Beyond the Headlines

Show topic: Autism

August 21, 2011
Hosted by ABC7's Cheryl Jennings

This week's episode of "Beyond the Headlines" discusses a very special and often inspiring part of our community, those who have been diagnosed with autism.

According to the organization Talk About Curing Autism, one in every 91 children in the United States has autism. A new case is diagnosed almost every 20 minutes. Today, the economic impact of autism in the U.S. is over $90 billion, and experts say that amount will double in the next decade.

Our show takes a look at some of the issues facing patients with autism and their families, and we'll talk to community leaders who are dedicated to providing fulfilling lives to California's autistic population.

Studio Guests

John Visbal
CEO, California Autism Foundation

Melanie Louden
Employee, Custom Assembly and Packaging Plant
California Autism Foundation

Denise Pollard
CEO and Founder, Center for Learning and Autism Support Services (CLASS)

Jonathan LaBeaud
Director of Year Round Programs, Camp Krem

Additional Information

Sweetwater Spectrum
In Sonoma, an intentional community is being created to meet the residential needs of young adults with autism. The project will break ground on September 10, 2011.

With increasing national attention on the concern about the aging population of individuals with autism and the rapid increase in autism diagnosis, Sweetwater's solution to the problem is a forward-thinking response to a healthcare crisis.

For more information, please visit

Uncork A Better Chance Please join the California Autism Foundation for their annual Wine Tasting Event. There will be wine and beer tastings, hors d' oeuvres, live music provided by Mara Montiel, silent auction, and a raffle!

For more information, please visit

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