Autism FAQ - Well-known Researchers and Practitioners
- Leo Kanner
- psychologist credited with identifying early infantile
autism in the 30s and 40s and who gave it the label "early
infantile autism" in 1943.
- Hans Asperger
- working in Austria, published 'Autistic
psychopathology in childhood' in 1944, one year after Kanner's
paper (though it was submitted before Kanner was published).
Because of the war, he was probably completely unaware of Kanner's
work. It appears that Asperger's patients were somewhat less
impaired in communicating than Kanner's. Unlike Kanner, he believed
in a biological, rather than a psychological, cause. His paper
appears in Frith's 'Autism and Asperger Syndrome'.
- Bernard Rimland
- a researcher and parent who reportedly undertook
to study the causes of autism, expecting to find a psychological
cause, but came to the conclusion that the cause is biological.
He wrote a book in 1964 on the subject which, over the long run
has been very influential.
- Bruno Bettelheim
- Freudian psychiatrist who wrote on a number of
topics including autism. Works from the point of view that it is a
psychiatric condition. See section on
- Eric Schopler
- founder of the TEACCH program in North Carolina. One
of the first professionals to involve parents in the treatment and
education of children with autism.
- Ole Ivar Lovaas
- developer of Discrete Trial Training (DTT), a form of
operant conditioning (behavior modification) designed to treat
Autism. See "Behavioral Therapy" under
- Michael Rutter
- British researcher, worked extensively on autism in
the 1970's, still involved but now more interested in other
- Rosemary Crossley
- in Australia. First to try the use of
facilitated communications with autistic children.
- Douglas Biklen
- introduced facilitated communications in USA based
upon work of Rosemary Crossley.
- Guy Berard
- physician in Annecy, France who developed the Audiokinetron,
one of the possible devices used in Auditory Integration Training.
- Martha Welch
- primary promoter of Holding Therapy in USA.
- Uta Frith
- wrote books on subject.
- Stanley Greenspan
- wrote books on child with developmental disabilities, though
not specifically autism spectrum.