History of Autism

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When did autism emerge on the scene of psychology?

History of Autism

The word "autism" first emerged in the English language around 1912 when a psychologist named Eugene Bleuler used the term to describe a population of schizophrenic patients who seemed to be detached from the rest of the world. The root of the word autism is "autos" from the meaning "self" in Greek. The term was later used to refer to autistic individuals as we understand it today around 1943 when Leo Kanner described a group of patients that shared certain behavioral and social characters. It is interesting to note that in 1943, Dr. Hans Asperger identified autistic characteristics in another group of individuals in an entirely different research project. His descriptions related to what we know as Asperger's syndrome today.



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