Asperger Syndrome

Asperger Syndrome

Asperger Syndrome

Asperger Syndrome

Synopsis

Edited by professionals at the prestigious Child Study Center at Yale University, this volume brings together preeminent scholars and practitioners to offer up-to-date information about Asperger syndrome, including promising developments in research and clinical practice.

Excerpt

Hans Asperger used to love telling the story of his life; thus all I have to do is retell it. He was born in Vienna in 1906. His grandfather's family had been farmers east of the capital of the Austrian–Hungarian Monarchy for many generations. As a high school student, he became acquainted with the "German Youth Movement." It was in this movement that this achievementoriented and intellectual young man was to find all those things he valued most throughout his lifetime. There he discovered friendship, mountaineering, nature, art as a source of strength and repose, and literature—the medium in which he moved and lived.

In 1931 he graduated from medical school and started working for the Children's Hospital of the University of Vienna, the institution to which he devoted most of his working years. He remained a pediatrician at heart until the end of his life. However, his first publication (Siegl & Asperger, 1934) already showed that his primary interest was not in symptoms and treatment methods only but, rather, in the child who was suffering, his or her environment, and the interplay between constitutional and environmental factors. This approach to medicine and his work as the director of the Unit for Special Education ("Heilpädagogik") at the Children's Hospital led him to coin the term "autistic psychopathy," which he first used in the article "Das psychisch abnorme Kind" (Asperger, 1938). Despite the fact that considerations of genetic hygiene or racial determinism severely undermined human values at the time, Hans Asperger favored unpredictability and the notion that development resulted from the interplay between genetic and environmental factors ("predisposition is not fate but rather a possible fate").

In 1944, Hans Asperger published his postgraduate thesis, "Die 'Autistischen Psychopathen' im Kindesalter (" 'Autistic Psychopathy' in Childhood"), an excellent and comprehensive description of the children who deeply interested him. By describing the ways they expressed them-

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.