Autism Spectrum Disorders: Research, Resources and Portrayals | WYPR

Autism Spectrum Disorders: Research, Resources and Portrayals

Apr 16, 2014

Conor Wade and Alisa Rock.
Credit Rachel Rock Photography.

1 in 68 U.S. children have an Autism Spectrum Disorder. In Maryland, 1 in 60 children are on the Spectrum.

These statistics were released last month in a report conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.  In the second part of this interview, we’ll hear from Dr. Li-Ching Lee, the School’s principal investigator for that report and Dr. Rebecca Landa, of Kennedy Krieger.  But first, we want to get a picture of what it’s like for one family who has a child with ASD, an Autism Spectrum Disorder. 

Alisa Rock has two sons, Conor and Aiden. Conor is 15-years-old and he has moderate autism. Alisa Rock interviewed her son Conor last week, and we learned a little more about him. And you can learn more about Conor's art therapy in this video from Real Look Autism

Alisa Rock writes the blog “Rock Autism Experience.” 

In the second part of the show, Sheilah Kast is joined by Dr. Rebecca Landa, Director of the Center for Autism and Related Disorders, CARD, at Kennedy Krieger Institute. She talks about new research, and updates us on new resources for children and parents. One resource that Dr. Landa mentioned in the interview, was a 9 minute video that will help parents identify early signs of autism spectrum disorder. You can watch that video here.  And to learn more about the Affordable Care Act's provisions for those who have ASD, go here.  

We also hear from Dr. Li-Ching Lee, a psychiatric epidemiologist with the Bloomberg School's Departments of Epidemiology and Mental Health. Dr. Lee is the principal investigator for the Maryland Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, a program funded by the CDC.

Then, Tom Hall talks with Anthony Baker, English professor at Tennessee Technological University,  about portrayals of autism in the media, from Rain Man to Parenthood.  He recommends the 2006 film Mozart and the Whale, as a rich portrayal of living with autism.  He also says the young adult books Rules by Cynthia Lord, and Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine, do a good job of showing the perspective of what it's like to live with autism.

Upcoming Events 

A week from Sunday, April 27, Kennedy Krieger will hold its 10th annual ‘ROAR for Autism’ fundraiser. If you are interested in biking, running or walking to raise funds for autism research, you can learn more here

Pathfinders for Autism has several upcoming free workshops. You can see a list and find out about registration here