Wednesday, February 23, 2005


Newsweek Article

The current issue (February 28) of Newsweek has a cover story about autism and specifically new studies into early detection. There's a pretty good overview of autism spectrum disorders and some related sidebar stories, as well. It turns out the Vice-Chairman of GE and President of NBC Universal's grandson was diagnosed with autism and he was in a unique position to bring a great deal of attention to the disorder (NBC owns Newsweek, as well). In addition to the article, this week will also feature stories on various NBC network stations including the Today Show, NBC Nightly News, MSNBC daily at 10:30 a.m. ET, and CNBC's Power Lunch and Closing Bell. A schedule and summary of programs can be found at MSNBC. He and his wife have also started an organization, Autism Speaks, to help increase awareness of autism.

If you'll allow me a little griping (hey, it's what I do best), it's a shame that it takes this disease affecting someone rich and powerful to get the media to pay attention and when you read the statistics on how pervasive it's become over the last two decades, you'll be shocked, too. But I guess anything that helps is a good thing so I'll swallow my bitch reflex and just be glad it's being addressed now in the mainstream media.

Also, the front-runner for Best Short Documentary Film in this year's Oscars (airing Sunday), is about an autistic adult. It's called "Autism Is a World" and was written by Sue Rubin, now 26, who communicates with the world by typing rather than speaking. Join us in rooting for it to win so even more attention can be garnered for autism awareness.

The article is also available online.

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