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NBC Networks to Focus on Autism
NAAR Research Highlighted
February 17, 2005

The networks of NBC are scheduled to devote special coverage to autism during the week of February 21, with segments airing on NBC's Today Show and the Nightly News with Brian Williams, on CNBC's Power Lunch and Closing Bell and on MSNBC and Telemundo.

NAAR co-founder Eric London and several investigators participating in NAAR-funded research programs were interviewed for the programming, which covers a wide variety of topics, including autism awareness, advocacy, research, treatment and the impact autism has on families.

The week long series, "Autism: The Hidden Epidemic?", will air on several programs in the NBC broadcasting family. NBC's Today Show will feature daily segments on autism airing Feb. 21 – 25. CNBC's Power Lunch is featuring a total of five segments on autism airing Feb. 22 – 25; CNBC will re-broadcast three of these segments on the program Closing Bell –which is also airing a special segment on autism. Telemundo is scheduled to re-broadcast the segments produced for the Today Show, where they will be translated into Spanish. In addition, Telemundo will present an autism special, “Autismo: Epidemia Silenciosa?” on February 26 at 7 p.m. (EST).

MSNBC, MSNBC.com, and NBC's Nightly News with Brian Williams are also scheduled to focus on autism during the week of Feb. 21.

Several NAAR-funded researchers have been interviewed for segments on NBC and CNBC, including Dr. Fred Volkmar and Dr. Ami Klin, of the Yale Child Study Center; Dr. Jim Sutcliffe and Dr. Wendy Stone, of Vanderbilt University; Dr. Joseph Buxbaum, of Mt. Sinai Medical Center; Dr. Geraldine Dawson, of the University of Washington; and Dr. Rebecca Landa, of Kennedy Krieger Institute.

NBC crews also taped footage of a meeting attended by the leadership of several national autism organizations, including NAAR. Glenn R. Tringali, NAAR's Chief Executive Officer, took part in this meeting and his comments may be featured on the Today Show broadcast set for Friday, Feb. 25.

Also, NAAR Honorary Board member Dan Marino and his family will be featured on the Today Show on Tuesday, Feb. 22 at approximately 9:10 a.m. (EST). The segment focuses on treatments and the benefits of early intervention.

In addition, the “Learn the Signs, Act Early” awareness program, sponsored by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) may also be featured on NBC. The CDC plans to launch the program on Feb. 21. NAAR and other autism organizations have partnered with the CDC on the development and launch of the “Learn the Signs” program.

NAAR will also be listed on the Today Show website, (www.autism.msnbc.com) which will feature web links for parents and families facing autism and the general public.

NAAR thanks NBC, CNBC, MSNBC and Telemundo for focusing on autism and promoting awareness of the disorder, which occurs in as many as one in 166 births, and extends a special thank you to NBC Chairman Bob Wright, who is scheduled to announce a new autism campaign on the NBC's Today Show and CNBC's Power Lunch on Friday, February 25.

On Friday, February 25, Mr. Wright and his wife, Suzanne, are scheduled to appear on the Today Show to launch Autism Speaks, a new foundation created to raise awareness of and find a cure for autism. The Wrights will discuss how autism has touched their family since their eldest grandson was diagnosed a year ago at age two; and how they've been inspired by the determination of the autism community.

The Today Show segments on NBC will air at approximately 8:10 a.m. and 9:10 a.m. (EST). The Power Lunch segments on CNBC will air during the program, which begins at 12 p.m. (EST) and be rebroadcast on CNBC's Closing Bell, which begins at 3 p.m. (EST). See below for broadcast schedules and program topics.

Broadcast schedule (subject to change):

Monday, Feb. 21

NBC's Today Show @ 8:10 and 9:10 a.m. (EST)

About autism, early detection, intervention and potential causes

Tuesday, Feb. 22

NBC's Today Show @ 8:10 and 9:10 a.m. (EST)

Diagnosis, treatment and early intervention success stories

CNBC's Power Lunch @ 12:30 p.m. (EST)

Paying the emotional and financial price (this segment will be rebroadcast on CNBC's Closing Bell at 4:30 p.m. EST)

Wednesday, Feb. 23

NBC's Today Show @ 8:10 and 9:10 a.m. (EST)

Educational/behavioral treatments and emotional aspects of autism

CNBC's Power Lunch @ 12:30 p.m. (EST)

Funding and research (this segment will be rebroadcast on CNBC's Closing Bell at 4:30 p.m. EST)

Thursday, Feb. 24

NBC's Today Show @ 8:10 and 9:10 a.m. (EST)

Advocacy and working with school districts

CNBC's Power Lunch @ 12:30 p.m. (EST)

New opportunities in autism and how businesses are meeting the needs of the autism community (this segment will be rebroadcast on CNBC's Closing Bell at 4:30 p.m. EST)

CNBC's Closing Bell @ 4:30 p.m. (EST)

Aspergers in the Workplace – a profile of one professional

Friday, Feb. 25

NBC's Today Show @ 8:10 and 9:10 a.m. (EST)

Adults with autism and advocacy within the autism community; NBC Universal Chairman Bob Wright and his wife, Suzanne, announce the formation of Autism Speaks, a new foundation aimed at raising awareness and finding a cure.

CNBC's Power Lunch - part I @ 12:30 p.m.; part II @ 1:30 p.m. (EST)

Part I: Autism in the workplace, teaching teens with autism real job skills; Part II: NBC Universal Chairman Bob Wright announces the formation of Autism Speaks, a new foundation aimed at raising awareness and finding a cure. (one of these segments will be rebroadcast on CNBC's Closing Bell at 4:30 p.m. EST)

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