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Monday, November 5, 2012

The Autism Channel

Previous posts have discussed portrayals of autism in the mass mediaIn Orlando, The Sun-Sentinel reports on The Autism Channel:
The comedic commentator has Asperger's. So does the talk show host. The daily news segment spotlights developments in the world of autism. And the families at the heart of the "At Home" reality show? All have kids with an autism spectrum disorder.
This is The Autism Channel, beamed from South Florida and offering news, entertainment, expert advice and real-world analysis, aimed at a unique audience: families living with autism.
Produced by Flying Pig Ranch Studios in West Palm Beach, the free programming is available 24 hours a day through a Roku video-streaming box connected to your television, and its creators say it's coming soon to smart TVs and Blu-ray devices.
"It can be informative, it can be entertaining, it can be a just a little bit of empathy to say, 'Hey, this is what we're going through. You're not alone,'" said Daniel Heinlein, an articulate Chicago-area 25-year-old with Asperger's and host of the channel's flagship show, "I Am Autistic."
Many of those featured hail from South Florida — including hosts like Coconut Creek pediatrician Dr. Judith Aronson-Ramos and comedian/singer Michael Garvin of Boca Raton, and guests like the Palm Beach School for Autism.
But since autism has no borders, all the programming is intended for a global audience, to help guide families through the joys, struggles, challenges and possibilities that come with an autism diagnosis, those involved say.
All you need is a Roku box (available from $49 and up) to choose from a menu of about 10 taped Autism Channel programs and watch them any time you choose.