Autism Amplified

19 Apr 2024 in

In support of National Autism Acceptance Month, Arkansas PBS will present “Autism Amplified: Acceptance Through Communication,” a special designed to inform and raise awareness about autism, Thursday, April 25, at 7 p.m., and livestreaming at or in the PBS App.  

Through personal stories, as well as conversations with autistic individuals, caregivers, a medical expert and educators, “Autism Amplified” will explore what autism acceptance should look like, including fostering inclusivity and understanding and how acceptance strengthens communities. The program aims to introduce the audience to the autistic community, unpacking topics including what autism is and the importance of acceptance. Donna Terrell hosts.


  • Jayne Bellando, Ph.D., a pediatric psychologist and professor in pediatrics at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock. Her clinical work is at the Dennis Developmental Center, the primary developmental diagnostic clinic in the state affiliated with UAMS where she in on autism diagnostic teams. Bellando is the co-director of the Community Based Autism Liaison and Treatment Project (CoBALT), a program designed to help cut the wait time for children and families to be screened for developmental and autism concerns in the state of Arkansas. This is a collaborative project with UAMS and the Arkansas Division of Developmental Services. She is also one of the co-directors of Healthy Childcare Arkansas (HCCAR), a state contract designed to train and provide best practice information to child care providers.
  • Logan Slaughter, a 28-year-old self-advocate from Harrison.
  • Noah Fleming, a 17-year-old self-advocate who spends his time writing scripts and developing characters for his future in directing and producing children’s TV shows.
  • Ally Thomlinson-Fleming, Noah’s mother and an autism and independent living activist.

  • Jenna Belle Moore, a self-advocate, a sophomore at UCA and a graduate of Vilonia High School. She is majoring in Family and Consumer Science Education. Her interests include art, taekwondo and video games.
  • Jessica Saum, a special educator, military spouse, mother to two military-connected children and 2022 Arkansas Teacher of the Year. She previously worked as a self-contained special education teacher in Cabot. Saum is known not only for her excellence in the classroom, but also for her advocacy work on behalf of her students and her support for military-connected families. In the 2023-24 school year, she began serving as the collaboration and inclusion coordinator for the Cabot Public School District, supporting educators by implementing inclusive practices and working as an agent of change with a relentless commitment to inclusive education.
  • Dr. Cindy Fong, an autism mom with a background in counseling psychology. She works and has served on various disability-related nonprofit boards and community organizations, including the Arkansas Autism Foundation, Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities, Lifespan Respite Coalition, Parent Advisory Council through Partners for Inclusive Communities and Community Connections.

  • Eric Fulton, a self-advocate from Pine Bluff who has resided in Conway for 12 years. Fulton works for UCA Torreyson Library in special projects and represents academic affairs in the staff senate.
  • Special Sanders, the parent to 5-year-old Majesty and a middle school educator in Monticello.
  • Becky Bogoslavsky (expert/caregiver), a faculty member in the Department of Student Transitions and the coordinator of the Autism and Neurodiversity Transition Program at the University of Central Arkansas. The program, which she started, provides one-on-one academic support for neurodiverse students, as well as help accessing campus resources. She has a bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University and a master’s degree from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

After broadcast, “Autism Amplified: Acceptance Through Communication” will be available to watch anytime, anywhere on demand at or in the PBS App.

“Autism Amplified: Acceptance Through Communication” is made possible with support from the Arkansas PBS Local Production Fund.

Arkansas PBS will present “Autism Amplified: Acceptance Through Communication,” Thursday, April 25, at 7 p.m., and livestreaming at or in the PBS App.