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WUSF Helps to Share Rare Insight into the Lives of Individuals Living on the Autism Spectrum

Conservative estimates show that nearly 400,000 people in the U.S. today have some form of autism. Now listed as the third most common developmental disability, it is more common than Down's syndrome. Yet the majority of the public, including many professionals in the medical, educational, and vocational fields are still unaware of how autism affects people and how to effectively work with individuals with autism.

Several recent projects produced through WUSF are providing rare insight into the lives of individuals living on the autism spectrum. WUSF Intern and Learning Academy graduate Andrew Casey co-produced a segment which brought together individuals on the autism spectrum (including himself) to discuss how they see the world and how they are successfully navigating through it. 

WUSF Florida MattersWUSF Florida Matters

A follow-up panel to discuss and expand on Andrew's piece was aired this week on WUSF's Florida Matters, hosted by Carson Cooper. The panel included Andrew, his step-mother Danielle Casey and Dr. Karen Berkman, Director of the Learning Academy and  Center for Autism and Related Disabilities at the University of South Florida. Click here to listen to both segments.  A listing of additional resources can be viewed on the Florida Matters webpage.

Multimedia Report

WUSF Reporter Dalia Colon produced a video, Aspergers’ Syndrome, All Grown Up, that features young adults with Asperger's discussing the challenges they face in areas such as the workplace, friendships and dating. Dr. Karen Berkman was also interviewed in this piece.

"We appreciate our collaboration with WUSF," said Dr. Berkman. "Florida Matters explores important issues to Floridians and covers the challenges facing our community and our state. Allowing individuals on the autism spectrum a platform to share their viewpoint and experiences can truly help us to gain a better understanding of their individual needs. I applaud Andrew, Dalia and Carson for their excellent efforts."

Photo Above: Credit Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media
Recording Florida Mattters in WUSF's Donis Studio, (left to right) Danielle Casey, Carson Cooper, Andrew Casey and Dr. Karen Berkman.

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