In her original, compelling new book, Stanford University history professor Sheffer establishes a link between autism and Nazism and provides a new way to understand the Third Reich, and the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder. Impeccably researched through medical notes and contemporaneous accounts, Sheffer’s book focuses on pediatrician Hans Asperger, once championed for his work […]
Back in 2012, the American Psychiatric Association voted to remove “Asperger Syndrome” as an official diagnosis in their manual. Their decision was based on terminological precision rather than ethical considerations; they felt that it ought to be folded into autism spectrum disorders and argued that merging it with the broader spectrum would “help more accurately and […]
If a child receives a medical diagnosis, it’s natural for a parent to jump into research. If the parent is a historian, perhaps the urge is magnified — so when my son was diagnosed with autism at 17 months old, I read widely about the condition, including its historical origins. I learned that the man credited […]
Hans Asperger, an Austrian doctor, who did groundbreaking research in the developmental disorder autism, and also had the disease Asperger’s syndrome named after him, had a “heroic” reputation for his contributions until now. However, new research by historians has revealed that the doctor was involved in a Nazi program, and was responsible for killing disabled […]
Wondering what to read this summer? Don’t worry, PW’s editors have you covered. In their staff picks, you’ll find a killer Appalachian thriller, Michael Ondaatje’s amazing latest novel, a sprawling biography of Bruce Lee, and many more. Asperger’s Children made the list! Happy reading!
LINDA MOTTRAM: Well, there’ve been huge advances in the understanding of autism but the story of what was separately named Asperger’s syndrome has an unsettling past. The syndrome was named after the war-time Vienna-based, paediatrician, Dr Hans Asperger, and a cloud has long hung over his sympathies. The World Health Organization recently folded Asperger’s syndrome […]