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July 16, 2003

Increased Rate of Head Growth During Infancy in Autism

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Department of Psychiatry, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City.

JAMA. 2003;290(3):393-394. doi:10.1001/jama.290.3.393

In 1943, Kanner published "Autistic Disturbances of Affective Contact."1 Kanner had been chosen to lead the first child psychiatry service in a pediatric hospital in the United States, located in the Harriet Lane Home for Children in The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Md. With only medical school training in pediatrics and child psychiatry but with the gift of astute observation, Kanner soon recognized a disorder previously not described: autism. In addition to his remarkable recognition and conceptualization of the clinical signs shared by children with autism, he also observed how they differed. One of the differences he noticed was that although the children with autism appeared physically healthy, some of them had relatively large heads.

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