HISTORY: Term first coined in 1911by the German psychiatrist Eugen Bleuler; originally used to describe someone who experiences fantasies and hallucinations; in 1960s, the description changed to describe someone who did not fantasize at all; this change was a result of epidemiological (distribution and control of diseases) studies; Research claims that "diagnoses of autism rose after institutions for the ‘mentally retarded’ were closed down in the 1960s and children were integrated into new educational and social settings" (Eyal G., Hart B., Onculer E., Oren N., Rossi N. (2010) The Autism Matrix. Cambridge: Polity); Research claims the changes in diagnostic methods from the 1960s to the 1980s meant that autism came to be associated with ‘profound mental retardation and other developmental or physical disorders’ thereby increasing the number of children who were considered to display autistic traits (The epidemiology of autistic spectrum disorders: is the prevalence rising? Wing L, Potter D
Ment Retard Dev Disabil Res Rev. 2002; 8(3):151-61).