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Hans Asperger’s was the Austrian psyciatrist and paediatrician after whom Asperger’s syndrome is named. Know more about his life in this biography.

Famous as
Paediatrician
Nationality
Born on
18 February 1906    Famous 18th February Birthdays
Zodiac Sign
Aquarius    Aquarius Men
Born in
Vienna
Died on
21 October 1980
place of death
Vienna
children
Hans Asperger Jr., Maria Asperger-Felder
education
University of Vienna,
Works & Achievements
Identified Asperger's syndrome.
Hans Asperger
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Austrian paediatrician Hans Asperger identified Asperger's syndrome as a mental disorder. This disorder is seen especially in children. He, for the first time, provided a clear description regarding autistic psychopathy. He conducted research on 400 physically abnormal children with such problem for his work on autistic psychopathy. Medical science acknowledged his contribution after his death when his works were translated into English. Besides pursuing valuable research work in medical field, he also acted as a soldier in Croatia in the later part of World War II. Asperger's Syndrome remains a controversial and contentious diagnosis due to its unclear relationship to the autism spectrum. The World Health Organization's ICD describes Asperger's syndrome as "a disorder of uncertain nosological validity", and there is majority consensus to phase the diagnosis out of the American Psychiatric Association's diagnosis manual.

Childhood & Early Life
  • Being the elder of the two sons of his parents, Hans Asperger was introvert by nature in his childhood. Therefore, it was difficult for him to find friends.  EDIT 
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  • During his childhood, he exhibited symptoms of a disease, which was later named after him.  EDIT 
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  • Asperger pursued medical study at the University of Vienna under Franz Hamburger and practised at the University Children’s Hospital situated in Vienna. EDIT 
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  • In 1931, he became doctor of medicine.  EDIT 
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Career
  • Asperger became director of the play-pedagogic station of the special education section at the University Children’s Clinic in Vienna in 1932.  EDIT 
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  • From 1934 he was affiliated with the psychiatric clinic in Leipzig. He had a special interest in ‘psychically abnormal’ children. EDIT 
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  • In 1943, he submitted a research paper to a journal. The basis of this research was his investigations on more than 400 children with autistic psychopathy. EDIT 
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  • In 1944, his definition of autistic psychopathy was published and this definition was quite similar with the definition given by a Russian neurologist Grunya Sukhareva in 1926. EDIT 
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  • According to him, the common features of autism include deficiency of sympathy towards other person, lack of proper communication skills and repetitive forms of behaviour. He termed these types of behaviour as ‘autistic psychopathy’. Here ‘autism’ meant ‘self’ and ‘psychopathy’ implied as ‘personality disease’.  EDIT 
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  • He also pointed out some specific patterns of behaviour noticed in autistic children, such as -- little ability to make friends, one-sided conversation, absence of empathy and awkward movements. Moreover, they faced great difficulty in reading between the lines or comprehending non verbal signs like body language. They disliked changes. Usually they seemed to be in a world of their own and were unable to connect with their own parents.  EDIT 
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  • All these problems of an autistic child continue to stay even in one’s adulthood. The speciality about these types of children is that they generally gained detail knowledge about their preferred subject and by using their special talents many of them became professionally successful in later period of their lives.  EDIT 
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  • Children with such behaviour were also referred as ‘little professors’ by Asperger. The reason was that each of these children was able to talk about their preferred subjects in great detail.  EDIT 
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  • In his childhood Asperger used to express all of these symptoms through his behaviour. As for example, he showed his talent in language, especially he had great interest towards Austrian poet Franz Grillparzer and he often used to refer himself from a third person perspective. EDIT 
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  • In 1944, he started working at the University of Vienna as chair of paediatrics. EDIT 
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  • In 1946, he became director of the children’s clinic there. EDIT 
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  • In 1957, he served as professor at the university children’s clinic of the Universitats –Kinderklinik , Innsbruck.  EDIT 
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  • From 1964 he worked as the head of the medical station of the SOS Children’s Villages located in Hinterbruhi.  EDIT 
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  • In 1977, he became professor emeritus.  EDIT 
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  • The works of Asperger in medical field were not given due recognition during his lifetime as all of his works were written in German.  EDIT 
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  • The term 'Asperger’s Syndrome' was first used by British researcher Lorna Wing in her 1981 paper, 'Asperger’s syndrome: a clinical account'. It was published a year after the death of Hans Asperger. This writing challenged earlier accepted model of autism, presented by Leo Kanner in the year of 1943.  EDIT 
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  • Asperger's works were translated into English by Uta Farih in 1991. Hans Asperger got recognition for his contribution to the medical profession when his works were translated into English after his death. EDIT 
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Personal Life & Legacy
  • Asperger married in 1935; he had five children.  EDIT 
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  • Asperger’s birthday i.e., February 18, is regarded as International Asperger’s day.  EDIT 
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  • He died on October 21, 1980.  EDIT 
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HANS ASPERGER TIMELINE

1906:

 Hans Asperger was born on February 18.   EDITSomething Wrong? Help Us Clean It Up. Tell Us About It.

1931:

 He became a medical graduate.   EDITSomething Wrong? Help Us Clean It Up. Tell Us About It.

1932:

 Asperger became director of the special education section at the University Children’s Clinic, Vienna.   EDITSomething Wrong? Help Us Clean It Up. Tell Us About It.

1935:

 Asperger got married.   EDITSomething Wrong? Help Us Clean It Up. Tell Us About It.

1944:

 He published the definition of autistic psycopathy.    EDITSomething Wrong? Help Us Clean It Up. Tell Us About It.

1964:

 He headed the SOS-Kinderdorf in Hinterbruhl.    EDITSomething Wrong? Help Us Clean It Up. Tell Us About It.

1977:

 He became professor emeritus.    EDITSomething Wrong? Help Us Clean It Up. Tell Us About It.

1980:

 Asperger breathed his last on October 21.    EDITSomething Wrong? Help Us Clean It Up. Tell Us About It.

 
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