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Autism rates have skyrocketed in recent years, according to recent data from the Centers for Disease Control. Much of that has to do with our growing awareness of the disorder. But despite what we are learning about the possible origins and causes of autism, which has no cure, it continues to frustrate and perplex.

In honor of Autism Awareness Month, we’ve compiled a list of longform journalism pieces that give glimpses into the world of those diagnosed with the disorder, and the struggle of those who love and care for them. In one, a father figures out the secret to connecting with his autistic son. In another, we meet the first person ever diagnosed with the disorder. Bookmark these four deep dives into the world of autism, and take your time to read them throughout the month.

Reaching My Autistic Son Through Disney,The New York Times Magazine
The only way journalist Ron Suskind could get his son to talk to and recognize him is, he discovers, by mimicking Disney characters:

Catch Me If You Can,” Outside
Robert Wood Jr., an autistic and nonverbal eight-year-old, ran off in a Virginia park and sent search parties on one of the largest state-wide manhunts:

Navigating Love and Autism,” The New York Times
Jack Robison and Kirsten Lindsmith—both on the autism spectrum–tread the murky waters of courtship and dating:

Autism’s First Child,” The Atlantic
Meet Donald Gray Triplett, 77, the first person ever diagnosed with autism:

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