This week, as part of our A Place in the World series about people living with autism and other spectrum disorders, special correspondent John Donvan and producer Caren Zucker told the stories of various adults living with autism spectrum disorder.
Donvan and Zucker co-authored a book on the broad history of autism titled “In a Different Key: The Story of Autism.” During their research, they found a program in Phoenix that expands options for adults living with autism. Most often, the narrative on autism focuses on young children, but as John Donvan reported on PBS NewsHour, autism is lifelong and children living with the disorder one day grow up to become adults. The report was delivered in two parts.
In part 1, Donvan introduces viewers to a group of young men with autism who have moved out of their childhood homes, in an effort to begin adult life. They are the pioneers of a new pilot program called First Place Transition Academy, which aims to empower adults with autism to achieve independence.
In part 2, Donvan follows Matt Resnik, a man from Phoenix who has helped to bring a different type of awareness of autism. As a child, Matt’s parents Denise and Rob poured all of their energy into giving him the therapy they hoped would help him outgrow his challenges. As time passed, they realized that their mission needed to be less about changing Matt, and more about changing the world around him.
Join NewsHour for a Twitter chat at 12 p.m. EDT Friday to discuss some of the questions surrounding this topic: What misconceptions exist about living as an adult with autism? What are the challenges facing aging parents when planning and coordinating care for autistic adult children?
Joining us for this discussion will be co-authors Caren Zucker (@caren_zucker) and John Donvan (@johndonvan), Matt Resnik’s mother Denise Resnik (@resnikdenise), and president of the Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center, Dr. Daniel Openden (@). Follow along on Twitter via the hashtag #NewsHourChats.