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A History Lesson?

August 20, 2015

I read such an interesting book review today and I can't wait to delve into the concepts to learn more. I have been teaching "the history of autism" in my Autism courses for years. A new book coming out may have flipped that history upside down. (I say "may" because as a researcher, I always need to research the truth claims and analyze the sources!)


The gist of the book reveiw is this, Leo Kanner who is considered the "father of autism", may actually have worked directly with one of Hans Asperger's colleagues. In fact, that very colleague may have worked with Kanner on his seminal study and assessed some of the first children that Kanner later described as having autism. The link to the review is here:




Why is this a big deal? Kanner's view of autism was considered to be more limited than Asperger's view. Asperger's "spectrum" of diagnosis was more broad and encompassing. So, who was first? Does it matter? What are the current implications of this claim? The author of the new book that is described in the article, NeuroTribes the Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity, suggests that the current way our autism history is told has shaped our response to autism, causes of autism, family relationships, prevalence and identification numbers, and the current state of the often referenced, "autism epidemic". 

I for one plan to read and delve into these claims to determine what impact, if any, they have on the field of study that I am passionate about, and what impact the claims may have on the families and individuals with autism!





Note - I have no affiliation with this author or this book.

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