Tune-in today to hear Autism Speaks’ leadership discuss the recently released analysis of the DSM-5, to be published in 2013, and hear about its potential implications for individuals to receive an autism diagnosis and appropriate services.
- Autism Speaks’ Dr. Andy Shih will be live on MSNBC “News Nation with Tamron Hall” at 2:20 EST
- Then, please join us for a live web chat at 3 pm with Autism Speaks Chief Science Officer Dr. Geraldine Dawson and Vice President of Family Services Lisa Goring at 3 pm – click on the tab on the Autism Speaks Facebook page to join in! Click here for instant access to the tab. You can read the completed transcript of the chat here.
- Today’s New York Times story, ‘New Definition of Autism Will Exclude Many, Study Suggests‘
quoted Mark Roithmayr. This is what will be discussed on the stories to be aired today and the webchat.
Read Geri Dawson’s blog post about the DSM-5, The Changing Definition of Autism: Critical Issues Ahead.
Watch Autism Speaks’ Dr. Andy Shih discuss the story on MSNBC “News Nation with Tamron Hall”
On January 18, 2012 at 3pm EST Jack Robison and Kirsten Lindsmith will appear on NPR’s Talk of the Nation with guest host John Donvan. They have been invited to talk about autism and growing up as well as other topic’s discussed in The New York Times article ‘Navigating Love and Autism,’ in which they were featured.
Tune-in to ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” (EMHE) Friday, October 28, at 8:00 p.m., ET, for an episode featuring the McPhails, an Oregon family with two sons affected by autism. In addition to tackling home improvements, the EMHE team worked with Autism Speaks to rally the local community to raise autism awareness in honor of the family.
This is a guest post by Erik Linthorst is a 13-year veteran of the film business. An award winning documentary filmmaker and a produced screenwriter. Erik founded Pergé Productions in 2006 to make films aimed at helping families with children with special needs. In his advocacy work, Erik travels worldwide, presenting his film and advancing the issues it raises.
Throughout April, PBS stations around the country will air a documentary film Erik Linthorst made about searching for the right help for his son, Graham, who doctors called “autistic-like” Check your local listings for airtimes, or www.autisticlike.com.
Autistic-Like:Graham’s Story started as a project for me, but I now realize it has become something more like a community. Many people have told us our story sounds so familiar, and that’s really why I made the movie: I felt like it shouldn’t be so hard to find the right help for our children.
Our story began in 2005, a very hard year for our family. Our seventeen-month old son’s quirks were blooming into full-fledged obsessions. We had experts on one side saying he was clearly and possibly severely autistic. We had experts on the other side saying he was most likely not autistic. Still others insisted he was too young to diagnose. We had family and friends on both sides giving us advice that was by turns helpful, misguided and sometimes downright bad. My wife and I were in an emotional tailspin, alternately propping each other up and freaking each other out with our anxious thoughts.
Then we began the slow process of digging out: discarding this expert for that one, this treatment for that, this book for that, this piece of advice for another. And we grew in strength. Once I was back on my feet, and feeling armed with new understanding, I felt the desire to reach out to families just beginning their hard year. I felt like sharing our story might help them dig-out faster. So, being in the film business, I decided to make a documentary about our journey. I brought out my camera, began to chronicle our lives, and recruited journalist Jody Becker to help investigate the issues, elevating an intimate family story into what we aimed to make a thoughtful report from the edge of the autism epidemic.
Then I sent the film, Autistic-Like: Graham’s Story, out into the world and planned to be done. But then the emails started coming in. And they kept coming. Then the trickle became a wash, several a day, coming in from all over the U.S., and then Canada, and then from all over the world. And they all had questions. What did I think about this therapy? that biomedical approach? This doctor? That organization? I took the time to respond to all of them, because the truth is it helped me feel no so alone, too.
I heard from professionals, as well. Many told me they use the film as a new parent orientation tool. They shared that they were teaching workshops, and seminars with it. Schools were holding movie night fundraisers. But they had questions too: How could they see the extended interviews from the film? Did I have an update on Graham’s progress? workshops?
After much consideration, both for Graham’s sake as well as my wife and my own, I decided to say ‘yes’ to all of the above.
So this month our little movie hits a milestone: the PBS broadcasts include an 8-minute update “Where is Graham Now”; we have translated the film into Spanish to reach more families, and now more insights from the experts are available in a 2 DVD Box set that includes a full-color 12 page guidebook for facilitating professional and community conversations. I’ve traveled with the film, met hundreds of parents and professionals, and like the slowly dawning realization that supporting Graham is a project with no end for me, I see the film that way, too. More families, more conversation, more resources. The story continues.
Join us on April 5th at 3pm EST to have a live chat with Dr. Ricki Robinson! Dr. Robinson will be at the Autism Speaks headquarters answering questions. All you have to do is head over to the Autism Speaks Facebook Page and join the conversation!
For a little background on Dr. Ricki Robinson and her new book Autism Solutions: How to Create a Healthy and Meaningful Life for Your Child, check out our interview here.
Ingenious Minds enters the lives of savants: individuals who possess an extraordinary ability in areas such as art, music and mathematics, while also suffering from intellectual and developmental disabilities.
John Robison never had a high school degree, but he worked as a highly skilled mechanical engineer designing sound equipment, special effects, cutting-edge toys, nuclear test apparatus, and medical lasers.
John is a savant with Asperger’s Syndrome, which has given him a preternatural understanding of mechanics, but has made his social and work life exceptionally challenging. For more information about this episode, visit here.
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.
This is a guest blog post from our friends at Vulcan Productions and NOVA/WGBH…
On the eve of a new year, as millions of Americans search for more meaning in their lives, Vulcan Productions and NOVA/WGBH have teamed with Harvard psychologist and best-selling author of Stumbling on Happiness, Professor Daniel Gilbert, to produce This Emotional Life.
This Emotional Life is a two-year outreach campaign anchored by a three-part, national broadcast series on PBS (airing Jan. 4-6, 2010) that examines the science behind our emotions, the challenges to our well-being and the keys to leading happier lives. We are so excited to engage the Autism Speaks community in our campaign. Everyone who lives with autism understands what an emotional journey it can be. This campaign aims to provide individuals with resources to make that journey a little easier.
Spearheaded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s Vulcan Productions, the project includes the PBS series – which features compelling personal stories and cutting edge research, along with revealing insights from celebrities including Larry David, Alanis Morissette, Robert Kennedy Jr., Chevy Chase and Richard Gere – a dynamic and content-rich website, a national outreach campaign and educational toolkits created to support topics within the series.
The first show focuses on relationships – how they’re built and why they’re important to human happiness. One of the stories in this first show is about Jason, a 29-year old man with Asperger’s syndrome. Jason discusses his constant struggle reading others’ emotions and signals, making it difficult for him to form relationships. He shares his daily struggle to be successful in social situations, a common issue for people with autism spectrum disorders. His story offers viewers a glimpse into the difficulties and frustrations those living with autism often face in their everyday interactions. You can take a look at some of Jason’s story here:
The campaign will continue on for two years post-broadcast. Through our website, the distribution of our early childhood attachment and military family toolkits, and several other initiatives, we will continue to promote the mission of this project. We are partnering with great organizations such as the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, Mental Health America, the Mayo Clinic and the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration.
You can view the trailer and learn more about the program on the “This Emotional Life” web site.
It is our hope that this campaign will offer you and your families support – whether it is through relating to stories like Jason’s, or visiting our website and finding information, resources in your area, or support from people just like you.
For more information, go to www.pbs.org/thisemotionallife.