Eric Schopler, 79, Autism Researcher

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The New York Sun

Eric Schopler, a University of North Carolina psychologist whose work on the humane and effective treatment of autism made him an international pioneer, died July 7 at 79.

He co-founded a program 41 years ago rejecting the notion that autism a complex neuropsychiatric syndrome was caused by destructive parents. Instead, Schopler recognized autism as a brain disorder that could be managed.

Schopler, who attended the University of Chicago, observed that people liv ing with autism were capable of learning but did not learn in traditional ways. He found that customized interventions from therapists, family and teachers made learning possible.

His insights led to the development of TEACCH, Treatment and Education of Autistic and Related Communication-Handicapped Children, a network of nine state-funded clinics that are still operating. The clinics have inspired autism therapy programs in countries throughout the world.

The New York Sun

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