(4/16/01 11:33:45 am)
|Changeling and Autism|
I'm new to writing to the board but have been reading it through a link at Surlalune. I'm an avid reader of fairy tales and folk tales but quite an amateur. I have some ideas that I'm hoping some of you can give me your opinions and feedback on.
I'm finishing up a Master's Degree in special education (career change) and have been doing a lot work with and reading about children with autism. Autism and autistic characteristics on the autism spectrum often don't appear/are observable until the child is 2-5 years old. I was reading one account by a mother who said that she felt as if her child had been taken and an imposter left in his place. I immediately thought of changelings. I'm wondering if these tales were developed to help explain some of these types of disabilities. Can anyone suggest any tales/stories to read about changelings? What are your ideas along these lines?
I'm also thinking about multiple intelligences and the 3rd son winning the price/challenge tales sort of along the same lines.
Thanks for any input.
(4/16/01 2:55:13 pm)
Welcome to the board, Nancy.
Your research sounds very interesting. I'm thinking about possible stories for you to look at and will post those once I do. So many people on this board have a nearly encyclopedic knowledge of tales (I don't!)
In the meantime, there was a discussion some time back on changelings that I think lost steam; during it, I was actually trying to see if anyone could remember the author of a short children's novel from around 1965 or so called The Changeling. There are so many books with that title I haven't yet found the proper one. Maybe you know of it; it was about a seven-year-old or so girl who was quite withdrawn and had an imaginary friend in the woods . . . in fact, autism comes to mind when I remember some of its details. It might be relevant if I can just figure out who wrote it!
(4/16/01 4:10:55 pm)
I certainly am not one of those on the board with encyclopedic knowledge, but I'll but in my meager two cents. W.B. Yeats Fairy and Folk Tales of Ireland has some tales of people taken by the fairies as does Henry Glassie's Irish Folk Tales. The Maid of the North, a wonderful collection by Ethel Phelps Johnston, has a changeling retelling from the fragment of a story she found in, I believe and I may be wrong here, one of Lady Gregory's books. Phelps' book has some nice source notes, so that might be a help. Also, in Jane Yolen's Favorite Folktales from Around the World, there is at least one story about a young woman taken by fairies, not quite what you're looking for but it still might be of interest. This is another book with nice source notes to create a reading list from.
Also, I haven't run into the children's book The Changeling, but a great children's novel about a changeling is The Moorchild by Eloise McGraw. It won a Newbery honor and is one of my favorite books.
Hope this at least gets you started. Laura Mc
(4/16/01 5:21:48 pm)
|Changeling and Autism|
Thanks for the start and the warm welcome. I have Jane Yolen's book and will look through it tonight. I may also have a copy of Yeats' so I'll have to dig for that too. I've never read The Moorchild but have heard of it - I'll check the library. I'll let you know what I come up with too.
(4/17/01 7:40:20 am)
|Re: Changeling and Autism|
Carole Silver has a fascinating section on changelings in her book: Strange and Secret Peoples: Fairies and Victorian Consciousness, including a look at the way physical and mental illness in children was sometimes attributed (even as late as the 19th century) to fairy abduction.
(4/17/01 5:00:09 pm)
|Changelings and Autism|
Thanks for the reference, it sounds just what I'm looking for. I'll see if I can find it at my library.