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Julie Obradovic On The Whitney Reynolds Show: Topic Autism

Julie headshotBy Julie Obradovic

Last fall, I had the opportunity to sit down for an interview with Whitney Reynolds, host of The Whitney Reynold's show (a local talk show in Chicago), to talk about autism. The show finally aired last Saturday, May 17th. We discussed many topics, including my experience as a mother and the issues surrounding the disorder. Specifically, she gave me the opportunity to shed light on one aspect of what makes autism so controversial. With two very different paradigms...one, that it is a lifelong, genetic condition you are born with that there really isn't much you can or should do about, and that has been with humanity for all time...and two, that it is an environmentally caused condition in a genetically vulnerable person that is absolutely treatable (and should be treated), and that it is at epidemic proportions unknown to mankind ever before...you can understand where some of the controversy might lie.

Our experience, like many other thousands of parents, was the later, and I was grateful for the opportunity to say so. I thank Whitney and her production team for a wonderful interview and show.



Julie Obradovic is a Contributing Editor to Age of Autism.

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Linda

Julie, you did a great job on the show. But I couldn't help but think, in what other disease or condition is medicine's role so absent from society's attempt to cope? In this otherwise excellent report, there is no in depth medical explanation of what autism is (other than yours) or what medicine is doing to prevent and treat autism. Seeing the special ed teachers, I thought in what other disease do the affected go to school to learn how not to be sick, without any understanding on the part of those teaching them that their behavior is the result of illness, without any expectation of medical treatment aimed at a cure that would eliminate the disability? There may be a place for behavior modification, but the lack of acknowledgment of the underlying medical condition and need for treatment (and I don't mean with psych drugs) is striking.

Eileen Nicole Simon

Julie, thank you for the video. I don’t usually have much patience for videos, but am glad I took the time to watch this. The “Have Dreams” segment was most interesting for me. Steve Pemberton briefly mentioned a Walgreens “diversity program” in Connecticut. I went online to see if they have a program in the Boston area. Does anyone out there know???

My son is now 51 and lives in a group home for mentally ill men. They attend a day program, which is scheduled around smoke breaks every hour on the hour. I have tried to ask about supported employment, but as a mother I am nothing but a target for criticism and reprimand. I am pretty sick of the whole situation. The only thing that keeps me going is my son’s eternal cheerfulness. He is an author. We have written two ebook memoirs together, but a day-job could help him move on from living in a shabby group home.

About a year ago my son wrote a short essay on Julia Child beginning her cooking career at the age of 50, the same month my son was born 50 years earlier. It is chapter 178 of the ebook we published last year, Milieu Research, Book 6 of Autism and the Inferior Colliculus, available on amazon.com and bn.com. For me it expresses his hope of possibly still being able to move on from “living in the community” to becoming a real participant.

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