Autism Awareness

Last Updated by Tom Axtell on
Tom Axtell
Tom Axtell, General Manager

Vegas PBS offers programs that provide an in-depth look at the issues affecting our community. During this National Autism Awareness Month, we focus on a condition that affects one out of every 68 children in our community.

Our television and cable programming, media resource library, and outreach partners will work together to increase autism awareness, foster autism acceptance, and highlight resources in our community. The programs this month include Children and Autism: Time Is Brain, which examines the challenges faced by families raising children with autism and discusses diagnosis, early intervention and treatment. Autism: Coming of Age follows three adults with autism including their families and support systems. In POV’s Best Kept Secret, educators in a New Jersey public school work to secure resources for their students with severe autism before they graduate and age out of the system. Reel South:Tommy! The Dreams I Keep Inside Me presents a touching story of a 60-year-old man with autism, his remarkable voice and a life-long dream of signing with a big band. 

On PBS Kids, Arthur features a week of episodes with Carl, a character with autism. Carl sees the world differently and has different routines than his friends, but they are great pals and learn a lot from each other.

Additionally, we will offer teachers and caregivers the new Thomas & Friends Autism Educator Toolkit to support PreK-3rd grade students with autism.The toolkit was developed with autism education experts, piloted with educators, and specifically designed to tap into students' special interests in the world of Thomas to support their social, regulation and communication development. 

The toolkits are available in the Vegas PBS Described and Captioned Media Center (DCMC). This library originally housed captioned or audio described videos for deaf, hard of hearing, blind or vision impaired children, but we soon learned that the sign language materials were frequently used by children with certain Autism Spectrum Disorders, as sign language may be their preferred method of communication. Our library expanded to include a variety of books and learning tools that address autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, sensory processing disorders, language delay, and social skills, based on requests from parents, educators and community partners including Nevada Early Intervention Services, Positively Kids, Easter Seals of Southern Nevada, Families for the Affective Treatment of Autism (FEAT), Boystown of Southern Nevada, and Henderson Parks and Recreation Therapeutic Recreation and Inclusion Services, to name only a few.

Member donations support the inspirational and educational programming you see on Vegas PBS. Because of this support, we are then able to secure corporate, foundation and government grant funds that allow us to partner with essential educational and nonprofit service providers to ensure greater resources and supportive services for all individuals in our community. 

General Manager
Tom Axtell



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