Compared to most mental disorders, autism is rather new. It was not until 1943 that Dr. Leo Kannerdiscovered that autism was a real disorder. In fact, up until then, those with the condition were considered to be “retarded” or “idiots.” Kanner described children with autism as being contained within themselves and self-satisfied. Incredibly, even after autism was recognized, Kanner and many experts in the psychology field blamed this disorder on the mothers, saying she was not giving the child enough attention and affection. We now know that this was all wrong and that autism is actually part of autistic spectrum disorder (ASD), which includes what used to be known as Asperger’s Syndrome, high-functioning autism, and pervasive developmental disorder, among others. It has been discovered in children as young as six months old, but sometimes is not noticed until the child starts school.