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tv   Edith Sheffer Aspergers Children  CSPAN  July 4, 2018 3:01pm-4:16pm EDT

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episodes will be available. >> c-span: where history unfolds daily. in 1979, c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies and today we continue to bring you unfiltered coverage of congress, the white house, the supreme court and public policy events in washington dc and around the country. c-span is brought to you by your cable or satellite provider. >>. [inaudible] good evening everybody, that's really loud. that makes me sound kind of cool. glad to see so many of you here and i'm exceptionally pleased to see new basis i don't think i've seen before so come back, we do this on a regular basis.
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i'm pleased to be with you tonight and welcome to louisiana memorial billion i like to welcome our lives bringing the audience which will be on c-span because we are the pool . my name is doctor martin connell, i'm executive director of the institute for study of war and democracy at the museum . we are short of the research for the academic department, higher education center, where a lot of things and not the only source of education but one of the news sources and educational programming at this wonderful museum. we like to refer to ourselves in the community asscholars and we have scholars in the audience tonight . we are many other things, we are the research services department and if you have interest, talk to myself, jeremy or one of our other people. we are research for higher
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for people finding out about a world war ii connection in their family and we offer programs, podiums, all conferences so daylong symposiums on the topic, several days worth of conference each year at the international conference on world war ii and we hope you join us for that will talk about that after this wonderful program. i want to take a moment to recognize we have any world war ii veterans with us, a great tradition in this museum. we recognize them nonetheless. any veterans of our armed forces in any other era conflict? please rise, we recognize. [applause] and also just specifically in reference to tonight i hope those who work in the field of studying and understanding of autism as medical professionals might take a moment to be recognized. anybody here? [applause] thank you very
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much. and a particular person that i need to single out is my dear friend and our dear friend of the museum, doctor gunter bischoff. as always we thank you for your wonderful suggestions, guenter. we all welcome his wife melanie as well. he's an important friend of the museum as well. doctor edith sheffer is a historian on modern european history and focuses on german and central europe, has a bachelors from harvard and a bachelors inhistory , cum laude. i have a bachelors from louisiana university, she then went on to get her doctorate at the university of california berkeley and as was at the faculty at stanford and is now back the faculty as a senior fellow in
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the center for european studies. her previous book on how west germans behind the iron curtain is a wonderful book but we are here tonight about her leaders book, "asperger's children" which she will discuss with us. this is a book getting very exciting national attention and high praise for its excellence all around. she has broken ground on the life of doctor berger and his name has moved on and then better name known in his life and work. we are here to here with what is a very difficult, challenging story but she tells it in acompassionate and sensitive manner . a review in the new york times review of books, i'm sorry. the time to review and edith sheffer has written a book that defies easy categorization. an important response to her
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fascinating and terrible subject matter. on that note and please come to the stairs which are not dangerous, the author of "asperger's children". [applause] >> thank you. i made it. thank you so much for the kind introduction and the invitation to speak here today. can everyone hear me?and thank you, it's certainly an honor. i'm going to agree is anything an overview of my book "asperger's children" which focuses on the creation -- i'm getting some reverberation. which focuses on the creation of the autism diagnosis and
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not see vienna and i would like to be sensitive to the subject. many people in this room at least no one person, a friend, a relative,loved one who has been diagnosed with autism or asperger disorder and the material is quite disturbing . i think it's important this information be known. one in 59 children are now diagnosed on the autism spectrum. in the united states. this is up from one in i thousand in 1975. this is an exponential rise. what is going on? the reason for this rise are much debated, environmental, genetics but one factor is the idea of an autism spectrum took hold in the 1990s. for decades, we in the united states went by leo kanner's idea of autism and looked at children who were relatively
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similar to one another. they hadmore severe cognitive impairments and more limited speech . asperger had a much broader idea of autism and he included children with milder challenges who we might call asperger's and he is credited with the idea we have of an autism spectrum. asperger developed his diagnosis during the third right and he has a heroic reputation as a resistor of not see is him and cultivated this reputation as having wrist is life in order to protect children from the nazi killing program murder youth continued to be disabled and in this view, asperger emphasized the special abilities of children with autism, trusting their value to the state. supposedly he was using the autism diagnosis as a psychiatric singular split. i tell the story as a heroic
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tale of asperger and third right but when i went to the archives in vienna the first day and the very first file i looked at was enough to show to me that asperger was actually complicit in the racial hygiene policies of the third reich so i saw this was not a heroic story but actually a horror story and i thought about abandoning the project then and there. the files i was looking at and i did not want to be telling this morning but i think it has far-reaching implications for how we talk today about autism and asperger's disorder. let's start at the beginning. asperger was born in 1906 in the heart of the empire, 50 miles outside vienna. he excelled at school with special talents in the language, literature and history.
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he was most drawn to science, however the left for age 19 or medical study in 1925 the university of vienna. vienna was in great turmoil at the time. it had been the cultural capital of europe at the turn of the 20th century, the birthplace of modernism and delivering salons. after defeat in world war i, the metropolis suffered severe economic crisis. children flooded vns institutions and the city child development professionals rushed into hell. vienna founded one of the most progressive social welfare systems in the world. it was renowned as the vienna system and had our highly trained workers and eminent the entities psychoanalysts and psychiatrists donating their time to help these children. one leader these efforts was
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frontier today, you've probably never heard of him but he was one of the most prominent people in vienna. he had the university of vienna children's hospital and turned into an internationally renowned pediatric facility. he was open to experimentation and to the advancement of women and jews. so the one idealistic jewish pediatrician, came to be a about filing a new kind of clinic. so lazar wanted to create a new discipline he called the eye body which i translate as curative education and the idea was to integrate medicine, technology and psychology to treat the whole child, this was a very progressive idea the time and asperger wouldinherit this with .
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here jay and his wife committed double suicide in 1929, found in bed lying in a close embrace after 25 years of marriage. this was a real shock. he was replaced by the far right wing figure of phones berger. he had joined the nazi party early on when it was essentially still a terrorist organization in austria and it was bad. here's how berger inside a conspicuous sunbeam surrounded by a throng of adoring children and nurses. paul berger was known for his anti-scientific attitude and he wanted to undo. case achievements. he wanted his doctors to focus on primary care and eugenics over medical specializationand research . our also purge jewish and liberal faculty and he hired faculty that would be on the farm right.
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but one of oliver's first irons was the 25-year-old hans asperger. he was reviewed from their first meeting in 1931, saying he was eager to help rectify the errors of your case leadership and here's a photograph ofhospital staff. you can see after on the lower right . >> so berger place asked berger was ours. patient play and promoted him quickly within two years berger was named head of the clinic at age 28. over the heads of longtime staffers, people who'd worked in the clinic for decades, despite asperger's youth and inexperience but asperger had solid right wing credentials. he held memberships in several anti-liberal, anti-socialist, anti- organizations. in 1934, just 10 days after austria declared itself an austro fascist single party
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state, asperger joined single party, fatherland front. >> so bear with me, these live there. >>. >> is from a digital history project i did with one of my graduate students and it maps the creation of child psychology in psychiatry in the 1920s, 30s and 40s. and we basically assembled a database of leaders in the field and track their intellectual and social linkages. we look at who interned with whom, who worked with whom, who joined the same organizations, who marry whom and what we found was that intellectually, psychiatry and psychoanalysis could not be aggregated at this time as people trained and rubbed shoulders at each others institutions. they know that julius barner used these for salon and the
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big letters was an important note in the system and many were rotating through this. the psychiatric neurological clinic including lazar. but many who tend to be liberal and jewish go into the trendier field of psychoanalysis. and you can see those figures on the lower side of the screen. you see anna and sigmund freud hanging out. clemens from your day had been tied to those networks in the minute. but you see however are very isolated in the top with the far right wing psychiatrists. and so what the slideshows is that the ideological split in psychiatry predated the nazi annexation of vienna. the institutions and the psychiatric community were already divided andasperger and his crew were already far
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off from the mainstream . see, i toldyou? slide works . okay, meanwhile, let's go inside asperger's. education clinic where there's a different, more progressive back. and educational director arena generated many of their therapies and published articles on the importance of compassion and play-based techniques. we would recognize many other techniques today. following her lead, clinic staff paid attention to you who seemed to have difficulty utilizing and the staff collectively called these children all autistic. this is as early as 1934. but they did not consider autistic a negative topology. character traits . psychologist and my son published articles about autistic characteristics in the mid-1930s . >> franco advice were both jewish and immigrated to the
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united states. for those of you who might know the history of lee o'connor, integrated his health. he was the father of american psychiatry created the autism diagnosis and this is speculation, we don't notice when it needs more research. i think weiss and franco may have brought the idea of autism kenner across the atlantic because tanner greatly admired franco's work and his first taste was based on notes. >>. >> meanwhile, in nazi germany in the 1930s, nazi child psychiatrist were also diagnosing total awkwardness and youths but were much, much harsher about it. the children in the third right word to possess on community bonds, were supposed to be enthusiastic participants in collective activities such as you and
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this was the idea of fascism at the heart of non-theism and that's what i to achieve with my book, showing this idea of the fascist collective belonging to the nazi psychiatrists so prized. paul router was on the upper left is the leader of nazi child psychiatry and called this readiness to serve the community your boots. that is one of germany's famously untranslatable words . in the romantic. it meant soul, how nazi child psychiatrist used it which was a deep ends of metaphysical connectedness to the greater organism and it had a national racial meeting. the germans had a lot of germuht, the french didn't have germuht. had socialists and communists didn't have germuht. hitler had a lot of germuht, it signified weakness in the metaphysical connection. another man asperger was a
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german student who also wrote on that and became one of the top three leaders in the program. so i go into detail but this is a sampling of different diagnoses that child psychiatrist were devising. you see three or four matrixes of germuht. there in heritability, their parents were able to socialize so the point here is that the idea of autism pervaded nazi child psychiatry long before asperger named it. he was a very young man at this time and he was deeply influenced by these diagnoses of german maladjustment so he would follow in their footsteps. in the morning of march 12 1938, the german where marked
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rules into austria and met union crowd. asked berger with this change, there was violence against jews regarding my many as the worst in the right. the university of vienna, asperger's columnists were purged. they removed 78 percent of its faculty, 78 percent of faculty. asperger clinics survived unscathed. asperger and his colleagues even thrive during the third right, the explosion of so many liberals and jews created a vacuum that expanded their opportunity.
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for asperger, one opportunity was naming his own diagnosis. in 1937 before the nazi annexation, asperger had warned against creating child diagnosis. he asserted that there are as many approaches as there are different personalities. it is impossible to establish a rigid criteria for a diagnosis . then just months after the annexation, asperger introduces his own diagnosis. this well-characterized group of children who he named autistic paths because the confinement of the self and led to a narrowing of their relation to the environment . most striking, asperger is calling autism psychopathy with connotations of criminality and depravity. he was moving from the
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nonjudgmental trance relation of the clinic which talked about autism as a character trait into the realm of nazi psychiatry. also right after the annexation, asperger begins to work for the nazi government right away in april 1938 . he begins to consult for the juvenile justice system and the city's remedial schools. he joins several nazi organizations, the german labor front, the national socialist people's welfare front was not remarkable for someone ambitious and he also apply to consult with you. he did not join the nazi party. this is one reason why people have seen him as a register and one reason he called himself a resistor but not joining the party was not unusual for someone in his
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position, only three in 10 doctors in vienna joined the nazi party.and besides, however was a prominent nazi and was already vouching for asperger. he asked berger as head of the. education clinic when he believe the doctors have to be downright saturated with national socialist intervals, humber also trusted asperger in the signature program, the mother advising. it would drive out to rural areas in the health car and dispense medical advice to people in need which sounds great. at the same time, they were acting as the eyes andears of the regime . they were registering children who were disabled and came from families there might be alcoholism or hereditary illness, assembling records related to use for the children's deportation and extermination. >> in the fall of 1940,
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asperger again worked as a consultant for vienna account. this was the center of racial it measures in the city, the coordinated fourth realization, deportations to concentration camps and killings of people considered to be disabled. to give you background on the euthanasia program, this was the rights first program of mass extermination. predated theholocaust . was begun by other in 1939 to get rid of children regarded as a drain on the state and its injured with gene pool. but i can't emphasize enough how euthanasia was a misnomer. the vast majority of children were physically healthy, they were not terminally ill and they were not physically suffering. they were simply deemed to have physical, or behavioral defects. at least 5000 children and around 37 special wards in
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the right inside germany. siegel ground in vienna was one of the deadliest for all 100 children parents many, many ordinary people knew what was happening. newspapers tried to deny killings but there were public protests on the streets in the fall of 1940. this first police and ss. so order certainly knew what was going on. as he made later in life, there's no question asperger knew what was happening. >> in contrast to our mechanized images of the holocaust, the child euthanasia program was different. it was supposed to become a permanent part ofthe healthcare system . the holocaust, killing other groups was happening after fashion and it was meant to be seen, this is a permanent part of healthcare in the right, this was supposed to be legal and this was intimate killing typically by
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the very doctors and nurses, especially women who cared for their words daily needs. killings were done in the youths own beds with staff issued overdoses of barbiturates until the children through going to die, usually of pneumonia. >> asperger vi storm the euthanasia program, close to its top leaders in vienna. franz humberger was asperger's mentor for 13 years and he authorized dozens of transfers of children . humberger also conducted numerous legal experiments at the children's hospital while asperger effectively worked down the hall. asperger fellow students word primates of vitamin a and infecting babies and children with tuberculosis, all kinds of medical experiments were
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happening at the hospital. in 1941, asperger and humberger cofounded the vienna society for curated education. asperger was the second vice president of this organization. grendel was head of racial hygiene and was known for accelerating deportation of jews to concentration camps and he was municipal director of speigelgrund. another founder was curling the kelly, a fellow post-doctorate student of asperger's under humberger he was the head of the adult euthanasia facility where thousands of adults were killed. was infamous, everyone in vienna knew who he was. he was widely called the mass murder of steinhoff. the royal british air force even dropped leaflets calling
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him the lord with the syringe. he was engaged to hitler's sister paula, youcan see the resemblance . are greatly disapproved of the match, we don't know why. perhaps he didn't want his sister marrying a mass murderer but he had kekelious. he had kekelious apprehended in berlin in 1940 and dispatched to the eastern front which isan effective way to get rid of an undesirable brother-in-law . so not only did humberger associate with the top leaders of siegel ground,the transfer of the most disabled children . so this is a talk he gave in vienna published in the munich medical weekly.he said that for all difficult cases, only a long and continuous observation is
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proper those carried out on clinic or in the reformatory. and asperger followed his own life. he transferred children to siegel ground in numerous capacities, working for the public office and working for remedial schools and just one example, he served as a medical expert on a member commission for the city evaluated was transferred from one care facility to other destinations and in one day, they evaluated 190 two files. dispatched 35 children to siegel ground is incapable of educational and development engagements. one day, they decide these children were in educable. and this is a death sentence and in fact all 35 children were killed . >> so it's unknown and we will probably remain unknown due to the fact the record
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based on the children he transferred that we know there are two children he transferred directly from his clinic who died speigelgrund. was the youngest of nine children, severely disabled by meningitis and diphtheria. asperger concluded that her domination in siegel ground is absolutely necessary. x says his mother reportedly told the presiding doctor. because sometimes parents brought their children to these places in order to be killed, parents themselves wishes for their children, his mother said close, the child did not help, perhaps it would be better she should die, it should have nothing in this world anyway. she did died two months after asperger's transfer. asperger recommended the transfer of five-year-old elizabeth driver to
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speigelgrund. one nurse wrote in a daily report that elizabeth could only seek a single word, mama. and that she quote as a friendly nature and is very affectionate and flattered caregivers. if treated strictly she will cry. elizabeth was killed four months after she was admitted to speigelgrund and her brain harvested, kept a collection of 400 children's brains in the cellar. so one thing i really want to show in my book is that speigelgrund's asperger's definition of autism was happening at thesame time . he was developing his definition of autism as these feelings were happening . written in 1937 and it's impossible to establish a diagnosis children. no such thing, you can't do it, children are a community. after the taxation comes out with what he calls a well-characterized group of
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children, autistic psychopaths and they have a narrow relation to the environment. in 1940 he changes his definition somewhat. he calls the group of abnormal children who we refer to as autistic psychopaths, these loaner children who fall out of every community, they live their own lives without an emotional relationship and therefore also react abnormally to the needs of the environment so here after language is more for jordan. it's more critical. these are abnormal children behaving in the sport third with social connectedness, these children are loners and they have the effect of emotion. then in 1944, asperger writes his post doctoral thesis for promotion and he ratchets his rhetoric another notch. in it he writes the office is
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only himself and not an active member of the greater organism he is influenced by which he influences constantly. this is 's language. we have children's membership in a greater organism. this is the fascism of the greater organism. he also his thesis about not psychiatry court, also autism a disharmony and cites all those guys i showed you and not the child psychiatry. this which isquite harsh . he's increasingly cruelty and sadistic traits of autistic psychopaths, autistic malice so you hear, asperger is changing his definition to become more and more pejorative and more concerned with children's duty or community. >> he did rise what he saw as the special ability of some autistic children in math and
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other technical subjects and said they were on the favorable end of the autism range but this was a highly gendered view. he declared quote, autistic personality is an extreme variance ofmale intelligence, female character . so he's going. types of the time. say boys have a gift for logical ability and abstraction, precise thinking and formulating where girls are more gifted for the concrete and practical. in autism, he said the male pattern is exaggerated to the extreme and whereas asperger leaves many of the boys could be remediated due to their unique male intelligence, gave these boys intensive health and therapy, he was far more dismissive of girls who showed the same traits. the girls were not to be the educated but commended them for treatment, hormone treatment or sterilization or worse.
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>> let's start with the boys. in one of his two most prominent case studies of psychopathy, he said it fell out of the community, was impossible to get him to play in, is ideas were on and mostly wentinto space. his major case , asperger said arrow never would join the game with others in his lost gaze was often far away. asperger said both voice should be treated with care and kindness and true understanding and affection. this is the image of asperger we have to day. which treat these boys with lovingkindness and values abilities and even specialized tutoring on the horn and play therapy.>> in the archives, this is an unpublished case file i found christine burka and he
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describes her in similar terms as the voice. he was quote, difficult influence from the outside. he wasclosed, inhibited, hard to reach. she never cared for the other children . so indistinguishable, we can't know what christina look like he's seeing her in the same way. after when it included however she simply had no and asperger's official diagnosis was not apsychiatric diagnosis . amoral diagnosis . it has character very and you can see in his handwriting, he was born (color) left-handed. that's his handwriting at the bottom. because he posed a significant criminal threats, asperger ordered her transferred to a correctional institution. he was egocentric, folder,
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oppositional and underhanded. >> in other unpublished case files, i thought that freda roman and margarita shaffer met even worse fate than christina. asperger's clinic that margarita included did not participate all in the community children., facial expression was emptyand she would stare at me before her with quote, a lack of context . freedom was supposedly oblivious to the effect of her entire behavior on others so again, we can't know what these girls look like but they were described in similar terms. asperger clinic transferable girls to speigelgrund. clinic notes introduced marguerite to tell you, that suggests she may have been preselected and indeed, she was transferred the same day. >> the clinic testifies here that already should be sent
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to doctorbillings department and that was killing department, he was in charge of that time . alfredo already had a sense of foreboding before her transfer. wrote to her mother, i do not know if we see each other again because i can't know if i will die onthis trip . >> thankfully, there is no record of the girls despite them being handed over directly tospeigelgrund doctors . but the fact remains he was issuing diverse states to children with similar traits. so asperger view of gender was of a piece with his eugenicists view of psychopathy in general. some language about the highly original genius on children at the most favorable end of his foster autistic range, he did say they might excel in science or other technical professions but this benevolence rhetoric was in keeping with nazi psychiatry. many psychiatrists said a lot
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of nice things about children they thought to be of value. we only see the extermination item not see psychology but they value children could be brought into the fold. children deemed unworthy of life were made this distinction and asperger was no exception. he said the autism spectrum range bound to the most automaton like mentally retarded individual. they would grow up he said to roam the streets as protest and dilapidated. these children could not and would not be helped. thus by 1944, seeking promotion under humberger, asperger's definition of psychopathy was deeply shaped nazi institutions and ideology. after the war, asperger claimed he had resisted nazi is him and defended children
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the euthanasia killings. he also distanced himself from his nazi era work. the army wrote about psychopathy again except a handful of articles which makes me wonder the extent to which he ever believed in or if he was just for a promotion. rather he turned to religious themes and a social commentary on child rearing. asperger probably would have been a footnote in the history of autism research and not been for lorna wayne. she was a leading british ecologist who publicized his diagnosis 40 years later in 1981. wayne has with fields to psychiatry when her daughter was diagnosed with autism and she herself had conducted extensive research, more extensive than asperger ever had about youths she felt did not fit into kanner's definition. when she published her work, she called it asperger system
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as a professional courtesy which she was describing though was more owned diagnosis in asperger work. she wanted to present a neutral condition so she named syndrome. she did not call it a psychopathy and she dropped asperger system rhetoric and got rid of his claim that children were sadistic and grotesque. she wrote what we would consider a neutral diagnosis. as lorna wings idea gained traction in the 1980s and 90s, american psychiatric association and asperger disorder to the manual of mental disorders in 1994 and they did not research asperger nazi era activities. usually when you are award and at thomas diagnosis, you are supposed to research the person you are naming a
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diagnosis after and the apa did not. that's why we are in the situation we are in today. this rainbow is a simplistic image of the autism spectrum that took hold in the public mind and you can see basically an iq chart. on the far left is kanner's idea of classic autism, children with greater impairments with asperger's disorder on the far right. asperger's disorder was increasingly seen as indistinguishable from high functioning autism. i hate the idea of high functioning and low functioning these terms are in common usage and the disorder was reclassified in 2013 in the dsm-v as autism spectrum disorder no longer exists as a medical diagnosis although does internationally and in this country it no longer does and socially, asperger's remains in usage. the term we apply the young ones and it's a personality stereotype in popular
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culture. most of us never think about the man behind the name so the question this work now brings up is does the man matter? in medical ethics, does because in medicine, naming a disorder after someone is meant to credit individual for describing the condition and to honor them for their work and in more my opinion, asperger merits leader. he did not discover autism. his portrayal of psychopathy is at odds with autism today. you don't see them in terms of depravity, besides, asperger fastest ideas are not even his own. he was following in the footsteps of his senior colleagues and not the child psychiatry.second of course, i don't think he merits the honor of an opinion, he sent dozens of children to their deaths as a conscious and willing participant in a program of systematic killing. so i have proposed that we
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discontinue this op-ed for the new york times in this idea is not area the book was reviewed in nature by a leading autism researcher, so you may know, is also calling for us no longer say the early on this research. her condition have been named after not era doctors that have been renamed as a result of planning their links to extermination programs. and medicine in general is moving away from thomas diagnosis you more deceptively. >> the problem is we just don't have vocabulary to talk about autism. children diagnosed with the condition you probably know many convey very little was a close one another. so researchers suggest that autism is kind of a catchall term). likely encompasses many different physiological conditions and hopefully one
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day we will be to split it up into different subtypes for diagnoses and right now autism is an expensive umbrella only. and the analogy that comes to mind for me is similar to the diagnosis of female hysteria in the 19, turn of the 20th century which basically labels for women who could not control their emotions but they might be suffering from different conditions area epilepsy, syphilis, schizophrenia, bipolar depression, anxiety. science was not point to aggregate these separate conditions. i think that's where we are with autism right now. we don't have vocabulary. i think it's an interesting question, what do you in the science and to what extent are these diagnosis cultural influence. hysteria about a time when women were asserting visible life and the image of the
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hysterical woman after the public mind and now, i think the idea of an autismspectrum on anxiety about our children . in a fast-paced world and fast-changing, fast-paced world. on the one end, i with autism might face a lifetime disability and isolation or on the other hand, might be perceived. her abilities and be a coding quiz so it can vary where i live. so hysteria was a diagnosis of overly emotional women, and now you think about it, autism is a diagnosis of supposedly digital voice, a ratio of the diagnosis is 51 the girls and the main image is white, urban middle-class flexion. so this is not to deny the very real challenges of course to children diagnosed with these conditions. not my purpose today.
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my only purpose is to show how diagnoses can be fluid things. and that emerged from the interactions of patients, doctors, social forces, media representations and in continual feedback loop, their meanings change over time. and i hope that with you this changeability i want to underscore the ethics of treating every child's mind with care because we know so little and showing and warning how easily a society can issue labels, medications and interventions and may this research us all and considering how we portray others and hope that i can inform discussion from where we go here. [applause] >> thank you very much.
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i got the microphone here in the back, center i and i gladly bring this to the front for your first question. >> thank you. it's very informative. i'd like to, i'm curious of your take, all the research, how do you feel these doctors rationalize their behavior . whether it was for the greater good following orders, why they do what they did? >>. >> you would start with the question. >> i just, a brief active, my daughter read me the diary of anne frank and we had backstage talk with the cast afterwards and people were asking questions about writing and my daughter raised her hand, why did they do it?
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why did the nazis do it? i think they thought it was a scientific project. they believed it was the advances of science and eugenics was an extremely popularrespected science across the world at that time . you know, and the united states, eugenicists and leaders were on the forefront of sterilization law. there was this current in the receipt of the time and nazi germany was often admired as leading the forefront in the sterilization and the child euthanasia program was an extension, a logical extension of sterilization. it was to kill children between zero and three years of age at the beginning and they very carefully observed and recorded and tracked these children's daily needs and sent the reports to berlin and got the reports back. to kill a child was not easy. it is not like other programs of not extermination. it was incredibly scientific and deliberative. they believed in it. >> next row.
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>> in the biography of albert einstein you noted that einstein did not call until he was four years old. they referred to him as the stupid nephew. >> the three-year-old albert einstein, obviously he was an adult but if he really einstein had been running with workers, depending how the way he wasdiagnosed, what would happen ? >> i see where you're going with this and three-year-old was not talking and not developing and hitting the prescribed milestones would be in trouble at the time. it was to the doctor to report children with disabilities and asperger claimed the war that he did not report children who he could have reported and there's no way to prove he might have withheld the names of some children. he may have rescued children,
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i'm not here to deny so if you went into after , maybe an individual like him would have under law the time or under protocol, einstein would have to be reported. >> the next row back. >> you mentioned in your report getting rid of asperger. do you have a suggestion for what the diagnosis would be called? >>. >> in terms right now autism from disorder. all we have to talk to people a high functioning in the low functioning, i hate, i don't think that describes a child necessarily is or what characteristics you're looking at when you say that. so my solution for the moment is to say on the spectrum.
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and then if people have questions about who thatchild is, you can describe the child, describe the person as they are . so that's personally how i would see it but i also don't mean to be king we need to get rid of the label because people do identify their children with it. for years often people have lived with this for most of their lives and how can you tell someone how to identify? what i'm saying is in the medical community going forward we should be careful with this label retroactively , i don't. aspy is an interesting identity to, removed from the man it's an interesting label that i'm not going to pretend to be an expert in where -- i think it was the consensus was asperger was already a problematic diagnosis and that's why it was reclassified in 2018 anyway and of the world health organization 's voice to remove it.
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>> doctor edith sheffer, i have a question online here. despite the high phrase online, i'm sorry, in reviews, it's been held to high regard in history. have you received any blowback from supporters of his or her family members he may have had? is there any resentment for your findings? >> surprisingly, no. and i was really braced for this. i had negative comments on twitter but i think it's by those who haven't read the book. once you see the facts, it's prettyundeniable. i haven't heard from people personally who are affronted by this . i think people take it as serious historyrather than an attack of any sort . >> question in the center here. >> you mentioned the purchase
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that occurred at the time. was that driven by parents who did not want their children to be diagnosed or fear and concern? >> the protests, the slide that i showed with the pavilion, that whole complex is called steinhoff and it held both children and adults and thousands of children were being killed there and deported off on trains to gas chambers so that is really what the public about. the killings of children were whispered about and vaguely known but what was causing the most outrage was the deportation of adults and the killing of adults at steinhoff so that's what was known and those were the results that were circulating. the nazi press was denying
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rumors. they were saying no such thing as gas chambers so you're right. yes. but i should say to me, for those of you who know the history of the euthanasia program, it's the only program of mass murder the german population protested. they were able to do it quite openly with leaflets and are technically shutdown the program as a result ofthis popular protest . i don't want to give you the wrong idea, it continued in secret these there was some and if you do the experiment what might have happened if people have been protesting in other forms of extermination and why was only the killing of other germans that was objectionable enough to put yourself out there onthe line . >> in the back, towards the center.
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>> i remember in the 50s and 60s, when it first, the concept of autism came to the united states, the belief was because it was a cold mother, so your mother not only did she have to deal with an autistic child but they usually take him to school and everyone was showing her because, they didn't say like a cold father, was a cold mother. >> a refrigerator mother. >> that he had made this child distant. >> so ironically, this is one of the reasons asperger was praised today because he held autism was genetic and it was not the parents fault, was not the mother's fault which is great but if you look at this context, not the doctors are concerned with hereditary
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illness, proving everything is hereditary. every characteristic is inherited. right. so it's interesting that today how it's done is suggesting that autism is seen as more progressive than blaming it on the mother. >> in the front to your right. >> i was curious about the drawings in the slides. are they gone a child that was featured? >> when drawing. i don't know how well you could see it was i drove it down but when she was first brought to asperger's clinic, she was brought to take a bath and she had a talk with the nurse about her experiences and the nurse in her notes said margarita went on and on, i couldn't wait for her to show up and you
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can see it was a cheerful house. she had warm ideas of allowing home but then she herself has that solitary figure in the corner with the shower head on. >> next question, asked the gentleman to stand up to your right. >> given how readily you uncovered these disturbing facts about asperger, why do you think it's taken so long or his reputation to go untainted? >> that's another $64,000 question. i think it took a while for nazi crimes to get uncovered in austria anyway and a handful of austrian scholars have known about asperger's involvement, he was a very minor figure. he didn't work at
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speigelgrund. so on the scale of perpetrators, asperger was small ride and in the us we have different standardsfor the horror factor . and also in austria, autism it's not as well known of the diagnosis. so the story behind how asperger's diagnoses was accepted in 1994, , the team wrote to archivists, what do you know about asperger? can you tell us because we don't want to name this disorder after someone who might be implicated despite his reputation and the number of the archivists wrote back saying we don't know anything, we can't help you
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and i think one scholar wrote back and said we don't know enough to say no but we know enough to say hold on and conduct more research but that time, the world health organization had already put asperger's syndrome into the ic 10 classification it was already in existence and there was a lot of pressure to get asperger's disorder into the american manual. >> .. buried they would be buried.
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there is a horrific letter i found from one man saying thank you for disposing of the body, are we make the burial. >> doctor shepherd, the left. he mentioned the various ideologies of which genetics is a part but i'm a little uncomfortable with genetics along being responsible for increased what else you think is playing a role not. >> the expansion of the diagnostic criteria is one factor that everyone recognizes what we think of as autism was widened based on more in a way work beyond that
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i can't speculate is all kind of theory, environmental, et cetera to your right. >> you mentioned experiments being done on children. you something in the archive of specifically jewish and or gypsies were targeted for a particular part of the population. >> jewish children and gypsies were not kept in any kind of designated fashion. the children i'm dealing with were considered area. four of the children who perished at beagle front were jewish or half jewish so i can't speak on the work of the twins or anything like that.
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>> on the question of what happened to the bodies, over half the children perished, their brains were kept in jars and the seller as well as other body part so not all remains were disposed of. >> the who holds the microphone holds the last question. can you let the crowd know what your last question is for. >> it's a happier project and of interest to your museum. writing about switzerland in world war ii. i think switzerland played a terribly important role that has yet to be recognized not only economically with the trade and holocaust goals but the spy story and not the
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networks. i understand is that the style and battle plans went through switzerland and i hope to uncover a lot of the secret stuff that was happening and what you could call europe's post office printed on top of my title or not. >> we hope to have you back. >> thank you. [applause] book tv on twitter and facebook. tweet us at tv or post a comment on our facebook page. book tv recently visited capitol hill to ask congress what they are reading the summer. >> i just finished a book called dead weight. one of the events that led to
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world war i, at least that led to the u.s. getting involved but it was fascinating. i like eric larson. i had read double and white city i thought it was one of the best reads that i'm not a big fiction fan and i like nonfiction although in my childhood i like fiction but in my adult life i've enjoyed nonfiction i like his style of writing and i really enjoyed this and enjoyed finishing prodigious started another book the general versus the president the general douglas mcarthur and harry truman during world war ii and the possibility of the war but i just started the past week so i'm excited to read it as well. >> attorney but he recommends your fellow members of congress or any books that you
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return to overuse? >> my favorite book of all time great expectations for a great expectation to just my personal favorite of the mentioned before devil and white city was a fascinating read and i really enjoyed it quite a bit. do you want to know what you are reading. send us your summer reading with you twitter booktv or instagram at book underscore tv or posted to our facebook page tv. booktv on into. television for serious readers. i believe with price anything is possible.
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my book, they sit down and just write them i thought and how i felt in certain situations in the congo, what kind of questions i asked my mom as i used to get mad at my mom and say why are we here in the middle of nowhere in the jungle. likewise padua command file and say because god is with us. if god is with us, where we going through this? so many people have already died but we are still here alive. we keep going and we can survive because jesus is with us.
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she always told me you can do anything in life if you believe in jesus christ. i've always had that mindset. i wrote my book sophomore, junior and senior year. it was very, very hard. a lot of math class passes and exams and quizzes and spent all night at the library to do plays and memorize my lines and i got very, very skinny because i felt like i'm going to survive desperate bikers read the congo i can survive this. i was going to double major in my friends that i was crazy. he said it so hard. you want to do to and i said yes because of the free scholarship, not paying for and it's only four years from going to suck it in and do my
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best to get a couple degrees. think i got it done and i graduated in 2014 and two days later i drove to california which is about a 20 hour drive and i told my friend i'm going to go to l.a. and become an actor, do my movie. a lot of our friends you like 6-foot seven, 648 and you have an accent and your black. i was like i do not care program from the congo and i have god with me. i'm in a make it happen. it's been happening for me.
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i drove 20 hours and in the book i have been dreaming of l.a., hollywood i got there, i can let my car down and i got involved with parties going out almost every night with friends i lost my way little bit about what i was doing in l.a. and then i was trying to get a job as well and i just couldn't get a job that i had to get an apartment so i got an apartment and a friend of mine we went to the same
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college and when they moved to l.a. he was staying at my place, give him my bed because i felt like he had practice tomorrow and i don't so i slept on my couch. his team would put him in a hotel but he was in a hotel so i put him in my bed. after he left my place and got his own place and i had to leave my place i asked him can i crash on the couch because i had to get out of my apartment and my friend was a ghost. he never respond so i had to figure out how to survive. i think natalie's crashing your garage while i figure out what i'm going to do and i just never heard back from him. he was delivering food, i was delivering food to people's houses and looking people in
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the eye begging for tips without saying it. i know why those people want tips. i needed those tips. i would look in somebody's eyes and i be like hoosier food, i'm using my car my gaffe and i'm bringing you food and some people would give me some and some people wouldn't. i would just turn around and curse because i'd be so mad. it was a hostile. i was trying to survive. i was embarrassed and back to oklahoma or arizona. when i want something i give my all, i don't care if i
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struggle, i'm just gonna get it, that's just how i am i used to call and ask for help and he would send me like three or $400. one thing he told me one day was that sometimes in life you have to take one step back to take two steps forward. so i decided to go back to oklahoma for a little while and then try to come back to l.a. i flew back, my dad bought me a plane ticket and the end of 2014 and a few weeks after i got a phone call from a friend and he said are you in l.a. or oklahoma city. she was like.
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[inaudible] her husband was a coach and she had a small talent agency in oklahoma. i knew her and i said i'm in oklahoma, i just move back and she said there's an audition in l.a. the looking for a tall guy knows how to play basketball and like okay, that sounds like me. >> you can watch this and other programs online >> tv recently visited capitol hill to ask members of congress what they are reading the summer. >> i'm still trying to finish washington. i started reading it simultaneously with the book on hamilton and my son has read all of them, washington, hamilton and also grants so he
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said to me you gotta finish washington before you finish hamilton and then you got to get to grants. i'm getting near the end of washington, i'm going to finish hamilton and then i'm going to regret. i don't have as much time to read but the great books. i highly recommend them too students but i'm a reader and my mother was a very avid reader and an english major and it's one of the greatest thing she did for our family and my son is her first grandchild child is in still the love of reading and i don't know anyone who consumes more books than my son does and he's a full-time active-duty in the marine corps. he likes all kinds just like i do. i love novels and biographies and i love to read history books. whatever it is, i love to read. i read every night. even when it's not bill. >> book tv wants to know what your reading. send us your list booktv or instagram at book, underscore tv or postage or facebook page, tv.


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