On April 2, 2018, World Autism Awareness Day, KVCR aired the following informative specials focused on Autism:
Spectrum: A Story of the Mind - Take a journey into the rich sensory experience of autism. Imagine a world where words taste and thoughts feel, where sounds swell with color and leaves on trees change tones visible to the naked eye, and where eye contact with another can cause physical pain.
"Spectrum: A Story of the Mind" explores autism through the lens of diverse characters on the spectrum.
Dr. Temple Grandin, the most well-known autistic person in the world, breaks down the link between autism and sensory experiences. Her descriptions are illustrated with vivid character animation. In childhood, Temple’s sensory sensitivities were severe; a simple hug felt like a tidal wave of stimulation. The sound of rain could be described as loud as bullets. Others experience visual sensitivity like seeing flickering in fluorescent lights in a classroom or having sensory overload that creates a kaleidoscopic chaos.
Grandin explains that sensory issues originate in the brain processing – not in the eyes or in the ears. She believes these issues should be a primary focus for autism research. Understanding sensory perception could make a big impact on the lives of autistic kids and adults.
Autism: Behind the Camera - This program focuses on young adults with autism and the resources needed when students with autism "age out" of high school. It highlights one vocational program within the film industry trying to change the unemployable outcome for autistic individuals.
The documentary is not just about employment, a topic in the autism community that is all consuming; nor is it about the hardship of aging out of high school. It's about hope - the hope that individual with autism can advance in the working world when given the opportunity.
Autism: Looking Forward - California unemployment is currently averaging about 8%, however for adults on the autism spectrum, their unemployment rate is estimated 80%. There are currently more than 15,000 adults with an Autism Spectrum Disorder in California and an estimated 60,000 children expected to reach adulthood within the next ten years. Autism: Looking Forward will discuss this issue and explore new models and ideas to address the problem and share opportunities for employment and vocational options for adults with ASD. The program will also discuss the issues that families with ASD face when traveling. Travelling by air can be stressful for any family with children, but for families with children with autism the challenges are compounded by extreme behaviors, high anxiety and sensitivity to changes in routine, different smells, sights and other changes in their environment.
Aging Out: Autism in Montana - Each year, more children are diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, but the framework of care drastically changes for them after adolescence. In 2000, only one in 150 children were diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, but that rate increased to one in 68 by 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The wave of children aging out of the school system and transitioning into adulthood leaves many people on a search for help and structure. Rural Montana families have fewer alternatives to create a plan for the future. Dianne Booth and her family are a prime example of that.
Reed Point’s Dianne and Jim Booth worry about the future of their son with the programs available to them right now. Their son Logan, 22, is nonverbal and will never be able to live on his own. Coming from rural Montana, Dianne and Jim want Logan to stay in an agricultural setting for him to continue the lifestyle he has grown up with, but they are struggling with a lack of options. Follow the Booths and other Montana families as they recognize their fears and try to piece together a plan for the future.
Generation A: Portraits of Autism and the Arts - Autism: Disability or Gift? Generation A: Portraits of Autism and the Arts is a powerful depiction of the daily challenges faced by young people on the autism spectrum, and what creative therapies and art programs are available to stimulate the brain and help young people on the autism spectrum reach their highest potential.
Through eight compelling portraits, Generation A celebrates the talents of youths with autism, and provides them with a platform to speak openly about their struggles, as well as their hopes and dreams.
Viewers will examine how creative therapies and art programs in music, dance, art, animation, and more are being applied to stimulate the brain, encourage meaningful connections and social interaction, enhance speech and language, and build self-esteem.