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Previewing "In A Different Key," a documentary on the history of autism

"In A Different Key" Logo with the title in text and an elderly man walking through a forest
"In A Different Key" Logo

What do we know about the first person ever diagnosed with autism in the United States? In his rural Mississippi city, the now elderly man is known as Don. In medical literature, he’s known as “Case #1.” Donald Gray Triplett was diagnosed with autism in 1943. In a medical article announcing the condition, it was described as one unlike “anything reported so far.” Triplett’s community has embraced him throughout the decades; his neighbors speak of him lovingly and he’s sort of a local legend. Journalist and filmmaker Caren Zucker read about Triplett and she wanted to meet him. Zucker’s son Mickey has autism, and she hoped that by understanding how Triplett’s community support and love him, she could use what she learned to help people like her son. Zucker documented her experience in a film called “In A Different Key,” which will be screened Thursday evening at the Theater at Innovation Square.

This hour, we preview the film and our guests discuss what they hope audiences will learn when it comes to perspectives about autism. Our guests:

This story is reported from WXXI’s Inclusion Desk.

Evan Dawson is the host of "Connections with Evan Dawson." He joined WXXI in January 2014 after working at 13WHAM-TV, where he served as morning news anchor. He was hired as a reporter for 13WHAM-TV in 2003 before being promoted to anchor in 2007.
Megan Mack is the executive producer of "Connections with Evan Dawson" and live/televised engagement programming.