The History Of Autism

Jun 23, 2016

'In A Different Key: The Story of Autism' traces the history of the disorder from before the term was invented through modern day, highlighting the stories of unsung heroes and autism advocates.
Credit Crown Publishers

Note: This program is a rebroadcast.  

The term "autism" dates back to the 1930s when a pediatrician named Hans Asperger coined it to describe young boys he was treating who had high intelligence but limited social skills.

The new book, "In A Different Key: The Story of Autism" (Crown/2016) looks at the term and documents how scientific and popular understanding of the disorder have shifted and evolved tremendously in the past century.

It traces autism from the days of the ‘refrigerator mother’ theory: the idea that autism results from cold and distant mothers; to a contemporary movement to reject the notion that people with autism require a cure.

Host Frank Stasio talks with co-authors John Donvan and Caren Zucker, award-winning journalists who have been on the front lines of autism reporting for more than a decade.​ The two will be at The Chapel Hill Public Library tonight at 6:30 p.m.

Preview the book here: