Monday, August 15, 2016


"Giving adults with autism the skills to build independent lives" PBS NewsHour 8/9/2016


SUMMARY:  Before Josh, 36, arrived at First Place Transition Academy, he had never taken public transportation on his own, much less held down a paying job.  But a new pilot program is empowering adults with autism to overcome hurdles to independence.  Special correspondent John Donvan, co-author with Caren Zucker of “In a Different Key:  The Story of Autism,” reports from Phoenix.

JUDY WOODRUFF (NewsHour):  Tonight, we begin an occasional series about people living with autism and other spectrum disorders, A Place in the World.

While reporting the history of autism for their book, “In a Different Key: The Story of Autism,” co-authors John Donvan and Caren Zucker found a program in Phoenix, Arizona, that expands options for people living with autism.

This is the first of two reports.

JOHN DONVAN, Co-Author, “In a Different Key: The Story of Autism”:  Why is it a big deal that Josh Kluger gets up every morning and makes his own breakfast and straightens up the place a little, and then remembers, belatedly to go back and grab his lunch before he heads off to work, which takes a quarter-mile hike, texting all the way, before he reaches the bus stop, and then a 45-minute trip with one transfer along the way?

And when I comes on board and Josh shows me how to swipe my ticket, why is that a big deal?  Because, until last year, Josh had experienced none of this.  No apartment.  No paying job.  No bus pass even.  Actually, he'd never ridden a bus on his own before last year.

How old are you now?

JOSH KLUGER, Student, First Place:  I'm 36.

JOHN DONVAN:  You only really began being able to ride the bus when you were already over 30?

JOSH KLUGER:  I think so, yes.

JOHN DONVAN:  What did you have to learn?

JOSH KLUGER:  I know learned how — streets.

JOHN DONVAN:  And though Josh is not the chattiest person around, except perhaps when he's texting, you can tell from his stride and from his air of confidence about where he's heading that Josh really likes the life he has right now.

"How Phoenix became the most autism-friendly city in the world" PBS NewsHour 8/10/2016


SUMMARY:  Matt Resnik has helped changed the face of autism in his hometown.  When he was diagnosed as a child, his parents poured their hearts into getting him therapy, even launching an organization, in hopes he would outgrow his challenges and find his place as an independent adult in the world.  Instead, they’ve helped shape the world around him.  Special correspondent John Donvan reports.

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