11 Feature Picture Story

1. Craig F. Walker / Boston Globe

Raising Connor – SUMMARY: He is moody and unpredictable. He is easy to love, affectionate, and friendly. Vulnerable, sweet, devoted to family. Impulsive, strong, and overflowing with emotion. Dreaming of home, always. Never quite at home, anywhere. This is Connor Biscan, a puzzle his family and caregivers have worked long and hard to solve, a boy who lives at the intersection of autism and mental illness. It isn’t so much a rare place — as many as half of autistic children suffer from mental health problems — but it can be a deeply baffling one. The overlap between these afflictions is hard to untangle; diagnosis and treatment can be very difficult. And a health care system meant to help can instead be frustrating, even harsh. 

2. Brian Snyder / Reuters

Black Lung – SUMMARY: The Black Lung Disability Trust Fund is at risk of insolvency – as black lung rates hit highs not seen in decades – which could force the fund to restrict benefits or shift some of the financial burden to taxpayers. Government research shows the incidence of black lung rebounding, despite improved safety measures. In February, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health confirmed 416 cases of advanced black lung disease in three medical clinics in rural Virginia from 2013 to 2017 – the highest concentration of cases ever seen.

3. Jessica Rinaldi / Boston Globe

Home, but for how much longer? – SUMMARY: Patricia Carbajal fled Honduras 19 years ago and has been living in the United States legally as a Temporary Protected Status (or TPS) holder ever since. For 19 years she has worked, paid taxes, and passed a criminal background check every 18 months. Now, the Trump administration has cancelled the program that has allowed her to create a life as a mother, a construction worker, a budding activist.