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 "History" above.
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 "Treatment".
Michael Rutter
British researcher, worked extensively on autism in the 1970's, still involved but now more interested in other topics.
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.