Most people don’t understand autism.
It’s hardly their fault. Doctors struggled with it for much of the last century.
The word didn’t exist before 1908. It wasn’t until 1980 that the American Psychiatric Association added it to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Researchers largely missed the overarching connection to similar conditions like Asperger’s Syndrome and Rett Syndrome until 2013.
When Texas Tech University turned its attention to autism in 2005, it was a modern day pioneer in the region.
But with the support of namesakes and longtime benefactors Jim and Jere Lynn Burkhart, the university chartered a new center. Its three-fold mission: to improve the lives of people living with autism by providing services, training professionals and conducting research into the causes and most effective treatments for the developmental disorder.
The Burkhart Center for Autism Education & Research has been at the forefront of helping people understand autism ever since.