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CLIVE, Iowa — Some people on the autism spectrum need specialized care while others are colleagues and friends you may not even know have that diagnosis. A new movie by two journalists hopes to create community support for everyone.

“I was a producer at ABC and John was a correspondent and my son was diagnosed with autism. So right off the bat I wanted to learn everything I could, and at the same time as a journalist I wanted to share it with as many people as I could,” said Caren Zucker.

Zucker and John Donvan spent years reporting on autism for ABC News.

“That person’s my neighbor, I’m going to be neighborly. That person’s my co-worker, we are in this job together. That whole idea of building a community, we’re hoping, will be the thing the film will inspire people to do who – we call them lovingly ‘the civilians’ in the autism world, the ones who kind of aren’t in the little inside world, but they have a key role in the story,” said Donvan.

The film “In a Different Key” is based on Zucker and Donvan’s book. It’s about Donald Triplett, the first person diagnosed with autism. He’s in his 80s and still living in his small town in Mississippi surrounded by friends and family.

The book and the film share a history lesson about autism and showcases a hope that resonated with people in the audience at Thursday’s screening at Balance Autism in Clive.

“That’s what facilitates acceptance. Is that when people understand what autistic people are going through and what their world is like, they will accept them better. And like I said as a parent that’s what you want – you want your child to be accepted,” said Jill Johnson, whose son has autism.

You can find out more about the film by going to