Autism | Nashville Public Radio


Photo courtesy of Nashville Symphony

The Nashville Symphony’s Family Series begins this Saturday with “Pirates! The Quest for Blackbeard’s Treasure,” a program that features swashbuckling-themed music geared towards the symphony’s youngest listeners.

In addition to pre-concert activities that include craft stations and an instrument petting zoo, the entire series (which includes three more concerts extending into next year) is now described as “sensory friendly,” with modifications for autistic audience members and individuals with sensory processing differences.

courtesy TriStar

TriStar Centennial is trying to be more accommodating for kids on the autism spectrum. It's part of a national trend in children's hospitals to be more 'sensory-friendly' given the increasing prevalence of spectrum disorders.

Blake Farmer / WPLN (File photo)

The Nashville area has its first local data on the prevalence of autism spectrum disorders. And the numbers are slightly lower than the national figure, which jumped up this year.

Blake Farmer / WPLN (File photo)

Ask someone who has a child diagnosed with autism about wait times for lining up services, and they measure in months. The backup is only expected to build as the number of children on the autism spectrum balloons. Vanderbilt is now trying out a stopgap to squeeze in more kids — telemedicine.

Sarah_Ackerman via Flickr

A theater in Gallatin is trying to make it easier for kids with autism to go to the movies.

U.S. Senate

Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander used a hearing of the Health Committee – which he chairs – to debunk the link between autism and vaccines. The discussion on the "Reemergence of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases" just happened to coincide with an outbreak of measles largely blamed on falling vaccination rates.

On Tuesday, Alexander questioned an often-cited study by Andrew Wakefield from a 1998 report in Lancet. He asked Dr. Anne Schuchat of the Centers for Disease Control what she would tell a parent who ran across the article.