Wednesday, September 24, 2008

WUIS and Illinois Issues produce program on autism

Public Radio WUIS 91.9 and Illinois Issues magazine are joining together to present a special Illinois Edition focusing on autism. The program will air Friday, September 26, at 6:30 p.m. with a rebroadcast on Saturday, September 27, at 6:30 a.m. Amanda Vinicky (at left), WUIS Statehouse reporter, and Bethany Jaeger (below, right), Illinois Issues Statehouse bureau chief, produced the program, which takes a look at the progressive and unique life challenges that autistic children and their parents face.

During the program, three families affected by autism relate how they get schools to meet children's special needs, how they cope with awkward social situations, and how challenges change as the children grow and become adults. Listeners will also hear from an expert on special education law, who discusses new tools that may help kids transition through life phases, and a representative of the HOPE Institute/The Autism Program (TAP), who shares the effects of music therapy.

According to the Autism Society of America, "Autism is a complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life and affects a person's ability to communicate and interact with others." The effects differ from child to child, which is why the term 'autism spectrum' is often used.

"The Spectrum," an article on autism written by Jaeger, appears in the September 2008 edition of Illinois Issues.

Illinois Issues is a not-for-profit monthly publication dedicated to providing analysis of public policy in Illinois with a special focus on state government and politics. UIS is a listener-supported National Public Radio (NPR) affiliate with the mission of satisfying a curious, societally engaged audience through programming and community outreach. Both Illinois Issues and WUIS are units of the Center for State Policy and Leadership at the University of Illinois at Springfield.

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