We are sad to announce that Dr Lorna Wing, one of the founders of The National Autistic Society and a true pioneer, passed away last Friday.
Dr Wing developed the concept of autism as a spectrum condition in the 1970s, and later coined the term Asperger syndrome. Her work revolutionised the way autism was regarded, and her influence was felt across the globe.
As a researcher and clinician, as well as mother to a child with autism, she always advocated for better understanding and services for people with autism and their families.
NAS President Jane Asher said: "It is entirely due to Lorna Wing that I ever became involved in autism.I shall miss her terribly, and the world of autism has lost one of its greatest and most important figures."
Judith Gould, joint founder and Director of the NAS Lorna Wing Centre as well as a great friend of Dr Wing said: "She was exceptionally generous with her time and support for anyone who asked for her advice. She gave freely with her ideas and expected nothing in return. Her contribution to the lives of everyone who knew her is immeasurable. I will miss her greatly."
President of the International Society for Autism Research Francesca Happé said: "Everyone who studies autism and many who live or work with those with autism, know how much we owe Lorna [...] Her wisdom, warmth and intellectual generosity touched so many lives, and the autism research community owes her so much."
Another of our founding parents Michael Baron said: "Lorna was a unique parent. With Helen [Allison] they were the two rocks on which the NAS was built."
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.
Sign our online remembrance book for Dr Lorna Wing.
Here are some of the responses we've received online: