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About one in 120 children in the Washington state public school system has an autism spectrum disorder. That’s a 430 percent increase from a decade ago. In the next decade many of those teenagers with autism will become adults. But what they will do as adults is anyone’s guess. Autism is often associated with children, but it’s a lifelong condition.In Coming Of Age With Autism, we meet young people taking their first steps toward independence, and the family members and professionals who support them.00000181-fa79-da89-a38d-fb7f25d40000Experts are not sure why the number of autism cases has grown dramatically in the last decade. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some of the increase is due to the way children are identified, diagnosed, and served. The American Psychological Association published broader criteria for diagnosing autism spectrum disorders in 1994. The CDC says it's likely that reported increases are explained partly by greater awareness by doctors, teachers, and parents.Coming Of Age With Autism was reported and photographed by Bryan Buckalew and edited by Phyllis Fletcher with technical support from Serene Careaga.Funding for Coming Of Age With Autism was provided by the KUOW Program Venture Fund. Contributors include Paul and Laurie Ahern, the KUOW Board of Directors and Listener Subscribers.

Dr. Temple Grandin on how minds work

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Courtesy of Emile Pitre
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Dr. Temple Grandin at the University of Washington

Dr. Temple Grandin was diagnosed as brain-damaged at age two. Her mother Anna steadfastly pursued ways to understand her daughter’s condition and ultimately educate her. Anna came to suspect her daughter was on the autism spectrum, at a time when the prescribed treatment was commitment to an institution. She fought that, too.

Fast forward to the present day: Grandin is a professor of animal science at Colorado State University, a well-known inventor of humane systems for the treatment of livestock, and an internationally famous spokesperson on autism.

Temple Grandin gave this talk — “Different Kinds of Minds” — on March 8 as part of the University of Washington Graduate School lecture series Equity and Difference: Rights.

Listen to the full version below:

Year started with KUOW: 2006