiety. Some, more objectionable--and difficult to live with--behavior. Some appear to include forms of schizophrenia and psychosis. Indeed, at first some professionals diagnosed autism as childhood schizophrenia.

Autism, from our point of view, is not schizophrenia, not even childhood schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is a distinct astrological disorder, specifically spelled out in two papers on that disorder: Paper on Schizophrenia and Paper on Woolf, Nietzsche, Nijinsky and Van Gogh. There is also a paper highlighting the more temporary schizophrenia of John Hinckley, Jr., Paper on Hinckley whose schizophrenic astrology was greatest when he tried to assassinate President Reagan.

Unless an individual is always equally mentally ill (we understand they are not, but their "caretakers have to be paying attention), then astrology for his illness must vary. It varies through what, in astrology, is known as progressions, "movement" of our planets from year to year along the same pattern as they moved from day to day in the skies after our birth. The stronger the expression of any life condition, the more likely its astrology at the time is the astrology which promotes it.

With schizophrenia, all adults (including young adults) who have experienced it have the same astrological indicators, occurring primarily in the 3rd chart of mind. I assume, tentatively but reasonably, the indicators are the same for childhood schizophrenia (for which I do not have charts). It is not likely indicators would change just because of the difference in age of onset.

Variation in age of onset is accounted for in two different ways: (1) by progressions, the typical way astrology finds events, and (2) by house--that is, in this system, chart (one for each traditional house) the astrology falls in. The 1st chart has important implications about childhood, showing our self-identity formed through that experience, whereas our 7th chart shows our identity with others. So it is possible that childhood schizophrenia shows the usual schizophrenic excessive mars and neptune more pronounced in the 1st chart than the typical 3rd of adult schizophrenics. Right now we cannot know because of the absolute paucity of birth data on schizophrenic children.

Only one of the five autistic children listed below has any schizophrenic tendency. All of them, on the other hand, shared one common pattern: each has saturn and pluto forefront--that is, predominant (to be defined below)--in their harmonic charts for their 3rd houses (mind). Four of the five of them have saturn and pluto forefront in their harmonic charts for their 1st houses (identity). So does the fifth, but his is weaker. Indeed, he--Noah Jiro Greenfield--is known to have become (how much?) a functioning adult.

Present literature on autism also brings mental retardation into some definitions of autism. This site includes a paper on mental retardation (see “Mental Retardation and Astrology’s Ancient Malefics, Mars and Saturn). An autistic child could be mentally retarded. A mentally retarded child might also be autistic. Astrologically, however, the two conditions are separable and quite distinct.

Without astrology, mental health professionals are forced to build up their definition of autism out of the black box of the various symptoms that willy-nilly present themselves attached to autism. This astrology discriminates autism from mental retardation from manic depression from schizophrenia, and also shows when they occur mixed in one individual.

To make the astrology, and therefore, ontology, of autism clearer --what, indeed, is the significance of saturn’s and pluto’s dominance in autism?--it is necessary first to discuss some of astrology’s backdrop.

The General Order of Things
We are all incarnated. Any one who has looked upon the body of a deceased loved one--unless too shattered from grief to see--has the clear sensation, “he/she is no longer in this.

We are Life which has assumed material form in order to enter a material world. For a time. For certain purposes.

The spiritual is never as limited as the material. To come here, we have to take on limitations. For one, a body is required. It represents one part of our admission ticket. The other is formed by our group as well as individual reasons for coming.

As spiritual beings, we come here with a game plan, a set of specifications, a map which sets the parameters of our incarnation. Some maps are very specific. More, probably, are general in some areas and quite specific in others. Some may be poorly detailed. We do not pretend to know all the reasons for coming, but they must be manifold. At this level it is can be difficult to know exactly what was intended. We cannot tell by whether a man is successful, rich, famous, or even happy. Any of these--as well as being a failure, poor, unknown, and miserable--could be means toward a spiritual end we are unaware of.

Our astrological chart is just such a map. It shows, in the language of symbols, the parameters of each incarnation. It is a set of complex specifications to build up an individual and then run him. We would--you are correct in the implication you have just drawn--be machines except that ours is a map of consciousness. We always have the choice to become more consciousness than a machine--so to speak, more than our specifications. We state this verbally and non-verbally all our lives in our wish to grow up, to become responsible, to become parents (creators), to give back.

But, the point here is, no specifications, no admission. Our specifications anchor us in time and space. Time and space do not exist in the spiritual realm. Our specifications give us senses, and lay down the qualities we need to understand them. Our specifications give us our personal skew, our angle of inclination to the universal one that creates our idiosyncratic experience.

So, yes, we are all incarnated. Some of us, however, are more incarnated than others. Our physical bodies make it appear we are all equally here. We are not.

Autistic children are one of the groups of people who are less here. Their physical bodies are here; their identities are considerably somewhere else.

Most families of autistic children already know that. They just cannot explain why. Here, using this universal language of creation--astrology--it becomes understandable.

To do that, a few concepts besides those of astrology are needed. The first is from the psychological perspective on the early development of the infant. The second, from ruminations on the Tree of Life of the Kabbalah.

I borrow from the work of Jungian psychologist, Erich Neuman. It is from his book, The Child:

The young of the higher mammals are born in a state of relative maturity; either immediately or shortly after birth they are small adults which not only wholly resemble adult animals but are also capable of living unaided. In order to attain a similar state of maturity the human embryo would require a pregnancy of from twenty to twenty-two months. In other words, the human child, after the nine months it spends in the womb, requires another year [italics ours] to attain the degree of maturity that characterizes the young of most other mammals at birth. (1)
With his “true” birth [i.e., around 21 months from conception] the human individual becomes, quite characteristically, not only an individual of his species but also a part of his group. (18)
As the child approaches the end of the post-uterine embryonic phase [i.e., around 21 months] and becomes a human individual, not only has its body-Self, but moreover the ego has developed beyond its germinal stage and achieved a certain continuity with the child’s developing consciousness....With the consolidation of its ego, the child gradually enters into the development of consciousness, culminating, finally in the polarization of the adult consciousness. (20)
The primal relationship [the mother/infant bond that allows the infant’s optimum development] is the ontogenetic basis for being-in-one’s-own-body, being-with-one’s-Self, being-together, and being-in-the-world.” (26)

Paraphrasing Neumann, the human infant is not fully incarnated--that is, he has a body, but not a consciousness suitable to orient and use it--until about one year after his birth.

A year is actually quite generous. What loving parent, after all, would turn their child out on his own at one year? Never mind, during that first year the infant establishes the foundation for his consciousness here. He establishes the rudiments of sight, hearing, movement, speech, association, belonging, and so on.

During, especially, months 10 through 21 from conception, then, his awareness must go through a radical transfer. It is from up there (or, at least, not here) to down here. He still has a long way to go to be fully here, but the major shift has occurred. As he is more and more established here, he learns on all levels at an incredible pace.

If our autistic children are like Elly, they appear to develop normally during that first year. Then, something happens: whatever recognition of this world, whatever skills were developed either disappear, or fail to grow.

Isn’t that strange?

What model could explain such a phenomenon?

The best model is an astrological one. As already stated, the two planets responsible for this bizarre turn of events are saturn and pluto. They have the effect they do because of where--which in these charts often also imply when--their influence preponderates. To understand that, we need a better understanding of the implication of the order of the planets.

The order of the planets along with types of consciousness associated with each were listed in the Styron paper on clinical depression. Here they are again, somewhat modified:

The planets from inner (closest to the sun), mercury, to the most outer, pluto, form a loose type of gradient. It is one of types of consciousness, from most familiar to least familiar from the personality’s point of view. To simplify considerably, planets represent the following forms of consciousness as they are ordinarily experienced by us:

Let’s fill in the range of meaning for the outer planets (knowable only through their influence on inner, planets of personality). At the same time, let’s put the list in an order that represents the descent of spirit into matter. We reverse the first group:

At saturn, in the now correctly ordered list, the “individual” breaks from the spiritual world to incarnate in one particular body, in one particular personality. By taking form and limitation (saturn), he loses the freedom of formless, i.e...., certain aspects of his spiritual life. Saturn is, at first, a completely dark experience. Spiritual perception has been lost; bodily perception is yet to come.

The temporary darkness is a good thing. Otherwise conscious life would find itself in a rapidly changing body--the foetus, within a body--the mother, within a material world--Earth. That could be rather unpleasant.

After birth, gradual acquisition of the principles of function of the planets jupiter through the sun enable Earth consciousness. They enable orientation in time and space. They enable the attraction/repulsion and their variants necessary for experience at this level. They provide the astrological principles out of which personality is built.

Each of these planets is correlated with parts of infant development. Each sponsors physical as well as emotional and psychological components. Here the more psychological ones are mentioned:

Jupiter represents incorporating, among other things, sucking. Later, it turns into interest in exploration and expansion. Exploration and expansion lead to self-confidence. Self-confidence even eventually leads to graciousness. We can all afford to be gracious in areas we are superior in. The EQ factor is likely most correlated with jupiter. People who tend to rise to the top in social situations have prominent jupiter. Mohandas Gandhi, in our system, has prominent jupiter.
Mars represents assertiveness, including the negative outcomes that occur because of premature or too powerful assertiveness. When the infant refuses his food, he is declaring himself an entity independent of his nurturer. Mars’ consciousness helps him separate himself from other things as well as other people. It sponsors the motor part of skill development. Later yet it sponsors much of our competitive and conquering spirit. Our great generals, like Patton, have prominent mars (mars only sponsors the martial part, not its success.)
Venus represents the principle of cohesion and attraction. By smiling, the infant inadvertently “creates” a more pleasing environment (a pleased mother). Venus’ principle underlies the adage, “you can attract more flies with honey than with vinegar.” It sponsors both pleasing and appeasing behavior. Later it develops our sense of harmony and aesthetics. People others--male and female--fall in love with are those who have prominent venus. President John F. Kennedy and Princess Diana are examples.
Mercury represents everything about communication--talking, hearing, and thinking, and later, writing. In the infant, it shows as the first efforts at speech, and his eventual mastery of at least one of our many languages. Writers have mercury emphasized in their charts, often in the form of sun or moon in Gemini, ruled by mercury. An example is Jean-Paul Sartre, who has sun in Gemini (conjunct saturn, to give it that serious twist).
Moon represents automatic consciousness and behavior. We need automatism, otherwise we’d be learning to walk all over again every time we decided to walk. Likewise for other automated behaviors as well as automated thinking. As the infant learns, what he learns becomes subject to automation so he doesn’t have to keep re-learning it every time he uses it.
Sun represents essence, so it does not so much "do" as evaluate. It appreciates and understands. Whatever sign the sun is in, it appreciates best the qualities represented by that sign. For example, in Gemini, ruled by mercury, it appreciates thinking, writing, and communicating better than those without a strong mercury.

We left out Earth. It doesn’t usually come in a list of planets of personality. Astronomically it comes between venus and mars, attraction and repulsion, love and hate, respectively, about which we learn a great deal in our sojourn here. Astrologically, since most astrology is geocentric (geo=Earth; centric=centered), Earth is at the center of our world. Astronomically that is not true. The sun is a the center of our solar system.

That is the general order of things. All of these rudiments of personality come in one package--the potential for personality. Some may precede others a little in time, but after that they are all active, simultaneously building personality. They never stand alone in any chart, but combine to produce varying qualities. Venus plus jupiter forefront gives us our most charismatic, and usually very fortunate, people, like Paul Newman. Venus plus mercury gives us our poets, as well as persuasive speakers, like Martin Luther King, Jr.

Actually, put in this order, the planets now share a similarity with another symbolic diagram--our second important concept--the Kabbalistic Tree of Life of esoteric Judaism.

Not all, and not even usually Jewish, Kabbalistic literature makes a correlation between the Sefirot (Sefirah, singular; in Hebrew sefer means book), that is, the numbered stations shown below, and the planets. It has been done, however, for at least several hundred years. While later is not necessarily more correct, it can be useful. The planets correlated with the Sefirot can increase our understanding of incarnation.

The planets are not equal to the Sefirot. The planets were created and operate on the same principle--that of cosmic order of creation--as the Sefirot. The Sefirot, however, are representative of the primary in Creation. The planets are derivative of those same principles.

Here is our Tree:

I should add I know little about Kabbalah as a set of practices. Symbol sets like this one, however, invite pondering. They practically demand it.

Several differences exist between this placement of planets on the Tree of Life and a simple list of the descending order of the planets. What are they?

Notice that the top three--among the Sefirot, the supernal ones--Kether, Chockmah and Binah are represented astrologically by neptune, uranus, and saturn. They represent stages in Creation incomprehensible to us. The Tree, at least, implies saturn is definitely not a planet of personality.

What else?

An unnumbered position, with no associated planet, exists at Daath. Daath, says the literature, is not a real Sefirah. That is why it is in parentheses. That it is there at all, then, is puzzling.

What else?

Among the planets, pluto is not represented.

Maybe Daath and pluto are correlated? But, Daath, if correlated with pluto, is below neptune. As a matter of fact, sometimes pluto is inside neptune’s orbit. So its position is not a problem. The problem is Daath’s unofficial status. If the other Sephirot represent principles of creation, then what does Daath represent?

And, if pluto correlates with Daath, then is pluto not a planet of this solar system? But, of course it is. But, is it perhaps not, somehow, a functional, that is, creative, part?

If, in principle, it is not a part of this system, what is it?

One clue to the possible function of Daath (and pluto) comes from its Hebrew meaning. It means “know.” In its fullest sense, it implies “knowing intimately” as implied biblically when a man "knew" a woman. (Implying it wasn't just about book learning.)

One Kabbalistic book (Gray, cited below) suggests a bridge exists at Daath. He suggests it is the kind of bridge over which, when we are returning to the spiritual world--when we die--we can carry only that which we really know. What do we really know? That which is etched deeply into our consciousness.

So at Daath, when we are going up the Tree, that is, dying, there is a kind of critical juncture, a center of gravity, a fulcrum--a switch, perhaps, from horizontal to vertical--to the whole other world of the supernal Sefirah. In our substitutions, the supernal Sephirot are represented by the planets saturn, uranus, and neptune.

When incarnating, or coming down, life passes through Daath in order to experience through the seven planets of personality (including Earth) of dimensioned existence. Returning, it can only carry back that which was truly, intimately known. Such knowing is different from book learning. In involves knowledge that is private, exclusive, exceptionally personal. It cannot be given, is not tradable, and, once established, cannot be lost.

So, if Daath’s correlation with pluto holds true, then pluto implies an intensely personal knowledge. Or maybe, pluto acts as a filter, separating the existential wheat from the chaff. When pluto is regulating--i.e., in a set with--another planet, its presence implies powerful and intimate experiences of that planet. For instance, venus is the planet through which many of us declare our love for another. If pluto is with venus and forefront, we will deeply experience venus’ “love,” which is not agape, but the love based on attraction/repulsion and love/hate. So, venus + pluto for the individual who has it forefront in his chart means he experiences the extremes, along with all the pitfalls, of Eros, the personal, subjective love of attraction and repulsion..

Which other planet appeared fundamental in defining autism? Saturn. Now the implication these planets have for autism can be seen.

First, saturn is above pluto (Daath). So, together and predominant in a chart, we are not going to see much--if we see any at all--personality because those two planets involve processes in creation that happen before personality is developed.

Second, desire, as we understand the word, only starts--going down our Tree--at jupiter. So, we are not going to see much, if any, desire in people characterized by forefront saturn and pluto.

Third, we are going to see an intense focus--the instruction of pluto “to know intimately” whatever it is focused on. Here, with autism, on saturn.

If saturn is the “place” in the process of incarnating where life takes on limitation in order to assume discrete form, then what qualities can we expect to see associated with saturn?

Without planets of personality, saturn’s principle is nearly invisible. Or rather, it is perceived as an absence rather than a presence. That is why predominant and excessive in the mind chart of an individual he “disappears,” that is, becomes clinically depressed, as was the case with Styron. Therefore, we can learn a little more about saturn’s influence only by seeing its influence on planets of personality.

Saturn with the moon “freezes” the usually volatile moon. It creates what we term rigid and dour, or at least fixed and serious personalities. Saturn with mercury usually slows down thinking or focuses it in narrow channels. It may also deepen thought because of the serious twist it puts on it. Saturn with venus may sour love or turn it into duty. Saturn with mars restricts aggression and action, and at its worst, is life-threatening. Saturn with jupiter may restrict expansion (jupiter) too much, but it often leads to well-considered, mature growth. From the perspective of the planets of personality, with their facets consisting of curiosity, intelligence and wit, humor and charm, justice, and graciousness, saturn’s influence is not desirable. Still, as the list shows, saturn with a planet of personality often deepens--through retarding or frustrating it--that planet’s influence, giving it the finer burnish resulting from the committed, longer-lasting behavior that comes from experience.

Such is saturn’s influence seen through the helpful lens of its effects on other planets. Saturn by itself, without a planet of personality, has a positive contribution correlated with its original function. As the place in the Tree where the spiritual assumes the limitation of becoming individual, it is the sponsor of form. Form is not crystallized out of Being based on nothing. Form occurs because of pattern. Pattern is how all of what we know is maintained. Saturn sponsors form through pattern. It sponsors a rich world, but one without emotion--a world of archetypes.

Therefore, pluto plus saturn dominant (forefront) in a chart, should give us an individual with an intense interest in form and pattern, who has very little personality, and who exhibits very little emotion.

That’s a description of Elly.

Some of the other differences between the order of planets in the Tree above and the order they show astronomically are: (1) the sun (at 6) is where Earth should be (between mars and venus), and (2) the moon (at 9) is where the sun should be (interior to mercury). Both changes are significant, but not the proper subject of this paper.

Returning to saturn and pluto, we do not have to limit ourselves to their theoretical descriptions. We can consult astrological literature.

In his book, Astrological Symbols, Robert Hand describes the principles of the planets. Under saturn is the following:

The difficulty with Saturn comes from two sources, only one of which is widely understood. That is the one that has given saturn its reputation as the “greater malefic.” “It is not pleasant when reaching out to grasp something to be told it is not attainable. It is not pleasant to encounter one’s limitations the first time... It is not pleasant to encounter rules that thwart one. Nor is it pleasant to encounter the natural but unlovely consequences of one’s mistakes. Sometimes one’s collisions with the rules of the game are so violent that they can kill, or at least destroy what one has painfully wrought over the years...the well-known difficulties with Saturn energy, result from not understanding either one’s own limitations or the rules of the game. (69)
The truly serious problem of Saturn lies in the idea of reality itself; namely, the equation of reality with truth. ...reality is structure, and so is Saturn. Reality is limitation, and so is Saturn...(70)

From Hand, again, on Pluto:

As the outermost known planet, Pluto symbolizes the end of the process that Uranus began: that of breaking down the reality structure of normal consciousness...Pluto symbolizes the radical transformation of consciousness and being that must result...Pluto is hard to handle if one is bound up in the universe of Saturn. Pluto operates with extreme power, and being a force beyond the ego, when it manifests it usually causes one to feel out of control...Pluto [with Saturn] can symbolize a complete breakdown of ordinary reality. (79)

But, of course, he is writing of saturn/pluto when they are experienced together after one has achieved an identity . What happens when their influence is strong before identity is achieved?

Autism. For an autistic child the instructions to build an identity--a lot of which is located in the 1st chart--are essentially canceled when saturn and pluto predominate.

It is possible to do more than quote other people about saturn and pluto. I have my own research.

So, what about saturn?

Excessive saturn effects on mind in the “mind” chart (3rd house) is already covered in the Styron paper.

Saturn on an Angle, therefore permanently prominent, is a powerful denier of the good things in life. Much, of course, depends on its sign and house rulership (area of life influenced) as well as contrary benefic influences. In general, Angular saturn fosters low self-esteem, failure, inadequacy, and deficiency. In the money chart it makes money scarce. In the health chart it makes energy scarce. In the career chart it fosters low-man-on-the-totem pole positions, and so on. It fosters Job-like experiences, including the constant undervaluing of one’s worth and integrity by others, as happened to Job. On the positive side, it sponsors people who have thought more deeply about life. As the story of Job illustrates, however, those are not people we usually value highly, especially in cultures which worship youth and play.

What about pluto?

Women often become mothers when (at the appropriate age for childbearing) one of their Angles is progressed to, or transited by, pluto. A first-time mother experiences a radical change in her world view. Her focus turns inward to the needs of her unborn, and later infant, child. It is a time for nurturing of the seed of Life.

Pluto has a connection to the unconscious. It is forefront, usually as moon aspecting pluto, in the 3rd house (mental interests) in the 7th chart (relationships with others) of psychiatrists and psychologists. They have an interest in getting “underneath” the planets of personality to look for “seed” causes. In finding those seeds, and exploring them with the patient, they “mother” the individual back to mental health. Pluto represents an intensity of focus and a radical change of awareness. The unconscious not only speaks a different language from the conscious mind, it operates under different laws.

Pluto transiting our moon--a event which can be drawn out over several years--often signals we will be separated (pluto) from an important female (moon), usually because we feel inadequate or she was perceived as over-bearing.

Pluto conjunct an Angle means the toddler was frequently overwhelmed, usually by his mother because she is the major caregiver. Instead of carefully nurturing his individuality through its various stages so he could become an independent adult, she allowed her anxieties and needs to invade his tiny world. As an adult, he--mostly unconsciously--is always expecting the world to overwhelm him. He expects he will be inadequate because that was his prevailing early experience. As an adult he often collapses prematurely or builds exaggerated defenses designed to avoid “overwhelming” experiences.

Some astrologers say pluto predominant makes an individual charismatic. Not me. Charisma comes from venus and jupiter, to which neptune is added for movie-idol adoration. Pluto on an Angle has nothing to do with charisma. Pluto on an Angle produces an essentially defensive individual. Some defenses do appear to be offenses. They are designed to re-direct the viewers attention: here, but not here. It is attention-grabbing, but it is not charismatic. Pluto is anti-charismatic. Its message is: don’t come too close, and I’m not interested, and sometimes even, I don’t even exist. The message beneath that is: don’t interfere with my freedom! because such interference is what the Angle/pluto individual experienced so painfully as a dependent child.

Continuing with specific examples in our effort to better understand the influence of pluto, we look at specific individuals who had pluto predominant.

Albert Einstein had excessive pluto in his 7th chart (relationships with others). Three of his four suns aspected pluto (and few other planets), and three of his four moons also aspected pluto (and little else), with moons ruling an Ascendant and 3rd house (in this chart, the way one’s mind works with and appears to others). That much pluto influence to lights (suns and moons) is way above the norm, which is 1.5 for each. Einstein was intensely focused. His focus was not on the unconscious of others, but on the mathematics of time and space, the seed thoughts of universal creation. He was an admitted failure in relationships. He considered himself a poor husband. He hardly knew his own children. He didn’t intend to be a weak husband and father--in time he just discovered he was. With his suns and moons poor in aspects to planets of personality and strong in relation to outer planets, his attention was on the abstract. (Uranus was his other 3rd house, mental, influence. Uranus sponsors the insights of invention and discovery.)

We have seen that pluto sponsors qualities of intensity, withdrawal, protectiveness, and abstractness.

What about saturn and pluto together?

Together they present somewhat of a problem. If their influence is constant--a condition and not just an event--such individuals, as is the case with autistic children, rarely come to the attention of astrologers. If they do, it is certainly far less often than do popular public figures like movie stars, politicians, singers, and famous athletes, all of whom have prominent venus and/or jupiter.

As an example of a condition, one individual has saturn conjunct pluto conjunct his Ascendant in Cancer, with saturn ruling his 7th house of relationships. Both are non-harmonic, so they occur in all charts. They pick up lights--both harmonic suns--in his 7th chart of relationships with others, so are emphasized in that chart. As a child (and even as an adult), he was constantly overloaded by his incessantly, mindlessly verbalizing mother. Since she never responded to his signals of discomfort and distress, he never learned how to diminish her really unpleasant behavior. As an adult he attracted it all over again because he was developmentally so far behind others in defining his own boundaries. Therefore, as an adult, he gravitated continually toward isolation. For him, it is better to exist for himself alone than “not exist at all” in relationships. Other than this effect on his relationships, he is a fine, intelligent man.

Richard Nixon provides an example of an event. He resigned, at age 61, as President of the United States on August 8, 1974.

Richard Nixon--7th House Chart
On the day of his resignation, his relationships with others (7th chart) reflected:

pb north node9 Pisces 36(coming from 12 Pisces 41 at birth)
pb9 pluto10 Pisces 18(coming from 16 Pisces 06)
pc9 pluto 10 Pisces 45(coming from 1 Pisces 32 at conception)
c saturn10 Pisces 02(unprogressed); ruler of C Asc; co-ruler (18 of 27°) of c 12th house

Rulership of saturn over C Asc, plus its lighting by the progressed NN, makes this a predominant condition for the time of his resignation. All of them are in Pisces in his birth 7th house. They show a deep feeling of failing, and being failed by, others combined with a sense of powerlessness. Looking at their original positions (in column 3 in parentheses), they did not start out in the same set. Over time, however, they became quite close. And when they did, they suggested he was likely to have a really painful (malefic saturn in Pisces exaggerated by the conjunction to pluto) experience of loss and/or failure. (The public, political aspect of his resignation is in his 10th chart of career and social image.)

Amelia Earhart had a condition influencing the end of her life which became an event of unknown duration.

Amelia Earhart--7th House Chart
b saturn0 Scorpio 48in c 4th house
c7 pluto2 Scorpio 16in c 4th house
C Asc1 Leo 30

What does it mean? Her Ascendant acts as a light for saturn/pluto, which will become active at the appropriate time in her life. Since saturn and pluto are in her 4th house, the appropriate time is at the end of her life. Since we are looking at the 7th chart, the area of influence is relationships at the end of her life. Lighted saturn/pluto describing her relationships late in life means she will feel completely alone and emotionally abandoned at the end of her life. This condition implies she was alive after her plane crashed, because it is unlikely she would feel that kind of isolation if she died in the crash.

Last, but not least, I have my own experience. Born with saturn on one Angle, and pluto on another, I am not autistic (some people might think so). I prefer more privacy than is considered normal. I need regular respite from others. If I do not get it, I slam shut in much the same way some autistic children do. My saturn and pluto are non-harmonic, therefore in all charts. They, therefore, acquire extra emphasis in harmonic charts which provide them lights. I do not, as is the case so far with autistic children, have preponderance of saturn and pluto in my 3rd house (mind) chart. Only saturn is emphasized in my 1st chart (identity). However, both saturn and pluto are emphasized through lights in the 7th chart of relationships. So it is through relationships that I most experience the extremes of this influence.

I also had a powerful saturn/pluto event: harmonic saturn progressed to Angular/moon/pluto/node in my 7th chart (relationships). I then had two Angle/moon/saturn/nodes for this chart--the one I started out with, and a progressed one, which also included pluto. With it, a condition (Angle/moon/pluto) was turned into an event (+ saturn). Moons and nodes increase orb and progressing harmonic saturn moves very slowly. This particular “event” has lasted several years, with more to go. Under this combined influence I lost--sometimes self-sponsored and sometimes other-sponsored, usually through breach but twice through death--my connection to all my friends, the overwhelming majority of my family, and my community of 28 years. From my point of view, seen more in retrospect, our connection just ceased to exist. Either that, or it became so painful I did not want it to exist, and closed off from it.

I suspect a similar astrological condition (Angle/saturn/pluto of some duration) is forefront when a spouse (male or female) and parent (father or mother) just “suddenly “ ups and abandons his family and disappears. Sometimes, in time, he starts a new identity and even family. Occasionally, on television, we see a story about one such individual finally located by those he has abandoned. In the several I have seen over the years, he had no response to the anger he received from his first family. In emphasizing the righteous anger of the abandoned, the tele-story acquires that tone tele-journals so like to present. It also obscures reality, making it appear the individual, in full possession of his faculties and options, simply decided to destroy his whole identity, obliterating every connection accompanying it. He did not destroy his identity, but it was destroyed. As happened with Styron with his clinical depression, all attempts to explain so extreme a state to individuals--loved ones, possible healers--to whom the experience is alien are worse than fruitless. They actually compound the problem.

Being an astrologer, did I anticipate, therefore unconsciously create, those effects (of saturn and pluto)? I did not because I had no understanding of their combined influences. Understanding came only after several years of their predominance. It could be said then, after those several years of that experience, I got “daath” on saturn/pluto. With that new understanding, their effect in the charts of autistic children became visible.

Hand, in a later article, calls the experience of saturn/pluto the “shrinking transformation.” Occurring to individuals who already have an identity, its effects are severe, but not as severe as they are for autistic children, who start out "shrinking."

Saturn and pluto Angular are not, by themselves, life threatening. Relationships are painful, so painful that emotional sharing is either prevented or destroyed. Coming early or later in life, predominance of saturn + pluto creates powerful similarities among individuals experiencing it. When it occurs later, the individual has prior experience to fall back on in maintaining some identity. The autistic individual does not.

All of the above descriptions of the effects of saturn, pluto, and their combination prominent in a chart are based on either conditions (that is, they were permanent in the chart), or events (that is, they have limited duration). With the events, all except pluto Angular occurred in charts of individuals with adult identities. Once personality is established, saturn and pluto do not create autism. They foster changes in focus, breaks in relationship, and together in the same set, extreme social isolation. Once the individual has an established identity, the isolation of saturn/pluto may be unpleasant, but the individual is still functional. He still has access to having developed a personality.

[There is more on saturn/pluto as it plays throughout the twelve charts in the paper, listed on Home Page, about The Disappearing Priest.]

Charts below show that autism is the result of an astrological condition, not an event. The astrological condition is excessive saturn plus pluto. Their area of influence is powerful enough in autistic children to reverse, or nearly totally impede, development of personality. They do so because their influence occurs in two charts fundamental in defining our identity and thought processes. The two charts are those of the 1st house (identity) and the 3rd house (mind). Their areas of influence within those charts are to Angles plus 3rd houses.

Before we can look at the charts of these children, we need to know something about the method being used.

Astrological Method
This method is not traditional. It uses a birth and conception planets and their harmonics and houses, all of which share the same axis. :

This astrology uses the sidereal positions of the planets based on the Fagan-Bradley’s SVP.
Harmonics are taken from the sidereal position of the planets. The Egyptian harmonic, discussed in the paper “About This Method” (link below), is used.
”Lights” include suns, moons, and moons nodes. When mercury rules one or two Angles, it also acts like a light and has the same orb as the other lights. The MC or Asc also acts like a light, but one with only a 2° orb, because when a set is on an Angle it does not need a light to be active.
This method uses only conjunctions, applying and separating squares, and oppositions. Orbs for static planets with lights is 5°; without lights, about 2.5°. Orb for MC/planet or Asc/planet is 2°. Planets so related to each other are referred to as in the same “set.” A set, then, is two or more planets (or an Angle) connected to each other through conjunction, square, and opposition within the defined orbs. Sets without Angles are more active when they contain a light, and less active without one. Learning to look in terms of “crosses” can be helpful in rapidly finding planets that are in the same set.
Because this approach uses both a birth and conception chart and they share the same axis, birth houses usually overlap different houses of the conception chart. These are called “house overlaps.” As it turned out in this paper, house overlaps were not significant. They can be for some other conditions. Throughout this paper I use the convention when writing about house overlaps of putting the birth house first, then the conception house. So, for instance, a “5th/1st” overlap refers to an overlap of birth 5th house with conception 1st house in that order.
Birth planets (including their harmonics) rule only birth houses. Conception planets (including their harmonics) rule only conception houses.
For a more thorough explanation of this astrological approach, refer to the following papers:

About This Method--Derivation, Egyptian Harmonic, FAQs
Empirically Derived Chart Reading Rules
The Home Page compares this form of astrology to the bases of DNA from the point of view of showing its suitability for research: Home Page.
Abbreviations used are b = birth, c = conception, and t = transiting. Even though the harmonic used for each chart is always two more than the chart’s number, in these papers—for ease of reading—I write the harmonic number the same as the chart number. For example, the 5th chart uses the 7th harmonic, but I have established the convention of writing harmonic planets for the 5th chart as, e.g., c5 mars, which reads, “the harmonic for the 5th chart for conception mars.”

Returning to our autistic children, below I show first their 1st house chart of identity ; second, their 3rd house chart of mind; last, their 7th charts for identity in relationships. Those interested in each child’s total saturn/pluto for all three charts should print the material, then cut and paste it by child.

All planets in each set are not included. Only saturn, pluto, Angles and rulerships are listed. That highlights pattern and its emphasis. Lights are included because they potentize any set and are necessary to make a non-Angular set valid. If a planet of personality other than a lights is included it is because it rules either an Angle or a 3rd house. The significant conditions--saturn, pluto, the Angle, and their rulerships--are in bold to make them easily visible.

Planets of personality in the “autistic set” undoubtedly make some difference, I just do not know how much.

The 1st House Harmonic Chart of Identity

1. DEREK--1st House Chart
(a)C MC1 Capricorn 09
b mercury2 Aries 04ruler of B MC in c 3rd house as well as B Asc
c1 moon 6 Cancer 22
c pluto2 Libra 19
c saturn3 Libra 43

This Angle/mercury/saturn/pluto is a core condition which contains no harmonics. C1 moon--a harmonic moon--“develops” it so that it applies to this chart, that of the 1st house.

Why be interested in the 3rd house within the chart of the 1st? Shouldn’t our interest be the 1st house within this chart?

Returning to Derek, above, the orb--that is, variance from exactly 0°, 90°, 180°, 270° of planets to each other--from C MC to the moon is large ( a little over 5°, but the MC also has an orb, one of 2°). We do not, however, have to depend on (a). We have (b):

(b)b moon9 Taurus 22
c1 pluto6 Leo 56
c1 saturn11 Leo 10
b1 mercury6 Aquarius 22

which shows another saturn/pluto influence to two Angles and one 3rd house. This set covers a wide range--too wide. However, the moon, in degrees, is between saturn and pluto, so it holds this whole set together.

2. HARVEY--1st House Chart
(a)C MC0 Scorpio 58
b moon2 Aquarius 51
c1 mars1 Leo 40ruler of C MC and c 3rd house
b1 pluto2 Leo 55

shows Angle/pluto influence to Angles and 3rd houses, and

(b)b1 pluto2 Leo 55
B MC6 Leo 18
b1 moon8 Leo 33

shows Angle/pluto. Pluto to moon is large, but moon has an orb of 5°, and MC has an orb or 2°.

(c)c south node7 Capricorn 18
C Asc8 Capricorn 25
b1 south node7 Aries 15
b1 saturn11 Cancer 00Rco-ruler of b 3rd house (30 of 37°)

shows Angle/saturn. Note below, with pb1 saturn, that it is approaching--during his critical formative years--closer to his Ascendant until he is a little over 10 years of age:

Birth Agepb1 saturn
310 Capricorn 20R
59 Capricorn 54R
108 Capricorn 50R
157 Capricorn 49R
206 Capricorn 53R

(a), (b), and (c) above show cumulative influence of pluto and saturn to Angles and 3rd houses. Cumulative is usually not as strong as when the whole condition exists in one set, particularly when the set influences more than one Angle. All of these, however, contain lights, making them decisive.

3. DEVON--1st House Chart
(a)B MC5 Aries 27
b sun7 Aries 11
b1 saturn8 Cancer 17
C Asc8 Libra 14
c1 pluto8 Libra 57
c1 jupiter7 Capricorn 35ruler of c 3rd house
c saturn9 Capricorn 46co-ruler of c 3rd house

This shows two Angles and a 3rd house influenced by saturn/pluto. Another set influences only the 3rd house and not Angles:

(b)c mercury21 Cancer 54
c jupiter22 Cancer 32
c1 sun21 Libra 33
b1 pluto22 Libra 26ruler of c 3rd house
c pluto22 Libra 59
b saturn22 Capricorn 46

4. CORKY--1st House Chart
(a)c1 venus9 Aquarius 22ruler of C MC and c 3rd house
b1 moon11 Aquarius 35
c south node11 Aquarius 48
c1 saturn13 Taurus 04
c pluto11 Leo 48
b1 mercury9 Scorpio 30co-ruler of b 3rd house (21 of 24°)

(b)b pluto15 Leo 43
b1 neptune18 Leo 57ruler of B Asc
c moon20 Leo 47

(a) above is sufficient to show predominance. (b) additional pluto influence.

5. NOAH--1st House Chart
Noah has a benevolent 1st house chart. It contains an Angle/sun/venus/jupiter--very positive. It also has no direct affliction (by mars, saturn, or pluto) to Angles. His saturn/pluto influence in this chart is weak:

(a)c1 sun16 Taurus 06
b pluto21 Leo 52
b uranus21 Leo 54ruler of b 3rd house
b1 moon15 Aquarius 53
c saturn18 Aquarius 21ruler of C Asc

Why weak? The two lights, b1 moon and c1 sun, are both more than 5° away from his pluto, and both below it. Combined, however, they extend orb of influence several degrees beyond 5° to make this set work.

The 3rd House Harmonic Chart of Mind

1. DEREK--3rd House Chart
(a)b3 south node0 Capricorn 31
C MC1 Capricorn 09
c3 south node0 Capricorn 32
b mercury2 Aries 04ruler of B MC in c 3rd house as well as B Asc
c pluto2 Libra 19
c saturn3 Libra 43

This is the same core condition as in his 1st house chart, but this time it is modified strongly by two harmonic lights (nodes) in a tight set, where all the planets are not much more than 3° apart. Meaning? This core condition has a particularly strong 3rd chart (mind) influence.

(b)B MC27 Gemini 16
b3 pluto29 Gemini 27 R
b3 north node0 Cancer 31
c3 north node0 Libra 32

Only 2° orb is allowed for planets to Angles, but this contains two lights. Moreover, both nodes and pluto are slowly moving toward B MC all the way up to age 15:

Birth Agepb3 SNpc3 SNpb3 pluto
30 Cancer 4628 Virgo 2229 Gemini 02R
50 Cancer 5727 Virgo 4728 Gemini 46R
100 Cancer 2727 Virgo 5528 Gemini 07R
150 Cancer 1925 Virgo 3527 Gemini 29R

2.Harvey--3rd House Chart
(a)c3 moon17 Leo 41
b3 mars16 Aquarius 11
c3 saturn17 Aquarius 55ruler of C Asc in b 3rd house
b venus18 Aquarius 37ruler of B Asc
c pluto15 Taurus 25

So, this is influencing two Angles and one 3rd house.

What makes a set preponderant? A condition is forefront and preponderant, at any time--birth, or thereafter--when a planet (which will rule or co-rule one or two houses or an Angle):
(a) is on an Angle, or
(b) is in a set with sun, moon, or nodes--the “lights,” and one of them rules an Angle. The latter is called, “the planet is lighted and rules an Angle.”
(c) one of the planets in the set rules one of the houses associated with that chart: 3rd houses for 3rd charts, 4th houses for 4th charts, 5th houses for 5th charts, etc.

There is more, however, Both what is and what is not there--as well as the content of the message--make a difference in preponderance. Using Harvey as an example: if, in this chart, Harvey has only two (of four) Angles and only one of his two 3rd houses influenced by light/saturn/pluto, then why wouldn’t his “free” Angles and his one “free” 3rd house help him be non-autistic? Maybe they do. If he had powerful benefic influences to the free Angles and 3rd, they might enable his mind to function non-autistically at least part of the time. Or, they might make him an autistic savant. If, however, his free Angles and 3rd are also afflicted--just differently than autistic--they cannot easily compensate for his autistic influences.

Noah’s 3rd house chart is a good example of this latter. One set is autistic and rules b 3rd house. The other set is more disturbed, choppy, even schizoid, and rules his c 3rd house. Both sets influences Angles. Both are, therefore, preponderant, and neither is benefic, so neither helps reduce the problems of the other.

It also makes some difference which planets are actually in 3rd houses. Retardation appears, for instance, less likely if jupiter is in the 3rd house even if light/mars/saturn influences 3rds and Angles in the 3rd chart. (See paper on retardation.) Continuing with Harvey:

(b)b sun4 Aries 11ruler of B MC
b pluto0 Libra 58
c3 mars2 Libra 47ruler of C MC and c 3rd house

(c)c mars0 Gemini 33ruler of C MC and c 3rd house
c mercury4 Gemini 14
b3 pluto4 Gemini 51
c3 venus5 Gemini 46
b neptune2 Sagittarius 27

(b) and (c) show Harvey has extra pluto influence (but not saturn) to Angles and 3rds. Mars/neptune to mercury isn’t good--it probably creates anxiety and fear. Still, mercury/venus/mars/pluto in Gemini suggests fascination with some kind of learning (Gemini) or multiple-task ability.

3. DEVON--3rd House Chart
(a)C MC15 Cancer 15
B Asc17 Cancer 21
b3 pluto17 Libra 23R
c3 saturn18 Libra 52Rco-ruler of c 3rd house (15 of 35°)

The fact that this 3rd chart shows harmonic saturn and harmonic pluto in such close aspect to two Angles already suggests autism even without influences to 3rd houses within the chart. Why? The whole chart is, itself, a magnification of the 3rd house.

A similar result occurs in schizophrenia. Such was the case with Nancy Spungen, murdered girl friend of punk rock star Sid Vicious. Nancy had harmonic mars conjunct harmonic neptune (sponsoring paranoid schizophrenia) conjunct her C Ascendant in her 3rd chart. She had neptune, but not mars, influence to 3rd houses. Any one who read her mother, Deborah Spungen’s, And I Don’t Want to Live This Life,, a biography of her daughter, would conclude Nancy was prone to paranoia.

Mars and neptune are necessary for paranoid schizophrenia. In the 3rd house chart, their harmonic presence on Angles contribute more toward paranoid schizophrenia than their presence in, or influence to, 3rd houses. The former influence for the mind is global; the latter, local.

The same is true in Devon’s chart. His harmonic saturn and harmonic pluto on Angles--before we look at anything else in this 3rd (or 1st) chart--imply his mind is well on the way to operating autistically.

In Devon’s case, he also has lighted saturn in one 3rd house, and lighted pluto in the other, so he also has saturn and pluto influence to 3rd houses, but not in the same set, nor in the same house.

All of these nuances of influence will eventually find their proper evaluation in an order which goes from greatest to least. That is not possible with just these few charts.

C3 saturn, above, is more than 2° degrees from C MC, so, strictly speaking, doesn’t aspect it. However, both harmonic saturn and harmonic pluto are progressing retrograde, so moving closer to C MC until Devon is about 13 years old:

Birth Agepb3 plutopb3 saturn
316 Libra 5917 Libra 30
516 Libra 4316 Libra 46
1016 Libra 0314 Libra 55
1515 Libra 2113 Libra 04

(b)b3 saturn23 Sagittarius 49
c north node24 Sagittarius 18
c3 jupiter22 Gemini 39ruler of c 3rd house
c3 pluto24 Virgo 55

Shows influence to a 3rd house, but not an Angle.

4. CORKY--3rd House Chart
(a)B Asc27 Pisces 40
b3 moon27 Pisces 57
c3 south node29 Pisces 02
c3 pluto29 Virgo 24

(b)c3 south node29 Pisces 02(58’ away from 0° Aries 00’)
b3 north node0 Cancer 11
c3 pluto29 Virgo 24
b3 mars0 Cancer 22
c3 pluto Libra 00’29 Virgo 24(36’ away from 0° Libra 00’)
b3 saturn2 Libra 36
c3 mars2 Capricorn 21co-ruler of c 3rd house (24 of 31°)
c venus3 Aries 07ruler of C MC and c 3rd house

Only by adding c venus--as ruler of both an Angle and a 3rd house--can we get this set to influence both an Angle and a 3rd house. Certainly, with two nodes--that is, two lights--each with an orb of influence of 5°, and a combined influence of 7-8° (we hesitate to say 10°), venus is a legitimate part of this set.

(a), with its two lights plus pluto--all harmonic--is sufficient to turn his mind inward, but it does lack the characteristic saturn/pluto stamp. So, it is “inward on what?” Here, the answer is inward on moon in Pisces. Its conjunction to south node on his Ascendant pulls him constantly in that direction. It makes him very lost, very spaced out, very without coordinates for “thinking.” He may have been considered an “imbecile.” Corky was institutionalized at age 8.

5. NOAH--3rd House Chart
(a)c3 moon20 Leo 38
b pluto21 Leo 52
b uranus21 Leo 54ruler of b 3rd house
b3 pluto19 Scorpio 21
b3 uranus19 Scorpio 28ruler of b 3rd house
c saturn18 Aquarius 21ruler of C Asc

The planets are all in close aspect and influencing a 3rd house and an Angle. This is Noah’s main, strongest and most influential autistic, that is, saturn/pluto condition.

He has another Angle/3rd house influence which is problematic, perhaps representing one of those taints referred to above, such that something not autistic inadvertently gets included in the definition of autism. Why is it not autistic? By itself, even multiplied, it would never produce the withdrawal and self-referencing of autism.

(b)b3 mercury25 Aries 17ruler of B MC
b3 moon26 Aries 28
b3 saturn26 Cancer 24
b neptune25 Libra 22
c mars27 Libra 48ruler of C MC and c 3rd house
c3 sun26 Capricorn 50

Mars/saturn/neptune creates siege conditions. Light/mars/neptune influencing Angles and 3rds in the 3rd chart is one of the indicators of paranoid schizophrenia (see Hinckley paper). Mercury’s participation contra-indicates it. Noah is probably less schizophrenic than anxious and fearful. Still, this set is more powerful than his autistic one--it influences two Angles and his other 3rd house.

Saturn/pluto emphases in the charts of these autistic youngsters never ends. Relevant saturn/pluto emphases in their 7th charts are shown below, with little comment. Their 8th charts (fruits of relationship) also show strong saturn/pluto emphasis

We started with charts for the 1st and 3rd houses because whatever creates autism clearly starts operating an a very early age and involves the instructions for creating identity. Without an identity, 7th or 8th houses have little chance to make much difference.

We look at the 3rd house within this 7th chart because they show how the individual communicates with others (7th chart). So, for instance, when Appendix C declares children with Asperger’s Syndrome have developed language but can only broadcast, not communicate, the 7th house is suggested as more autistic than the 3rd

To recapitulate, research so far has indicated 3rd houses in the following charts reveal information as follows:

in the 1st chartphysical aspects of brain; side dominance, what else?
in 3rd chartoperational aspects of mind
in the 7th chartattitude and ways of relating to others

The 7th House Harmonic Chart of Relationships with Others

1. DEREK--7th House Chart
(a)b7 mercury18 Leo 32ruler of B MC in c 3rd house
b7 north node18 Leo 55
c7 neptune22 Leo 02
b uranus18 Scorpio 12
c7 moon19 Scorpio 06
c7 pluto20 Aquarius 48co-ruler of b 3rd house (27 of 33°)

(b)C Asc16 Aries 43
b7 saturn17 Cancer 18co-ruler of b 3rd house (27 of 33°)

2. HARVEY--7th House Chart
(a)B MC6 Leo 18
b7 pluto8 Aquarius 44R
c7 mars5 Aquarius 01ruler of C MC and c 3rd house
b moon2 Aquarius 51

This--because of the distance between planets--is weak. However, it is precisely during childhood that Harvey experiences progressed pluto the strongest:

Birth Agepb7 pluto
37 Aquarius 58
57 Aquarius 28
106 Aquarius 14
155 Aquarius 01

(b)b7 sun7 Virgo 36
c7 sun7 Virgo 36(this is

the only chart in which harmonic suns coincide)

b mars9 Virgo 14
c saturn9 Virgo 35ruler of C Asc which is in c 3rd house

Mars’ presence here is not autistic. It is difficult, introducing turbulence. Since suns are involved, it influences his vitality.

3. DEVON--7th House Chart
(a)b7 pluto7 Libra 17
C Asc8 Libra 14
b7 north node9 Libra 54
c saturn9 Capricorn 46co-ruler of c 3rd house (15 of 35°)

4. CORKY--7th House Chart
(a)b venus20 Sagittarius 50ruler of b 3rd house
B MC21 Sagittarius 21
b7 pluto21 Sagittarius 27

In c 3rd house he has NN conjunct pluto. In b 3rd house he has NN conjunct saturn.

Corky has four moon pluto sets, only one of which contains one other planet. None rule Angles or 3rds. It is just that in his interactions with others, like Einstein, he doesn’t have much to work with.

Three of Corky’s suns are conjunct in Pisces, two of which rule C Asc in Leo. There is nothing particularly autistic about Pisces suns. (This system uses sidereal, not tropical, astrology. Most Western astrologers use tropical astrology. If some one has tropical sun in Pisces, sidereally it is usually in Aquarius, i.e., nearly a whole sign earlier.) Some one with a Leo Ascendant has great potential for a strong sense of self. Corky’s rulers of his Leo Ascendant, c sun and both c7 suns, however, are in Pisces. Of all the sun signs, Pisces is weakest in ego and identity. In an already heavily afflicted chart, three Pisces suns amount to more affliction.

5. NOAH--7th House Chart
(a)b7 uranus17 Aquarius 02ruler of b 3rd house
b7 pluto16 Aquarius 18
c saturn21 Sagittarius 27

This shows saturn/pluto influence to C Asc and b 3rd house. It is, however, without any light, so the influence is weak.

(b)b7 moon17 Virgo 33
B MC17 Virgo 48
b7 neptune18 Virgo 27
b7 saturn18 Sagittarius 09

This shows a strong Angle/saturn influence, with a weak 3rd house one, and no pluto.

Really, (b) shows strong neptunian influence. What else does?

(c)b7 south node3 Scorpio 18
b south node0 Scorpio 22
c mars27 Libra 48ruler of C MC and c 3rd house
b neptune25 Libra 23co-ruler of b 3rd house (18 of 45°)

Why list this? At most, we have two south nodes conjunct mars, but neptune is too far away to be considered part of it. However, since c mars has both Angle and 3rd influence, it has potential for becoming more forefront:

Birth Agepb7 SNpb SN
329 Libra 580 Scorpio 00
527 Libra 2829 Libra 43
1025 Libra 2129 Libra 29
1517 Libra 5728 Libra 40

Birth age 5 through 10 show combined orbs of both nodes such that both mars and neptune are part of one set.

This is more schizoid--disturbed, difficult--than autistic. Noah has lighted mars/neptune influence to Angles and 3rd house in both his mind and interpersonal charts. He is not schizophrenic, however, because he has a very powerful positive 1st house identity chart. So far schizophrenic must involve neptune, and for paranoid schizophrenic, mars and neptune, influences to 3rd charts, and a highly afflicted 1st chart.

Likewise, Noah’s saturn/pluto influence to Angles and 3rd houses are only strongly preponderant in his mind chart (3rd). They are weak in his identity chart (1st), and nearly non-existent in his relationships chart (7th).

Noah’s autism is quite a bit different from that of the other four children.

What is the difference between autism--something interior to the individual, and the effects of severe rejection, which starts out exterior to the individual? Above I discussed the difference in emphasis of saturn and pluto between charts of non-autistic people and those of autistic children. Those 3rd houses--since we are ultimately mindstuff--within charts, especially in the 1st (identity) and 3rd (mind) charts, may operate as instructions for creating the individual. Other parts of the chart describe what happens to him after he is created. Some one who experiences saturn + pluto emphasis only later in life (not in the 1st and 3rd charts) has already been formed, so impedence occurs for him mainly in his interactions with others.

Are the subjects of this paper examples of Kanner’s or Asperger’s syndrome? I do not know. Their data simply labeled them “autistic.” Whichever they are, they share something in common--an excessive saturn/pluto condition in certain areas of certain charts. That rare and shared condition is probably the astrological foundation for their autism.

I cannot account, astrologically, for the apparent sex-linked nature of autism, which occurs at least twice as much in boys as in girls (see Appendices).[2012: See the paper on one twin autistic, the other not, link below.]

I do not have the birth data of Temple Grandin, a very well-known, high-functioning autistic woman. [2012 - see link at bottom of page for her atrology.]

I started fifteen years ago with two autistic charts--Corky’s and Noah’s. Devon, Derek, and Harvey’s data--given to me by a friend--came several years ago. It took returning again and again to their charts to identify their common properties. It also took my second experience of excessive saturn/pluto.

When I first started with Corky’s and Noah’s charts, I was working only with the 7th chart. In those charts, Corky is strongly plutonian; Noah, on the other hand, is strongly neptunian. Were there two types of autism, both sponsored by excess of outer planet influence?

The following is theoretical and subject to change:

A “neptunian" autism would not be characterized by the intense withdrawal and disinterest in socialization that characterize saturn/pluto. A strongly neptunian child would demonstrate a chaotic and impressionable mind. He would be open to being written on again...and again, hence the instability. The neptunian child opens outward to all. His incapacity to discriminate and select cause a chaos of impressions, therefore pain, but he cannot, except occasionally, withdraw. The plutonian child, as we have seen, demonstrates a far more selective mind. He also experiences much of the rest of the world as chaotic, but he can and does withdraw from it.

So, neptunian mental diseases tend toward schizophrenia, but communication. Saturnian ones toward depression, with varying degrees of communication. Uranian ones toward mania, and lots of communication. And, it seems, plutonian (+ saturn) ones toward autism, with no communication. Saturn plus pluto is a double negative in terms of communication.

Thus, excessive neptune in the mind chart--even with saturn--would not create autism, although it would create some one who has difficulty building up a permanent sense of identity. But that is not because of too little, but too much impressionability.

Actually, in theory, each of the outer planets--that is, the traditional outer planets of astrology: uranus, neptune, and pluto--excessively influencing mind ought to sponsor a major form of mental illness. Each combined with the lesser and greater malefics, mars and saturn, respectively, should further define that mental illness. Why? Here is what we have so far:

with marsunknownparanoid schizophreniaunknown
with saturnmanic depressionunknownautism

If the “unknowns” above represent forms of mental illness, we may not know them because individual’s so defined demand our attention less. Mars with both uranus or pluto would sponsor discrete, well-defined mentation and behavior. In fact, mars combined with uranus (in the 1st and 7th charts, not the 3rd chart) predominant produces our explorers and very daring, sometimes foolhardy, individuals. No one could say their lives were completely normal, but few would say they were mentally ill, either.

Mentation sponsored by mars with neptune (like paranoid schizophrenia), however, is messy. So, that individual comes to our attention.

If we looked in Hand’s astrology book, we would find mars and pluto defined: striving, hard work. To contend against difficult odds, often successfully. Brutality and conflict. Ambition, ruthless drive, the desire to achieve one’s objectives at all costs. (p. 175, pb edition). In fact two individuals with mars conjunct pluto (both non-harmonic, and again, not for the 3rd chart of mind but just generally influencing the charts) come to mind: one male, who has his conjunct his Ascendant had a crazy mother. I do not know if he can be brutal or ruthless. He certainly appears mild-mannered and careful, that is, essentially defensive. The other individual has his conjunct his Midheaven. He runs his own business as a very specialized mechanic for foreign cars. He is neither brutal nor ruthless, except perhaps in having his will against broken auto parts. That does not disprove Hand's definition, it just means many of these individual's also never come to our attention.

The same principle applies in reverse for combinations with saturn. Saturn with uranus (during the depressive phase of manic depression) and pluto (autism or extreme withdrawal) produces a kind of in-your-face type of passivity. The individual is so passive his dysfunction becomes a social problem.

The individual with autism comes to our attention because his dysfunction happens in childhood. It occurs before he even has a chance to develop autonomy. But saturn/pluto people are not so interested in shared reality as they are interested--if Elly and Temple Grandin are good examples--in being able to share their reality. With that we are back to one of the fundamental definitions of being human. Sharing one's reality, having it found worthy of sharing, gives people a sense of contributing, and therefore, of belonging.

Saturn with neptune (a type of schizophrenia? neurasthenia?) people, however, should produce an individual whose passivity eludes us for a longer time. With his saturn he will be attempting to find ultimate, shared, fixed reality. His neptune will slowly but constantly dissolve away his results.

The difference, then, between illnesses sponsored by the two is that:

Illnesses sponsored by pluto are caused by exclusive focus on the planet pluto contacts.
Illnesses sponsored by neptune are caused by neptune dissolving, and eventually eliminating, the planet it contacts.
Except for in combination with saturn, we do not label uranus’ influence to another planet as an illness. We do so in bipolar disorder because of the saturn pole of the disorder.

With more play, and more patient data, these speculations would probably yield better understanding of what constitutes, and suggests help for, various mental illnesses.

Further examples of the astrology of autism can be found at the following links:

More on Autism

Astrology for Autism in One High Functioning Autistic--Temple Grandin

Why do autistic children appear to be developing normally during their first year? (Appendix C states Kanner’s syndrome can be diagnosed in infancy; Asperger’s only in years two to three.) It may be that they are not developing normally, and we just have no clear way to see that.

It may also be that it takes about a year before the instructions in their identity and mind charts start functioning. Or rather, that the failure (to develop personality) in their instructions starts showing only then. When, after all, does Earth mind begin? With autistic children, once the instructions for building an identity and mind start operating, the ongoing message appears to be : focus on (know intimately) saturn. Since the overwhelming majority of what happens between us as individuals is correlated to our expression of planets of personality, the child focused intently on his saturn is doing the opposite of incarnating. Before he even gets to personality--with which he could share his reality--he is short-circuiting back up the Tree.

Some people have reacted to this paper: to them I am declaring the autistic child (that is, the saturn/pluto autistic child, the type that is fixedly and usually quietly withdrawn from almost all participation in his surroundings) inferior when I write that he is "not fully incarnated." There is no inferior or superior in astrology—we are all equally of God. There are only more and less pleasant and unpleasant conditions, some of which are extreme relative to "average." Extreme is not, by any stretch of the imagination, limited to autism. But, speaking right now only of the astrology of autism, an individual who for the most part only has access to forefront saturn/pluto (in the 1st and 3rd charts) to express/experience/grow his personality is not inferior, he is limited in the number of ways he identifies with other human beings. He has only saturn/pluto for that. That is, he has only, for example, two tools when he needs ten for the job. That limitation affects his ongoing efforts at growth and maturity. He does have several major problems.

(1) His astrological limitation likely causes him ongoing stress and anxiety which add to his original problem. Being a child, he must exist in the company of other people. If those other people are not autistic (and they cannot all be), they have more planets of personality forefront. They, therefore, have already been through the process of identification with older individuals who were, in fact, their models for growing up. And it occurred at an age when they were essentially unconscious it was going on. So, they do not really know what they did or exactly how they did it.

Identification does not take place in a vacuum. It occurs because we have something in ourselves which vibrates with a similar frequency to something in our role models. Astrology identifies those somethings as planets of personality. Venus "understands" venus. (To give examples, and, oversimplifying, these are the gentle folk, the givers, the conciliators.) Saturn shares an existential reality with other saturns. (The cautious, essential, sober, if not actually depressed people.) Mars "speaks the same language" as other mars. (The doers, athletes, warriors...) Identification is essentially a sympathetic response. With the saturn/pluto autistic child, he does not have available some of the "somethings" in himself (that is, in his early astrology) which would give him such sympathetic vibrations. Since it is through such experiences that we form personality, and, eventually, mature, that child’s growth is extremely challenged.

(2) Very few people are capable of grasping the dissociative power of a forefront saturn/pluto. I achieved some understanding of it only after I went through some stong satnurn/pluto astrology. But when I went through it, I had the benefit of already being an adult. No doubt about it. It was extreme, a more rare type of human experience.

States of consciousness appear to be better understood when we are in them. Or, at least have experienced them before. Then we can see, "gee, this is amazing." But then, we are hard pressed to convey its power to people not under such an influence. This is not different than for other life (and astrological) extremes. Alcoholics better understand, and help (once they have set up some basic rules) other alcoholics. Parents who have lost a child generally discover deep incomprehension among parents who have not. Individuals conned of their life savings are under definite astrological influences when it happens. Individuals not under that influence tend to see those victims as idiots. At least we say, “I—I would never fall for such a thing.” But when we are under that astrology, chances are far more favorable for us to do just that, fall for it. And wonder later how we did not see the warning signs, how we could have been, yes, such an idiot.

In that sense autistic individuals who have forefront saturn/pluto are inadvertently challenged by their caretakers. Why? Because the caretakers have little understanding of the autistic problem as it exists for the autistic individual, that is, the nuts and bolts of his existential condition.

What is the existential condition of the autistic child? As far as I am concerned, this astrology does a better job of consistently conveying that than any other discipline. It may not have fully arrived there yet, but it promises to separate out anxiety conditions from withdrawal ones from schizophrenic ones from retardation ones from allergic ones from brain damaged ones. And the excesses from the deficiencies. And, if some or all of them are mixed together in one child, this astrology will show that, too.

With just about any problem of life, whether it be in physics, or social interaction, or getting the car out of a ditch, we have to identify and work with what is. Then we can work with the laws of what might be in order to change the condition for the better.

We live in times which stress the physical as cause. DNA studies often identify a gene for some problem as "cause." Yet, if life is removed from the body (that is, it dies), the body is cause of nothing. Separated from life, the body is capable of nothing except disintegration. Even that it cannot do by itself. It is helped along by thousands of microbes. But then, DNA is not just physical. It is some kind of code which appears to operate through the physical.

Astrology is also some kind of code which appears to operate through the physical. And this method makes much more apparent it is a code.

Returning to what is, in fact, cause, if a biochemical imbalance were discovered in the blood and brain chemistry of the autistic child, that would be latched onto as a key factor in the manifestation of autism. In fact, it may be cause, it may be effect. It may be neither. It may be a correlate--not exactly cause, and not exactly an effect, but a simultaneous expression of something--life in that particular form.

In finding an astrological imbalance of planets of personality for the autistic child, I did not do it to prove some point. That is simply what I found. While I may have mis-interpreted the relevance of the astrological imbalance (as it is also possible the doctor misinterpreted the relevance of the biochemical imbalance), my findings are not a function of any desire on my part. They are objective results. Like all research results, they are subject to interpretation.

Further Work
If the conditions discussed above are true and exclusive indicators of autism, they can be used to diagnose it at birth. Present psychological diagnostic tools work, at earliest, at 18 months. And those were used on toddler siblings of known autistic children. In other words, knowing autism has more chance of occurring in the same family, psychologists were alerted to looking for further autism in that family. The majority of autistic children are still not diagnosed until between two and three years of age--closer to three. So, no one knows how much it would help if we knew at birth that a child was autistic. (Baron-Cohen, 1995)

Go To the Addendum Paper on Autism
Go To the Paper on High Functioning Autistic Temple Grandin
Go To the Paper on the Astrology of One Individual Diagnosed with Asperger’s Disorder
Go To the Paper on the Astrology of One Twin Autistic, One Normal
Go To the Paper on "Saturn/Pluto" Autism

The Child: Structure and Dynamics of the Nascent Personality, by Erich Neumann. London, Sydney, Aukland, Toronto: Hodder and Stoughton. Translated by Ralph Manheim. English translation, New York: The C.G. Jung Foundation for Analytical Psychology, 1973.

Autism: An Introduction to Psychological Theory, by Francesca Happé. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1994.

The Siege: The First Eight Years of an Autistic Child, by Clara Claiborne Park. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1967.

Theories of Autism, by Cheryl D. Seifert. Lanham, MD: University Press of America, Inc., 1990.

Autistic Children: New Hope for a Cure, by Niko Tinbergen FRS and Elisabeth A. Tinbergen. Boston: George Allen & Unwin, 1983.

Mindblindness: An Essay on Autism and Theory of Mind, by Simon Baron-Cohen. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1995.

The Ladder of Lights, by William G. Gray. New York: Samuel Weiser, Inc., 1968.

Appendix A
(pp. 19-23, Happé)

The diagnosis for autism comprises a set of three major impairments, known as Wing’s Triad. The impairments are those in socialization, communication, and imagination.

In the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 3rd edition, revised (Washington, DC, American Psychiatric Association, 1987), these became:

Note: Consider a criterion to be met only if the behavior is abnormal for the person’s developmental level.

A. Qualitative impairment in reciprocal social interaction as manifested by the following:

(The examples in parenthesis are arranged so that those first mentioned are more likely to apply to younger or more handicapped, and the later ones, to older or less handicapped, persons with this disorder.)

1. marked lack of awareness of the existence or feelings of others (e.g. treats a person as if he were only a piece of furniture; does not notice another person’s distress; apparently has no concept of the need of others for privacy)
2. no or abnormal seeking of comfort at times of distress (e.g., does not come for comfort even when ill, hurt, or tired; seeks comfort in stereotyped way, e.g. says “cheese, cheese, cheese” when hurt)
3. no or impaired imitation (e.g., does not wave bye-bye; does not copy mother’s domestic activities; mechanical imitation of other’s actions out of context)
4. no or abnormal social play (e.g. does not actively participate in simple games; prefers solitary play activities; involves other children in play only as “mechanical aids”)
5. gross impairment in ability to make peer friendships (e.g. no interest in making peer friendships; despite interest in making friends, demonstrates lack of understanding of conventions of social interaction, for example, reads phone book to uninterested peer)

B. Qualitative impairment in verbal and nonverbal communication, and in imaginative activity, as manifested by the following:

(The numbered items are arranged so that those listed first are more likely to apply to younger or more handicapped, and the later ones, to older or less handicapped, persons with this disorder.)

1. no mode of communication, such as communicative babbling, facial expression, gesture, mime, or spoken language
2. markedly abnormal nonverbal communication, as in the use of eye-to-eye gaze, facial expression, body posture, or gestures to initiate or modulate social interaction (e.g. does not anticipate being held, stiffens when held, does not look at the person or smile when making a social approach, does not greet parents or visitors, has a fixed stare in social situations)
3. absence of imaginative activity, such as playacting of adult roles, fantasy characters, or animals; lack of interest in stories about imaginary events
4.marked abnormalities in the production of speech, including volume, pitch, stress, rate, rhythm, and intonation (e.g. monotonous tone, questionlike melody, or high pitch)
5. marked abnormalities in the form or content of speech, including stereotyped and repetitive use of speech (e.g. immediate echolalia or mechanical repetition of television commercial); use of “you” when “I” is meant (e.g. using “You want cookie?” to mean “I want cookie”); idiosyncratic use of words or phrases (e.g. “Go on green riding” to mean “I want to go on the swing”); or frequent irrelevant remarks (e.g. starts talking about train schedules during a conversation about sports)
6. marked impairment in the ability to initiate or sustain a conversation with others, despite adequate speech (e.g. indulging in lengthy monologues on one subject regardless of interjections from others)

C. Markedly restricted repertoire of activities and interests, as manifested by the following:

1. stereotyped body movements, e.g. hand-flicking or -twisting, spinning, head-banging, complex whole-body movements)
2. persistent preoccupation with parts of objects (e.g. sniffing or smelling objects, repetitive feeling of texture of materials, spinning wheels of toy cars) or attachment to unusual objects (e.g. insists on carrying around a piece of string)
3. marked distress over changes in trivial aspects of environment, e.g. when a vase is moved from usual position
4. unreasonable insistence on following routines in precise detail, e.g., insisting that exactly that exactly the same route always be followed when shopping
5. markedly restricted range of interests and a preoccupation with one narrow interest, e.g. interested only in lining up objects, in amassing facts about meteorology, or in pretending to be a fantasy character)

D. Onset during infancy or childhood

Specify if childhood onset (after 36 months of age)

A rather different approach [from one where health visitors used a precisely designed questionnaire to identify autism, which suggested that nothing could be picked up at one year] has been taken by Johnson et al. (1992), who looked back at the infant health screening records of children who were subsequently diagnosed as suffering from autism, and compared them with the records of children who grew up to be “normal” or to have mild/moderate learning difficulties (but not autism). They found that the group with learning difficulties showed impairments in many of the areas tested (motor, vision, hearing and language) as assessed at the 12 month screening. By contrast, the autistic children had shown very few problems at this age. At their 18 month assessment, however, many of the infants who were later diagnosed autistic showed problems in social development. While a few of the learning difficulties children also showed social problems at 18 months, these were part of a more general delay across all areas of functioning. In the autistic children, by contrast, social deficits were noticed by the health visitors in the absence of other problems. This study suggests that it is not until some time in the second year that autistic children show social impairments - at 12 months the children in this study were judged to be normally social by health visitors (on items such as smiling and responsiveness to people). (pp. 21-24 Happé)

Baron-Cohen et all (1992) has devised a screening test, the Checklist for Autisms in Toddlers (CHAT) which at the time the Happé book was written appeared to identify the autistic child at 18 months. (p 24, Happé)

Incidence: 4-10 autistic children for every 10,000 live births (higher for Triad) (25)

Male to female: range from 2:1 to 3:1. Most girls with autism are at the lower end of the ability range, while at the more able end boys may outnumber girls 5:1

While once thought a disability that happens to children of upper socioeconomic parents, the evidence to date is there is not such prevalence. (25)

Appendix B
Asperger’s Syndrome
Criteria for Asperger’s syndrome in the ICD-10 (draft, World Health Organization,1990)

A. A lack of any clinically significant general delay in language or cognitive development. Diagnosis requires that single words should have developed by two years of age or earlier and that communicative phrases be used by three years of age or earlier. Self-help skills, adaptive behavior and curiosity about the environment during the first three years should be at a level consistent with normal intellectual development. However, motor milestones may be somewhat delayed and motor clumsiness is usual (although not a necessary diagnostic feature). Isolated special skills, often related to abnormal preoccupations, are common, but are not required for diagnosis.

B. Qualitative impairments in reciprocal social interaction (criteria as for autism). Diagnosis requires demonstrable abnormalities in at least three out the following five areas:

1. failure adequately to sue eye-to-eye gaze, facial expression, body posture and gesture to regulate social interaction;
2. failure to develop (in a manner appropriate to mental age, and despite ample opportunities) peer relationships that involve a mutual sharing of interests, activities and emotions;
3. rarely seeking and using other people for comfort and affection at times of stress or distress and/or offering comfort and affection to others when they are showing distress or unhappiness;
4. lack of shared enjoyment in terms of vicarious pleasure in other people’s happiness and/or a spontaneous seeking to share their own enjoyment through joint involvement with others;
5. a lack of socio-emotional reciprocity as shown by an impaired or deviant response to other people’s emotions; and/or lack of modulation of behavior according to social context, and/or a weak integration of social, emotional and communicative behaviors.

C. Restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests and activities (criteria as for autism; however, it would be less usual for these to include either motor mannerisms or preoccupations with part-objects or non-functional elements of play materials). Diagnosis requires demonstrable abnormalities in at least two out of the following six areas:

1. an encompassing preoccupation with stereotyped and restricted patterns of interest;
2. specific attachments to unusual objects;
3. apparently compulsive adherence to specific, non-functional, routines or rituals;
4. stereotyped and repetitive motor mannerisms that involve either hand/finger flapping or twisting, or complex whole body movements;
5. preoccupations with part-objects or non-f8nctional elements of play materials (such as their odor, the feel of their surface, or the noise/vibration that they generate);
6. distress over changes in small, non-functional, details of the environment.

D. The disorder is not attributable to the other varieties of pervasive developmental disorders: schizoptypal disorder; simple schizophrenia; reactive and disinhibited attachment disorder of childhood; obsessional personality disorder; obsessive-compulsive disorder (pp. 90-91 Happé)

(92) The crucial difference, in Van Krevelen’s view (1971), is the child’s attitude to others; autistic children act as if others did not exist, while children with Asperger’s syndrome evade other people, of whom they are aware.

Appendix C
Van Krevelen’s Distinguishing Features for Aspergers’ vs. Autism Syndrome (p. 93, Happé)

Early Infantile AutismAustistic Psychopathy (Asperger’s)
1. Manifestation age: 1st month of lifeManifestation age: 3rd year or later
2. Child walks earlier than he speaks; speech is retarded or absentChild walks late; speaks earlier
3. Language does not attain the function of communicationLanguage aims at communication but remains “one-way” traffic
4. Eye contact: other people do not existEye contact: other people are evaded
5. The child lives in a world of his ownThe child lives in our world in his own way
6. Social prognosis is poorSocial prognosis is rather good
7. A psychotic processA personality trait

Data Sources
Birth: 5/2/1984, 6:20 p.m. CDT, 35N28, 97W31. From Joe Stevens, from the mother.
Conception: 7/26/1983, 1:07:06 a.m. CDT, 35N28, 97W31

Birth: 6/9/1989, 3:30 p.m. EDT, 41N16, 74W22. From J. Haupt, from the mother.
Conception: 8/31/1988, 11:27:31 p.m. EDT, 41N16, 74W22.

Birth: 4/18/1982, 8:20 p.m. EST, 40N46, 73W59. From Joe Stevens, from the mother.
Conception: 7/10/1981, 8:13:53 p.m. EST, 40N46, 73W59.

Birth: 4/21/92, 11:45 a.m. EST, 42N27, 73W15. From Joe Stevens, from the mother.
Conception: 7/14/1991, 2:13:51 p.m. EDT, 42N27, 73W15.

Birth: 1/9/1962, 12:23 p.m. AHST, Honolulu, Hawaii In The American Book of Charts by Lois Rodden, 11736 3rd Street, Yucaipa, CA 92399. Data to her from the mother, 1976,
Conception: 3/29/1961, 5:10:40 p.m. AHST, Honolulu, Hawaii

Noah-Jiro Greenfield
Birth: 7/01/1966, 7:02 p.m. EDT, New York, NY. In The American Book of Charts by Lois Rodden, 11736 3rd Street, Yucaipa, CA 92399. From an article in Life Magazine in an article written by his father. Time given as “a few minutes after 7:00 this evening.”
Conception: 9/22/1965, 4:52:53 p.m. EDT, New York, NY

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