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Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on witf’s 89.5 and 93.3.

Listen to Smart Talk live online from 9-10 a.m. weekdays.

Hosted by: Scott LaMar



Smart Talk Friday is a fast-paced program featuring thoughtful and engaging conversations about the politics, policy and people who are shaping Pennsylvania’s future. Host Matt Paul and witf Capitol Bureau Chief Mary Wilson invite your multimedia interaction before, during and after the program.

Hosted by: Matt Paul and Mary Wilson



witf introduces 'Smart Talk Friday' radio program

Radio Smart Talk: Autism Awareness Month

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Apr 29, 2013 3:27 PM

Radio Smart Talk for Tuesday, April 30:

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April is Autism Awareness Month.

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 being diagnosed more often today as society, educators, and the medical community learn more about it.  The Centers for Disease Control reports that one in 88 babies born have some form of autism.  That works out to about 1% of children ages 3-17.

What causes autism is still unknown.  Researchers often investigate the role of genetics and environmental factors.

Early diagnosis and intervention are two of the important keys to better outcomes for those living with autism and their families.

Apprearing on Tuesday's program will be Joelle Scholl of the Autism Services, Education, Resources, and Training collaborative (ASERT) and Georgia Rackley, past president of the Autism Society of Greater Harrisburg.

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Comments: 4

  • Robert Colgan img 2013-04-30 08:44

    Please discuss therapeutic outcomes.....
    what has worked for most parents, success of ultimate "noralization" of response ---- with the full understanding that every child is uniquely individual.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-04-30 09:00

    Email Comment from Melinda:

    Thank you for today's program. Three comments to add to the discussion:

    Your speaker made a comment about vaccines as a causal factor in Autism - I feel it is important to note that numerous research studies have indicated that childhood vaccines are in fact NOT linked to ASD. The most recent study by the CDC again found no connection between the number of vaccines a child received and his or her risk of autism spectrum disorder.

    The discourse thus far has focused on children with ASD, which is of course important to discuss as early diagnosis and early intervention have proven critical in treating ASD. However, there is a huge and growing population of adults with ASD and a paucity of services and supports for these individuals in our society.

    As a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, I feel it my obligation to remind the audience and speakers of the most effective, and only scientific evidence-based comprehensive treatment for ASD is Applied Behavior Analysis. Though ABA is not limited to treating Autism, it has gained the most exposure for its success in treating ASD. Autism has unfortunately been a "magnet" for "fad treatments" that are not scientific or evidence-based.

    Thank you!

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-04-30 09:00

    Email Comment:

    How do you find the appropriate college setting for someone with moderate aspergers? My nephew has graduated from high School but isn't self sufficient. For instance, he cannot make his own lunches and probably would not venture out of a dorm room without someone encouraging him to get out. Thanks.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-04-30 09:01

    Dmail Comment:

    I think one needs to be careful about getting any type of disorder Dx.

    I believe my son has Asbergers and have been very careful when talking with our doctor about what goes on his medical record. We monitor his behaviors and respond accordingly. I think at times just like the ADHD dx craze that hit the waves, the same can happen with other disorders. Our son is high functioning, and we do not want to limit his future because of what is some medical document. Just like school records, medical records travel with you all your life.

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