Autism Awareness Month 2012

April is Autism Awareness Month, a time to focus attention on those with autism and related pervasive developmental disorders. The Centers for Disease Control just released a study estimating that 1 in 88 children in the United States have been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder -- up from an estimate of 1 in 156 ten years ago. According to the CDC, only part of this growth is related to increased awareness and early diagnosis. Recent efforts in early detection and educational intervention have shown encouraging results, bringing a measure of hope to often difficult family situations. Relatives and caretakers will tell you that working with those with autism can be both the most frustrating and the most rewarding experience of their lives. My only brother is autistic, and my family and I know these difficulties and rewards well. He's an adult now, living happily in a group home much like the one featured in the final four photos below by Kevin Wellenius. Many thanks to the families and photographers who are sharing their personal, intimate photos here today.

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  • Lewis Hine / Library of Congress

    Child Labor in America 100 Years Ago

    In 1908, photographer Lewis Hine traveled across the U.S. to document child laborers and their workplaces. His portraits were used by reformers to drive legislation that would protect young workers or prohibit their employment.

  • Noah Berger / Reuters

    Tinder Dry: An Early Start to Wildfire Season in the West

    Wildfires have already burned more than 1.6 million acres in Alaska this season, and blazes in Washington, Oregon, and bone-dry California have scorched thousands more.

  • David Gray / Reuters

    Australia's Great Barrier Reef at Risk

    The health of the largest living ecosystem on Earth is in danger, and UNESCO World Heritage delegates will announce on Wednesday whether they will place the Great Barrier Reef on a list of endangered World Heritage sites.

  • Joshua Roberts / Reuters

    Photos of the Week: 6/20-6/26

    Surfers waiting for a wave at sunset in Chile, the San Juan festival in Spain, erupting volcanoes in Indonesia and Chile, an anti-U.S. rally in North Korea, a gorgeous sunset over Boston’s Fenway Park, celebrations of same-sex marriage supporters in Washington, D.C., and much more.

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