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Revista de la Asociación Española de Neuropsiquiatría

On-line version ISSN 2340-2733Print version ISSN 0211-5735


ARTIGAS-PALLARES, Josep  and  PAULA, Isabel. Autism 70 years after Leo Kanner and Hans Asperger. Rev. Asoc. Esp. Neuropsiq. [online]. 2012, vol.32, n.115, pp.567-587. ISSN 2340-2733.

From the contributions of Leo Kanner (1943) and Hans Asperger (1944), autism has been the focus of an intense debate about its phenomenological, etiological and therapeutic aspects and about its nature. This review aims to describe autism as a dynamic concept subject to interpretations not only different, but radically opposed. During four decades there has been a controversial debate between psychodynamic, behavioral and biological theories till autism was incorporated into the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. From the 80's on an important part of the professionals involved in autism, based the diagnosis on agreed criteria that allow defining homogenous groups, without which research would be sterile and shared knowledge impossible. But today's standards, and especially the nosological location of autism, appear to be still far from being consolidated as definitive. Perhaps the contributions of the DSM 5 will be the beginning of a turnabout.

Keywords : Asperger's disorder; Autism spectrum disorders; Autistic disorder; Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders; DSM; Kanner's syndrome.

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