NEWS | June 1, 2012

KVIE autism documentary features UC Davis MIND Institute founding families and experts


"Autism: Emerging from the Maze," a new documentary produced by KVIE-TV that explores the daily journeys of families as they seek to understand autism, includes UC Davis MIND Institute experts who are changing the way the disorder is defined and treated.

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The documentary is scheduled to air on channel 6 in the Sacramento market on June 13 at 7 p.m., June 14 at 11:30 p.m., June 15 at 4 p.m. and June 17 at 6 p.m. Visit for additional dates and times.

The 30-minute program highlights Sarah and Chuck Gardner and Rick Rollens, parents of children with autism who launched the MIND Institute, a collaborative center for finding the causes of and new treatments for autism. Research Director David Amaral discusses where that search has led.

"What really is becoming clear is that children that have autism may have a genetic risk, but they also have to interact with something in the environment," Amaral says in the documentary.

In addition, Director Leonard Abbeduto addresses the remarkable increase in the prevalence of autism diagnoses; Professor Sally Ozonoff shares insights on early behavioral markers for autism; and Professor Sally Rogers and research scientist Laurie Vismara demonstrate behavioral interventions that can reduce the disability associated with autism.

"I'm so moved by the personal stories we've discovered on this journey, and I'm honored to share them in an effort to build greater understanding," said producer Kelly Peterson.

Co-producer Rob Stewart added, "I'm the uncle of a child with autism. I salute the pioneers of research and the network of caring that together are changing the face of autism."

For more information about autism and research of the UC Davis MIND Institute, visit The institute's Resource Center offers information on many neurodevelopmental disorders and is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m.-noon and 12:30- 4:30 p.m. at 2825 50th Street in Sacramento.

Founded in 1998 as a unique interdisciplinary research center, the MIND Institute brings parents, community leaders, researchers, clinicians and volunteers together toward a common goal: finding causes, treatments, preventions and cures for neurodevelopmental disorders. The institute has major research efforts in autism, Tourette syndrome, fragile X syndrome, chromosome 22q11.2 deletion syndrome and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Utilizing the advanced biomedical technology and research infrastructure of UC Davis, the institute's scientists and clinicians pursue investigations that will ensure better futures people with neurodevelopmental disorders and their families.