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Just another thought....
Shirlann66 posted:
I am 76, I raised 4 children in the 50's and 60's. We had no Autism. The only thing grossly different I can recall is PLASTIC BOTTLES AND PLASTIC LINERS. We only had glass.
kay_kay75 responded:
I would bet there was Autism, they just locked people away in mental hospitals at that time that showed any symptoms. Just like they did with Down's Syndrome.
Roy Benaroch, MD replied to kay_kay75's response:
Leo Kanner described children with autism in the 1940s, so it was definitely around then. His original descriptions are almost haunting-- along with Hans Asperger, they were able to define and characterize the features of autistic children that are still very relevant today.

The biggest change has been the understanding that autism is a spectrum of disorders. When I was in medical school, only the very most severely autistic children would be diagnosed with autism-- kids who didn't speak at all, and didn't interact with their parents. Nowadays, though there are certainly children with severe autism, most children with the diagnosis are more mildly affected and have a very good prognosis with therapy.

Kay_kay is also right-- in the past, many people with autism, and schizophrenia, and Down Syndrome, and cerebral palsy, and many other issues were just locked up and discarded. Families were ashamed and didn't speak of them.

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