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Expert opinions on trends and controversies in autism research.

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March 2008
Opinion / Viewpoint

1977 paper on the first autism twin study

by ,  /  19 March 2008

Autism is caused by poor parenting, particularly by ‘frigid’ mothers who reject their children. Such a statement would seem bizarre today. But 30 years ago parents, especially mothers, were blamed for their childrenʼs autism. But then in 1977, one study, published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, single-handedly turned the field around to recognize the importance of genetics.

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January 2008
Opinion / Viewpoint

The 1999 Rett syndrome paper

by  /  3 January 2008

Huda Zoghbi and her colleagues painstakingly sequenced the candidate genes for Rett syndrome, culminating in the 1999 Nature Genetics report that pinpointed six de novo mutations in the MeCP2 gene as the cause of the disorder.

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December 2007
Opinion / Viewpoint

Leo Kanner’s 1943 paper on autism

by  /  7 December 2007

Donald T. was not like other 5-year-old boys. Leo Kanner knew that the moment he read the 33-page letter from Donaldʼs father that described the boy in obsessive detail as “happiest when he was alone… drawing into a shell and living within himself… oblivious to everything around him.”

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