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Heller, Theodore

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Name and Degrees

Theodor Heller, Ph.D.

Landmark Clinical, Scientific, and Professional Contributions

Heller was a founding figure in special education. He also first described a disorder he termed dementia infantilis, currently called childhood disintegrative disorder. In addition, he formed an institute for the treatment and education of children with special needs with international draw.

Short Biography

Theodor Heller was born June 9, 1869, in Vienna, Austria. His father, Simon Heller, was the director of an institute for the blind, and Heller spent much of his childhood at the institute. During school, he worked as a reader for blind people, including the philosopher Hitschmann, and through this became interested in philosophy. He went to University of Leipzig to study under Wilhelm Wundt, an important figure in modern psychology. Heller’s area of concentration was the psychology of blindness, and his thesis, Studien zur Blinden-Psychologie, was submitted in 1894. He also explored...

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4419-1698-3_1861
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References and Readings

  • Heller, T. (1908). Über dementia infantilis: Verblödungsprozeß im kindesalter. Zeitschrift für die Erforschung und Behandlung des Jugendlichen Schwachsinns, 2, 17–28.

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  • http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theodor_Heller

  • Lotz, D. (2000). Theodor Heller (1869–1938). In M. Buchka, R. Grimm, & F. Klein (Eds.), Lebensbilder bedeutender Heilpädagoginnen und Heilpädagogen im 20. Jahrhundert (pp. 111–128). München/Basel: E. Reinhardt.

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  • Westphal, A., Schelinski, S., Volkmar, F., & Pelphrey, K. (In Press). Revisiting regression in autism: heller’s dementia infantilis. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.

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Correspondence to Alexander Westphal M.D. .

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© 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York

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Westphal, A. (2013). Heller, Theodore. In: Volkmar, F.R. (eds) Encyclopedia of Autism Spectrum Disorders. Springer, New York, NY. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1698-3_1861

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