Dr. Hans Asperger
In 1944, Austrian doctor Hans Asperger published the first description of what has become known as “Asperger’s Syndrome.” He described a pattern of behavior known as “autistic psychopathy” that included a difficulty feeling empathy and forming friendships, a tendency to become obsessively interested in things, a one-sided conversational style, and some clumsiness of movement.
Asperger called the children with these behaviors “little professors” because they could talk endlessly and in great detail about the subjects that had caught their interest. Because much of Hans Asperger’s work was lost in WWII, this autism spectrum disorder did not become widely known until the 1980s when Lorna Wing, a British researcher, published a paper called Asperger’s syndrome: a clinical account.
Since 1944 we have grown to consider Asperger’s syndrome on the scale of Autism Spectrum Disorder. To this day the characteristics Asperger saw in these “little professors” remain true: Autism Spectrum Disorder children and teens often demonstrate an amazing ability to recall dates, names, and events. One parent laughed about how her ten-year-old knew the scientific name of everyday things – from household sugar to the trees in the backyard. He would insist on discussing things using the scientific nomenclature.
2006 marked the 100th anniversary of Hans Asperger’s birth and the 25th anniversary of the publication of Lorna Wing’s paper. Since that time, many parents have recognized that their child, originally diagnosed as “autistic” is actually an Asperger’s child.
Officially, Asperger’s syndrome is no longer an official diagnosis. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a part of a larger category of we now recognize as neurodevelopmental disorders. These neurodevelopmental disorders include executive functioning disorders such as Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD, ADD), and include language-based learning disorders like verbal learning disorders and nonverbal learning disorders.
Your Little Professor was created as a resource for families who have a child who may have a neurodevelopmental disorder (Autism Spectrum Disorder, Aspergers, NVLD, LD, ADHD, ADD). We hope you find the site friendly and helpful for your needs. Enjoy!
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