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When reading Michael Fitzgerald’s chapter entitled ‘Autism: Asperger’s Syndrome—History and First Descriptions’ in ‘Asperger’s Disorder’ edited by Rausch, Johnson and Casanova, a while ago, one of us was struck by his contention that Kanner was guilty of plagiarism as well as non-attribution of Asperger’s 1938 paper ‘Das psychisch abnorme kind’ (Fitzgerald in Asperger’s disorder. Informa Healthcare, New York, 2008) published in a Vienna weekly. Steve Silberman has discovered evidence that Kanner rescued Asperger’s chief diagnostician from the Nazis in 1944 so must have been aware of Asperger’s work and conclusions. Fitzgerald was on the right track but it appears that Kanner may have plagiarised Asperger’s ideas rather than his 1938 paper.
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Asperger, H. (1944). Die “Autistischen Psychopathen” im Kindesalter. European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience, 117(1), 76–136.
Feinstein, A. (2010). A history of autism: Conversations with the pioneers. New York: Wiley. CrossRef
Fitzgerald, M. (2008). Autism: Asperger’s syndrome—history and first descriptions. In J. L. Rausch, M. E. Johnson, & M. F. Casanova (Eds.), Asperger’s disorder. New York: Informa Healthcare.
Kanner, L. (1943). Autistic disturbances of affective contact. Nervous Child, 2, 217–250.
Silberman, S. (2015). NeuroTribes: The legacy of autism and how to think smarter about people who think differently. Crows Nest: Allen & Unwin.
- History and First Descriptions of Autism: Asperger Versus Kanner Revisited
- Springer US