When were autism and Asperger Syndrome first described?
Dr. Leo Kanner first described autism as a specific condition in a paper published in 1943. A year later in 1944 an Austrian pediatrician, Hans Asperger, published another paper that first described a similar condition that later became known as Asperger Syndrome. These landmark papers were the first attempts to explain autism and Asperger’s. Although initially unaware of each other’s work, both Kanner and Asperger used the word “autistic” to characterize the children they observed. This term had been introduced by Swiss psychiatrist Eugen Bleuler in 1911 to describe the extreme withdrawal from the outside world into the self, which he identified as the basic disturbance in schizophrenia. Both Kanner and Asperger independently recognized that, in contrast to Bleuler’s schizophrenia, the difficulties in entering affective relationships with others seemed to be present from the beginning among their patients. Unlike the “autism” of schizophrenia, typified by a progressive loss of contact