History | Children's health | Health

The Autism Spectrum Was Invented To Stop Nazis From Killing Kids

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For many people worldwide, autism is a diagnosis that comes early and has long-term ramifications. The neurological disorder is estimated to affect nearly 25 million worldwide, and worst of all, people aren't even 100% sure of what exactly causes it. It was a long-held belief for some time that vaccines were responsible, but this was ultimately disproven, leaving the jury still out.

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The other biggest factor of the disorder is that the symptoms of it are not universal. Anybody who's aware of the subject has likely heard of the concept of the "autism spectrum," which designates that some people who suffer from autism shows visibly fewer signs and symptoms of the disorder than others, who will sometimes have very severe symptoms. Small-scale symptoms can be as simple as repetitive behavior or being unable to pick up social cues, while severe sufferers might be unable to speak or maintain full cognitive function.


Did you know where this concept of an "autism spectrum" comes from though? It's probably not surprising that it originates with Hans Asperger, the researcher who Asperger's Syndrome is named after. What IS surprising though, is that it was something he came up with to protect autistic children from the Nazis...

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