The Rising Prevalence of Autism
Over the years, the definitions of autism have changed dramatically and this has resulted in equally dramatic changes in its prevalence. Starting with Kanner’s narrow view of what constituted autism, the definition of autism has been progressively widened in its scope.
From the mid-1960s onwards, child psychologists started using the word ‘autism’ to describe the exact opposite of what it had meant previously. In the 1950s, autism was used to refer to children who suffered from hallucinations and ...
A History of Diagnosing Autism
Autistic people have always been a part of human society. Uta Frith’s analysis of the depositions of 29 witnesses in the case of Hugh Blair, son of a Scottish landowner, who in 1747 appeared in an Edinburgh court for a decision on his mental capacity argues that Blair was autistic. John Haslam published “Observations on Madness and Melancholy” in 1809 where he describes a boy with many of the classical traits of autism.
Autism comes from the Greek ...