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Fellowship story

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Philadelphia has the highest obesity rate and poorest population of America’s big cities. It also has an ambitious plan to put healthy food on every table.

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How trauma, alcohol and the chaos they produce undercut Native American health.

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Early diagnosis of autism is crucial but it is also a diagnosis that parents dread and that can lead to finger pointing and family stress. But parents will tell you early diagnosis is just the beginning of a struggle for intervention, that's much harder if you don't speak a country's dominant language.

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For Spanish-speakers, accessing information and resources regarding autism is difficult and making time for therapies can be a challenge. However, Josefina Nieves, a single mother, is managing to raise not only one son diagnosed with autism, but two. 

Picture of Gloria Castillo

Figures from the US Department of Education indicate that Latino/Hispanic children with autism have half a chance (a risk ratio of 0.5) of being identified as Autistic and receiving services in their educational system, according to Emily Iland, president of the Autism Society of America. Disadvantaged Spanish-speaking mothers are not bad parents, they just need information to become empowered.

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For years, Eva Marie Warren, 53, avoided eye contact with passers-by as she panhandled on the streets, for fear of having to smile back or make small talk. To smile or talk would compel her to reveal something she was deeply embarrassed about – her teeth.

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You might think that spending ten years on the street, two of them at 6th and Mission, might mean that a person is a hopeless case. These four amazing people illustrate homeless success.

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She’d slept one night in the Mission District under a bush, and woke in the dark when someone grabbed her ankle. Four men held her down and raped her. Now, almost three months later, she spoke in a flat, detached voice like this was somehow normal, just another blank to be filled in like her cough, or whether she had an allergy, her eyes drifting all around the room.

Picture of R. Jan Gurley

Awareness of the risks to children from not having a stable home also means that parents who are already desperately trying to juggle the demands of managing a life without an address, or a stable food supply, or often a phone, are also frantically trying to do what’s best for their kids, often under mind-blowingly stressful circumstances.

Picture of R. Jan Gurley

If you are sent to live on the streets, it is for most people the same as being sent, without a mouth guard or helmet, into a boxing ring. A ring where the gong never sounds and there's no rope to mark the place where someone could take a swing and blow out your eye socket.



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