Since the first description of autistic tendencies in the early 1800s, the definition and diagnostic criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) have changed dramatically (Cook & Willmerdinger, 2015). Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental syndrome characterised by social reciprocity and communication deficits, as well as unusual restricted, repetitive behaviours (Lord et al., 2000). The dominant theories on autism adopted a psychogenic approach in the early 1900s, which holds that autism is caused by emotional or psychological factors rather than biological or physical ones (Cook & Willmerdinger, 2015). Some of this was based on current Freudian psychoanalytic theories. These psychogenic explanations for autism were widely accepted in the medical community and persisted due to a lack of medical research into the cause of this particular disorder (Cook & Willmerdinger, 2015). Autism Spectrum Disorder is now classified into two subtypes: restricted and/or repetitive behaviours, and impaired social communication and/or interaction (Cook & Willmerdinger, 2015). As of 2014, one in every 68 children had autism, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, 2014).
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