Close

July 2, 2018

The truth about Hans Asperger

Julia Boyd reviews Asperger’s Children by Edith Sheffer

To anyone who thought of Hans Asperger as a brilliant doctor whose pioneering work in child psychiatry led to a more enlightened understanding of autism, Edith Sheffer’s book will come as a nasty shock.

At first, he seems set to emerge a hero. After all, anyone who could write in Vienna in 1938 that doctors had “the right and the duty” to invest “intensively and emotionally” in autistic children because those “who fall out of the norm and are difficult need experience, love, and full commitment from the educator” must surely have been brave as well as humane. Some months before Asperger wrote those words, which express the kind of liberal…Read the full review here

Menu