Autism is not a new condition. It didn't suddenly appear in humans in 1943. The first ever recorded case of Autism was probably made in 1800 and the condition almost certainly has been around for centuries before that. That year, a Frenchman named Jean Marc Gaspard Itard wrote an account of a 12-year-old boy (his approximate age) who had been living for in a Forest until he was captured on Wednesday 8th January 1800. Itard named the boy Victor, who made no direct communication and was very self-absorbed. At the time, some assumed he had grown up without human contact in the forest. The story was recorded in the book The Wild Boy of Aveyron.

For years past people with autism were placed in institutions all over the world. Autism is not a modern problem, even though it has only recently gained vast recognition. It is difficult to discuss the history of autism treatment without paying particular attention to the history of "autism" as a concept and the ways in which autism has been conceptualized and theorized about over the past 100 years.