What Is Meant By The Term 'Classic' Autism?

Dr. Michael Alessandri answers the question: ''What Is 'Classic' Autism?''

ByABC News
October 15, 2008, 10:23 AM

Oct. 23, 2008 -- Question: What is meant by the term "classic" autism?

Answer: Classic autism is also referred to as Kanner's autism. Kanner refers to Leo Kanner, the physician who coined the word 'autism' in 1943 in a very important study. Classic autism is best reflected as the most severe form of autism, in that children with classic autism have symptoms in all of the three major categories of symptom presentation. They have substantial social deficits, they have fairly dramatic communication impairments and their responses to the environment are quite atypical.