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Brief yet complete History of Autism


Autism has been around since last 100 years or so, but its understanding has been constantly changing ever since due to the constant research on this field. Below are some of the major events in the autism history.

In the year 1908, the word Autism was used to describe the kids who were showing symptoms self-absorbed or withdrawn from the surrounding world. These kids were among the subset of people with schizophrenic symptoms. Autism came from the Greek word "autos," which meant "self." Initially it was used to describe the person which is removed from social interaction.

In year 1911, Eugen Bleuler, who was a Swiss psychiatrist started using this term Autism for its currently accepted symptom set.

Later in the 1943, American child psychiatrist Dr. Leo Kanner, published a paper which studied about 11 children with high intelligence but a powerful desire for loneliness. They also had an obsessive insistence on persistent sameness. Dr. Kanner called it “early infantile autism."

In the year 1944, the German scientist Hans Asperger described another "milder" version of autism now known as Asperger's Syndrome. It laid foundation of the kids suffering from social interactions and specific obsessive interests.

During the year 1967 researcher Bruno Bettelheim coined the term “refrigerator mothers," which was used for the mothers who were not loving their children enough. This was later proven to be wrong and highly controversial as well. Since the role of biology or genetics was never considered in the initial causes of Autism, it was neglected in its cause and symptoms.

In the late 90’s according to the studies conducted by The Lancets, it was suggested that Autism is caused by the use of MMR vaccine. The findings were later shown to be incorrect.

In the very latest from 2009, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revised the estimates of Autism occurrence from 1 in 150 children to 1 in 100 children. But it was attributed to improved diagnosis and screening techniques.

Sometimes crying or laughing
are the only options left,
and laughing feels better right now.

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