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Pediatr Clin North Am. 2012 Feb;59(1):1-11, ix. doi: 10.1016/j.pcl.2011.10.004.

Historical perspectives on autism: its past record of discovery and its present state of solipsism, skepticism, and sorrowful suspicion.

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Department of Pediatrics & Human Development, Michigan State University/Kalamazoo Center for Medical Studies, Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, 1000 Oakland Drive, Kalamazoo, MI 49009-1284, USA.


Concepts of autism have evolved over the twentieth century after Bleuler coined the term to refer to symptoms of self-absorption in those with schizophrenia. Autism nosology changed to the current sesquipedalian constellation of autism spectrum disorders with a confusing archipelago of 5 conditions that often serve as islands of confusion to both the general public and professionals. This article reviews historical links that have led to the current confusing and controversial situation that is encouraging some people to return to magic, mysticism, and mantics for health care, despite the amazing accumulation of progress in vaccinology over the past 2 centuries.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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