August 8, 1922, is the birthdate of Leon Eisenberg, the psychiatrist and medical educator who was one of the first physicians in the world to study autism scientifically.
Eisenberg was as much a humanist as scientist, and as such, was an early advocate of using drugs to treat child psychiatric patients, with an eye to alleviating suffering rather than high-mindedly insisting on talk-therapy. He also carried out the first clinical studies in the United States of psycho-pharmaceuticals.
It is ironic, therefore, that today, seven years after his death, a Google search of Eisenberg’s name will yield dozens of articles citing an interview in which Eisenberg purportedly called Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder a “fabricated disease” while bemoaning the over-prescription of drugs for its treatment. Eisenberg, after all, had done the first clinical trials on such medications as Ritalin and Dexedrine, establishing their usefulness in treating young people with “overactivity” disorders.
read more: http://www.haaretz.com/jewish/this-day-in-jewish-history/.premium-1.735650