The Autistic Subject

On the Threshold of Language

Leon’s new book on the subject of autism. Get it in hard cover of PDF version!

The book presents a theory of autistic subjectivity from a Lacanian psychoanalytic perspective. Dr. Brenner describes autism as a singular mode of being that is fundamentally linked to one’s identity and basic practices of existence, offering a rigorous alternative to treating autism as a mental or physical disorder. Drawing on Freud and Lacan’s psychoanalytic understanding of the subject, Brenner outlines the unique features of the autistic subjective structure and provides a comprehensive synthesis of contemporary work on the psychoanalysis of autism. 

The book examines research by theorists including Jean-Claude Maleval, Éric Laurent, Rosine and Robert Lefort that has been largely unavailable to Anglophone audiences until now. In this book autism is posited to be a singular subjective structure not reducible to neurosis or psychosis. In accordance with the Lacanian approach, autism is examined with detailed attention to the subject’s use of language, culminating in Brenner’s autistic linguistic spectrum.” A compelling read for students and scholars of psychoanalysis and autism researchers and clinicians.


“Contemporary studies of autism strongly rely on cognitive and neurobiological approaches. This comprehensive and comprehensible book demonstrates that Lacanian psychoanalysis provides a viable alternative. Brenner discusses multiple works that are only available in French, thus opening up perspectives that are not well understood in the English-speaking world.”
(Stijn Vanheule, author of The Subject of Psychosis: A Lacanian Perspective (2011))

“It is no exaggeration to say that The Autistic Subject is a groundbreaking contribution to the study of autism. Brenner’s clear and well-written account, based on Lacan, is both refreshingly new and creatively original.”
(Russell Grigg, author of Lacan, Language, and Philosophy (2009))