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in a different key

January 12, 2023

New Documentary Follows First Person Diagnosed with Autism

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Summary

The prevalence of autism in the United States has increased dramatically over the last few decades, and that’s coincided with a new understanding of just how broad the spectrum is. This is explored in a new film called “In A Different Key,” which features Don Triplett, the first person diagnosed with autism. Filmmakers Caren Zucker and John Donvan joined Geoff Bennett to discuss the project. For a transcript of this story, click here.

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Discussion Questions

  • Who is profiled in this documentary?
  • What is autism?
  • Where and When was Don Triplett first diagnosed with autism?
  • Why did the filmmakers interviewed here decide to make this documentary?
  • How do the filmmakers hope this documentary will inform the public about autism?

Focus Questions

What do you think the title of this documentary means? What message are the filmmakers trying to send with the title?

Media Literacy: What do you think might be another helpful way to tell this story aside from documentary?

Additional Exercise

Watch the following video featuring a group of students who have developed a way to make life easier for people with autism. Then discuss: what ideas do you have for improving on this idea to help people with autism?

  • Note: a full lesson based on the video below is available here.
Remote video URL

Republished with permission from PBS NewsHour Classroom.

PBS NewsHour Classroom

PBS NewsHour Classroom helps teachers and students identify the who, what, where and why-it-matters of the major national and international news stories.

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