Monday, July 23, 2012

Marian DeMyer

Autism Light #216 is Dr. Marian K. DeMyer.

Marian K. DeMyer was born on October 30, 1922 in Greensburg, Indiana. She died on July 15, 2012. She was a pioneer autism researcher and professor emeritus at Indiana University.  Marian K. DeMyer is an Autism Light because of the impact her efforts had to autism research and therapy. She is being named an Autism Light posthumously and will be added to the Autism Light Memorial Roll.

Marian DeMyer's obituary at shares this about her contribution to autism research:
Dr. DeMyer was a research pioneer in Childhood Schizophrenia, later known as Autism. Her research at LaRue Carter Hospital and the Institute of Psychiatric Research at Indiana University provided the ground work for later research by others that identified and defined the spectrum of Autism (Source).
Marian DeMyer is regarded as a pioneer in the use of Applied Behavioral Analysis to work with individuals with autism. The Autism Research Institute tweeted this message about Marian DeMyer's influence on ABA therapy on their Twitter Account in November 2, 2011.

For more information on ABA read the Autism Light Spotlight #1 on ABA.

Literature: Marian K. DeMyer was a prolific writer of her autism research. The following are some important publications of hers.
Conversation with Autism Pioneer: Marian DeMyer is mentioned on page 155 in the chapter on the 1970's in Adam Feinstein's important work called A History of Autism: Conversations with the Pioneers. Her 1974 study is mentioned where her research found, "a profound language dysfunction in every autistic child. This language dysfunction was manifest in symbolic aspects, even if the mechanics of speech were present (Source)."

An obituary of Dr. Marian K. DeMyer is available at  Our thoughts are extended to the family of Marian DeMyer. It is hoped that this tribute to her work will encourage other people to dedicate their life to autism research.

Autism Light honors diverse heroes to the world of autism.

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