A husband and wife face a decision about their autistic son's future, and whether he should continue to live with their family.
Karen Sosnoski's one-year-old son, Anton, was born with what's known as Mosaic Down Syndrome, a rare condition where some of his cells have the extra chromosome that causes Down syndrome and other cells don't. So as he grows, he could end up having all the health risks and challenges of Downs syndrome...or just a few of them. Through a website, Karen found a kid with the same diagnosis, named Tim Colvin, who was doing really well...perhaps because his mother, Kristy, invented a surprising and unusual way to raise her son.
Producer Jane Feltes talks with the first people on line for the bus to Colorado: Two twin, six-year-old sisters.
Nick Hornby's new story about a country so tiny, it's just a field, a few houses, a shop, and a café. There, a boy whose mom happens to be president of this minuscule nation is called upon to show his patriotism by playing on the national soccer team.
Julie Hill explains how she's going to remake all the ideas her son has about his father, using a very simple tactic.
Six-year-old DJ has two dads, Dan Savage and Terry Miller. DJ is being raised by two gay men, but he has a preschooler's understanding of what gay means.
Scott Carrier and his family live in the same Salt Lake City neighborhood as Elizabeth Smart, the fourteen-year-old whose kidnapping made international news in 2002. Though pictures of Smart were everywhere in Salt Lake City, and thousands of volunteers searched for her, her captors brought her back to the neighborhood she was taken from, and they walked freely through the streets with her.
Shalom Auslander reads his true story, "The Blessing Bee." It's about the time when, as a third-grader at an Orthodox Jewish school, Shalom saw his chance to both make his mom proud, and push his drunken father out of the picture. Part of his scheme involved winning the school's bee on the complicated Hebrew blessings you say before eating certain foods.
Writer Beth Lisick decides to try a new strategy to get her infant to sleep better, and buys a baby monitor as part of the deal. Soon, she's hearing her neighbors make drug deals over the monitor's frequency.
Washington Irving Elementary School became a model of school reform in Chicago a decade ago. The school did it without adding a ton more money.
When she was three years old, Georgia was caught by immigration officials when a Milwaukee woman tried to bring her into the country illegally from Jamaica. She ended up at a residential detention center in Chicago.
Host Ira Glass talks with two sisters, one high-school age, the other younger, about who gets treated better in the family. They all agree the youngest does.
Lisa Carver's nine-year-old son, Wolfgang, was born with a rare illness that, among other things, makes it impossible for him to eat anything by mouth. He's fed through a g-tube, straight into his stomach.
It's hard to give things up. Host Ira Glass tells the story of Walter, a three-year-old boy who had to give up his pacifier, and then, wanting comfort, asked all the adults around him to tell the stories of when they gave up their pacifiers.
Andrea Morningstar tells the story of a ten-year-old girl from small town Michigan named Sarah York, and how she became pen pals with a man who was considered an enemy of the United States, a dictator, a drug trafficker, and a murderer: Manuel Noriega.
We hear kids recorded at Chicago's Navy Pier and at a public swimming pool, talking about their mean friends. Host Ira Glass interviews Lillie Allison, 15, about the pretty, popular girls who were her best friends—until they cast her out.
Jonathan Goldstein and Heather O'Neill tell the true story of what happens when a person tries to intrude on a idyllic family of two, one of whom loves him, one of whom does not. For the first few years Jonathan knew Heather, her daughter Arizona was not very fond of him.
We hear the story of the Persian Gulf war, as told by Issam Shukri, a family man from Bagdad who was drafted into Saddam's army against his will. He had to explain to his three-year-old son why those usually civilized Americans were bombing their city night after night.
Genevieve Jurgensen and her husband Laurent lost their two daughters—Elise and Mathilde—at the ages of 4 and 7. Actress Felicity Jones reads from her book The Disappearance: A Memoir of Loss, in which Jurgensen tries to explain their lives and their deaths to a friend, in a series of letters.
A father and daughter (Adrian LeBlanc and his daughter Adrian Le Blanc) decide to write his obituary—together—not really thinking very seriously at first about the real meaning of what they were doing.
Over the last ten years in Los Angeles, there's been a noticeable increase in the number of transsexual teenagers, kids who were born as boys but live as girls, and vice versa. Cris Beam has spent the last two years getting to know these kids, and tells the story of two of them, Foxxjazell and Ariel.
Host Ira Glass joins a group of tourists to walk through the captured German submarine that's on permanent display at Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry. He notes that the Museum chooses to underplay the murderous Nazi origins of the boat.
More stories like the one in the prologue, where kids look at something going on around them, observe it carefully, think about it logically, and come to conclusions that are completely incorrect. Includes a story set at Christmastime, where a father tells his daughter about the baby Jesus being born, and all the "good stuff." Then the daughter notices a picture of Jesus on the cross, and asks why they killed him.
Julie Hill with a story about her six-year-old son, and how he tries to make sense of his father's terminal illness.