Dr. Bernard Rimland, founder of the Autism Research Institute, was one of the most important contributors to our modern understanding of autism. It was he who led the movement to end persecution of parents based on the false idea that autism could be caused by “cold” mothers.
But it was also Rimland who, incorrectly, led many parents to believe that autism was caused by vaccines. His approach to “curing” autism, which he called Defeat Autism Now! (DAN!), led many to undertake risky and expensive treatments.