I admit that I’m not always a fan of MTV programming, but I applaud what they aired on March 18th. The program True Life: I’m Autistic profiles the lives of three teens living with varying degrees of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) as they go about their daily lives and pursue their dreams.

The remarkable young men include:

Jeremy, 17, who uses a simple portable speech machine that allows him to finally communicate directly with his peers.

Jonathan is an autistic savant, the term used to describe someone who has a significant disability and exceptional talent. Jonathan’s talent is painting.

Elijah is 16 and has Asperger’s symdrome, the term applied to higher-functioning autism. He wants to be a stand-up comedian.

The program does an outstanding job of letting the story tell itself as each of these young adults, with the amazing support of their incredible parents, pursue their life dreams in the face of a complex, often frustrating disability.

For more information on the program, and to view a clip of this terrific show, visit the MTV website: http://www.mtv.com/ontv/dyn/truelife/series.jhtml

This is the kind of responsible programming that MTV can be proud of- and a valuable media effort that can help others have a greater appreciation for and understanding of autism and other disabilities.

Another terrific resource for those interested in learning more about autism is the documentary Normal People Scare Me. For more information on this and other important film projects in the works by the mother/son film team of Keri Bowers and 17-year-old Taylor Cross, who has autism, visit: normalfilms.com.

Both looks are worthy of your time!

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