Leo Kanner (1894-1981)
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Leo Kanner studied and described early infantile autism in humans in the US during the twentieth century. Though Eugen Bleuler first coined the term autism in 1910 as a symptom of schizophrenia, Kanner helped define autism as a disease concept separate from schizophrenia. He helped found an early child psychiatry department in 1930 at the Johns Hopkins University Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. Kanner revised criteria for diagnosing autism, beginning with his article Autistic Disturbances of Affective Contact in 1943, and he helped reclassify autism as a disorder caused by defective neurological development.