Little Jack is 2 years old. He has autism and is non-verbal. While in a Disney Park the boy wasn’t having much fun. He is very shy around people he doesn’t know, and he didn’t want to approach other characters. Then he saw Snow White. Jack wouldn’t leave her side, staring at her endlessly. The boy was falling in love. When his mom has realized what was happening, she started filming. She couldn’t stop crying while watching their interaction, and neither can I. So beautiful! Please, SHARE this moment.
The word “Autism” comes from the Greek word “autos,” which means “self.” It is described as a condition in which a person is removed from social interaction, so he becomes an “isolated self.” Eugen Bleuler, a Swiss psychiatrist, was the first person to use the term around 1911. He was referring to one group of symptoms related to schizophrenia. In 1943, American child psychiatrist Leo Kanner, published a paper describing 11 children who were highly intelligent but displayed “a powerful desire for aloneness” and “an obsessive insistence on persistent sameness.” He names their condition “early infantile autism.”
Autism and schizophrenia remained linked until the 1960s. From the 1960s through the 1970s, the treatments for autism focused on medications such as LSD, electric shock, and behavioral change techniques, which involved pain and punishment.
In 1967, Psychologist Bruno Bettelheim came up with a theory that “refrigerator mothers” were causing Autism in their children by not loving them enough.
It wasn’t until 1977, when a research on twins found that Autism is largely caused by genetics and biological differences in brain development. In 1980, “Infantile autism” was listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). The condition was also officially separated from childhood schizophrenia.
In 1988 the movie Rain Man is released, raising public awareness about the disorder.
In 1991, the federal government forces public schools to begin identifying children on the spectrum and offering them special services.
Treatments for autism vary depending on the needs of the individual. In general they include behavioral and communication therapy, medical and dietary therapy, occupational and physical therapy, complementary therapy (music, art, animal therapy).