American Morning

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June 22nd, 2009
06:52 AM ET

Unlocking the mystery of autism

Tony Williams remembers the moment when he found out his baby Tony Jr. had autism.

“It was just heartbreaking. I sat in the room and cried.”

That was a year and a half ago. Tony Jr. is now almost 3-years-old, but even with early intervention he barely speaks and is prone to tantrums.

His mother Daureena Williams says there are times when she feels lost not knowing what to do.

“There are days when you wake up and he’s just screaming at the top of his lungs from the time he wakes up to the time he goes to bed.”

The Williamses say they’ll do whatever they can to improve the life of their son. A new groundbreaking study may give them that opportunity.

Over the years there have been many theories but nothing definitive about what causes autism, a developmental disorder that affects one in 150 children in the United States. Now researchers are about to embark on one of the largest and most comprehensive studies aimed at finding a cure. The National Institutes of Health and the advocacy group Autism Speaks will fund the study.

Researchers plan to study 1200 pregnant women who already have a child with autism. After the mother gives birth, researchers will then turn their attention to the first three years of the child’s life. Professor Craig Newschaffer of Drexel University is heading up the study.

FULL POST


Filed under: Health
June 22nd, 2009
06:49 AM ET

What’s on Tap – Monday, June 22, 2009

Supporters of Iran's defeated presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi set burning barricades in the streets as they protest during a demonstration on June 20, 2009 in Tehran, Iran. Getty Images
Supporters of Iran's defeated presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi set burning barricades in the streets as they protest during a demonstration on June 20, 2009 in Tehran, Iran. Getty Images

Here are the big stories on the agenda today:

  • A stunning admission from Iran – now saying what critics had accused all along:  Ballot boxes were stuffed with extra votes.  But the powers that be are still rejecting claims that the vote was rigged.
  • The story and video of one woman, apparently gunned down during a rally – has deeply shocked Iran, and the world.  Her name is Neda.  She’s one of the reported 150 victims of the post-election crackdown, one of the few whose name we know.  And Neda is quickly becoming the face of the resistance.
  • Neda's story is also bringing something else to light.  Women are on the frontlines, and it’s about more than one election.  It just underlines a real desire for equality by so many in the Islamic nation.  We take a look at the struggle within the struggle.
  • He may have thought it was now – or never.  New York Times reporter, David Rohde, is free this morning, after a desperate and daring escape from the Taliban.  He'd been held for seven months in northwestern Pakistan. Nic Robertson is live with details of how he broke free, why now… and why he’s not telling his story.

Filed under: What's On Tap
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