photo of "Asperger's Are Us"
Asperger's Are Us

Asperger’s Are Us’ is a four-member comedy troupe that is quickly gaining national traction. While all four men are on the autism spectrum, their comedy is not all about their condition.

In fact, the group says it has no interest in poking fun at Asperger’s, and the men do not make light of their behavioral differences. They get on stage every night to enjoy one another’s company with the hope that their absurd and satirical sketches will make their audience laugh.

Book Cover For 'In A Different Key'
Crown Publishers

Note: This program is a rebroadcast.  

The term "autism" dates back to the 1930s when a pediatrician named Hans Asperger coined it to describe young boys he was treating who had high intelligence but limited social skills.

The new book, "In A Different Key: The Story of Autism" (Crown/2016) looks at the term and documents how scientific and popular understanding of the disorder have shifted and evolved tremendously in the past century.

The new center in Tacoma, Washington comes after years of complaints from service members that it’s nearly impossible to find autism therapy for their children.

An image of double helix
Wikipedia Public Domain

Researchers at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine discovered a single genetic mutation that can cause autism. Last December, scientists identified about 1,000 gene mutations linked to autism but how the mutations caused the disorder remained unknown.


Much of what we know about autism is publicly disputed, from the definition of autism itself to the reasons behind the increase in diagnoses. 

Geri Dawson


When Geri Dawson was a graduate student in psychology, she chose an obscure field: autism. Little was known about the disease at the time. More than three decades later, diagnoses have increased dramatically and Dawson is a leader in the field.

Host Frank Stasio talks with Dawson, director of the Duke Center for Autism Diagnosis and Treatment, about her career and the state of autism research and treatment.

Extraordinary Ventures
Leoneda Inge

It is high school graduation season and most young adults are preparing for life in college or in the workplace.  Landing a job in this economy continues to be hard for millions of people.  But what if you have autism?

There’s a community in Chapel Hill that has come up with several small business models that ease young people with autism into the adult world of work and self-sufficiency. 

If you talk to a parent who has a young child with autism, the conversation will eventually lead to “The Cliff.” 

Extraordinary Ventures
Courtesy of Extraordinary Ventures

In a traditional labor market, Ewan Toscano might be considered "hard to employ." But he's part of group of young adults with autism and other developmental disabilities who have a proven track record -- not only of employment -- but of entrepreneurship in the Triangle. 

Toscano really likes his job, saying, "I work at EV for two hours four days a week.I make twelve candles.  I love my job.  I see my friends."

A Duke doctor examines a pregnant woman.
Duke Medecine

Researchers at Duke University say they've found evidence that inducing or augmenting labor could increase an infant's risk of autism. 

A study of more than 600,000 births shows boys were 35 percent more likely to have autism if labor was both induced and augmented.  The risk was also elevated for girls, but at a lower rate.

What is this ability to step into someone else’s shoes? To imagine how they feel, to hurt for them or to be happy for them? 

UNC Chapel Hill this afternoon will officially mark the opening of its new Comprehensive Angelman Syndrome Clinic at the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities. Anne Wheeler is a psychologist at CIDD; she's also co-coordinator for the new clinic. She says Angelman Syndrome is a rare congenital disorder that occurs in about 1 in 15-thousand births.

Paying For The Future

Mar 15, 2011
School bus
Dave Dewitt

Today is child advocacy day at the State Legislature. Hundreds of people who support early childhood development programs like Smart Start and More at Four are expected to descend on Raleigh. They will argue that the programs provide much-needed support to low-income families.