Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 45, Issue 7, pp 2274–2276

Did Kanner Actually Describe the First Account of Autism? The Mystery of 1938

Letter to the Editor

Abstract

Kanner opens his pioneering 1943 paper on autism by making a mysterious mention of the year 1938. Recent letters to the editor of this journal have disagreed over a particular interpretation—does 1938 refer to an early paper by Asperger, effectively meaning Kanner plagiarised Asperger? I argue 1938 refers to a paper by Louise Despert. This was not plagiarism but a case of building on Despert’s ideas. Additionally, I suggest his motives for not mentioning her by name were not dishonourable.

Keywords

Kanner Asperger Despert First descriptions 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Politics, Philosophy and Religion, County SouthLancaster UniversityLancaster, LancashireUK

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