Dr Lorna Wing, one of the founders of The National Autistic Society and a true pioneer, passed away on 6 June 2014.
Dr Lorna Wing had 40 years of experience in the field of autism and learning disabilities through her work with the Medical Research Council Social Psychiatry Unit, London. Her published work on the subject of autism has challenged and changed the thinking in the field. In the early days she questioned that Kanner's autism was a single separate entity and through her research work with Judith Gould this led to the now accepted concept of a spectrum of autistic conditions. It was Dr Wing who, in 1981, coined the term "Asperger syndrome".
She influenced researchers not only in the UK but worldwide. As a parent herself of a daughter with autism she always championed the rights of parents. In addition to her many publications, her book The Autistic Spectrum, for parents and professionals, was published in 1996 and updated as a paperback in 2002. It has been translated into many languages and it remains a valuable source of information and advice.
Even after she officially retired, Dr Wing continued to act as Consultant to the NAS Lorna Wing Centre for Autism until her death.
The National Autistic Society owes an enormous debt of gratitude to Dr Wing and the fierce intellect, compassion and insight she brought to her groundbreaking work. She will be greatly missed.