In 1987, the Swedish Medical Research Council's Group for Evaluation of Medical Technology approached me on the subject of organizing a conference on Autism, including diagnosis and treatment. The original idea for this conference had come from a Stockholm politician, Leni Bjorklund, who had felt that, at least in Sweden, autism appeared to be an area in which conflicting views on etiology and treatment had led to children and parents not always receiving adequate help. Professors Agne Larsson, MD, Tore Schersten, MD and Bjorn Smedby, MD in particular showed a keen interest and it was decided to hold a State-of-the-Art-Conference on autism in Gothenburg. The State-of-the-Art-Conference on Autism -Diagnosis and Treatment was held in Gothenburg May 8 -10, 1989. A panel of international experts was selected because of outstanding research or clinical activity in the field and in order to represent a wide variety of professional and theoretical approaches ranging from epidemiology, neurobiology and cognitive psychology to psychiatry, neurology, education, behavioral treatment and psychoanalysis. A group of professional observers involved in the field of autism was chosen so as to cover Sweden in a representative fashion. This group consisted of administrators, child psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, pediatricians, nurses and teachers.