Kanner's infantile autism and Asperger's syndrome

Pearce, J. M. S.
February 2005
Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry;Feb2005, Vol. 76 Issue 2, p205
Academic Journal
This article focuses on the treatment of Kanner's infantile autism and Asperger's syndrome. Recent much publicised attention to autism and its putative relation to the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccination reminds that autism affects approximately 4 in 10,000 of the population. It is characterised by impairments in reciprocal social interaction and communication, restricted and stereotyped patterns of interests and activities, and the presence of developmental abnormalities by 3 years of age. Leo Kanner, a psychiatrist at Johns Hopkins, recognised children sent to his clinic with similar characteristics, which he named early infantile autism. In his original description, Kanner noted that in most cases the child's behaviour was abnormal from early infancy. "Autistic Psychopathy in Childhood" by Hans Asperger was published in 1944 in German. His description of autistic psychopathy in four cases is similar to Kanner's early infantile autism. Asperger described young boys of normal intelligence and language development, but who also exhibited autistic like behaviours and marked deficiencies in social and communication skills.


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