Autism America Radio Becomes Official Radio Program of National Nonprofit Autism Speaks -- First Show 6/16/12

LOS ANGELES, CA, Jun 13, 2012 -- After a year of autism lifestyle programming featuring autism stars Holly Robinson Peete, Temple Grandin, Ed Asner and many others, Autism America Radio became the official radio show of Autism Speaks on June 9, 2012. Autism Speaks is the world's leading autism science and advocacy organization.

Co-host Matt Asner, who has a sibling and a 9-year-old son with autism, teams up weekly with talk radio veteran Nick Geber to deliver a message of hope, and to provide the most up-to-date information on autism every Saturday from 3 - 5 p.m. PT on Sirius/XM Family Talk Channel 131.

Autism America began on one AM radio station in Los Angeles. It has since grown to be a nationally syndicated show, carried by multiple affiliates, and boasts over 14,000 Facebook fans. The growth of Autism America reflects autism's rise in prevalence of and need for more education, awareness and information for families impacted by the disorder. Today, an estimated 1 in 88 children in the U.S. is on the autism spectrum -- a 1000 percent increase in the past 40 years that is only partly explained by improved diagnosis.

As part of the new partnership, Autism America will air public service announcements to promote upcoming Walk Now for Autism Speaks events and provide information on resources available to families on www.AutismSpeaks.org, such as the Autism Speaks 100 Day, Transition, and Family Support Tool Kits; and Autism Resource Guide and Video Glossary.

Autism Speaks will provide interviews with experts from its Science and Family Services teams on the latest research and advocacy efforts, announce upcoming shows on its social networks, and post full podcasts of Autism America on the official Autism Speaks Blogtalk radio channel at www.blogtalkradio.com/autismspeaks .

"This isn't some dry show. It is an autism town hall where our listeners drive the show as much as we do," says Matt Asner, an entertainment industry veteran and advocate within the autism community who serves as Autism Speaks executive director for Southern California. "It provides a forum for parents and individuals affected by autism to have their voices heard and engage in an ongoing dialog about the issues they're dealing with on a daily basis."

Says Nick Geber, "Autism America admires the growth of Autism Speaks as the leader in autism awareness, advocacy and research, and the success of this show is one more step in our goal of developing a full time radio network dedicated to special needs."

"When I saw this project I realized that we had a unique opportunity to be the first to provide a radio forum for people affected by autism," adds Executive Producer Rob Bleck.

"We are excited by our new partnership with Autism America. The show has a refreshingly candid and often humorous approach that is relatable to many people within the autism community," says Marc Sirkin, VP Social Marketing & Online Fundraising of Autism Speaks. "At the same time, it is an excellent source of autism news and information, and features a variety of guests with compelling stories to tell."

For questions during Autism America Radio, listeners may call 800-679-7650 (toll-free), or tweet to @autismamericar. 

Visit the Autism America Radio page on the Autism Speaks web site for upoming and archived shows.

About Autism
Autism is a general term used to describe a group of complex developmental brain disorders -- autism spectrum disorders -- caused by a combination of genes and environmental influences. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by social and behavioral challenges, as well as repetitive behaviors. An estimated 1 in 88 children in the U.S. is on the autism spectrum -- a 1000 percent increase in the past 40 years that is only partly explained by improved diagnosis.

About Autism America Radio
Autism America Radio gives an informative and entertaining view of the world of Autism Spectrum Disorders co-hosted by Nick Geber and Matthew Asner. www.facebook.com/AutismAmerica www.autismamerica.org.

About Autism Speaks
Autism Speaks is the world's leading autism science and advocacy organization. It is dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. Autism Speaks was founded in February 2005 by Suzanne and Bob Wright, the grandparents of a child with autism. Mr. Wright is the former vice chairman of General Electric and chief executive officer of NBC and NBC Universal. Since its inception, Autism Speaks has committed over $180 million to research and developing innovative resources for families. Each year Walk Now for Autism Speaks events are held in more than 95 cities across North America. To learn more about Autism Speaks, please visit www.autismspeaks.org.