Nick News Explores the Private Worlds of Autism

Nick News with Linda Ellerbee PRIVATE WORLDS: KIDS AND AUTISM Airs Sunday,

April 22 at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT on Nickelodeon

Mar 29, 2007, 01:00 ET from Nickelodeon

    NEW YORK, March 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, an estimated one in 150 kids
 is diagnosed with autism. Imagine being disconnected from the world around
 you; not being able to make sense of some things you see, hear, smell and
 touch; needing something and not being able to express yourself. The
 award-winning Nick News with Linda Ellerbee takes a look at the lives of
 kids struggling with different levels of autism in Private Worlds: Kids and
 Autism premiering Sunday, April 22 at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT on Nickelodeon.
     "Autism is not a mental illness. It's not contagious, and it's not a
 choice; and while kids with autism have been described as living in their
 own private worlds," Ellerbee said, "they are also living in our world.
 Therein lies the challenge for all of us: How do we live differently
     Private Worlds: Kids and Autism begins with the story of Andrew, a
 severely autistic fifth grader. It's difficult to understand what life is
 like for Andrew because he can't communicate his feelings. His family can't
 go places or do things with out considering his needs, or without worrying
 he might do something inappropriate in public. Though Andrew will never get
 entirely better, the family is doing what it can to make his life as full
 as possible.
     The special also introduces viewers to Bond, a 15-year-old with
 Aspergers Syndrome, generally considered a more high functioning form of
 autism. He's smart and articulate, but still has problems socializing.
 Temple Grandin tells her amazing story through her groundbreaking books
 about being autistic, and implores kids not to tease their autistic
 classmates. Matt is fourteen and has "Savant Syndrome," which means he
 possesses an extraordinary gift, in his case, the ability to play the
 piano. "Savant syndrome" is rare, but it happens.
     A final segment highlights how other kids can be a part of the lives
 and worlds of kids with autism. We meet kids who are part of a special
 hockey program where kids with autism play with typical kids. Their story
 shows us that kids with autism have a lot to offer as friends. Private
 Worlds also features commentary from kids who are not autistic, but speak
 about what it's like to be around kids who are.
     Nick News with Linda Ellerbee, which recently celebrated its 15th year
 on the air, is the longest-running kids' news show in television history,
 and has built its reputation on the respectful and direct way it speaks to
 kids about important issues of the day. In 2005, it won the Emmy for
 Outstanding Children's Programming for From the Holocaust to the Sudan. In
 2002, "Faces of Hope: The Kids of Afghanistan," won the Emmy for
 Outstanding Children's Programming. In 1994, the entire series, Nick News
 with Linda Ellerbee, won the Emmy for Outstanding Children's Programming.
 In 1998, "What Are You Staring At?" a program about kids with physical
 disabilities, won the Emmy for Outstanding Children's Programming. Nick
 News with Linda Ellerbee has received more than 20 Emmy nominations. Nick
 News, produced by Lucky Duck Productions, is also the recipient of three
 Peabody Awards, including a personal one given to Ellerbee for her
 coverage, for kids, of the President Clinton impeachment; two Columbia
 duPont Awards; and more than a dozen Parents' Choice Awards.
     Nickelodeon, in its 28th year, is the number-one entertainment brand
 for kids. It has built a diverse, global business by putting kids first in
 everything it does. The company includes television programming and
 production in the United States and around the world, plus consumer
 products, online, recreation, books, magazines and feature films.
 Nickelodeon's U.S. television network is seen in almost 92 million
 households and has been the number-one-rated basic cable network for almost
 12 consecutive years. Nickelodeon and all related titles, characters and
 logos are trademarks of Viacom Inc. (NYSE:   VIA, VIA.B).

SOURCE Nickelodeon