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"Faces of Autism" wins Award for Service to the Autism Community

October 22, 2007

VANCOUVER - The Autism Community Training Society's Board of Directors is pleased to announce that the Vancouver Sun, Sun columnist Pete McMartin and photographer Glenn Baglo are the recipients of this year's Award for Service to the Autism Community. The award is in recognition of their extraordinary six-part series, Faces of Autism.

"It can be terribly lonely being a parent of a child with autism.," said ACT's Executive Director, Clair Schuman. "When the series ran, we heard from families in BC's autism community about how much it meant to them to see stories like theirs in the paper. Autism is a complex disorder and family members often feel misunderstood by the general public when their child engages in unusual behaviours."

Burst into tears

After accepting the award, Pete McMartin explained how the series came about. "This was meant to be a one, or at most two day feature. But then I started interviewing parents. After three mothers of autistic children burst into tears while they talked with me, I realized that this was something larger. I went back and talked to the editors, and they said 'Go with it.' The Sun ended up dedicating an incredible–maybe even unprecedented–amount of space to this story."

Webster Award Finalists

Faces of Autism has also earned McMartin and Baglo the 2007 Jack Webster Award in the "Best Feature - Print" category.

This is the second year in which ACT has made this award. Last year's prize was accepted by Dr. Vikram Dua, Dr. Stephen Wellington, and Karen Kalynchuk on behalf of the BC Autism Assessment Network in recognition of BCAAN's groundbreaking work in setting up a province-wide network of diagnostic services for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Faces of Autism is archived on the Vancouver Sun's website and can be found here.

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