In 1944, Dr. Hans Asperger,a pediatrician practicing in Vienna,described the condition after being intrigued by the odd behavior of the four boys,as described previously.
Dr. Hans observed that these boys did not mix well with their peers. What delineated them starkly from their peer group, were certain abnormal behavioral patterns, which made them unacceptable amongst the group. Dr. Hans observed that these children were unable to participate in group sports activities. Anything remotely connected with teams which involved a certain degree of emotional intelligence was a Herculean task for these boys. They stuck out like sore thumb in a group.
Their preoccupation with queer topics, like 'weather', that did not conform to the usual topics of interest amongst peers, was found to be a deterrent to effective peer relationships. Incapacitated to pick up the verbal and non-verbal cues in communication, these boys felt extremely disheartened and withdrew into their own shell. Dr. Asperger used the word 'autistic psychopathy' to describe such children.
As he probed further, Dr. Hans Asperger also found that the families of such children showed similar traits, which were beautifully honed over the years and did not pose a problem to them. He has left an optimistic note in his findings of the power of encouragement, support and the right intervention which could impact victims' lives positively.
- 'Parenting a Child with Asperger Syndrome'- by Brenda Boyd
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