One in 88 children is diagnosed with some form of autism, according to the American Centers for Disease Control. Canadian experts say the numbers are similar here, and show no sign of slowing. While the implications of this neurological disorder on health, education and social service policy run deep and wide, there has been little meaningful Canadian journalism on the issue. To address this gap and in the spirit of public-advocacy journalism at the core of the Toronto Star, we launched The Autism Project — an ambitious assignment for a team of Star journalists to find and tell stories of autism from a fresh perspective. The project’s sweeping look at the life cycle of autism — from birth to death — exposed a shocking lack of government strategy across each life stage.
The response from our readers was overwhelming. From autism experts to policy makers to those living with autism, the Star won accolades (including a recent nomination for the National Newspaper Awards) for bringing new light to a crucial issue and helping to bring about change in Ontario. In answer to dozens of requests, Star Dispatches is making the entire, groundbreaking series available, updated especially for the ebook edition.
Rita Daly is an award-winning journalist who is currently a team editor for the Star.
Kristin Rushowy has covered education for the Star for more than a decade, writing about local school boards, provincial policy and national trends, with a particular focus on early childhood.
Laurie Monsebraaten has worked at the Toronto Star for 30 years where she has written about municipal politics and social policy. She is currently the Star’s Social Justice Reporter.
Leslie Scrivener, who has written a biography of Terry Fox, is a feature writer at the Star.
Tanya Talaga is the Star’s Global Economics correspondent and has covered politics, health, social justice and education for the Star. Talaga has twice been nominated for the Governor General’s Michener Award in public service journalism.
Andrea Gordon has been a journalist for 30 years, and has spent the last nine years writing about family issues and health for the Star.
Lucas Oleniuk has photographed the world for the Toronto Star since 2003, winning three National Newspaper Awards in the process.
Randy Risling has been with the visuals department at the Star for five years.
Kate Allen covers science and technology stories for the Star’s foreign desk.
Star Dispatches ebooks provide readers with exceptional long-form journalism from the Toronto Star newsroom.