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In a Different Key: The Story of Autism
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Published:
Crown 2016
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Available from OverDrive
Description
PULITZER PRIZE FINALIST NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER “Sweeping in scope but with intimate personal stories, this is a deeply moving book about the history, science, and human drama of autism.”—Walter Isaacson, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Code Breaker
 
“Remarkable . . . A riveting tale about how a seemingly rare childhood disorder became a salient fixture in our cultural landscape.”—The Wall Street Journal (Ten Best Nonfiction Books of the Year)

The inspiration for the PBS documentary, In a Different Key
 
In 1938, Donald Triplett of Forest, Mississippi, became the first child diagnosed with autism. Beginning with his family’s odyssey, In a Different Key tells the extraordinary story of this often misunderstood condition, from the civil rights battles waged by the families of those who have it to the fierce debates among scientists over how to define and treat it. 
 
Unfolding over decades, In a Different Key is a beautifully rendered history of people determined to secure a place in the world for those with autism—by liberating children from dank institutions, campaigning for their right to go to school, challenging expert opinion on what it means to have autism, and persuading society to accept those who are different. 
 
This is also a story of fierce controversies—from the question of whether there is truly an autism “epidemic,” and whether vaccines played a part in it; to scandals involving “facilitated communication,” one of many unsuccessful treatments; to stark disagreements about whether scientists should pursue a cure for autism; to compelling evidence that Hans Asperger, discoverer of the syndrome named after him, participated in the Nazi program that consigned disabled children to death.
By turns intimate and panoramic, In a Different Key takes us on a journey from an era when families were shamed and children were condemned to institutions to one in which a cadre of people with autism push not simply for inclusion, but for a new understanding of autism: as difference rather than disability.
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
01/19/2016
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780307985682
ASIN:
B00WPQ0NY0
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

John Donvan. (2016). In a Different Key: The Story of Autism. Crown.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

John Donvan. 2016. In a Different Key: The Story of Autism. Crown.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

John Donvan, In a Different Key: The Story of Autism. Crown, 2016.

MLA Citation (style guide)

John Donvan. In a Different Key: The Story of Autism. Crown, 2016.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Jun 12, 2018 15:55:19
Date Updated:
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      • bioText: John Donvan is a correspondent for ABC News, and host and moderator of the Intelligence Squared U.S. Debates, which are heard on public radio and by podcast. During his journalism career, in addition to anchoring such broadcasts as ABC’s Nightline, John served as chief White House correspondent, and held multiyear postings in London, Moscow, Jerusalem, and Amman, Jordan. He is the winner of three Emmys and the Overseas Press Club Award. He became interested in autism’s impact on families upon meeting his wife, the physician and medical school professor Ranit Mishori, who grew up in Israel with a brother profoundly affected by autism. John also performs as a live storyteller with the group Story District. He has two children and lives in Washington, DC. 
         
        Caren Zucker is a journalist and television producer who has reported on a broad range of subjects both domestically and internationally. As a producer for ABC’s World News and Nightline, working alongside Peter Jennings, Charlie Gibson, and Diane Sawyer, she covered economic summits, presidential campaigns, social trends, and the Olympic Games. Emmy-nominated, she was honored for her part in ABC’s coverage of 9/11 with two of television’s most prestigious prizes, the Peabody and the Alfred L. DuPont awards. Her oldest son Mickey’s autism diagnosis inspired a new direction in her reporting: to bring a better understanding of autism’s realities. Zucker and her husband, NBC Sports senior producer John McGuinness, have three children and reside in New Jersey.
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title
In a Different Key
fullDescription
PULITZER PRIZE FINALIST NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER “Sweeping in scope but with intimate personal stories, this is a deeply moving book about the history, science, and human drama of autism.”—Walter Isaacson, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Code Breaker
 
“Remarkable . . . A riveting tale about how a seemingly rare childhood disorder became a salient fixture in our cultural landscape.”—The Wall Street Journal (Ten Best Nonfiction Books of the Year)

The inspiration for the PBS documentary, In a Different Key
 
In 1938, Donald Triplett of Forest, Mississippi, became the first child diagnosed with autism. Beginning with his family’s odyssey, In a Different Key tells the extraordinary story of this often misunderstood condition, from the civil rights battles waged by the families of those who have it to the fierce debates among scientists over how to define and treat it. 
 
Unfolding over decades, In a Different Key is a beautifully rendered history of people determined to secure a place in the world for those with autism—by liberating children from dank institutions, campaigning for their right to go to school, challenging expert opinion on what it means to have autism, and persuading society to accept those who are different. 
 
This is also a story of fierce controversies—from the question of whether there is truly an autism “epidemic,” and whether vaccines played a part in it; to scandals involving “facilitated communication,” one of many unsuccessful treatments; to stark disagreements about whether scientists should pursue a cure for autism; to compelling evidence that Hans Asperger, discoverer of the syndrome named after him, participated in the Nazi program that consigned disabled children to death.
By turns intimate and panoramic, In a Different Key takes us on a journey from an era when families were shamed and children were condemned to institutions to one in which a cadre of people with autism push not simply for inclusion, but for a new understanding of autism: as difference rather than disability.
reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: WALTER ISAACSON, author of The Innovators and Steve Jobs
      • content: "Sweeping in scope but with intimate personal stories, this is a deeply moving book about the history, science, and human drama of autism. It's also something larger: a fascinating exploration of a social movement that grappled with the mysteries of mind, behavior, and the relationship between parents and children."
      • premium: False
      • source: JOHN ELDER ROBISON, author of Look Me in the Eye and Switched On
      • content: "In this long-awaited work, Donvan and Zucker sensitively and accurately portray the emergence of understanding of this thing we now call autism, a story that goes back hundreds of years. They make a compelling case for autistic traits--gift and disability alike--being part of the human condition. In the words of child psychiatry pioneer Leo Kanner, autism was 'always there,' even before the diagnosis was invented. In a Different Key also provides a fresh take on the issue of neurodiversity in all its complexity."
      • premium: False
      • source: TEMPLE GRANDIN, author of Thinking in Pictures and The Autistic Brain
      • content: "In a Different Key transports the reader back to the earlier days of autism. It is essential reading for anyone who is interested in how society treats those who are different."
      • premium: False
      • source: STEPHANIE COONTZ, author of The Way We Never Were: American Families and the Nostalgia Trap
      • content: "In a Different Key is filled with gripping personal histories that powerfully illustrate the mistakes and malpractices in the diagnosis and treatment of autism; the courage and resilience of those who fought for better treatment and deeper understanding; and the sheer variability of people who are given the autism label and too often lumped together as 'disabled.' A fascinating and revealing read, even for those with no personal connection to the topic."
      • premium: False
      • source: MICHAEL JOHN CARLEY, founder, GRASP; author of Asperger's From the Inside Out
      • content: "Bravo to Donvan and brava to Zucker. Comically/tragically, autism's history is as emotionally dysfunctional--and as beautiful--as it gets. Finally, we all have an exhaustive reckoning."
      • premium: False
      • source: SIMON BARON-COHEN, author of The Essential Difference; Director, Autism Research Centre, Cambridge University
      • content: "Donvan and Zucker delve deep into both the science and the politics of autism across time. They tell the story of the extreme treatments that have been tried, such as administering LSD or electric shocks in the '60s, to 'normalize' these children. They uncover the tragic 'mercy killing' of a teenager with autism by his father, and explore the MMR vaccine-causes-autism theory, named by TIME magazine as top of the list of 'great science frauds.' This book will make a remarkable contribution to the history of autism."
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        November 9, 2015
        Journalists Donvan and Zucker’s tremendous study keeps autism at its center while telling an extraordinary tale of social change. The authors follow evolving cultural responses to autism and autism spectrum disorders, including intolerance, a desperate quest for successful treatments, and the currently high level of awareness—which doesn’t always prevent misunderstanding. The only shaky aspects of this swooping narrative are Donvan and Zucker’s questionable, if not anachronistic, attempts to diagnose historical figures. Their work’s strength is a careful delineation of autism’s contemporary ramifications, including the sometimes disputed statistics and the vaccine scare that first made headlines in the late 1990s. The authors give thoughtful consideration to the array of treatments for autism that have been explored; the 1960s, for example, saw a now-shocking trend of LSD treatments. Viewed as a whole, the narrative ultimately reveals a transition from an emphasis on treating individual cases to a more society-wide effort for advocacy and inclusion—an effort that this book will do much to advance. Agent: Alia Hanna Habib, McCormick Literary.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        March 1, 2016

        Journalists Donvan and Zucker's examination of autism begins at the beginning: Donald Triplett, patient zero as diagnosed by Leo Kanner, whose symptoms and behaviors had started him on a fast track to institutionalization. Strangely enough, though mothers were often blamed for "causing" autism, it was Triplett's who advocated and cared for him. If there is a common theme throughout this history of autism, it is that parents were the ones who stepped forward, pushing for answers and progress against a disorder that medical professionals and psychologists often misunderstood, discounted, or ignored. The authors examine how these viewpoints created an atmosphere of ignorance and malpractice, from chelation and aversive therapies to the theory that the condition is caused by immunizations, now considered to be one of the greatest frauds in medical science history. Today, findings from the fields of genetics and neurobiology, and the voices of those with autism themselves contribute to a greater understanding of the condition. While the authors trace the history of autism to the present day, their study is not about conclusions. It's a time line--a spectrum--of the impressions and outcomes related to autism. VERDICT This book will not educate researchers with new information on autism. It will, however, introduce a human aspect to the chronology. Parents of autistic children will recognize themselves in many of these stories but also learn more about the truth behind them. Autistic individuals will take away lessons to forgive the past and to recognize the vast spectrum of difference--not just among those on the autism spectrum but among all people, who are always learning and growing.--Victoria Frerichs, Prescot, UK

        Copyright 2016 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        December 1, 2015
        Autism is a complex, challenging condition. Its history has been smudged by confusion and controversy. Donvan, a correspondent at ABC News, and Zucker, a TV producer with ABC and PBS and the mother of an autistic son, use stories of patients, parents, researchers, activists, physicians, psychologists, educators, and courtroom battles to illustrate how ways of thinking about autism have oscillated during the past 70 years. Many influential characters in the field are portrayed. Various treatments to address autism are chronicled. Earlier theories and remediessome cruel, outlandish, and even fraudulentare discredited, including the refrigerator mother, the MMR vaccine link, treatment with LSD, and punishment therapy that included electric shocks from a livestock prod. In 1988, autism awareness got a boost from Dustin Hoffman's performance in the film Rain Man. Presently, the American Psychiatric Association recognizes an all-embracing definition of the condition known as autistic spectrum disorder. Summing up, the authors write, Having autismbeing autisticrepresents but one more wrinkle in the fabric of humanity, and no one among us is living a life unwrinkled'. (Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2015, American Library Association.)

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PULITZER PRIZE FINALIST NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER “Sweeping in scope but with intimate personal stories, this is a deeply moving book about the history, science, and human drama of autism.”—Walter Isaacson, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Code Breaker
 
“Remarkable . . . A riveting tale about how a seemingly rare childhood disorder became a salient fixture in our cultural landscape.”—The Wall Street Journal (Ten Best Nonfiction Books of the Year)

The inspiration for the PBS documentary, In a Different Key
 
In 1938, Donald Triplett of Forest, Mississippi, became the first child diagnosed with autism. Beginning with his family’s odyssey, In a Different Key tells the extraordinary story of this often misunderstood condition, from the civil rights battles waged by the families of those who have it to the...
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The Story of Autism
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      • description: Social Science / People with Disabilities