In the clinic of autism images are privileged over signifiers, making it into what looks like a "clinic in reverse" compared to the analytic experience. The famous Temple Grandin describes how she "thinks in pictures". Popular intervention methods like TEACHH are based on visual supports.
What is the status of the image for the autist? Since the autistic child's image is neither constituted in the mirror, nor coordinated with signifiers, but rather with his or her jouissance, the image merges with the real. Hence, a clinical approach based on images has its limits, since they are an insufficient basis upon which to organize one's world. In this compelling text, Bruno de Halleux discusses how displacing the axis of psychoanalysis beyond the Other and towards the One in Lacan's late teachings opens up a new way for thinking about the autist's relationship to signifiers, giving a new orientation for working with the autistic child, one that goes beyond the image.