Bernard Rimland, the psychologist who founded the Autism Society of America, died on Tuesday. He was 78. Rimland is survived by his wife, two sons, and a daughter. His wife, Gloria Rimland said the psychologist died at a care facility in El Cajon after battling with prostate cancer.
Rimland considered the father of modern autism research ,pioneered research in autism. Autism is characterized by poor language, communication and social skills.
Earlier, Autism in a child was thought to be caused due to the uncaring attitude of the mother.
Rimland's book 'Infantile Autism: The Syndrome and Its Implications for a Neural Theory of Behavior'(1964), dispelled this view. Instead, Rimland concluded that autism was the result of a biochemical defect. He also suggests that mercury in vaccines could be a cause. It is reported that Rimland's son, Mark had autism.
Rimland was born in Cleveland in 1928. When he was a child, his family moved to California. He did a master's in psychology at San Diego State University and obtained a doctorate at Pennsylvania State University.