VH1 CLASSIC Battling to Understand Autism
By BroadCasting & Cable Staff -- Broadcasting & Cable, 6/22/2008 8:00:00 PM
Next month, VH1 will salute The Who at its annual “Rock Honors” Los Angeles concert bash. Proceeds will largely benefit long-standing charities supported by lead singer Roger Daltrey, guitarist Pete Townshend, and VH1's own Save the Music Foundation. But there's a fourth charity listed on the menu: VH1 Classic's Rock Autism.
“Autism is one of these [hot-button] topics, and there is a lot of passion there,” says Tom Calderone, executive VP and general manager of VH1.
Calderone also oversees VH1 Classic, which started the campaign last year. “We were looking for a pro-social issue for VH1 Classic, and people who work on Classic kept saying, 'This is important to me.' And our demographic is 30-plus, people who are having families, and unfortunately the numbers for autism keep growing.”
Given the political heat surrounding autism—issues such as vaccines and the different philosophies of families from opposite ends of the wide-ranging autism spectrum—Calderone acknowledges that this was a complex cause to take up.
But the network was not in the least intimidated.
“We know it's complicated and there's no instant gratification,” he says. “But we're in it for the long haul.”
The positive result is it has forced the network to listen to all sides of the issue.
“It has made us smarter and we have taken a groundswell approach,” Calderone says. “We want to provide guidance and help.”
The goal has been for VH1 Classic to support many autism organizations by raising money for supplies and other needs (many autism schools are underfunded, Calderone says), while becoming a clearinghouse of information and a community for parents through an active Website.
The network has also put recognizable faces on the campaign, from Dee Snyder to Daltrey, and plans to film a new round of PSAs at the Rock Honors concert. It is also working with bands on donating portions of ticket sales to the campaign.
“Sometimes people just feel alone and don't know where to turn. We say, 'You may want to try this or that,'” Calderone says. But in addition to giving them information, VH1 also hopes to give them a voice through the social networking side of the Website: “These parents want to be heard, too.”
5 out of the 6 members have an intellectual disability in Rudely Interrupted. 2 have Aspergers and they choose to sing about their difference in life and put music to their feelings.. Watch them soar to the hearts and minds of people all over the world.. United Nations Dec 3rd 2008
rohan brooks - 8/20/2008 9:38:00 AM EDT
I have Asperger's Syndrome, which is on the higher functioning end of the autism spectrum. People with Asperger Syndrome usually experience:
* Difficulty knowing what to say or how to behave in social situations. Many have a tendency to say the â€œwrong thing.â€ They may appear awkward or rude, and unintentionally upset others.
* Trouble with â€œtheory of mind,â€ that is, trouble perceiving the intentions or emotions of other people, due to a tendency to ignore or misinterpret such cues as facial expression, body language, and vocal intonation.
* Slower than average auditory, visual, or intellectual processing, which can contribute to difficulties keeping up in a range of social settingsâ€”a class, a soccer game, a party.
* Challenges with â€œexecutive functioning,â€ that is, organizing, initiating, analyzing, prioritizing, and completing tasks.
* A tendency to focus on the details of a given situation and miss the big picture.
* Intense, narrow, time-consuming personal interest(s) â€” sometimes eccentric in nature â€” that may result in social isolation, or interfere with the completion of everyday tasks. (On the other hand, some interests can lead to social connection and even careers. For example, there are children and adults with an encyclopedic knowledge of vacuum cleaners.)
* Inflexibility and resistance to change. Change may trigger anxiety, while familiar objects, settings, and routines offer reassurance. One result is difficulty transitioning from one activity to another: from one class to another, from work time to lunch, from talking to listening. Moving to a new school, new town, or new social role can be an enormous challenge.
* Feeling somehow different and disconnected from the rest of the world and not â€œfitting inâ€â€”sometimes called â€œwrong planetâ€ syndrome.
* Extreme sensitivityâ€”or relative insensitivityâ€”to sights, sounds, smells, tastes, or textures. Many people outgrow these sensory issues at least to some extent as they mature.
* Vulnerability to stress, sometimes escalating to psychological or emotional problems including low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive behaviors.
Thank you, Roger, for supporting a cause close to my heart! I love you!
Sara Novelli - 8/13/2008 7:51:00 AM EDT
I am a parent with a child living with autism and to read how artist care about a disability that no one understands is comfronting. I was lucky to have family and friends support me in the beginning until now but many families who don't have that kind of support need help. Many people are unkind or nervous around a child with autism because too many negative ideas are out there, such as talk show host saying, children with autism are just brats. No one understands the parents struggle with the child who doesn't understand what he/she is doing. We try to help our kids in anyway, any therapy, and sometimes through meds.(not I, I don't believe in it). Its a hard but rewarding life, for me I wouldn't know any other to be without my son. He is my golden sunshine and I love him for who he is which he is perfect in my eyes no matter the struggles we endure through autism.
Thank you to all artist of VH1 Classics who help us.
Tina Sawaked - 7/22/2008 8:59:00 AM EDT
No related content found.
No Top Articles