New Timeline Chronicles Pivotal Events That Shaped the Modern View of Autism

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This historic timeline on autism covers more than a half century of key events that helped shaped the modern view of autism -- just in time for national Autism Awareness month this April. Jayne Lytel, author of Act Early Against Autism, which debuts March 4, 2008 (A Perigee Trade Paperback Original), developed the timeline.

This historic timeline on autism covers more than a half century of key events that helped shaped the modern view of autism -- just in time for national Autism Awareness month this April.

More than a half century has passed since autism first got its name, yet controversies over its cause and treatment remain a mystery.

Since 1943, when Dr. Leo Kanner of Johns Hopkins wrote his pivotal paper that established autism as a childhood psychiatric disorder, four autism legends have died, and autism has stepped out of the shadows and into the public eye as its prevalence now strikes one child out of every 150 in the United States and is the fastest growing serious developmental disability in the United States.

The interactive timeline, replete with pictures of autism legends, covers the progression of treatments, from the rise of applied behavior analysis in the mid-1960s to the emergence of Floortime in the early 1990s. It also features landmark studies and important books, including The Empty Fortress: Infantile Autism and the Birth of Self by world-famous Chicago psychologist Bruno Bettelheim and The Me Book by Dr. O. Ivar Lovaas of the University of California in Los Angeles.

Other crucial facts covered in the timeline:

  • 1977: Dr. Susan Folstein, professor of psychiatry at Tufts University, replaced the bad parenting theory with evidence that autism has complex genetic roots.
  • 1980: Autism was officially recognized as a developmental disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-III after increasing data showed that autism has a neurological basis.
  • 1998: Dr. Andrew Wakefield, a surgeon who became a gut expert, comes to public attention when Lacent medical journal publishes his study that suggested a possible link between rising rates of autism and the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine.

Government statistics on the prevalence of autism also are highlighted.

Go back to 1911 to see who first introduced the term autism and how experts disproved theories over its cause in this interactive timeline on Autism's Origins at http://www.autismtimeline.com

Autism's Origins is the creation of Jayne Lytel, author of Act Early Against Autism: Give Your Child a Fighting Chance from the Start (A Perigee Trade Paperback Original). Her web site is http://www.jaynelytel.com.

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Jayne Lytel

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