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Health & Medicine

A new book recounts the forgotten history of autism

We tend to think of autism as a modern disease — “the unique disorder of our uniquely disordered times," as author Steve Silberman writes in a new book. But that idea, he says, doesn't quite square with the facts. The real history of autism is less known and more tragic — both for the people who suffered from the disorder and for the doctor, Hans Asperger, whose pioneering ideas about autism were long neglected.