Hans Asperger

Aspergers is an autism disorder which was first described by a child psychiatrist named Hans Asperger in Austria in 1944. He studied a group of boys with normal intelligence and normal language development that showed autistic like behaviors and inabilities in communication and social skills. Hans Asperger

Apart from deficiencies in social skills and communication these boys had other characteristics in common such as obsessive routines, preoccupation with a certain object or interest and a huge difficulty in reading between the lines or understanding non verbal signs such as body language. They disliked changes and were considered loners by Hans Asperger and his staff. They seemed to be in a world of their own and their focus was primarily on themselves. Hans Asperger called his patients: “little professors” and wrote about them in a warm positive way calling them special rather than disturbed. One of his goals was to understand what went on in the minds of the young boys he observed. He was intrigued by his patients and the way they seemed unable to connect with others around them, even their own parents. He wrote a fascinating rapport in German, his own language and not until Ute Frith translated his article 30 years later he became well known for his achievements in the field of child psychiatrics. The disorder was named after him for the first time in a paper published by Lorna Wing a year after the death of Hans Asperger.

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