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Autism & Asperger's Syndrome

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18 Segments




A Boy's Magical 'Touch' Predicts The Future

The new Fox series Touch stars Kiefer Sutherland as the father of an 11-year-old boy with some significant disabilities -- and some significant abilities as well. TV critic David Bianculli says by the end of the first episode, you'll know you're watching something a little different.


Jim Parsons On The Science Of Sheldon, 'Big Bang'

Jim Parsons won the 2010 Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for his portrayal of Sheldon Cooper, the socially awkward theoretical physicist in the venerable CBS nerd-comedy. He joins David Bianculli for a discussion about playing the eccentric prodigy.


Temple Grandin: The Woman Who Talks to Animals.

Temple Grandin is one of the world's greatest animal behaviorists. She is also autistic — and has put that to work for her. Grandin has written several books on animals, including Animals in Translation: Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behavior. This weekend, HBO will premiere a made-for-TV movie based on her life.


Director Max Mayer On 'Adam' And Asperger's

Writer-director Max Mayer's latest film is a romantic comedy in which — what else? — boy meets girl. In Adam, boy has Asperger's syndrome; it's a high-functioning variant of autism that can cause social awkwardness. The film won the Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize at Sundance.


Temple Grandin On 'The Best Life For Animals'

In her new book, Animals Make Us Human, Temple Grandin examines common notions of animal happiness and concludes that dogs, cats, horses, cows and zoo animals — among other creatures — possess an emotional system akin to that of humans.


Nick Hornby on His New Novel, 'A Long Way Down'

The latest novel from best-selling English author Nick Hornby, A Long Way Down, focuses on a group of suicidal people who accidentally meet atop a tall building — and how that meeting changes their fates. He also writes "Stuff I've Been Reading," a column for The Believer magazine. Many of Hornby's novels have been made into films, including About a Boy, High Fidelity and Fever Pitch.


Temple Grandin: A Key to Animal Behavior

Temple Grandin is one of the nation's top designers of livestock facilities. She is also autistic. Grandin's new book is Animals in Translation: Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behavior.

Scientist and animal behaviorist Temple Grandin

Dr. Fred Volkmar on Asperger's Syndrome

Volkmar is a leading researcher in Asperger's Syndrome, generally considered to be a form of autism characterized by deficits in social interaction and non-verbal communication. In the early 1990s, Volkmar led the team that helped develop the definition of autism used by the American Psychiatric Assoc. He is the Irving B. Harris Professor of Child Psychiatry, Pediatrics and Psychology at the Yale University Child Study Center.


Children's Book Writer and Illustrator Mark Haddon

He has written his first novel for adults, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. The narrator of the story is an autistic teenager who is obsessed with Sherlock Holmes and who must prove his innocence when a neighborhood dog is killed. One reviewer described it as "wonderful, simple, moving, and likely to be a smash." Haddon lives in England and teaches creative writing for the Arvon Foundation and for Oxford University.


Temple Grandin Discusses "Thinking in Pictures."

Temple Grandin is one of the nation’s top designers of livestock facilities. She is also autistic. In her book, Thinking in Pictures: and other reports from my life with Autism she describes how her inner-autistic world has led her to develop animal empathy. She is currently an assistant professor of animal sciences at Colorado State University in Fort Collins. Her new book is published by Doubleday 1995. Grandin was the subject of Oliver Sack’s 1993 New Yorker article An Anthropologist on Mars.


A Psychologist and Father's Perspective on Autism

Psychologist Bernard Rimland is the director of the Autism Research Institute and is recognized by many as an authority on the treatment of autism and hyperactivity in children. He has first-hand experience: his son is autistic. Rimland was also an advisor on autism for the movie, "Rain Man." He wrote the forward to Donna Williams' autobiography.


Author Donna Williams on the Experience of Autism

Williams grew up in an abusive family; they didn't know she was autistic. Williams has been labeled "deaf," "retarded," and "crazy." She ran away from home at a young age, lived on the streets, and managed to put herself through college. When she was 25, she learned the word "autistic," and set out to articulate to others her experience living in "a world under glass." Her autobiography is called "Nobody Nowhere."


Former Poet Laureate Richard Wilbur

A new anthology of Wilbur's early and recent poetry has recently been published. He joins Fresh Air to talk about his writing, the effect of how reading in front of audiences has had on his work, and his relationship with his children. Wilbur was Poet Laureate from 1987 to 1988.


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