A History of Autism
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Eugen Bleuler first used the term autism in relation to schizophrenia. ‘Autism’ and ‘autistic’ come from the Greek ‘auto’ or self.
Leo Kanner used the term infantile autism to describe unusual characteristics seen in a study of 11 children. He also suggested a possible genetic component to these bahaviours.
Asperger studied 4 boys who showed similar unusual characteristics.
Kanner observed that children with autism experienced a lack of stimulation in their environment. He referred to refrigerator mothers undemonstrative fathers.
Bernard Rimland proposed the existence of a biological link involved with autism.
Bettleheim popularised the theory of autism being a result of an unstimulating environment and the term ‘refrigerator mothers’ became widely used.
The syndrome and features of autism were validated.
Early childhood autism was recognised as being separate from schizophrenia.
A link was made between early childhood autism and neurological disease in children with congenital rubella.
Folstein and Rutter conducted studies on twins to explore the genetic component of autism.
The ‘Journal of Autism and Development Disorders’ was founded
Lorna Wing identified the Triad of Impairments representing the core characteristics of autism.
Dr E. R. Ritvo presented research to suggest that autism may be inherited.
Uta Frith proposed that children with autism lack a Theory of MInd.
The journal of ’Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disorders" was founded.
International Autism Research Review founded
Rimland suggests link between candida infection and autism.
Sally Ozonoff suggested that executive functioning or problem solving requires planning, impulse control and working memory and that executive functioning related to the frontal lobes may be impaired in individuals with autism.
Lorna Wing recognises Asperger syndrome as a form of autism and introduced the term autistic spectrum.
Frith and Happe proposed that individuals with autism have difficulty in making meaning from the whole rather than individual parts.
Baron-Cohen publishes his book ‘Mind Blindness’.
The journal ‘Focus on autistic behaviour’ was founded.
Temple Grandin published ‘Thinking in pictures and other reports from my life with autism’
The journal ‘Focus on autism and other developmental disorders’ was founded
Andrew Wakefiled proposed a link between the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine and autism.
Rodier looked at the link between in utero risk factors such as rubella and alcohol and autism.
Baron-Cohen suggest that autism is an example of the extreme male brain showing strengths in systemising often leading to obsessions but also displaying a lack of empathy.
Courchesne proposed a link between autism and rapid brain growth in infancy.
‘Autism’ and Environment’ workshop in USA to explore the effects of the environment on the developing brain.
Destafano found no link between autism and the number of vaccines a child receives in a day.
The parent advocate group, Autism Society of America was formed.
A group of parents were formed into a sub-committee within the IHC in New Zealand to focus on autism. This group later became Autism NZ Inc.
Treatment and Education of Autistic and related Communication-Handicapped children was founded in the US by Eric Schopier. It increased the services on offer to autistic children and included parents in their therapy.
Official launch of Autism NZ Inc.
2002 was declared Autism Awareness Year in the UK.
Autism Speaks was founded
New Zealand Autism Spectrum Disorder Guideline was published by the Ministry of Health.
IDEA ( Intellectual disability empowerment in action) launched ASD Plus to provide communication and behaviour services to support individuals with ASD and their families.
Lotter’s epidemiological study suggested a rate of 4.5 in every 10,000 individuals were autistic.
As doctors began to recognise autism the number of reported cases in USA rose to 15 in 10,000.
CDC (Centers for disease control and prevention) in USA reported 1 in 150 individuals were on the autistic spectrum.
CDC in USA reported autism being present at a rate of 1 in 110.
CDC reported 1 in 88 children being on the autistic spectrum.
Introduction of ASQ ( Autism Screening Questionnaire) and M-CHAT ( Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers).
Autism related behaviours categorised under schizophrenia in DSM-I
The Childhood autism rating scale was introduced by Schopler and others to assist in the identification of autism.
Autism related bahaviours remain classified under childhood schizophrenia.
Behavioural approaches were seen as the most effective way to teach children with autism.
Infantile Autism was recognised as a pervasive developmental disorder by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders III (DSM III). 6 symptoms were listed.
Drugs started to be used in the treatment of autism.
The term “infantile autism” was replaced by ‘autistic disorders’ and 16 new diagnostic criteria added.
Ole Ivar Lovaas introduced the use of Applied Behaviour Analysis.
DSM IV altered the category of pervasive developmental disorders to include Asperger Syndrome and significantly increased the range of diagnostic criteria for autism.