Autism: A Brief History

Timeline created by chamb1mj
In History
  • Leo Kanner

    Leo Kanner
    He is considered one of the Fathers of Autism reaseach. He published an article in 1943 titled "Autistic disturbances of affective contact" which lead to Autism being considered a childhood psychiatric disorder. His groundbreaking study included 11 children and coined the term Autism.
  • Hans Asperger

    Hans Asperger
    An Austrian pediatrician who is considered one of the Fathers of Autism research. In 1944 he published a paper which included the definition of autistic psychopathy. In his study he identified patterns of behavior inluding lack of empathy and lack of interest in forming relationships. His work along with Leo Kanner are considered the earliest stages of Autism research.
  • Autism Society

    Autism Society
    The Autism Society was formed in 1965 by Bernard Rimland and a small group of parents whose children have Autism. The mission of the organization is to spread awarness about Autism in the areas of education, government legislation, public awareness and in the medical community. It currently has over 120,000 members and supporters.

    In 1966, Dr Eric Schoppler created the TEACCH approach or Treatment and Education of Autistic and Communication handicapped Children. It relizes on 5 basic principles physical structure, scheduling, work system, routinue and visual structure. Through these methods the person can work to better understand his or her environment.
  • Autism-Schizophrenia

    In 1967, autism continued to be classified under schizophrenia in the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems. This helped to continue the belief that Autism was a Mental Disorder instead of a Cognitive Disability, Children were viewed to have a mental disorder and were given psychiatric drugs as well as shock therapy.
  • Refrigerator Mothers

    Refrigerator Mothers
    Bruno Bettelheim held the notion that autism was the product of mothers who were cold, distant and rejecting, thus depriving their children of the chance to bond with them.
  • Kanner refutes "Refrigerator Mom" Theory

    Kanner refutes "Refrigerator Mom" Theory
    In 1969 Leo Kanner stated that while he had described some of the characteristics of the parents he was misquoted. He did not directly say that parents of children with autism are completly at fault.
  • Twin study

    Twin study
    The study done by scientists Rutter and Folstein showed that genetics may play a large factor in the diagnosis of Autism. 11 pairs of identical twins and of those 36% were both diagnosed with autism. This lead to a greater acceptance of genetics as a potential factor.
  • DSM-III Infantile Autism

    In 1980, the DSM-III was released with an inclusion for autism. This is the first time autism has been categorized in the DSM. It only has six characteristics listed and all six must be present for a person to receive the diagnosis. There is only one term for it and it is refered to as Infantile Autism.
  • Lorna Wing

    In 1981, Lorna Wing took the works of Hans Asperger and turned it into her own paper "Asperger Syndrome: a Clinical Account". This lead to much larger recognition of Asperger's work and helped to enhance the idea that Autism was a spectrum disorder and that their were some unique characterisitcs and many variations.
  • DSM III-R Autistic Disorder

    EThe DSM-III was revealed to have some inconsitencies and areas where the criteria were not very clear. Because of this the DSM-III-R was published in 1987. The biggest change to it in the field of autism was the change of the name. It was no longer refered to as Infantile Autism but instead Autistic Disorder.
  • Ole Ivar Løvaas publishes articles about therapy

    Ole Ivar Løvaas publishes articles about therapy
    Dr. Ole Ivar Lovaas is considered the Father of Applied Behavior Analysis. In 1987 he published “Behavioral Treatment and Normal Educational and Intellectual Functioning in Young Autistic Children.” This study showed that with rigourous therapy and training some students with Autism can catch up or make great strides towards functioning in general education classrooms.
  • IDEA

    In 1990, the Education for All Handicapped Children’s Act of 1975 was renamed to be the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. It included in it the category of autism. This required schools to provide services for children with an autism diagnosis.
  • DSM-IV

    In the DSM-IV the spectrum of autism is now grouped and includes the terms Autistic Disorder, Asperger’s Disorder, Rett’s Disorder, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder, PDD-NOS and Pervasive Developmental Disorder. It includes expanded upon criteria from the DSM-III.
  • Autism-Vaccine Article Published

    An article written by Dr. Andrew Wakefield, concluded that the Measles, Mumps, Rubella vaccine was a contributing factor to children having autism. This lead to a lot of debate about the safety of vaccines and many parent groups forming to boycott vaccines.
  • FDA Rebuffs Autism-Vaccine Link

    IN 1999, the FDA evaluated the link between Autism and Vaccines and stated that their was no credible evidence. Several studies were done using different methods and the studies found that autism rates did not decrese without use of vaccines.
  • Vaccine companies remove thimerosal

    As a precautionary measure, the U.S. government encouraged all vaccine companies to remove thimerosal (mercury) from their vaccines. The link between thimerosal and autism has not been proven in anyway but it was removed to lower the mercury exposure to infants.
  • Bob Wright forms Autism Speaks

    Bob Wright forms Autism Speaks
    Bob and Suzanne Wright formed Autism Speaks in 2005 as an advocacy group for families with children who have autism. Since then it has become a worldwide organization that works to fund research in the areas of cause, prevention, treatment and advocacy for children and their families.
  • DSM V Removal of terms

    Under the new DSM-V Asperger's and PDD-NOS are no longer terms used. They are all now considered under the umbrella that is Autism Spectrum Disorder. There are also new guidelines including a requirment that people who are diagnosed must have shown signs during childhood.
  • Current Autism rates

    The Center for Disease Control announced its most current statistics for the rate of autism. Currently 1 in 68 children are diagnosed with autism. This ia an increase from 2012 when the rate was only 1 in 88 children. This is a 30 percent increase in just 2 years. The rates vary from state to state with Alabama having a rate of 1 in 175 to New Jersey having a rate of 1 in 45.