The End of Autism Awareness Month

May 03, 2011

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As the 2011 autism awareness month came to a close – a major TV series took center stage. The PBS Autism Now series has been a wonderful and monumental effort on the state of autism.  It is a raw, real and insightful look into the autism epidemic.  The series portrays many current views into the world of autism while highlighting the enormous need and challenges families continue to face.

The six part series (in 15 minute increments) is available online at http://www.pbs.org/newshour/news/autism/ .

I recommend families watch this amazing effort by Robert MacNeil and his family, and then share the series with friends and families of their own.   Thousands of TACA families have walked an amazingly similar path to that of Robert MacNeil, his daughter and his grandson Nick.

The Autism Now series made the very complex story of autism easy for the "unaffected" to comprehend the scale and scope of the autism epidemic.  Autism affects 1 in 91 children in the U.S.  What is clear from this series is that autism needs more attention and the status quo is not working.  Hundreds of thousands of families are counting on what we do today to drive change for the future.

My dream is that every political representative, physician and pediatrician be required to watch each of these six episodes before they check into their next day of work.  The question remains: what next?

As Autism Awareness Month comes to a close, these words ring through my mind - A society is judged by how we handle our sick, our elderly and our disabled.  After seeing this landmark series, what will Americans do?  How will America be judged?

Please share your comments on the series with PBS and the MacNeil family.  They need our support, our thanks and our continued efforts to educate and hopefully drive change for families living with autism.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=je2_naPLbvk]