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Autism Resolutions: New Routine, Path & Hope

PBS Presents "This Emotional Life." Asperger's Segment Included.

This emotional lifeThis Emotional Life airs January 4 - 6 on PBS. Check your local listings. From PBS:

How can we all lead more emotionally healthy and fulfilling lives?   What’s the secret – and is there a secret – to emotional and mental well-being, and happiness, according to those who study it and those who experience it?  It turns out that connecting with others may be a huge part of it.   But for many children and adults who have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders – including Asperger’s syndrome – connecting with others can be a constant challenge. 
 
The upcoming series, This Emotional Life (January 4-6, 2010) examines happiness, social connections, and mental resilience – and includes the story of Jason, a 29-year-old man with Asperger’s syndrome.   In this clip from first episode of the series, Jason shares insight about his trouble connecting with other people:  (Watch HERE.)
 
Here’s a Q&A from Dyllan McGee, executive producer from Kunhardt McGee Productions and one of the show’s executive producers, about why the series is important, what’s in it, and how it can help people live more fulfilling lives.  Here’s the trailer:  (Watch HERE.)
 
Q:  Why did you think it was important to produce a series like this now?

A:   This is the first time a TV experience has really probed deeply into the entire life cycle and range of complex emotional issues that impact all people.  Research now shows us that the real key to happiness and resilience doesn’t lie in what we own or buy, but it is made up of so many social attachments and our perspectives on scenarios, among other things.  That’s incredibly powerful information to know and to share with others – particularly during a time like this when so many people are really suffering from a lot of stress and anxiety due to the economy. 

Q:   Why did you want to include a story about someone who has been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome?

A:   So much of our series is focused on the idea that happiness and emotional satisfaction are linked with the quality of our attachments and connections with other people.  We wanted to showcase stories about interesting people – like Jason, who has been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome – who experience challenges in making these kinds of connections.  We wanted to explore and highlight the kind of social and family support that’s so important to people like Jason in our society.   He shared some important things about his life and experiences – like his difficulty reading people’s emotions, and how that impacts his relationships.  The whole point is to raise awareness and start conversations – and we’re grateful to Jason and his family for sharing their story.
 
Q:  Do you think the show can help people? 

A:   Absolutely – our main goal in producing this project was to help people.  We included a great cross-section of the latest science, interesting insight from well-known entertainers and writers, and a lot of inspiring and thought-provoking stories from real people in extraordinary situations. 
 
Online:
 
Check out the “Perspectives” feature of the This Emotional Life Web site, with video clips, behind-the-scenes interviews, and blogs from celebrities, experts, and amazing real people featured in the project.  From autism to happiness to PTSD and resilience, “Perspectives” connects people with stories and conditions and expert insight that’s only available here.  www.pbs.org/thisemotionallife/perspectives
 
Follow the project on Facebook:  www.Facebook.com/ThisEmotionalLife
 
PBS on Facebook and Twitter:  www.Facebook.com/PBS  and www.twitter.com/pbs

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eyes now opened

Do you think the show can help people??? Really? That's your question? Hopefully just an easy setup for them to talk about the show :) It absolutely can help people - speaking from experience! An amazing show/study!

Stagmom for Lois

Hi, Lois. Kim here. Folks, I had the pleasure of meeting Jason, and hearing him read some of his poetry, a couple of years ago. It takes great courage to put yourself into the public eye like he did. Our work at Age of Autism matters not only for young children, but for adults like Jason, who, despite having a much higher functioning version of autism from many of our kids, still face tremendous struggles and who have Moms like Lois who love and care for them very much. That was a painfully long sentence, but you get the idea!

Lois Ross

I am Jason's mom. My family and I were very excited to have the opportunity to be part of the series "This Emotional Life." Jason was thrilled that he was chosen to tell his story of the struggles and successes he has to face everyday. Jason is very determined to help and educate people about Aspergers. His hope is that through this special it will be a beginning for people to have a better understanding of adults who live with Aspergers. There is very little about living in the adult world and navigating through a neurotypical society.
Jason's website is www.drivemomcrazy.com if anyone would like to contact him.
Lois Ross

Lyndsey

Part one of this show last night was so good. So much to think about and very well done. Thank you for posting the info about it!

quiet in the south

One of the things I have noticed in my older sons peer group( 19 to 21) is the incredible amount of boys who are abusing drugs. I feel they are poor methylators (like both of my sons) that didn't receive as many shots but are damaged enough that they feel difficulty making social connections so use drugs to calm their anxiety and make it easier to fit in. Unfortunately for my younger son born in 94 he was injured enough to be apart of the spectrum. just an observation. You wonder where this is all leading. My son is doing incredible and no one would no he is on the spectrum but making friends with his peers has been his biggest struggle and the most heartbreaking to watch.

jen

wow!, that's one of those things, that when you see it, you wonder to yourself why hasn't this been done before? (kind of like proper vaccine safety studies!) Our family will try and watch it all.

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