Children and Adolescents

Automotive School for Autistic, Special Needs Students

Thursday, October 24th, 2013

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An Easthampton school has launched Massachusetts’ first automotive program designed for students with autism and other special needs. Educators are hoping it helps kids who’ve struggled in traditional classrooms to stay focused, and envision a lucrative career.  (Aired on New England Public Radio, 10/2/13)

Vaccine Skeptics Create Quandary for WMass Doctors

Thursday, October 24th, 2013

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After two measles cases were diagnosed last month in Boston, public health officials warned the disease can spread fast among the unvaccinated — about three percent of the state’s population. They flagged Western Massachusetts in particular for its rising number of parents who decline or delay recommended immunizations. That’s creating a quandary for many pediatricians concerned about old diseases making a comeback. (Aired 9/2013 on New England Public Radio and NPR’s Here and Now.)

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Memoir on Fertility Raises Questions: Can Industry Deliver on its Promises?

Monday, August 12th, 2013

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Just as the birth control pill gave women the freedom not to have children too soon, reproductive medicine has allowed many to have babies after they thought it was too late. But a new memoir has raised questions about whether the fertility industry can deliver what it promises. (Aired on New England Public Radio, Aug. 9, 2013; WBUR, August 11, 2013.)

Toxic Stress – An Explanation for Lingering Effects of Abuse/Trauma

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

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Kathy Picard

Kathy Picard

The recent sanctions against Penn State have focused attention on the institutional fallout of the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal. But they also come as scientists in Massachusetts are delving deeper into the longterm effect of abuse on its victims – and on their brains. New England Public Radio’s Karen Brown reports. (Aired on WFCR 7/27/12.)

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Surrogate Pregnancy Between Friends

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

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Every year, an estimated 1300 babies are born in the u.s. to gestational carriers — women who bear a child made from the egg and sperm of another couple. Only a small percentage of those are among friends — including one surrogate pregnancy in Western Massachusetts. A woman is carrying a baby for her best friend — whose chronic disease would make pregnancy dangerous. WFCR’s Karen Brown reports. (Aired May 27, 2011)

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Sensory Friendly Movies for Autistic Children

Friday, January 14th, 2011

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The mainstream movie experience — with its 3-D, IMax, and surround-sound — can be too much for children with autism. As the national rate of autism diagnoses clims, parents and advocates have persueaded some theaters to tone it down.

This story aired on NPR’s Weekend Edition on Aug. 28, 2010 (adapted from an earlier WFCR story). To hear the story on NPR’s website, click here