By Maureen Hoch
Updated on April 18 with video of part two in the Autism Now series.
The PBS NewsHour is launching a special series of reports, both on-air and online, about a puzzling disorder that touches many lives across the U.S.: Autism Now will take a unique — and uniquely personal — look at how the condition impacts families, schools and communities.
As former anchor Robert MacNeil explains in a preview conversation with Hari Sreenivasan, the subject that drew him back to the NewsHour is one that resonates deeply with his own family and the families of thousands of others. MacNeil’s 6-year-old grandson, Nick, has autism.
MacNeil teamed up with producer Caren Zucker, who has produced many stories on the condition and is the mother of a 16-year-old son with autism, to criss-cross the country for five months, building a series of reports that explores the latest scientific and medical thinking and chronicles the impact of autism on families, educators and clinicians.
The series consists of six parts. For the launch, Jim Lehrer will debrief MacNeil about the series on the NewsHour broadcast on Friday, April 15. The first full report will then air on Monday, April 18.
But, we’re trying something new with these reports on the NewsHour’s website.
Read more, and watch the first two videos here.