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Page last updated at 17:04 GMT, Monday, 27 September 2010 18:04 UK
Autism Radio UK will "benefit hundreds"
Martin Finn from Autistic Superstars
Martin Finn from Autistic Superstars supports the radio station

It's claimed that a niche radio station dedicated to the subject of autism will benefit hundreds of people.

Autism Radio UK broadcasts from studios in North Staffordshire, and is believed to be the first project of its kind in the UK.

The internet-based service is run and staffed by people who have links to autism or to Asperger syndrome.

Kevin Healey, whose idea the new station was, says it has a large Facebook following already.

The project has been funded by the Staffordshire Cares: Community Wellbeing Fund and the Access to Volunteering fund.

Autism Radio

Mr Healey, the chairman of the SAAS, the Staffordshire Adult Autistic Society, says he had the idea after hearing of the success of a similar US-based station, Autism One.

"I believe this will enable both the staff here and the listeners to have a voice," he said.

The six presenters, who all have links with autism or with Asperger syndrome, are producing programmes that will include music, phone-ins, interviews with parents and carers, and special slots that highlight the abilities of people with autism.

The new station should be broadcasting around 200 shows over the next year from its studios in the Ironmarket in Newcastle-under-Lyme.

Carly Ryan and Martin Finn from the BBC3 TV show Autistic superstars were due to join staff for the official launch on 27 September.

Autism

Autism and Asperger syndrome are part of a range of disorders that can cause difficulties in communication and social skills, and can lead to isolation and emotional problems.




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