In A Different Key


How life turned out for the first child diagnosed with autism, and what acceptance means.

A mother tracks down the first person ever diagnosed with autism, now an elderly man living in rural Mississippi, to learn if his life story holds promise for her own autistic son. Her journey exposes a startling record of cruelty and kindness alike, framed by forces like race, money and privilege – but leads to hope that more communities are learning to have the backs of people on the spectrum.

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The Story Behind "In a Different Key"

The following is an Oct 14, 2022 article by Katie Kilkenny for The Hollywood Reporter:

In a Different Key, presented by Boston public media institution GBH, centers on co-director and journalist Caren Zucker’s search for the first-ever child diagnosed with autism, Donald Triplett. The film will trace the growing friendship between the Mississippi-based Triplett and Zucker, who has an autistic son, as she grapples with the future for her child once she is gone.

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