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Posts Tagged ‘Holly Robinson Peete’

Inaugural Weekly Whirl – Top Events of the Week

December 10, 2011 2 comments

If anyone knows how hectic life can get – WE DO! That’s why we have created the Autism Speaks Weekly Whirl to fill you in on all of the highlights of the week! The last thing we want is for you to be left out of the loop! Please share with friends and family to spread the word about all of the exciting things going on in the autism community. Keep in mind, these updates aren’t limited to Autism Speaks — we will be featuring news from across the community.

A Funny Affair Honoring Tommy Hilfiger
On Monday December 5, 2011 Autism Speaks Co-founders Suzanne and Bob Wright and New York Center for Autism (NYCA) Co-founders Laura and Harry Slatkin honored iconic fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger for his commitment to increasing awareness and support of the autism community at A Funny Affair for Autism – a star-studded evening of fashion and comedy that helped raise over 1.3 million dollars for individuals with autism and their families.

New York Center for Autism Co-founders Harry & Laura Slatkin, Martha Stewart, fashion designer and Honoree Tommy Hilfiger, Honorary Chair Dee Hilfiger, Emcee and NBC Nightly News Correspondent Peter Alexander, Autism Speaks Co-founders Suzanne & Bob Wright

Blue Tie Blue Jean Ball
On December 1, the Los Angeles Chapter held the inaugural Blue Tie Blue Jean Ball. Over 700 people packed the House of Blues on the world famous Sunset Strip to hear the incomparable, beloved and ever gracious Sarah McLachlan sing some of her biggest hits.  She was introduced by autism mom and Grammy Award-winning singer Toni Braxton.   The show was hosted by comedian Sinbad, who also handled the live auction with humor and zip.  Other music performers were “American Idol” contestant Brooke White, Lucy Schwartz and Diane Birch.  Attendees included Autism Speaks National Board Member Holly Robinson Peete with her husband Rodney Peete, Matt Dallas, J.K. Simmons, Mark Salling, Ed Asner, and “Parenthood” cast members Mae Whitman, Sarah Ramos, Max Burkholder and Miles Heizer.

Sarah Mclachlan

Autism Speaks Headed to Albania
Hear from Autism Speaks President Mark Roithmayr as he shares about his trip to Albania for the opening of  the Albanian Children Foundation’s Regional Centre for Autism. Liri Berisha, M.D., and her husband the Prime Minister, Mr. Sali Berisha, took every opportunity to note that without Autism Speaks and Suzanne and Bob Wright, none of this would be possible.

Prime Minister Sali Berisha and Dr. Liri Berisha with Autism Speaks President Mark Roithmayr and his wife Chris

QBE $75,000 Gift to Autism Speaks
On December 7, 2011 Autism Speaks received a  $75,000 QBE Foundation Grant from QBE Americas. The grant will fund the development of the Employment Tool Kit. We are thrilled and thankful for their generosity!

Holly’s Gift to the Autism Community

April 26, 2011 19 comments

This is a guest post by Peter Bell, the executive vice president for programs and services at Autism Speaks. He oversees the foundation’s government relations and family services activities and also serves as an advisor to the science division.

Peter Bell, Debra McElwain, Jason McElwain, Holly Robinson Peete, Zev Glassenberg, and Justin Kanew


For many of us in the autism community, April has become our holiday season. This year, one of the many gifts we received was extensive autism coverage on the popular CBS day time show “The Talk.” It’s probably no secret who played Santa Claus for us behind the scenes. It was none other than Holly Robinson Peete, co-host of “The Talk,” co-founder of the HollyRod Foundation and Autism Speaks Board Member. Holly and her husband former NFL star Rodney Peete  are also the proud parents of four beautiful children including RJ who is 13 years old and has autism. “Santa Holly” started planning the autism series months in advance which is obvious when you see all the segments they produced for the show’s Autism Awareness Month.

Holly and her co-hosts kicked off the month on April 1st with a beautiful video about the Peete family’s personal journey with autism. After an emotional chat with her fellow cast members, Holly invited me to talk about what families can do following a diagnosis. We discussed the basics of autism, what it is, what causes it, and what resources are available to families including Autism Speaks’ 100 Day Kit. At the show’s conclusion, audience members were given special blue t-shirts from “The Talk” and many were brought up on stage. After Holly and co-host Julie Chen urged President Obama to light up the White House blue, the ladies of “The Talk” did a countdown which culminated in transforming the set to blue in honor of Autism Speaks Light It Up Blue initiative.

The second installment of “The Talk’s” Autism Awareness Month took place on April 8th and featured an Autism Daddy Roundtable with “Criminal Minds” star Joe Mantegna and Holly’s husband Rodney Peete. The conversation about a dad’s perspective on autism continued with Jimmie Smith, a single father from Baton Rouge who raising two children on his own. He described coming to terms with his son’s autism diagnosis. Although mothers are most often the parent who takes primary responsibility for caring for a child with autism, Holly wanted to shine a light on the important role that fathers can and should take, a view not often portrayed.

On April 15th, Holly introduced us to two amazing teenagers who have overcome the challenges of autism to show the world their remarkable talents. Carly Fleischmann shared her remarkable story that captured the world’s attention when, after never speaking a word, she found her “voice” through the keypad of her computer. We then met 19 year-old Winfred Cooper and his father who shared Winifred’s incredible story accomplishing a 67 yard touchdown in high school football game. The show’s autism segment ended with pediatrician Ricki Robinson, MD offering real and practical solutions about transitioning through the teen years. Dr. Robinson is the author of Autism Solutions: How to Create a Healthy and Meaningful Life for Your Child and serves as a member of the Autism Speaks Scientific Review Panel.

The fourth and final autism segment took place on April 22nd.  “Amazing Race” teammates Zev Glassenberg and Justin Kanew joined Holly and Julie to chat about doing another season as well as the triumphs and challenges they faced with Zev having Asperger’s Syndrome. The next segment featured YouTube sensation Jason McElwain (J-Mac) who shared his inspirational story from 2006 when a high school basketball game changed his life forever. Accompanied by his mom Debra, Jason talked about his life today and his hopes for the future as an adult with autism. Finally, Holly and Leah invited me back to talk about the services adults will need and what society can do to help people with autism and their families lead more fulfilling lives. This afforded me the opportunity to highlight the recently introduced Autism Speaks Transition Tool Kit.

Perhaps the best segment of the month is one that most people haven’t seen. After the third show featuring the amazing teens with autism, Holly shared her gratitude with the studio audience while the cameras were still rolling. Throughout her “autism journey,” Holly has always taken a strong stand for autism. She genuinely believes in those who live with autism and wants to shine a bright light on their special talents and skills. She believes in listening to people with autism and helping their families care for them as best as possible. In addition to being remarkably talented, Holly is one of the most compassionate and generous celebrities in Hollywood. On behalf of the autism community, thank you “Santa Holly” for giving us the greatest gifts we could ever ask for – believing in our children and advocating for their futures.

Holly Robinson Peete and Peter Bell

Tune in to CBS’s “The Talk” Friday, April 15

CBS‘s “The Talk”  will profile inspiring stories of teens living with autism, including 16-year-old Carly Fleischmann.  Although Carly can’t speak, this incredible young woman has a lot to say.  She tirelessly advocates for others with autism by communicating her feelings and emotions on an iPad with revolutionary apps such asproloquo2go, using her inspirational Web site and blogs to “speak” to the world.

Read a release from CBS describing the whole series here.  And see how “The Talk” lit it up blue on April 1 here.

Check your local listings for the time near you!

Tune in to “The Talk” Friday, April 8

April 8, 2011 1 comment

CBS’s popular talk show “The Talk” will feature the the second of four weekly segments about autism on Friday, April 8.  The April 8 segment of focuses on fathers of children with autism.  Sometimes called the “forgotten parents,” this show explores how fathers process an autism diagnosis differently, resulting in marital discord. Holly Robinson Peete’s husband, former NFL QB Rodney Peete, author of “NOT MY BOY, A Father, A Son and One Family’s Journey With Autism,” and actor Joe Mantegna join the show for a conversation with fathers whose children have been diagnosed with autism.

Read a release from CBS describing the whole series here.  And see how “The Talk” lit it up blue on April 1 here.

Check your local listings for the time near you!

The Talk Lights It Up Blue on April 1

April 3, 2011 4 comments

 

On Friday April 1, the set of the popular CBS daytime talk show “The Talk” provided a unique and special venue to Light It Up Blue for World Autism Awareness Day. To kick off the show’s four segments on autism during April, co-host and Autism Speaks board member Holly Robinson Peete shared a beautiful video about her family’s personal journey with autism featuring her 13-year-old son RJ. After an emotional chat with her fellow cast members, Holly welcomed Autism Speaks Executive Vice President Peter Bell to talk about what families can do following a diagnosis. They discussed the basics of autism, what it is, what causes it, and what resources are available to families including Autism Speaks’ 100 Day Kit. 

At the show’s conclusion, audience members were given blue “The Talk” t-shirts and many were brought up on stage. After Holly and co-host Julie Chen urged President Obama to light up the White House blue, the ladies of “The Talk” did a countdown which culminated in transforming the set from red to blue in honor of Autism Speaks Light It Up Blue initiative.

On Friday, April 8 the next autism segment will highlight fathers including Holly’s husband, former NFL player Rodney Peete and actor Joe Mantegna, start of the CBS hit show “Criminal Minds.” The following Friday (April 15), the segment will showcase special teens with autism who have overcome challenges. A final segment on April 22 will focus on the transition from adolescence to adulthood. Bell will return as a guest along with former high school basketball phenom Jason McElwain who is now 22.

Autism Speaks thanks Holly and the producers of “The Talk” for devoting so much of their time to covering these important topics for the autism community.

Light It Up Blue is TOMORROW

March 31, 2011 11 comments

The countdown is on to April 1st! World Autism Awareness Month is in reach and we are so excited to Light It Up Blue! Every day, leading up to the big day we’ll post highlights, a special interview and much more!

Tune in for CBS’s The Talk

CBS’s popular talk show “The Talk” will feature the first of four weekly segments about autism on Friday’s show. Holly Robinson Peete, co-founder of the Holly Rod Foundation, Autism Speaks Board member, and co-host of “The Talk” will share her personal story about when her son RJ was diagnosed with autism. Peter Bell will join her!

Who’s Lighting It Up Blue?

Autism Speaks would like to thank the Empire State Building for the special lighting on the evening of April 1, 2010 in celebration of the third annual United Nations World Autism Awareness Day on April 2. Learn more about the Empire State Building at www.esbnyc.com. The Empire State Building design is a trademark of ESBC and is used with permission.
Visit www.lightitupblue.org to get pledge your support and get involved!

 

 

Community Spotlight

 

Today’s virtual interview is with Lisa G. from Little Egg Harbor, N.J.

Autism Speaks: What are you Lighting Up Blue?
Lisa G.: My House!

AS: Why are you lighting your home blue?
LG: My daughter has Aspergers and I want to show my support for her and everyone else afflicted and affected by autism.  I also want to share my support with my neighborhood/community. I am working on getting every home on my block to “Light it Up Blue” by offering them free blue light bulbs!

AS: How did you go about lighting up your block?
LG: I purchased my bulbs at Home Depot and am searching for blue Christmas lights to wrap around my porch and front of my home.

Are you lighting up blue too? Take this quick and easy survey to tell us how!

RSVP to Light It Up Blue!

Tune in to ‘The Talk’ today at 2pm ET!

December 16, 2010 Leave a comment

All this week, The Talk has been getting to “The Heart of the Holidays,” making holiday dreams come true for some very special  families. Don’t miss Thursday, December 16th  as Autism Speaks Board Member Holly Robinson Peete and the HollyRod  Foundation bring holiday cheer to a single  mom whose 3 youngest boys are all diagnosed  with autism. Meet this  inspirational mom and get a glimpse into the  family’s life.

Holly Robinson Peete is a member of the Autism Speaks Board

For more information on The Talk visit their website.

Click here for more information on the HollyRod Foundation.

Holly Robinson Peete Featured in Delta Sky Magazine

October 20, 2010 11 comments

Autism Speaks Board of Directors member Holly Robinson Peete was highlighted as the “Cause Celeb” in the October issue of Delta Sky magazine. Holly is a huge advocate not only for Autism Speaks, but also for the autism cause in general. She and her family have shared their story not only in the media but also in books. Holly and her daughter Ryan wrote a children’s book called “My Brother Charley” and Rodney Peete wrote a personal story of coming to grips with his son’s autism diagnosis in “Not My Boy.” We thank Holly for her willingness to participate in this column and encourage you to take a look!

Check out more about Holly here!

In Their Own Words – A Priceless Souvenir

August 10, 2010 2 comments

This “In Their Own Words” essay is written by Andrew Hain a young adult who has autism.

My name is Andrew Hain. I am 17 years old and I have autism. I live in Glendale, Calif. and currently attend Clark Magnet High School in La Crescenta where I will be a senior this fall. My favorite subjects in school are math and Spanish. I like going to school because it is fun and you learn new things every day.

This summer, I am continuing to volunteer at College View School, which I started last summer. College View is the special education school where disabled kids go to learn.

I am helping out by playing with the kids and assisting them around the school. I like volunteering because the teachers are very nice and the students are fun to hang out with. Volunteering is important because it helps a lot of people with special needs.

Some of my hobbies include watching game shows and Disney stuff, browsing the Internet, playing basketball, and eating. Another hobby of mine is meeting celebrities because I like them for what they do in their careers.

Some of the great celebrities I met in my life are the Jonas Brothers and Miley Cyrus, and now, here is some wonderful news about a non-Disney star I met but probably one of the bigger ones in that category.

On July 24, my parents and I volunteered at the HollyRod Foundation DesignCare benefit at the Green Acres estate in Beverly Hills. The HollyRod Foundation was founded by actress Holly Robinson Peete and her husband, former NFL player Rodney Peete. They have a son RJ with autism. The foundation raises money for autism as well as Parkinson’s disease. We were there to support Holly and Rodney because they do so much for Autism Speaks and families with autism.

There were a lot of stars at this event raising money and some were being honored for their hard work. I met one of those honorees, Donald Trump, thanks to a woman named Pam. Now that is something very exciting for a young man with autism. Mr. Trump was very personable with me. I was even lucky enough to take a picture with him thanks to Holly’s godmother, Faith!

Also that night, although I didn’t take any pictures with them, I met Robin Thicke who was the musical performer at the event, and his dad, Alan Thicke. But the highlight was meeting The Donald.

“In Their Own Words” is a series within the Autism Speaks blog which shares the voices of people who have autism, as well as their loved ones. If you have a story you wish to share about your personal experience with autism, please send it to editors@autismspeaks.org. Autism Speaks reserves the right to edit contributions for space, style and content. Because of the volume of submissions, not all can be published on the site.


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Congratulations, Holly!

May 24, 2010 16 comments

Congratulations to Autism Speaks’ Board Member Holly Robinson Peete, who was the runner-up in this season’s “Celebrity Apprentice” and Bret Michaels, who took home the top prize. We are so proud of Holly, who did so much this season to raise awareness about autism and Autism Speaks.

Bret Michaels, who has diabetes and also has a daughter with diabetes, won an additional $250,000 for his charity, the American Diabetes Association. Snapple, the company featured as part of the final task, also donated $250,000 to Holly Robinson Peete’s charity, HollyRod, which helps raise funds for families dealing with autism.

Please join us in congratulating Holly on her success and thanking her for her efforts!

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