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Posted by Distribution on Monday - July 24th on July 22, 2000 at 17:16:43:

July 22, 2000

Action Alert: Autism Cover Story Upcoming Newsweek

[This announcement and action alert comes from autism research advocate Rick Rollens, parent to an autistic child named Russell.]

With its cover story about autism, 20 to 25 million copies of the upcoming July 31 edition of Newsweek will start its worldwide distribution this next Monday, July 24. The picture on the cover is that of my beloved nine-year-old son, Russell.

For over 14 months I have worked tirelessly with the reporter on this story. I believe it will be some of the best national and international coverage on autism to date. While I have not seen the final text, I expect that there will be an extensive main article and probably a couple of related sidebar articles devoted to the subject.

My wife Janna and I opened our hearts and minds to this reporter and shared publicly for the first time our family's intimate real life experiences with the horrors of Russell's condition. Besides the cover photo, Newsweek spent an entire day with our son for a "day in the life" shoot. They also took extensive photographs of the children at Sacramento's ABC School where 80-plus children on the autism spectrum attend.

The reporter traveled throughout the country visiting Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Sacramento, Brick Township, attending the DAN! Conference last year, and closely following all the Burton Hearings in Washington DC. I expect subjects such as the autism epidemic, the vaccine/autism issue, and the story of the emergence of the M.I.N.D. Institute will all be part of the extensive coverage. But not until we have a sample copy in hand will we know for sure what made it through the editing process.

I strongly urge EVERYONE to go to the nearest magazine news rack Monday and buy a keepsake copy of Newsweek. We need to show Newsweek, as well as the rest of the world, that this horrible disease touches the lives of so many, millions of people.

On a personal note, I am somewhat embarrassed that Russell is the only child featured on the cover. I only wish that the world could see the faces of all of our precious children who suffer from this terrible condition. I know when you see the picture of our Russell, you will see the sweetness and courage that radiates from his precious soul.

I know that you feel as I do that the real heroes of any story about autism are our beloved children -- the ones who have to deal with their condition every moment of their lives. Russell is my hero.

[We are aware that this posting may be off-topic to some of the email lists onto which this action alert is being posted. However, the importance of this event compels us to give this announcement the widest possible distribution. -editor.]

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