aspergers children book

Open Letters Review: A fascinating examination of the unnerving history behind a common diagnosis.

Open Letters Review: Asperger's Children Book

Diagnoses of autism in the US in the last quarter-century have dramatically increased in both number and subtlety, as both psychiatrists and the general public have grown more knowledgeable and sensitive to detecting and understanding what autism is and how it manifests itself. Although the term autism was first introduced in 1911 by Swiss psychiatrist […]

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The New York Times: Once Viewed as a Savior of Children, Hans Asperger Is Now Called a Nazi Collaborator

new york times review of aspergers children book by edith sheffer

Edith Sheffer has written a book that defies easy categorization — an appropriate, if perhaps inadvertent, response to her fascinating and terrible subject matter. In “Asperger’s Children: The Origins of Autism in Nazi Vienna,” she shows how the Third Reich’s obsession with categories and labels was inextricable from its murderousness; what at first seems to […]

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Shocking new revelations that the namesake of Asperger’s syndrome was an accomplice to the Nazi murder of children has spurred the Asperger’s Society of Ontario (ASO) to considering changing its name, but it is encountering resistance. Detailed information that has come to light over the past few months about Dr. Hans Asperger has “certainly raised […]

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Salon: The Nazi history of Hans Asperger proves we need a new word for this type of autism

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 […]

Read More Asperger’s Syndrome, the Nazi Regime and the Dangerous Power of Labeling People

time opinion article edith sheffer

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 […]

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Highly Reputed Autism Researcher Hans Asperger Implicated in Nazi Programs that Killed Disabled Children

hans asperger

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 […]

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