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Leo Kanner (1894–1981), une vie, une œuvre

Abstract : The author recounts the life and work of Leo Kanner, a child psychiatrist, best known for publishing, in 1935, the first treatise on child psychiatry in English and for first describing infantile autism. It was in a very peculiar context, that of the emergence of a child's own psychopathology, still in its infancy, that Kanner's attention was drawn, as early as 1938, by a certain number of children whose condition differed from what had been described until then. In 1943, he first described what he first called the “Autistic disturbances of affective contact” presented by eleven children, aged two to eight, who he had received at the Harriet Lane Home Children's Department at Johns Hopkins Hospital. The symptoms presented by these children constituted for Kanner an undescribed syndrome, quite rare, which he called early infantile autism in 1944, while differentiating it from the recently described childhood schizophrenia. This was not the last word of Kanner, who continued his publications on infantile autism for some thirty years, until 1973. Kanner's researches on infantile autism represents an important historical issue, a moment of scansion in the history of child psychopathology. Kanner is considered one of the first, if not the first professor of child psychiatry in the United States
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Gwenola Druel. Leo Kanner (1894–1981), une vie, une œuvre. Annales Médico-Psychologiques, Revue Psychiatrique, Elsevier Masson, 2019, 177 (7), pp.710-716. ⟨10.1016/j.amp.2019.03.014⟩. ⟨hal-02900979⟩



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