Traditionally, research has focused on women's "biological clock." But in recent years, scientists have been looking more and more at how the father's age at conception might affect the baby, too.

A study published Wednesday hints that age really might matter — in terms of the child's mental health.

Chloe Burton

Chloe Burton had a great year in kindergarten.

Although she has autism, she had no problem learning in a general education classroom alongside her peers.

But in first grade, things went downhill. Chloe wandered the classroom instead of finishing her work.

KUOW Photo/Ann Dornfeld

As educational practice catches up with federal law that requires students learn in the least restrictive environment, an increasing number of students with autism and other disabilities are learning alongside their typically-developing peers in mainstream classrooms.

"The Autistic Brain" With Temple Grandin

Jun 13, 2013
Temple Grandin's book "The Autistic Brain."

Autism is a developmental disorder characterized by social impairment, communication difficulties, repetitive interests or behaviors, and occasional cognitive delays. The number of kids with autism in the United States has skyrocketed in recent years. It's estimated that one in 88 children currently has autism.

Temple Grandin is an activist for autism rights. In her latest book, she talks about genetic research that links brain science and behavior, as well as sharing her own experiences growing up with autism. She spoke at Seattle’s Town Hall on May 20, 2013.

KUOW/Serene Careaga

Kenyan Truth Justice And Reconciliation Report
Last week a Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission delivered a report on 2007 post-election violence in Kenya that killed more than 1,000 people and left 600,000 homeless. Seattle University law professor Ronald Slye was one of three international commissioners. He joins us with a look at the findings.

Understanding Developmental Outcomes In Children With Autism
By studying brain pattern responses to words in 2-year-olds with autism spectrum disorder, researchers have been able to predict a child's linguistic, cognitive and adaptive skills at age 4 and 6. Dr. Patricia Kuhl, co-director of the University of Washington’s Institute for Learning and Brain Science, studies early language and brain development. She lead the study and explains its implications.  

Radio Retrospective: The Rules Of Writing Radio Drama
At the start of radio’s Golden Age, people didn’t know how to write for radio.  They remade stage plays and movies, but that didn’t really work. Rules for writing a good radio drama developed over time. We explore the main rules scriptwriters followed.

Restaurant Recommendation
Food writer Sara Dickerman joins us with a lunch recommendation. Prefer to cook for yourself? She also has a pick for a great cookbook!

This Week In Olympia
The state Legislature begins week two of the special session today. Everett Herald reporter Jerry Cornfield joins us with a look at what to expect.

Traumatic Brain Injury
Sarah was hit by a drunk driver in her 20s.  Over the years, her brain has exhibited more and more signs of damage. Traumatic brain injury can present challenges and frustrations for partners as well. Sarah's long-term partner, Julie Hall, shares her personal story of loving, caring and coping with a partner with a brain injury.

The Autistic Brain
Temple Grandin is one of the world’s most accomplished and well-known adults with autism.  In her new book “The Autistic Brain,” Temple Grandin explores what current brain science has revealed about autism and the possibilities it offers.

How Does Washington State Help Workers With Developmental Disabilities?

May 9, 2013
Flickr Photo/Tony Hall

Washington State’s Developmental Disabilities Administration helps people with disabilities like autism, cerebral palsy and down syndrome find work. The DDA serves nearly 9,000 adults over the age of 21.

Ross Reynolds interviews Dr. Pat Brown, director of the University of Washington’s employment program. Ross also talks with Doug Wilson, a sales manager at Copiers Northwest, who employs people with developmental disabilities and Shawn Christensen, a man with cerebral palsy who works at Regal Cinemas in Renton.

Placenta And Autism Risk, Vegan Before Six, And Greendays

Apr 30, 2013
Patrick Lynch, Yale University, 2013

Placenta Offers Insight Into Autism Risk
New autism research shows that babies born with a high genetic risk for the disorder were more likely to have abnormal folds and creases in their placentas.  However, Dr. Harvey Kliman says that it is much too early to say that an examination of the placenta could be used as a definitive test for autism at birth.

VB6: Eat Vegan Before 6:00 At Night
Could you eat vegan? If you could, research strongly suggests you’d be healthier, weigh less and perhaps even have a sharper brain. But could you find the discipline? Mark Bittman has a plan for you. The New York Times food columnist has written "VB6: Eat Vegan Before 6:00 To Lose Weight and Restore Your Health …. For Good."

What Plant, Where And When?
We are in the midst of plant-sale season. So how do you choose the perennial in spring that will survive the summer and look great next year? The Greendays gardening panel has some simple rules to follow for picking the right plant and taking care of it.

Same-Sex Marriage Arrives In Washington State

Dec 6, 2012

Washington state began handing out same-sex marriage licenses last night; the weddings will start on Sunday. We talk with some of the couples who showed up in downtown Seattle at midnight to be among the first to get a marriage license.

Full Spectrum: Autism, College, And Work

Nov 13, 2012
Alex Brenner, Jordan Howard and Dorian Hinkle
KUOW photo/Bryan Buckalew

About one in 120 children in the Washington state public school system have an autism spectrum disorder. That’s a 430 percent increase from a decade ago. In the next decade, many of those teenagers with autism will become adults, but what they will do as adults is anyone’s guess. Autism is often associated with children, but it’s a lifelong condition. Producer Bryan Buckalew introduces us to young adults with autism trying to figure out how to take the next step in a KUOW Program Venture Fund special report. Join the conversation afterward by sharing your thoughts at 206.543.5869 or

For Young Adults, Autism Diagnosis Opens Doors, Minds

Nov 10, 2012
Dorian Hinkle and Jordan Howard
KUOW photo/Bryan Buckalew

Growing up, Jordan Howard always felt like an outsider. He had trouble making friends, and he felt awkward in groups. He says he felt like one of those misunderstood high school clichés. And he could never put his finger on why.

Alex Brenner, Jordan Howard and Dorian Hinkle
KUOW photo/Bryan Buckalew

The first time Rolando Elias came to work at the Federal Way farmers market, Dr. April Walter was nervous.

“That was a big-time risk,” April says. “It could have blown up in my face.” She opened a tent at the market to give young adults with autism a chance to work.

Cautiously Optimistic: Off To College, With Autism

Nov 10, 2012
KUOW photo/Bryan Buckalew

Alex Brenner walked into his psychologist's office one day this summer and right away, he thought he had done something wrong. Both his parents were standing at the front desk. As he closed the door, his mom handed him a letter. “She said, 'read it.' I sat down. It said, ‘you’re getting into the University of Washington.’”

Alex was stunned. His dad helped him uncork a bottle of champagne and they celebrated on the spot. The University of Washington in Seattle was Alex’s first choice among schools. He had been studying for four years at a community college to get his grades up. All his hard work had finally paid off. But sitting there holding his acceptance letter, another wave of realization washed over him. Soon he’d be living on his own in a new city, a long drive from his parents’ home in Tacoma. He suddenly felt nervous.

Low-income parents will soon have a way to get treatment for their children with autism. Starting in January, Washington state will cover applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy for kids with Medicaid coverage. The new benefit is part of a legal settlement between the state and a local advocacy group for children with autism. 

Ryder on his first day of third grade.
Bridget Ambrose

Two-and-a-half years ago, KUOW brought you the story of Bridget Ambrose and her son Ryder. Ryder was in kindergarten at the time. He’s on the autism spectrum. At Ryder’s preschool, he’d gotten special education services like speech therapy and the social skills training that many kids with autism need to teach them how to interact with other kids.