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History of Autism:
Kanner (1943) first added the diagnosis of autism to the psychiatric literature almost fifty years ago. Since that time a large literature has developed which catalogues literally thousands of clinical and experimental studies of the syndrome. It is only recently, however that clinicians and researchers throughout the world have reached a consensus concerning the nature and the essential diagnostic criteria for autism. The multi-disciplinary professional advisory board of the Autism Society of America led the way in 1977 with the publication of the definition of the syndrome of autism (Ritvo and Freeman, 1977) followed in 1980 by the American Psychiatric Association's publication of the 3rd edition of the Diagnostic Statistical Manual (DSM-III), which subsequently has been revised in 1984 and 1992. These definitions typically follow a standard medical model.


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