n Mental Health Matters - Autism Spectrum Disorder - ASD : diagnosis, features and management

Volume 3, Issue 3
  • ISSN :



The term 'autism' was originally coined by Bleuler, meaning 'self' which conveyed the idea of self-absorption that characterised these children. Kanner, in the 1940's described children with 'fascinating personalities'. At the same time Asperger wrote about higher functioning children who had speech and normal IQ's, but with similar characteristics to Kanner's patients. Previous DSM diagnoses referred to Pervasive Developmental Disorders, which included Classic Autism and Asperger's Syndrome, as well as several other forms of Autism. The DSM-55 has grouped them all under the umbrella of ASD. In the last 15 years our knowledge of ASD has greatly increased. The original describers of autism attributed a rich inner fantasy to people with Autism. The truth is that the hallmark of the condition is concreteness, literal thinking and limited imagination.

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