Autism One Radio: Real Time, Real Issues, Real Answers

By Patricia S. Lemer, M.Ed., NCC

Last Sunday evening I sat down at the computer. Instead of typing, I clicked on "Start encoding" and spoke into a tiny microphone. Magically, my monologue was recorded and simultaneously broadcast around the world on the Internet. I had just hosted my first show, "After the Diagnosis, Then What?" on Autism One Radio.

Missed it? You can hear it any time by going to The Autism One website and click on Day/Week/Month Archive. All it takes is a Media Player, available as free download from the site.

When Ed Arranga, the founder of Autism One, invited me to be one of 40 radio show hosts, his instructions were "Choose a name, time and frequency for your show." Now, a month into this endeavor, Autism One Radio has broadcast over 50 shows, including "Specials" with the Geiers, Congressman Dave Weldon and Dr. Andy Wakefield.

For the past three years Arranga has held "Autism One," the Conference, Memorial Day weekend in Chicago. Frustrated that other conferences focused on only one aspect of autism, he decided to bring it all together: parents, therapists, teachers, lawyers, doctors, legislators, biochemists, researchers, and even the kids. Group the speakers into four tracks, provide on- site day care, and open the doors. This year’s conference will be the biggest yet. Moved to a new hotel near O’Hare, it will feature self-contained units for those new to the diagnosis, as well as veterans. Tracks will include sessions on topics from stem cell research to energy therapies.

Autism One Radio is almost like having a conference every day. Web-casting autism news represents a convergence of all aspects of Ed’s life. First and foremost, he is the father of a ten-year-old son with autism. Vocationally, he is a software engineer who recognized that the time had come to use the Internet to communicate with the world. All that he needed was affordable software and a large audience connected via DSL. No longer does the autism community have to defer to the commercial media to metes out minutes and distort the findings. Now it has its own "News" station with all the rights and responsibilities of any news organization.

At first Arranga planned to start small with only six hosts. But one night at 2:30 am, the light bulb went on! THIS IS BIG! He got out of bed, made some notes; his vision grew from six to 40 programs. His radio groupings mirror his conference tracks: Biomedical, Behavioral/Educational, Family & Home Health, and News, Legal/Advocacy.

Biomedical hosts include Elaine Gottschall, author or Breaking the Vicious Cycle: Intestinal Health Through DietBreaking the Vicious Cycle, Amy Lansky, author of Impossible Cure: The Promise of HomeopathyThe Impossible Cure, and DDR Professional Advisory Board member Seth Pearl. They and others present the absolute latest in diet, nutrition, supplements and healing the gut. I and others are included in the Behavioral/Educational Therapy section, along with Paul Madule, author of When Listening Comes Alive: A Guide to Effective Learning and CommunicationListening Comes Alive, the guidebook about Tomatis therapy.

One of the liveliest groups, Family & Home Health, is comprised of expert moms. These are the "pit bulls" who single-handedly have changed the way the world views autism. They KNEW their kids regressed after a vaccine or antibiotic, and refused to take "no" for an answer. This group includes Christina Adams whose six-year-old son is completely recovered, and Chantell Sicile-Kira whose 16 year-old was the impetus for her book Autism Spectrum Disorders: The Complete Guide to Understanding Autism, Asperger‘s Syndrome, Pervasive Developmental Disorder, and Other ASDsAutism Spectrum Disorders, The Complete Guide. Christina’s book will be published this spring, and Chantell has become an advocate for adolescents, about which very little has been written.

The Autism One "News" is under the able direction of Teri Small, Autism One Radio’s General Manager. Another tenacious mother, Teri is an editor of Medical Veritas: The Journal of Medical Truth. Teri’s powerful interviews of key figures in the autism community are not to be missed. DDR Professional Advisory Board members Barbara Loe Fisher, Jeff Sell and Lyn Redwood are just a few of the legal experts and advocates who also have shows.

Autism One Radio is still in its infancy. Instead of using "artificial ingredients" like mass marketing and advertising campaigns, Ed is growing it naturally and organically. His goals include gradually adding hosts around the world in many languages, so that the station runs 24/7. As functionality improves and quality increases, program hosts will be able to handle phone-ins. Now they answer listeners queries by e-mail.

Go to the Autism One site and listen to the radio instead of TV. All programs are archived and can be downloaded and played any time, day or night. Autism One Radio is the most exciting thing to happen in autism since Bernie Rimland’s book discounted the refrigerator mother theory 40 years ago.

See you on the radio, Sunday, February 13th at 8:00 pm. I will be interviewing speech-language pathologist Bobbi Wade about her sensory integration approach to language therapy. Join me then!

[Initially published in New Developments: Volume 10, Number 2 - Winter, 2004-2005]

All material in this web site is given for information purposes only and is not to be substituted for advice from your health care provider.

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Page last modified: February 23, 2009
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