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Who Discovered Autism Asperger Syndrome

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Spending Time With Animals

10 Aspergers Symptoms – Autism and Asperger Syndrome Symptoms | The Aspie World

Some autistic people find that interacting with animals provides a sense of connection and engagement thats sometimes hard to find in daily life. Equine therapy a form of therapy where you interact with or ride horses has helped some people.

You could also talk with your doctor or therapist about the possibility of adopting an emotional support animal, like a dog or cat.

Asperger’s Syndrome Is No Longer An Official Diagnosis

Steven Gans, MD, is board-certified in psychiatry and is an active supervisor, teacher, and mentor at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Asperger’s syndrome, also known as Asperger’s disorder or simply Asperger’s, is a developmental disorder affecting social skills and interactions and involving repetitive patterns of behavior. It was previously used as a diagnosis at the highest-functioning end of the autism spectrum.

Once regarded as one of the distinct types of autism, Asperger’s syndrome was retired in 2013 with the publication of the fifth edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders . It is no longer used by clinicians as an official diagnosis.

Even so, the term is still used in some circumstances and by some practitioners, although people who were once regarded as having Asperger’s syndrome would today be diagnosed as having level one autism spectrum disorder per the revisions in the DSM-5.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

People with ADHD typically have difficulty paying attention to whats going on around them, they are easily distracted, they tend to do things without thinking about the results, they are often forgetful, have trouble finishing what they intended to do, are disorganized, jump from one activity to another, are restless and have poor social skills.

Many of these symptoms overlap with those of Aspergers. Research has shown growing evidence for a connection between Aspergers and ADHD. Genetic studies suggest the two disorders share genetic risk factors, and studies of the incidence and distribution of both conditions confirm that many people with Aspergers have symptoms of ADHD and vice versa. Brain imaging and studies of the brain structure show similarities between the two disorders.

Having said that, there are important differences between the two. People with ADHD often try to do multiple activities at the same time. They get distracted easily and jump from one interest or activity to another. Focusing on one thing for a long time is hard for them. On the other hand, people with Aspergers tend to focus on only one activity at a time, and they focus on that activity intensely with little regard for anything else going on around them. They are hyper-focused rather than unfocused.

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The History Of Autism

It has been more than 50 years since Leo Kanner first described his classic autistic syndrome. Since then, the results of research and clinical work have helped us learn more about autism. More and more people are being diagnosed as autistic, although we still have a long way to go in creating a world that works for autistic people.

Read our charity’s timeline below to explore the history of autism, meet some of our ‘autism pioneers’ and find out more about the incredible work they’ve done.

Why Was The New Edition Needed

The autistic spectrum and the distinction between high ...

The American Psychiatric Association periodically updates the DSM to reflect new understanding of mental health conditions and the best ways to identify them.

The goals for updating the criteria for diagnosing autism included:

  • More accurate diagnosis
  • Identification of symptoms that may warrant treatment or support services
  • Assessment of severity level

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The Autism Spectrum & Aspergers Syndrome

Its name comes from the Austrian pediatrician who discovered the developmental syndrome. In 1944, Hans Asperger described children in his practice who lacked nonverbal communication, had a limited understanding of other peoples feelings, and were physically clumsy. For years Aspergers Syndrome was considered a stand-alone diagnosis. But in 2013 it was placed under the medical umbrella of Autism Spectrum Disorder . Suddenly, people previously thought to be exhibiting symptoms of Aspergers Syndrome were now considered to be at the mild or high end of the autism spectrum. Despite this new categorization many parents and caregivers of children diagnosed with Aspergers remain unaware of the range of symptoms within this syndrome.

History Of Autism: When Was Autism First Diagnosed

For many conditions and disorders, it is easy to find the first point where they were initially described to this day. Their diagnostics criteria are clear. However, this has not been the case for autism. There have been several diagnoses in the past five decades, and they were less direct with several branching out.

In this article, we will talk about how autism diagnosis came to be, who contributed to what, and where we are today.

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The Best Service To Our Volk: Asperger And Nazi Race Hygiene

Although Asperger published at least a dozen papers during the Nazi period, the existing literature focuses almost exclusively on two of these: The Mentally Abnormal Child from 1938 and The Autistic Psychopaths in Childhood from 1944 . In the following, I will broaden this narrow scope and present an analysis based on the full range of Aspergers published statements on politics, race hygiene, and the role of Heilpädagogik in society. I will show that Asperger on several occasions supported tenets of Nazi race hygiene and medicine, contributing to their legitimization.

Among Aspergers Nazi-era publications, the 1938 paper stands out for several reasons. Published 5 years before Leo Kanners famous 1943 article on autism, it contains the first account in the scientific literature of autistic psychopathy as a not previously described syndrome. As the written version of a lecture held less than 7 months after the Anschluss, it also reveals how Asperger positioned himself vis-à-vis the new rulers as someone who could be trusted to adapt to the new political situation. Crucially, Asperger opened with an endorsement of National Socialisms anti-individualistic and totalitarian approach to medicine and health:

Another of Aspergers publications captured in a nutshell the central tenets of Nazi medicine, including its typically euphemistic language, as in restrictive measures:

Did Hans Asperger Have Aspergers Syndrome

Autism and Aspergers: 5 intriguing differences (YOU need to know)
  • 21 Feb, 2017

Hans Asperger was a Viennese physician who published the first definition of Asperger’s syndrome in 1944. He identified a pattern of behavior and abilities that included “a lack of empathy, little ability to form friendships, one-sided conversation, intense absorption in a special interest, and clumsy movements.” Asperger called children with AS “little professors” because of their ability to talk about their favorite subject in great detail. Asperger was convinced that many of the children he identified as having autistic symptoms would use their special talents in adulthood. He followed one child, Fritz V., into adulthood. Fritz V. became a professor of astronomy and solved an error in Newtons work he originally noticed as a child.

Asperger died before his identification of this pattern of behavior became widely recognized, because his work was mostly in German and barely translated. The term “Asperger’s syndrome” was popularized in a 1981 paper by British researcher Lorna Wing, MD, who had an autistic daughter and became involved in researching developmental disorders.

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History Of Asperger Syndrome

This article needs to be . The reason given is: This diagnosis now part of autism spectrum for DSM and ICD classifications. Please help update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information.

Asperger syndrome is an autism spectrum disorder . It is a relatively new diagnosis in the field of autism. It was named after Hans Asperger , who was an Austrian psychiatrist and pediatrician. An English psychiatrist, Lorna Wing, popularized the term “Asperger’s syndrome” in a 1981 publication the first book in English on Asperger syndrome was written by Uta Frith in 1991 and the condition was subsequently recognized in formal diagnostic manuals later in the 1990s.

Asperger Therapies And Services

Find the following services near you using the Autism Speaks Resource Guide.

Cognitive behavioral therapy can help address anxiety and other personal challenges.

Social skills training classes can help with conversational skills and understanding social cues.

Speech therapy can help with voice control.

Physical and occupational therapy can improve coordination.

Psychoactive medicines can help manage associated anxiety, depression and attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder .

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How Asperger Syndrome Is Diagnosed

The characteristics of Asperger syndrome vary from one person to another, although there are some key traits that autistic people share. These are:

  • persistent difficulties with or differences in social communication and social interaction
  • restricted and repetitive patterns of behaviours, activities or interests since early childhood, to the extent that these impact negatively on day to day life.

The diagnosis process usually involves a multi-disciplinary diagnostic team – often including a speech and language therapist, paediatrician, psychiatrist and/or psychologist.Because Asperger syndrome varies widely from person to person, making a diagnosis can be difficult. It is often diagnosed later in children than autism and sometimes symptoms may not be recognised and diagnosed until adulthood.

‘asperger Syndrome’ Was Introduced To The World By British Psychiatrist Lorna Wing In The 1980s


The term derives from a 1944 study by Austrian paediatrician Hans Asperger .

Many people who fit the profile for Asperger syndrome are now being diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder instead. Each person is different, and it is up to each individual how they choose to identify. Some people with a diagnosis of Asperger syndrome may choose to keeping using the term, while others may prefer to refer to themselves as autistic or on the autistic spectrum.

Autism is a spectrum condition. All autistic people share certain difficulties, but being autistic will affect them in different ways. Some people with Asperger syndrome also have mental health issues or other conditions, meaning people need different levels and types of support. People with Asperger syndrome see, hear and feel the world differently to other people. If you have Asperger syndrome, you have it for life it is not an illness or disease and cannot be cured. Often people feel that Asperger syndrome is a fundamental aspect of their identity.

People with Asperger syndrome don’t have the learning disabilities that many autistic people have, but they may have specific learning difficulties. They may have fewer problems with speech but may still have difficulties with understanding and processing language.

With the right sort of support, all autistic people can be helped to live a more fulfilling life of their own choosing.

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How Has Our Understanding Of Asperger Syndrome Evolved

1944: Austrian pediatrician Hans Asperger described four strikingly similar young patients. They had normal to high intelligence. But they lacked social skills and had extremely narrow interests. The children also shared a tendency to be clumsy.

1981: British psychiatrist Lorna Wing published a series of similar case studies. In it, she coined the term Asperger syndrome.

1994: Asperger syndrome listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders .

2013: Asperger syndrome and other previously separate types of autism folded into one umbrella diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder in DSM-5.

How Does The Dsm

Six major changes included:

1. Four previously separate categories of autism consolidated into one umbrella diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder.

The previous categories were:

  • Pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified

2. Consolidation of three previous categories of autism symptoms

  • Social impairment

into two categories of symptoms

  • Persistent deficits in social communication/interaction and
  • Restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior

3. The addition of sensory issues as a symptom under the restricted/repetitive behavior category. This includes hyper- or hypo-reactivity to stimuli or unusual interests in stimuli

4. A severity assessment scale based on level of support needed for daily function.

5. Additional assessment for:

  • Any known genetic causes of autism
  • Language level
  • Intellectual disability and
  • The presence of autism-associated medical conditions

6. Creation of a new diagnosis of social communication disorder, for disabilities in social communication without repetitive, restricted behaviors.

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History Of Asperger’s Syndrome

The history of Asperger syndrome, an Autism Spectrum Disorder , is brief Asperger syndrome is a relatively new diagnosis in the field of autism, named in honor of Hans Asperger , an Austrian psychiatrist and pediatrician. An English psychiatrist, Lorna Wing popularized the term “Asperger’s syndrome” in a 1981 publication the first book in English on Asperger syndrome was written by Uta Frith in 1991 and the condition was subsequently recognized in formal diagnostic manuals later in the 1990s.

When Was Autism First Diagnosed

What is Autism Spectrum Disorder? What is Asperger’s Syndrome

Autism had a lot of descriptions in the past decades. It was first thought of as a form of childhood schizophrenia. There was even a time where the disorder was thought to stem from cold parenting.

Throughout the years, the diagnostic criteria and the description of autism changed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in its editions. This manual is used in the United States to guide physicians in their diagnoses, and it gives us a great idea about how autism diagnosis changed over the years.

An Austrian-American psychiatrist and physician, Leo Kanner first described autism in 1943 . In his article, he mentioned children with delayed echolalia as well as how they wanted to maintain sameness in their lives. He also wrote that these children were also gifted in terms of intelligence and they had an extraordinary memory.

This led Leo Kanner to consider autism a psychiatric condition. Kanner observed autism as an emotional disturbance rather than a developmental or cognitive one. In light of this information, the second edition of the DSM, DSM-II, was published in 1952 with the definition of autism as a psychiatric condition. The manual deemed autism a form of childhood schizophrenia . It was characterized by atypical and withdrawn behavior, general unevenness, gross immaturity and inadequacy in development, and failure to develop identity separate from the mothers.

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How History Forgot The Woman Who Defined Autism

Grunya Sukhareva characterized autism nearly two decades before Austrian doctors Leo Kanner and Hans Asperger. So why did the latter get all the credit?

by Lina Zeldovich / 7 November 2018

It was 1924 when the 12-year-old boy was brought to the Moscow clinic for an evaluation. By all accounts, he was different from his peers. Other people did not interest him much, and he preferred the company of adults to that of children his own age. He never played with toys: He had taught himself to read by age 5 and spent his days reading everything he could instead. Thin and slouching, the boy moved slowly and awkwardly. He also suffered from anxiety and frequent stomachaches.

At the clinic, a gifted young doctor, Grunya Efimovna Sukhareva, saw the boy. Caring and attentive, she observed him with a keen eye, noting that he was highly intelligent and liked to engage in philosophical discussions. By way of a diagnosis, she described him as an introverted type, with an autistic proclivity into himself.

In 1925, Sukhareva published a paper describing in detail the autistic features the six boys shared. Her descriptions, though simple enough for a nonspecialist to understand, were remarkably prescient.

Continued Use Of The Name

Despite being excluded from the DSM-5, Asperger’s syndrome sometimes is still used in both the United States and in other countries. A common reason for this is that a diagnosis of ASD can carry stigma, and people who were previously diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome may still identify with the term and prefer it.

A 2017 study analyzing the effect of removing Asperger’s syndrome from the DSM found the change “has the potential to threaten the identity of those affected,” citing autism as a stigmatizing diagnostic label. Some advocacy groups and organizations continue to use the term as well, at least in part because some people continue to identify as having Asperger’s, not autism.

Even so, medical consensus continues to move away from the Asperger’s syndrome diagnosis. Following the DSM’s lead, the 11th revision of the International Classification of Diseases , to take effect on January 1, 2022, has moved Asperger’s syndrome under the autism spectrum disorder umbrella. The ICD-11 will be used by all World Health Organization member states.

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Restricted And Repetitive Interests And Behavior

People with Asperger syndrome can display behavior, interests, and activities that are restricted and repetitive and are sometimes abnormally intense or focused. They may stick to inflexible routines, move in stereotyped and repetitive ways, preoccupy themselves with parts of objects, or engage in compulsive behaviors like lining objects up to form patterns.

The pursuit of specific and narrow areas of interest is one of the most striking among possible features of AS. Individuals with AS may collect volumes of detailed information on a relatively narrow topic such as weather data or star names without necessarily having a genuine understanding of the broader topic. For example, a child might memorize camera model numbers while caring little about photography. This behavior is usually apparent by age 5 or 6. Although these special interests may change from time to time, they typically become more unusual and narrowly focused and often dominate social interaction so much that the entire family may become immersed. Because narrow topics often capture the interest of children, this symptom may go unrecognized.

According to the Adult Asperger Assessment diagnostic test, a lack of interest in fiction and a positive preference towards non-fiction is common among adults with AS.

Different Names And Terms For Autism

Autistic Spectrum Disorders

Over the years, different diagnostic labels have been used, such as: autism, Autism Spectrum Disorder , Autism Spectrum Condition , classic autism, Kanner autism, pervasive developmental disorder , high-functioning autism , Asperger syndrome and Pathological Demand Avoidance . This reflects the different diagnostic manuals and tools used, and the different autism profiles presented by individuals.Because of recent and upcoming changes to the main diagnostic manuals,‘Autism Spectrum Disorder’ is now likely to become the most commonly given diagnostic term. Asperger syndrome remains a useful profile for many diagnosticians and professionals.

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