What is Autism?


Always Unique Totally Interesting Sometimes Mysterious

What is Autism?

A serious developmental disorder that impairs the ability to communicate and interact.

  • About 1 in 68 children has been identified with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) according to estimates from CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network.

ASD is about 4.5 times more common among boys (1 in 42) than among girls (1 in 189).

Risk Factors
  • Children born to older parents are at higher risk for having ASD.
  • A small percentage of children who are born prematurely or with low birth weight are at greater risk for having ASD.
  • The Cause of this disorder is a mystery!
  • A child can be diagnosed at the age of 2, but in most children are not diagnosed with ASD until after age 4.
  • There is NO CURE! Some forms of intervention like Applied Behavior Analysis.

Autism is near and dear to my heart. It affects my life/heart every day of my life. Awareness is the number one cure for this disorder. With that being said I want you to educate yourself and be the voice for Autism!  What do you think the cause of Autism is? Poll here-

Ten tools fixing up our blogs

Ten tools to learn, more to explore,” gave me insight on what innovations the Journalism Industry has been using and producing. It’s funny to see that all these programs like Map Box and Amara are ones we come across very often in multiple new stories and videos, yet never acknowledge that there’s actually a technique to it all behind the scenes.

Searchlights and Sunglasses’ article on the tools to learn.

I decided to take up a challenge and actually try one of these tools myself, however it wasn’t much of a challenge because it’s really easy to use. The tool Timeline.js is essential to any news story in my opinion. It organizes information in a chronological order and keeps everything visually appealing and easy to follow. Especially with news, you wouldn’t want to confuse your audience, so interactive stories and techniques that increase their understanding are favorable.

This is the homepage of the Timeline.js website.

Check out the timeline I made for a couple new updates this month, new stories used from Fox 2 Detroit News!

Data stories: What the class picked

Here are the data stories that class members picked to talk about. I’m linking to all of them here so we can discuss on Wednesday. Each of you can talk about your own selection and explain why you picked it, what makes it a “data-driven” story and what you took away from it.


The Guardian: Young voters, class and turnout: how Britain voted in 2017

Snapshot of the election blog.
General election coverage in data blog at The Guardian’s website.


Washington Post: America’s chaotic, crazy, challenging, great, tumultuous, horrible, disappointing year/  A look back at the ups and downs of public opinion in 2017.

Screenshot of WaPo's year in review online.
The Washington Post’s year in review package.



CDC: Autism Spectrum Disorders data

Screenshot of CDB autism disorder data page.
CDB’s website for data on autism.


World.LiveUAMap: Russian Ministry of Defense shows photos … 



New York Times:  How Effective Is Your School District? A New Measure Shows Where Students Learn the Most

Screenshot of NYT schools project online.
New York Times UpShot project on schools.



New York Times: Can requiring people to work make them healthier?

Screenshot of NYT story on work and health.
New York Times story in UpShot on work and healthfulness.


NPR: Veteran Sues After Scalpel Found Inside His Body 4 Years After Surgery


Screenshot of NPR story.
NPR story about a lawsuit over a scalpel left inside a patient and found four years later.

Zeinab and Aya:

The Guardian: Read this before you have a baby (especially if you’re a woman)

Screenshot of Guardian series.
Guardian story on the impact of motherhood on lifestyle and choices in the United States.


New York Times: Why it’s still worth getting a flu shot

Screenshot of the image from the NYT article.
New York Times story on flu vaccines and whether they are worthwhile to get.


New York Times:  Where Athletes in the Premier League, the N.B.A. and Other Sports Leagues Come From, in 15 Charts

Screenshot of NYT sports package.
New York Times data package in athletes from throughout the world.


Travis: Crytocurrency market capitalizations

Screenshot of bitcoin chart.
Database shows crytocurrency rates.


New York Times: Why trying new things is so hard to do

Screenshot of NYT story with image.
New York Times story on why trying things can be hard.

News discussions: Here’s the lineup

Last class, you all volunteered for leading the news discussions at the start of every class for the first several weeks. Here’s the schedule. Please let me know if you have any problems with your assignment! I look forward to hearing from all of you.

Remember, 3-5 stories in your category, and please choose from more than one news source. You can find the news sources I’ve mentioned in class on the home page of this site. I’ll continue to add to those as we find new sources throughout the semester.

New York Times home page
The home page of the New York Times online.

Jan. 24:

  • Nation/world: Safa
  • State/local: Keturrah
  • Wildcard: Olivia

Jan. 30: 

  • Nation/world: Jennifer
  • State/local: Aya
  • Wildcard:  Zeinab

Feb. 7:

  • Nation/world: Josh
  • State/local: Ashley
  • Wildcard: Eric

Feb. 14: 

  • Nation/world: Chanel
  • State/local: Noor
  • Wildcard: Zahara

Feb. 21:

  • Nation/world:
  • State/local: Myles
  • Wildcard: Travis

Handy Dandy Tools

When you hear the word “tools” you start thinking of “masculine” heavy machinery that well does not sound like fun. But there is a light at the end of this tunnel. And that light is, tools made for the age of digitalism.

Believe it or not the first tools of journalism was a good old fashioned piece of paper and pen. That evolved into a typewriter all within the years of 1870-1970 according to Searchlight and Sunglasses .

Now in today’s era we have many tools at our disposal that allows our inner creativity to run wild.

One I will be exploring is Amara. We should also refer to this program as the accessibility Queen. In this YouTube video we get a small glimpse and a chance to Meet Amara .

With Amara, users get a chance to make their content more relatable to multiple users. Take my family, on my personal blog Zahara’s Blog I have product reviews that are sold internationally yet the language I am using is English. I write poetry that is again in English. If I was able to incorporate Amara in my blogging, I think it would make a huge difference.

This is where Amara becomes the accessibility Queen. With this program I can have subtitles from all languages with collaboration from other users to assist with translating. Now my audience has went from English American to Tanzanian!