Autism Case 1: The more things change, the more they stay the same

From Science Daily is the articleThe Age of Autism: Case 1 revisited. What struck me even more than the fact that the first identified case of autism has apparently been ‘cured’ is the difference in opinion between a family member and a physician about how the cure came about:

[Family] ‘When he was finally released (following medical treatment for juvenile arthritis), the nervous condition he was formerly afflicted with was gone,’ his brother said. ‘The proclivity to excitability and extreme nervousness had all but cleared up, and after that he went to school and had one more little flare-up (of arthritis) when in junior college. They treated it with cortisone.’

[Physician] ‘Donald, because of the intuitive wisdom of a tenant farmer couple, who knew how to make him utilize his futile preoccupations for practical purposes and at the same time helped him to maintain contact with his family, is a regularly employed bank teller; while living at home, he takes part in a variety of community activities and has the respect of his fellow townspeople.’

We’ve learned so much, but still know so little.