Friday, February 15, 2008

Sundance Channel Features Autism Every Day on April 2, World Autism Awareness Day

PR Newswire announces that The Sundance Channel will be airing the Autism Every Day video on World Autism Day, April 2. The neurodiversity movement, always angry at those who disagree with its "autism is beautiful" philosophy, has an irrational hostility toward the Autism Every Day video and its creator Lauren Thierry. But many parents of autistic children, including me, appreciate the video's honest portrayal of the challenges presented by autism disorders and the impact on the lives of the children with the disorder and the parents who love them and care for them. Lauren Thierry, Autism Speaks, Robert Redford and the Sundance organization deserve applause for presenting the hard realities of autism to the world.

NEW YORK, Feb. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Sundance Channel will present the U.S. television premiere of Lauren Thierry's documentary Autism Every Day on April 2, 2008, which has been designated World Autism Awareness Day by the United Nations. The film, which debuted at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival, documents a typical 24-hour day in the lives of eight families struggling to raise children with autism. Autism Every Day premieres on April 2nd at 8:00pm et/pt.

Autism is a complex brain disorder that inhibits a person's ability to communicate and develop social relationships, and is often accompanied by extreme behavioral challenges. There is no cure for autism and the symptoms can range from quite mild to very severe. Autism rates are increasing throughout the world. In the United States, diagnoses have increased tenfold in the last decade, affecting 1 in 150 children according to the Centers for Disease Control. Autism's cause remains unknown, and there is currently no test to help prevent it. Addressing the disorder as a global health issue, the General Assembly of the United Nations has designated April 2nd as World Autism Awareness Day in perpetuity, starting in 2008. On April 2nd, U.N. member nations will seek to raise society's awareness of autism through education and celebration.

With Autism Every Day, director Lauren Thierry (who is herself the mother of a child with autism) illuminates the struggles parents of children with autism face every moment of the day. Thierry goes inside the homes of eight diverse families doing their best to cope with a perplexing disorder that completely dominates their lives. Autism Every Day shows how developmental skills that most parents take for granted -- a child's ability to brush his teeth or communicate a need -- can prove enormous hurdles for an autistic child. At the same, Thierry's film captures the unconditional, powerful love these parents feel for their children and their determination to provide them with the best care possible. Autism Every Day was produced by Autism Speaks, the nation's largest advocacy organization.


Autism Speaks is dedicated to increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders, to funding research into the causes, prevention and treatments for autism, and to advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. It was founded in February 2005 by Suzanne and Bob Wright, the grandparents of a child with autism. Bob Wright is Vice Chairman, General Electric, and served as chief executive officer of NBC for more than twenty years. To learn more about Autism Speaks, please visit


Under the creative direction of Robert Redford, Sundance Channel is the television destination for independent-minded viewers seeking something different. Bold, uncompromising and irreverent, Sundance Channel offers audiences a diverse and engaging selection of films, documentaries, and original programs, all unedited and commercial free. Launched in 1996, Sundance Channel is a venture of NBC Universal, Showtime Networks Inc. and Robert Redford. Sundance Channel operates independently of the non-profit Sundance Institute and the Sundance Film Festival, but shares the overall Sundance mission of encouraging artistic freedom of expression. Sundance Channel's website address is

Sundance Channel
Press Contacts: Sarah Eaton Sundance Channel 212-708-8043 Katie Lanegran Sundance Channel 212-708-8044

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