Autism Spectrum Disorder: The State of Play
This review paper traces the evolution of autism since its simultaneous discovery back in the forties, by Leo Kanner and Hans Asperger, until the present day. Many disciplines, ranging from psychoanalysis to behaviorism, struggled to understand autism and provide a map to navigate it but ended up with only fragments of this multifaceted disorder. Even the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) kept changing autism’s categorization from infantile psychosis to behavioral disorder and, recently, to neuro-developmental disorder. Today, autism’s rapid strides toward the realm of neuroscience are blurring all the frontiers between the aforementioned disciplines, transcending the black-white dichotomy and establishing a new grey area.