Yes, this man for sure had a huge part in the changes that occurred in the treatment of autism. This doctor spent his entire career studying children with autism, and devoted his life to finding a treatment that would work, and be safe. He changed the treatments for the better.
Bruno Bettelheim changed the way doctors viewed autism simply because he purported the disorder was psychological and not genetic. Bettelheim felt a lack of emotional parenting caused autism in children as opposed to missing genes. Many scientists have debunked these theories, yet some researchers still back Bettelheim's ideas and believe autism is due to frigid mothers in the early stages of childhood development.
A child psychologist in Austria, Bettelman worked with children on various ailments. Although Bettelman made many discoveries and pushed science forward, autism was not an area that showcased his best work. Bettelman tried to bring up psychology and how children were raised as a reason behind autism, when it is entirely a neurological disease.
Bettelheim's psychoanalytic theories of autism as a lack of affection by parents has certainly not passed any scientific rigor and only appeals to a small demographic that wants to ascribe a human cause to a biological process. It is clear that autism is physical as children from the same nurturing background can have different dispositions.
I believe any helpful work Bruno Bettelheim did was probably lost to his overall attitude and actions during his time in America. I believe it is doubtful that he revolutionized the way doctors treat autism because a lot of his diagnosis's in the medical field were questioned by other professionals.