Back to Basics. History of Autism. Hans Asperger

Dr Hans Asperger is a Viennese child pyschologist who published his first definition of Asperger Syndrome in 1944. Previously in 1926 Eva Sucharewa (a Russian scientific assistant) wrote a paper called “Schizoid Personality of Childhood” 

It gave an account of 6 boys and their behavioral issues, this paper closely resembles the findings of Dr Hans Asperger who died in October 1980 with his work not recognised in the English Speaking World

Looking through all this history all the research has been done on boys. Maybe thats why the research is all biased towards men instead of women.

I was reading this journal about Hans Asperger and their was this little note. Hans knew autism was life long and everyone would carry their talents on with them into adulthood. This contrasts with Dr Leo Kanner’s description of Autism. The reason behind Hans Asperger knowing the condition is lifelong is because he followed this one child Fritz into adulthood. Fritz was a genius, he became a professor of astronomy. He worked out an error in Newton’s work which he noticed as a child.

This series has got me really interested, I never even knew that as a child Hans Asperger exhibted symptoms of the very condition which was named after him.

Next Week or maybe later in this. Depending on how much work I get I will be looking at Pyschologist Bruno Bettelheim


Back to Basics of Autism.

Hey Guys and Girls as I am now working a lot I thought it would be a good idea to theme the next lot of posts around. The Basics of Autism. We are ending the year back at the beginning of autism. I want to talk about the first ever case of autism and how it was diagnosed. Back in the day and how it is diagnosed now (even if it is biased to boys) But i shall talk about why that is. The reason I am doing this now is so that a) I can learn more about it myself and b) if gives my nights a bit of structure rather than worrying about the night’s topics and also my new project oh boy am i excited to explain it all to you next month. This month if you check my twitter I will be running a number of polls to see what exactly I need for my surprise and I will announce it on 31st Dec at 12:00 Midnight EEK

Back to Basics What is Autism

Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with, and relates to, other people. It also affects how they make sense of the world around them – Thanks NAS I never know exactly how to sum it up in a short paragraph.

What is the History of Autism

Well the word autism has been around for 97 nearly 98 years now, and it was first used to describe those who we now diagnosed as schizophrenic. Well at least a subset of them anyway. Now this subset were particularly withdrawn and were self absorbed. I hate that term, just because someone prefers to be in their own world does not make them self absorbed. Maybe the world is too much for them to process.  In 1943 AMD Child Psychiatrist Dr Leo Kanner, wrote and published a paper on a study of 11 children who displayed a desire to to be alone and an insistence on routine. The paper was called “‘Autistic Disturbances of Affective Contact”

Leo Kanner M.D Paper

Kanner was born in what we now call the Ukraine in 1894. He studied at the University of Berlin although his studies were broken by service with the Austrian Army in WWI, he finally received his M.D in 1921. In 1924 he moved to the US to take a Physician job in Dakota. It was not until the 1930’s when Edward Park and Adolf Meyer selected Kanner to develop the first children’s psychiatric service. He became an associate professor in 1933. In 1943, he wrote his paper on “Autistic Disturbances of Affective Contact,” He says that there are noticeable changes to children’s behavior far beyond anything that was reported so far. He wanted to look into each case individually and work out the peculiarities.  Reading through each case with the knowledge we now know of autism it is interesting to spot the signs as they developed in these cases.

I highly recommend reading it in its entirety because you find out so much about how the differences in each case presents us with a symptom of autism. Kanner pays so much attention to the social and language deficiencies each case presents. OK he does not recognize cognitive impairments and in later paper he does suggest that their is a possibility that “Refridgerator parenting” is a cause. It took him 28 years to even consider organics as a cause.  


Come back for more. In Next Week’s Edition We look as Hans Asperger.