Thursday, March 29, 2007

Nick News takes a look at Autism and Asperger Syndrome and Definition and the stuggles kids face

Today, an estimated one in 150 kids is diagnosed with autism. Imagine being disconnected from the world around you; not being able to make sense of some things you see, hear, smell and touch; needing something and not being able to express yourself. The award-winning Nick News with Linda Ellerbee takes a look at the lives of kids struggling with different levels of autism in Private Worlds: Kids and Autism premiering Sunday, April 22 at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT on Nickelodeon.
"Autism is not a
mental illness. It's not contagious, and it's not a choice; and while kids with autism have been described as living in their own private worlds," Ellerbee said, "they are also living in our world. Therein lies the challenge for all of us: How do we live differently together?"
Private Worlds: Kids and Autism begins with the story of Andrew, a severely autistic fifth grader. It's difficult to understand what life is like for Andrew because he can't communicate his feelings. His family can't go places or do things with out considering his needs, or without worrying he might do something inappropriate in public. Though Andrew will never get entirely better, the family is doing what it can to make his life as full as possible.
The special also introduces viewers to Bond, a 15-year-old with Aspergers Syndrome, generally considered a more high functioning form of autism. He's smart and articulate, but still has problems socializing. Temple Grandin tells her amazing story through her groundbreaking books about being autistic, and implores kids not to tease their autistic classmates. Matt is fourteen and has "Savant Syndrome," which means he possesses an extraordinary gift, in his case, the ability to play the piano. "Savant syndrome" is rare, but it happens.
A final segment highlights how other kids can be a part of the lives and worlds of kids with autism. We meet kids who are part of a special hockey program where kids with autism play with typical kids. Their story shows us that kids with autism have a lot to offer as friends. Private Worlds also features commentary from kids who are not autistic, but speak about what it's like to be around kids who are.
Nick News with Linda Ellerbee, which recently celebrated its 15th year on the air, is the longest-running kids' news show in television history, and has built its reputation on the respectful and direct way it speaks to kids about important issues of the day. In 2005, it won the Emmy for Outstanding Children's Programming for From the Holocaust to the Sudan. In 2002, "Faces of Hope: The Kids of Afghanistan," won the Emmy for Outstanding Children's Programming. In 1994, the entire series, Nick News with Linda Ellerbee, won the Emmy for Outstanding Children's Programming. In 1998, "What Are You Staring At?" a program about kids with physical disabilities, won the Emmy for Outstanding Children's Programming. Nick News with Linda Ellerbee has received more than 20 Emmy nominations. Nick News, produced by Lucky Duck Productions, is also the recipient of three Peabody Awards, including a personal one given to Ellerbee for her coverage, for kids, of the President Clinton impeachment; two Columbia duPont Awards; and more than a dozen Parents' Choice Awards.
Nickelodeon, in its 28th year, is the number-one entertainment brand for kids. It has built a diverse, global business by putting kids first in everything it does. The company includes television programming and production in the United States and around the world, plus consumer products, online, recreation, books, magazines and feature films. Nickelodeon's U.S. television network is seen in almost 92 million households and has been the number-one-rated basic cable network for almost 12 consecutive years. Nickelodeon and all related titles, characters and logos are trademarks of Viacom Inc. .
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