The history of autism goes as far back as 1911 with Eugen Bleuler a Swiss psychiatrist first coined the term. However that term applied to adult schizophrenia.
In 1943 Dr. Leo Kanner of Johns Hopkins University described autism for the first time. He based his discovery from 11 children he observed between 1938 and 1943. What he studied were children who had withdrawal from human contact as early as age 1.
During the 1940’s through the 60’s the medical community felt that children who had autism where schizophrenic. This lack of understanding of the disorder lead many parents to believe that they were at fault
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|Early Origins of AutismNational Institutes of Mental HealthCombined Health Information DatabaseAbstracts on Autism