Contest Entries

The Truth About Autism:  Scientists Reconsider What They Think They Know

Entrants: David Wolman

Affiliation: Wired

General Interest Magazines below 1 million circ.

Year: 2008

Place: Third Place

Provide a brief synopsis of the story or stories, including any significant findings.

Over the past decade, an increasingly visible and highly networked community of autistics is trying to kick-start something akin to a civil rights movement. The message: Stop underestimating us. Their efforts, although controversial, are supported by a small but growing cadre of neuro-psychological researchers who are taking a fresh look at the nature of autism itself.

Judges' comments: "The Truth About Autism" was a fascinating story that we commend for its originality and insight. Few other mainstream media outlets have explored the emerging concept that autistic individuals might be "different" rather than "defective." David Wolman's work was especially impressive because of his ability to connect with autistic people who, by definition, have a hard time interacting with so-called "neurotypical" folks.

Read "The truth about autism."

See the contest questionnaire in which the reporter writes about how this story was written.