Lorna Wing (1928 – 2014) became one of the world’s leading experts in autism; she died in June this year.
Lorna was born in Kent and trained as a medical doctor, specialising in psychiatry. She met her future husband while studying medicine and they had a daughter, who was diagnosed in 1962 at the age of three with autism. This led Lorna to change the focus of her work to childhood developmental disorders and her work was ground-breaking.
As a researcher she refined the sub-groups within a diagnosis of autism, coined the term Asperger’s syndrome (to describe behaviours observed by the Austrian psychiatrist, Hans Asperger) and contributed to the eventual development of autism as a spectrum condition. She also described the “triad of impairments” which all people with autism show. Researchers following Lorna owe a great debt to her work.