As part of my studies in autism, I've read Kanner's original article multiple times. The case that I've paid the most attention to -- and studied across multiple articles -- is that of "Donald T"... in large part because it was the first. I've followed it across multiple papers, and even spent a while last year looking for any and all available information regarding him in the literature. The most recent information, however, was in a 1971 followup -- after this, there was no real information on what happened to the first person to ever be diagnosed as autistic.
That changed recently. As I found out this morning, reporters for the editorial and literary magazine The Atlantic (which has a really long and interesting history) managed to track Donald T down and wrote a genuinely fascinating article about him.
Go. Read. Then come back.
The article's nowhere near perfect. It gets some things wrong. It has some bad information.
Still, Donald himself is the main point... and I don't think that needs any further remark. The main takeaway message remains: At the age of 77, Donald Gray Triplett, the first person to ever be diagnosed as autistic, is doing just fine.