via left brain right brain
June 17, 2015
Steve Silberman has been researching the history of autism for 5 years. I met him at the start of this journey, at IMFAR in San Diego and even then he had a good grasp of autism. Since then he has unearthed a great deal and I am eagerly awaiting his book (which I have already pre-ordered).
Recently, Mr. Silberman gave a TED talk: The Forgotten History of Autism.
Decades ago, few pediatricians had heard of autism. In 1975, 1 in 5,000 kids was estimated to have it. Today, 1 in 68 is on the autism spectrum. What caused this steep rise? Steve Silberman points to “a perfect storm of autism awareness” — a pair of doctors with an accepting view, an unexpected pop culture moment and a new clinical test.
But to really understand, we have to go back further to an Austrian doctor by the name of Hans Asperger, who published a pioneering paper in 1944. Because it was buried in time, autism has been shrouded in misunderstanding ever since.