Need to Know, July 29, 2011: Adult autism, food safety, wealth inequality

What happens when autistic children become adults and leave the educational system that provides them with the services they need? This week on Need to Know, we explore the systemic challenges that face autistic adults in the U.S. Autism advocate Peter Bell discusses what advocacy groups are trying to do to meet the ongoing needs of adults with autism.

Also: We report on food safety and choking incidents among children, and guest essayist Tricia Rose discusses how wealth distribution and inequality in America will define the nation in the years to come.

And: We re-air a popular segment on how the U.S. has fallen behind in the race to the Internet future.

Check your local listings for details.

Watch the individual segments:

Adults with autism losing the safety net

When we think of autism, we tend to think of children, but what happens to those children when they grow up and leave the educational system where federal law requires they get the services they need? And what happens to them when their parents are gone? Need to Know looks at two families struggling to provide a future for their adult sons with autism.

Peter Bell on advocating for adults with autism

Peter Bell, executive vice-president of Autism Speaks and father of a teenage son with autism, discusses what some of the major autism advocacy groups are doing to try to meet the ongoing needs of adults with autism, and the special challenges presented by tough economic times.

In Perspective: Tricia Rose on America’s growing inequality

Guest essayist Tricia Rose of Brown University talks about how the growing inequality of wealth distribution in America is defining who we will become as a nation in the coming years.

An ounce of prevention: Choking and food safety

A report on the leading cause of food choking incidents among children, and efforts by the American Association of Pediatrics to get government and industry to address the danger.

High fiber

Correspondent Rick Karr reports on why the United States, where the Internet was born, has now fallen badly behind in the race to the online future. Broadband service in the U.S. lags behind a dozen or more industrialized countries – and we’re doing worse every year. Karr went to Europe – in collaboration with Engadget – to find out how two countries there have jumped ahead of us. (Original Air Date: May 13, 2011).

Watch more full episodes of Need to Know.

 

Comments

  • Rebekah

    I have a child with autism disorder, and fully 40% of my daughter’s classmates and peers with autism that we have known over the years do NOT really have autism disorder, their parents admit to having ”shopped” for an autism diagnosis so they could have access to the funding set aside especially for autism.  We need to quit talking about autism funding and focus instead on funding for services for ANY individual who has development delays irrespective of their origin or their diagnosis.  The surge in autism diagnosis is partially fraudulent; and is therefore impeeding our ability to really understand the disorder, its causes and effective treatment.

    What was missing from this piece, and missing from other specials I have seen like it, is the statistic that reflects what is happening to the poplulation of the developmentally delayed on the whole.  As autism has increased, has the less glamourous and equally resource-hungry populations of the mentally retarded, the deaf, etc. decreased?

  • Rebekah

    I have a child with autism disorder, and fully 40% of my daughter’s classmates and peers with autism that we have known over the years do NOT really have autism disorder, their parents admit to having ”shopped” for an autism diagnosis so they could have access to the funding set aside especially for autism.  We need to quit talking about autism funding and focus instead on funding for services for ANY individual who has development delays irrespective of their origin or their diagnosis.  The surge in autism diagnosis is partially fraudulent; and is therefore impeeding our ability to really understand the disorder, its causes and effective treatment.

    What was missing from this piece, and missing from other specials I have seen like it, is the statistic that reflects what is happening to the poplulation of the developmentally delayed on the whole.  As autism has increased, has the less glamourous and equally resource-hungry populations of the mentally retarded, the deaf, etc. decreased?

  • OCTheo

    I have no child with autism, but it scares me how these autistic adults will survive without their parents and familiar caregivers/helpers.

    This is what the government should be planning and helping with, instead everyday there is a cut in services while taxes for the rich are non-existent and the country continues to borrow money for endless wars.

    America’s decline is very close. We have become a nation that does not care for the least amongst us. We would rather invent phantom enemies to fight, than take care of our citizens.

  • Angteach

    I have a adult child with Developmental Delays, not diagnosed autistic, I still struggle with all the tribulations.  My son has graduated out of high school, but was part of all the great sounding programs available throughout his education.  They offer job sampling but no end result.  I am so frightened as a parent as to where to go after High School.  There is no help, for adults with developmental delays, autism, I was told my son was not disabled enough for assistance, yet if I was to put him out in the world he would not be able to function on his own. The fear is great of what will happen with my child when I am gone. I could go on and on about the failures of the system.  It was wonderful to see the information on your program, I was able to see I was not alone in my fears, but I was upset to see that there seems to be no solution, and no place to turn for parents like me. 

  • Asssss

    saw this lat night.  was really impressed with the show+info.  

  • Marya Small

    As a mother of two sons who are diagnosed with autism, I was grateful for Need to Know’s spotlight on the issues we face.  I do feel, however, that we could use more programming which allows families like mine to find their ways to a more joyful outlook on life.  Autism is rough, yes, but as with everything in life, its influence upon us is shaped to a large extent by how we choose to see it.  Our lives in the company of autism are as burdened or as enriched as we allow.  I think it would help us to see programs pointing the way toward perspectives which are more upbeat in nature.  Certainly these perspectives do exist.

  • jan

     I’m sorry.  I would prefer a reality based perspective that alerts you to potential problems ahead and acknowledges the difficulties instead of trying to fluff them out so that they can be parental concerns can be downplayed and ignored by those around you.