The History of Autism
The treatments and "cures" used throughout our history
In the 1950's a doctor named Bettelheim started using a treatment called a "parentectomy." He believed that the cause of autism was directly linked to the parents, and therefore they should be separated from their child. It goes without saying that his treatments were wildly unsuccessful and are not being used anymore.
In the 1960's some scientists started using LSD as a way to "cure" autism. They conceived that since autism deals with the child's personality that they could use LSD to alter a child's perceptive state. It goes without saying that these treatments were seen as abusive to the patients, although they did experience some positive results.
In the 1970's some doctors started using electric shock therapy as a form of punishment. The idea was that when a child started using some bad behavior, the child would be shocked, feel pain, and stop the bad behavior. This therapy, although barbaric, was seen as a success during this time period.
Today we have much better forms of treatment for autism, and thankfully parents have a choice as to which treatment they will use. Parents are able to simply change the diet of their autistic child, use applied behavioral therapy, and even use various medications. The important thing to know is that these children can now be treated with dignity, and treated like the precious individuals that they are!
Autism in the Classroom
Today we understand a little more about autism, and it has helped parents and educators to work with different styles of learning to find what best fits each individual child. Teachers today know that each child is unique, and will therefore not necessarily learn the same way another child learns. An IEP will be developed that will encompass all of the child's individual needs, and will help him/her succeed.
Teaching Students with Autism