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MeadWestvaco and Autism Society of America Launch 2008 ASA Autism Awareness Cambridge Planner
Date:3/6/2008

Special Planner Designed to Help Families Organize, Navigate the Complicated Medical, Education Needs of Autism

BETHESDA, Md., March 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, the Autism Society of America (ASA) and MeadWestvaco's Consumer & Office Products Division announced they have partnered to design an autism-themed Cambridge Planner in honor of this April's National Autism Awareness Month. The Planner will go on sale at 1,000 Wal-Mart stores nationwide starting April 1.

MeadWestvaco and ASA -- the nation's leading grassroots autism organization -- partnered on this effort to promote awareness about this fast-growing neurological condition, which affects every 1 in 150 births. The Cambridge Planner was specially designed by ASA for parents and caregivers who have to manage the many informational and scheduling challenges of caring for an individual with autism. Features include a specialized notes page with space for care provider contact information, current prescriptions, and a checklist of important documents, as well a page of stickers for doctor's appointments, support group meetings, and other important events throughout the year. The Cambridge Planner also includes general information about the disorder, early signs, and how to find help and support.

"When my son was diagnosed with autism, I began managing a schedule that rivaled a small business," said ASA President and CEO Lee Grossman. "The lack of services and supports for families in America today means that parents have to juggle an extraordinary amount of doctors and therapists appointments, calls to insurance carriers and educational information in addition to the demands of families and jobs. This Cambridge Planner is more than a product; it's a pocket roadmap for navigating autism."

"We're proud to partner with the Autism Society of America to create this special planner for families living with autism," said Neil McLachlan, president, MeadWestvaco Consumer & Office Products. "We know that managing any family's schedule is a daunting task, but in the case of individuals with autism, schedules are particularly busy with therapy, medical appointments, and more. We hope that this planner eases the scheduling burden for these families."

A portion of all proceeds from the sale of the Cambridge 2008 ASA Autism Awareness Planner will benefit ASA's awareness and support programs for families with autism nationwide.

About Autism

Autism is a complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life and affects a person's ability to communicate and interact with others. Autism is defined by a certain set of behaviors and is a "spectrum disorder" that affects individuals differently and to varying degrees. There is no known single cause for autism, but increased awareness and funding can help families today.

About the Autism Society of America

ASA, the nation's leading grassroots autism organization, exists to improve the lives of all affected by autism. We do this by increasing public awareness about the day-to-day issues faced by people on the spectrum, advocating for appropriate services for individuals across the lifespan, and providing the latest information regarding treatment, education, research and advocacy. For more information, visit http://www.autism-society.org.

About MeadWestvaco

MeadWestvaco is a global leader in packaging and packaging solutions for the cosmetics and personal care, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, food and beverage, home and garden and media industries. We work with the world's most admired brands to design and manufacture solutions that meet their needs globally, no matter how challenging the requirements. MeadWestvaco has sales, manufacturing and converting facilities on six continents and customers in over 100 countries around the world. For more information, visit http://www.meadwestvaco.com.


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SOURCE Autism Society of America
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