Entertainment

MacNeil returns to PBS to tell story of autism

Saturday, April 16, 2011
In this January 2011 still photo taken from video, PBS newsman Robert MacNeil, right, interacts with Nick, his 6-year-old grandson, at Nicks familys home in Cambridge, Mass. After a decade off the air, MacNeil returns Monday, April 18, 2011, with a six-part series he reported on autism, inspired by Nick, who is featured in the series. (AP Photo/PBS NewsHour)

In this January 2011 still photo taken from video, PBS newsman Robert MacNeil, right, interacts with Nick, his 6-year-old grandson, at Nick's family's home in Cambridge, Mass. After a decade off the air, MacNeil returns Monday, April 18, 2011, with a six-part series he reported on autism, inspired by Nick, who is featured in the series. (AP Photo/PBS NewsHour)

Half of PBS's famous MacNeil/Lehrer news team is returning to the air after a decade to tell a personal story about autism.

Robert MacNeil has reported a six-part series on the disorder for PBSNewsHour, and the first segment features his 6-year-old grandson, Nick.

The series airs starting Monday.

In the first segment, MacNeil explores his family's sacrifices raising an autistic child. He reveals the pain experienced by his daughter, 10-year-old granddaughter and even himself.

The 80-year-old MacNeil was retired and hadn't planned to work in front of the camera again. But at the urging of his daughter, Alison, he decided it was imperative to cover the disorder.

Alison says she hopes her father's return can show people how important the topic is and lead to more independent research of autism.

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