The Autism Doctor Brian Udell M.D. | EXPLORING DIFFERENT BRAINS Episode 14


In this episode, Hackie Reitman, M.D. interviews Brian Udell, M.D., medical director of the Children’s Development Center. Dr. Udell, known as “The Autism Doctor,” discusses his history in neonatology, the difficulties the neurodiverse have finding proper diagnoses, sensory issues in doctor offices, and his opinion on the varied theories on the cause of autism.

To learn more about Dr. Udell, please visit his website: www.TheAutismDoctor.com

 

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HACKIE REITMAN, M.D. (HR)

Welcome to Exploring Different Brains. We’ve got a treat for you today. My friend, Dr. Brian Udell is with us. He’s known as the autism doctor. Brian, how you doing?

BRIAN UDELL, M.D. (BU)

Doing great today, Hackie, thanks for having me.

HR

So what’s it like being the medical director of the Child Development Center of America?

BU

Well, about eight years ago I was doing the first autism clinic here in Broward County, and at that time we were seeing about five children in a week and I wasn’t satisfied that the regular medical community, conventional medicine, wasn’t handling the problem okay, and I started my own practice with zero patients and, in the last eight years, we’ve seen 2,000 children with developmental problems, and about 1,000 children who have autism. So it’s a busy practice and I don’t mind if we ever get rid of it.

HR

Well good for you. Now you were the founder of the Pediatrix, with an ‘X,’ the Pediatrix medical group. Tell us about that.

BU

Yes, I was one of the founders–there were six of us and we were neonatologists that were–went around the country starting neonatal units, and the thing that made us different was that we made a commitment to stay in-house. So what happened was around 20 years ago, the standard of care was that the doctor would come in from home. If there was a high-risk delivery, the pediatrician the obstetrician, the nurses, everybody would come in from home, and that just wasn’t enough care, so my partners and I sort of changed the paradigm by being in-house. We started with a few practices here in Broward County, and when I left there were 100 practices. And now they have 30,000 neonatologists all over the country. So it was a great change from what has been going on until now.

HR

Alright. You know, Brian, I’m going to be speaking to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons March 4th at the annual meetings of the AAOS in Orlando, and I’m very proud that this will be the first neurodiversity lectures. Dwight Bernie and the good doctors there read the Aspertools book, they agree there is a need to spread the word on neurodiversity, and I thought what we would do is have me ask you, because you’re a doctor, you’re one of the few doctors who is in tune with neurodiversity, a doctor like me received no training in it–and what would you tell these orthopedic surgeons who are going to go into the various residencies and medical programs to pass on the word from this patient communication and skills group? What would you tell them, Brian?

BU

Well, I think it’s quite a frustrating time for patients who have neurodiversity, that the doctors are not recognizing that there is this issue. And I think that when they ask questions, they really need to not expect the answers that they always got, that they’ve always gotten, and they really need to lead into what the patient is really saying, and, for example, in most of my autistic patients, they can’t even speak, so they–you really need to use a lot more of your clinical acumen to decide what’s going on with the patient and your diagnostic capabilities, rather than just relying on the words that the person is saying. Sometimes people who are on the spectrum–sometimes people who have Asperger’s or–or autism, when they do speak, they are very literal, and that won’t help the doctor in his understanding of the problem, so they have to look beyond what they’re just hearing and really examine the patient very thoroughly–sometimes talk to someone in the family to get a better picture of what the history has been so that they could do a better job.

 

A patient might be saying that their leg hurts and you are–and it would be very frustrating for a doctor who doesn’t know whether it’s their foot, their knee or their hip. And so you really have to explore, in much more depth, what the patient is complaining about, other than just saying it’s a leg problem. It’s very complicated for a patient who is neurodiverse, to even understand their own body. So they’re looking for help from the medical community and the medical community has to learn how to help them in a very special way. And that means listening to what they say, doing a–but also doing a very thorough physical exam, and sometimes talking to somebody in the family to get a better picture of what is going on.

HR

Thank you. That was very well-said. You know, in retrospect, now that I know what I know, I’m thinking back to before I knew, for instance, that many of these people whose brains are a bit different, such as autism, Asperger’s–have hyper senses to sound, to touch, to feel to temperature, to all of these things–and I look back now, and I think of, “Gee whiz, I thought that was just a poorly behaved child who was screaming when I was using the vibrating cast-saw to take off the cast.” And had I known more, I could have saved myself a lot of trouble, and the patient too, by maybe soaking off the plastered cast instead of using something like fiber glass. And I’m looking at the neurodiverse patients who are among us that are unrecognized. The ones who don’t have maybe the glaring labels and everything. And, as you know better than I do, because you’re the autism doctor and you’re the pediatrician and you know that so many of these parents whose children are neurodiverse are getting told, “Don’t worry, he’ll grow out of it. There’s nothing to worry about.” What can you say to help doctors in general who are treating the so-far undiagnosed neurodiverse?

BU

What I’ve learned over the last eight years, taking care of patients like this and reading all about it and doing the best I can to understand the research, is that it’s a processing issue that all of the patients’ problems come from, neurologic problems come from processing. They don’t process right with speech, they don’t process right with sensory issues, they might not process right with their socialization issues. So the best thing that the doctor can understand is they need to be approached with a lot of sensitivity towards that problem. They may hear something differently from the way we do, it may be louder, they may feel things more than we do, and even their inability to speak. Again, in their central nervous system, we don’t even understand yet why these children don’t speak, or why Asperger children don’t have–do have a problem with socialization. And things don’t go through the brain in the neurotypical manner and it’s not–there’s no ill-will that the patient is showing or inability. It’s just that they don’t see things the way that the doctor sees them. And the best thing they can do is just be really gentle, for any patient, be really gentle and to try to understand that there is this neurodiverse universe and you might not be seeing exactly what you think you’re seeing.

 

The sensory processing, I can’t emphasize enough that they–that noises can be louder, that certain noises and certain frequencies can just drive them crazy, lights can drive them crazy. Especially, doctors’ offices have a lot of fluorescent lights, and fluorescent lights, a lot of children–when they grow up they will explain that they can see the cycling of the fluorescent light, and it sometimes drives them crazy. In my office, for example I have filters on all of the lights so they don’t have that problem. Their taste issues are very interesting and different. And so the medicines that we think that we’re going to give the children, aren’t taken very well. We don’t even think it has a taste, and to the child, it can have a very strong taste. So all of the senses are really affected; smell–certain medicines can smell horrible, certain doctors’ office, you know, we–neurotypical people go into a doctor’s office and smell that very special smell, and you can imagine how scary it is for a child who doesn’t understand what they’re going into to be met with that kind of sensory onslaught.

HR

Brian, you’re the autism doctor, and I’m going to be speaking also to the Special Care Dentistry Association, at their annual meetings in Chicago in April. And can you give us some additional things that might be very specific to a dentist, to a dental office–one of the things I was thinking of was maybe the preparation and maybe having the parents bring their child whose brain might be a bit different for kind of a dry run just to get used to the office–but can you think of things as you’re the autism doctor, as you are a pediatrician, that might be specific to dentists.

BU

Well, yeah. There’s several things. One of the ways that we help children get better is by decreasing inflammation. So their dental health is very important to us. You know, they rarely–they’re very sensory in their oral-motor cavity–very sensory. Some of them only eat two or three different kinds of foods, and usually they pick foods with a lot of sugar and not a lot of texture to them, and what happens is their teeth are generally not in very good shape, and the mother of a three or four year old child, that child might never have seen a dentist and they might have cavities all throughout their teeth, and it is just as important to clear up the inflammation in their mouth as it is to clear up the inflammation in the gut or any other part of their body. So it’s very important for these kids at a very young age to have a dental exam. And if it takes a slight amount of anesthesia to get–I would say that the child that’s going to be scared in that situation may not be helped by a dry-run. I mean if they have very minor problems, a dry-run would be a great idea. But a truly autistic child or pretty affected Asperger’s child, they might–that fear might just stay with them.

 

One thing is that you find that they don’t brush their teeth, they don’t let the mother brush their teeth and they don’t like to brush their teeth. One of the problems that the mothers have is that the kids swallow the toothpaste and they’re afraid of the fluoride in the toothpaste that the kids going to swallow. So my best advice to a pediatric dentist or a dentist who takes care of children in neurodiversity, really is to give them something to calm them down on the way in, and I am–I don’t recommend medicines at all; I’m not for a lot of medicines in people–I think the main way we get our children better is by avoiding all of the antibiotics and steroids and the medicines that can cause problems. On the other hand, this is such an important issue for me–that I’ll often give the children a small amount of valium or chloral hydrate just so they can get in the office and get the work done and get out of there.

HR

We’re speaking with Dr. Brian Udell, the “Autism Doctor,” and Brian, I wanted to ask you about comorbidity, because I think people are under the misapprehension that these things occur in isolation; that they don’t occur with overlapping other entities. You treat thousands and thousands of children with autism. What’re you finding as the comorbid other diagnoses they might have? I’m not a big one for labels, but I want to know, from your point of view, having so much experience, what entities you’ve seen overlapping to a significant degree?

BU

I had a child who came to see us straight from a neurologist’s office, the mother didn’t want to give–I think it was Risperdal, a very strong drug–because the kid was very very disruptive, screaming all over the place, and nobody could look in the child’s ear. When I looked in the child’s ear, he had a roaring ear infection. He didn’t need Abilify, he needed an antibiotic. And the most important thing I see: 60% of my patients, at least 60% of my patients have a gastrointestinal problem, and when you ask the mother a good, thorough history from the time they are born, they didn’t suck very well, so the mother wasn’t successful in breast-feeding, and then the child started taking formula, but they had GE Reflux–there’s cortone–they have cortone-hypotonia–they have low tonin in everything in their core, so the kids would get gastroesophageal reflux. The doctors nowadays give PPI’s for the gastroesophageal reflux. We didn’t even have PPI’s 20 years ago, for adults, let alone for children. Those proton pump inhibitors raise the PH and they make it difficult for the patient to absorb B12. So a lot of these kids will have vitamin deficiencies.

 

And then you go down the GI tract, there’s this entity called eosinophilic esophagitis that a lot of the children have, and that’s either a cause or a result of their chronic gastroesophageal reflux. And then, down into duodenum you’ll see a lot of inflammation, and many of our children have food allergies that are effecting their gut, and their downstream behavior is disruptive behavior and aggression, out of control, and it really can be ameliorated greatly by just understand what’s going on in the GI system, and fixing that. I would say that is 60% of my patients, with that as their major problem. And then, about 15% present with a genetic problem, and it’s 2016 and I tell all of my doctors to please get chromosomes on the kids–that you don’t know what you’re dealing with if you’re dealing with a kid who has, what’s called a copy number variation, a very small, 1000th of an inch, duplication, deletion or translocation in their chromosome, and the majority–the rest of the children have some problem, either primary or secondary to their gut problem, was their immune system. So you take a history and they had repeated ear infections, repeated courses of antibiotics, rashes that everybody called eczema, with a lot of steroid treatment, and nobody is looking at the whole child. The whole child is one thing. It’s not seven different diagnoses. And I usually tell my parents that if you’ve gone to more than five doctors, and gotten more than 10 opinions, you ought to see someone who knows children a little better.

HR

Well. Now, this is a good segway into the whole gut-brain issue. And give us your thoughts on the microbiome and the gut, and how it effects the wiring in your brain.

BU

Well, you know–a lot of people may not remember, in the 1980s when we first learned that the Helicobacter was the major cause of gastric ulcers. I remember people saying, “Do you believe in Helicobacter?” Like it was a religion. Okay. When people ask today whether or not we believe in the gut-brain connection, that’s missing the point entirely–Michael Gerschin in Columbia first started writing about this in 1990. That’s 25 years ago. That’s enough time for us to sort of get a handle on this. We make statements like we have butterflies in our stomachs, and we get–whenever we’re very worried we can get a headache, and if we eat bad food we can’t concentrate and we can’t study. So it’s not that far a leap for people to understand that there is a gut-brain connection. In addition, it’s already been shown that we have more neural cells in our gut than we actually have in our brain. And so, whatever could effect the brain is also effecting the gut, and vice versa. So this idea that it’s something to be believed in, or I don’t know where you’re going with that, is really old-fashioned. It’s not whether it’s right or wrong. It’s just plain old-fashioned. As far as I’m concerned, the hipbone is connected to the leg bone.

HR

So you mean it’s like climate change in the body?

BU

You know, when I measure the children–the bacteria–when I do a comprehensive stool test, it’s not available through the regular laboratories, Lab Corps. and Quest, but when I do this test, I find a lot of bacteria that don’t belong there. Bacteria like Klebsiella, and pseudomona’s and citrobacter, that if they were in any other part of the body, other than the gut, you would be in the hospital. And so, to say that that’s normal flora, is not necessarily a good idea. The other thing is we have a lot of children. There are a lot of other children who can get better just from looking at the problem with their gut–looking at the problem with fungus in their gut, and I use a lot of anti-fungals, I measure liver function in a very detailed way to make sure that they won’t have problems from that, but a lot of children get a lot better when they’re given anti-fungals. And again, when you take a good history, they’ve had either diarrhea or constipation or alternating diarrhea and constipation, practically their whole live. One of the first thing I do to get the parent on my side is that the child takes a normal stool. The next thing that makes the parent get on my side is when the child–a five, six, seven-year-old–finally gets toilet trained, because they don’t just have stool leaking out of their butt. And they didn’t even feel it because they have sensory issues. So just by giving them a normal stooling pattern, a lot of the behaviors that we call autistic behaviors diminish and can actually disappear if you treat the gut problems.

HR

Now, you–tell us how people get ahold of you, Brian? How do they get ahold of Dr. Brian Udell, the Autism Doctor?

BU

You know, it’s an interesting thing. If I had started this practice 20 years ago, I probably would still have the same five patients a week. Thank goodness there’s the internet. And the good side of the internet is to–is that you can find worthwhile information. Sometimes there’s a little too much information. If you google autism today, there are 80 million pages that will come up on a google hit for just the word autism. So parents don’t know where to go. But as theautismdoctor.com, and I write a blog a week, I write about a one-to-two-page blog a week where I do a lot of research for those blogs. It takes me about 5 hours to do 100 words. So a five-hundred-word blog could take me 20 or 25 hours to do, and in that blog I hyperlink to the actual problems that have been researched by other doctors. So people can find me on the internet usually by asking any question that has to do with autism and one of the blogs that I wrote will come up. But if they’re interested, theautismdoctor.com leads you to me, and my purpose of writing that–my first purpose of writing the blog is to learn. I want to be able to answer in an intelligent way all the questions that the parents have.

 

The second is to teach. There is so much information that people don’t know, especially my colleagues. You know, recently, the American Academy of Pediatrics held up the decision by the task force on screening that they didn’t have to screen children too early because they were worried that it would worry parents unnecessarily. And my position is, the parents are already worried. You’re not–they want to know more information. The first thing many pediatricians will do, is they’ll say, “Well, I don’t know much about autism,” and so the parent can actually know more about autism than the doctor does. The third reason I do it is because there’s this polarization of pro this and against that in a lot of the literature that you see on the internet, and so sometimes I’m writing just so I can be a standard bear for people and I have a same point of view for all or none. And the last reason I write is sometimes my heads going to explode if I don’t speak my mind.

HR

Well as long as I’ve known you, you don’t have any problem speaking your mind, Brian. Whether it’s here or there or anywhere, over at my house, I’ll tell you what–it’s a pleasure to have somebody who is opinionated based on experience. Based on–and you are open minded, and I agree with you, in that we should screen. I was a big fan of Elie Wiesel, who said, “The best disinfectant for darkness is light.” And we’re just entering the light age around autism, and the different wiring in the brain. Which brings me to ask you, it is–whether or not you agree or disagree with some of the studies, and my personal belief that we are capable of rewiring our brains; there is neuroplasticity. There is potential. Not a blow sunshine at your potential, but there is potential for rewiring of the brain. Where does Dr. Brian Udell stand on that?

BU

What I’m mostly looking for is what’s interfering with the normal wiring. I think when you look at these children, they’re perfectly normal looking children, once you get them healthy, that you can’t find anything wrong on the outside, and that if you can fix the outside and fix the inside, you can change the way that the child responds to their environment. I hear it all day long everyday, you know, “it’s the first time my kid ate a french fry,” believe it or not I have pictures of kids who ate a french fry for the first time in their life, or kids who said, “I love you mommy,” for the first time in their life. It’s in there, and the parent, usually the mother, is the one that knows that it’s in there. It’s just not able to come out, and I think that the job that we all need to do is understand that we don’t understand this. We have a whole lot of patients over here with different reasons for their autisms, and you have a whole lot of treatments out here that, you know, may or may not work. Then you’re trying to combine these different treatments with these different children, and it’s going to take us years to really figure out this epidemic and get a good handle on how to take these kids forward. But absolutely, I believe with all my heart, even my chromosomal kids, if they have a minor chromosomal problem, even those kids can come out normal. They will go to a neurotypical classroom between the first and third grade, and they may have a little learning problem, they may have a little bit of hyperactivity, but if you go into a classroom today, everybody has a learning problem and hyperactivities, so I don’t know that they’re different than anybody else.

HR

Brian, do you have any long-term follow-up? I mean, because you have such a precious knowledge and experience with children–does it translate to adults? In other words, where now all these little kids have grown up to adults–and what do you have to say about the adults whose brains are a bit different?

BU

Frankly, I feel sorry for the adults that, you know–that were born 20 years ago with autism, they–with all my heart, I believe that the medicines that the regular doctors have used for behaviors that were unacceptable; Risperdal, Abilify, Prozac, Zoloft, Adderall, Ridelin, that these drugs were invented for specific diagnoses, not for behaviors, and that by giving those kids 20 years ago the only drug that you knew how to give, that in many ways you impeded their regular development. And my longest follow-up right now, because I only started this practice eight years ago that I started 10 years ago looking at the children, eight years ago started treating them, and maybe six years ago started treating them successfully, my six and seven and eight-year-olds are going to regular classrooms and nobody even knows they have autism. So much so that the conventional pediatrician or neurologist will say, “Well they must have never had it,” or “They would have outgrown it anyway,” and my answer is, well nothing I did was harmful, nothing I did was expensive, so what do you care if we gave a special diet or a special supplement and if the kid came out okay? What I feel about these older kids is I am shocked when I get kids–patients between 15 and 25 years old now, and I’m able to get them off the medication that’s totally stoning them and get their gut fixed up and get some processing going along in their central nervous system, and it’s amazing how happy the parents are that their children can finally come out of their shell. There was–the only thing I’ve learned about treating older patients now is patience. I had to have more patience. The older patients have a lot more coping skills and they’ve had a lot more drugs in their system that have screwed things up. But if I can get them off that and give them the regular treatments that I give even the younger kids, I see a lot of great improvement.

HR

Well that’s very inspirational, Brian. I have to say. Now in addition to your blog, are there–have you written any books?

BU

I just published a chapter in the LDN book, Low Dose Naltrexone is one of the treatments we use–Naltrexone is a pure narcotic antagonist and it was tried for autism in the 1980s, and an 100mg dose. And since about 2006, Dr. Jacquelyn McCandless has been writing about using 3mg doses. So I just published a chapter in the LDN book, and my wife doesn’t stop telling me that I need to write the book on autism. I’m trying. I’m not as good as you are, Hackie.

HR

Well, I have to say, you were quite an inspiration and encouragement to me when I was writing the Aspertools book, and I am really really appreciative because you’re the real deal. You’re there in the trenches, you’re devoting your whole life to it and I salute you. If you had to get it down to like one sound byte that you would tell orthopedic surgeons, in like a minute or less, because you gave us a good bunch of information before for the orthopedic surgeon; what would your advice be for the orthopedic surgeons, as regards neurodiverse patients?

BU

I don’t mean to be flipped, but don’t look where the patient is pointing–that you really need to do a thorough history and physical and talk to someone in the family that knows that patient, so that you get a better idea of what’s going on. Just looking at a knee and saying, “The X-ray is fine,” doesn’t mean everything is fine, and that is–that’s been my biggest discovery over the years is it’s not necessarily where you’re looking.

HR

Would you have a similar one minute or less for the dentists?

BU

For the dentists, I feel sorry for you guys–but I really think you’ve got to put these kids to sleep when they get in the place, because you’re not going to get anything done, the children are so scared, I don’t blame them; their oral motor cavity is so full of sensory nerve endings, and it’s just impossible to talk the kids out of the problem they’re having. And if you learn to use a little bit of mild anesthesia, you’re going to do a lot better on these children.

HR

What is the specific chromosomal test or tests, or menu of tests, that a doctor can order for their–for these individuals?

BU

That’s a great question, and what happened was, 15-20 years ago, the only–the main recognized genetic cause of autism was Rett’s in girls, Rett’s Syndrome in girls that requires a chromosomal test, and fragile X in boys that requires chromosomal tests. And for years, that was the standard of what we thought was going on. What they really need to order, is they can order a Fragile X test, that’s fine–they can order a Rhett’s test–that’s fine, but the test to order is a chromosomal micro array. A full micro array. What is happening to all of the other chromosomes and we’re specifically looking for a condition called copy number variation, I small 1/1000th of an inch or small deletion, duplication or translocation, and if you use a site, the University of California Davis has a website that has mapped the genes so you can find out what genes are underneath those chromosomes that might be missing or duplicated, and the Simon Foundation for Autism Research has a website where you can find other children who have been put on that site who have autism and a chromosomal problem. So a lot of my children are being given information today, even by the genetics doctor, that we don’t know if this genetic problem is the reason for your kid’s autism, especially if the parent has the genetic problem but doesn’t have autism. And my position is: that is the perfect storm. That that child who has a chromosomal problem is living in a poisoned environment, and it’s that combination that put that child at risk. It doesn’t mean it’s benign, but in my hands it does mean that it’s treatable.

HR

Brian, one of the hot-button issues of our time, which I’m trying to get everyone to talk with civility about, is vaccines. I have my own opinion, which I’ll say before yours, because you know more of what you’re talking about. From my point of view, I see everything as multi-factorial. So if you have a certain set of genes and a certain environment and you eat a certain diet and you get a certain vaccine at a certain time, the wiring in your brain gets effected differently. That’s how I see it. The vaccine is a hot point and a flashpoint in the autism community. I want to hear Dr. Brian Udell, the Autism Doctor, I want to hear your take on the vaccine.

BU

So what I tell everyone is, what they’re saying, what we’re being told by the government is all vaccinations are good for all people all of the time. And that would be impossible. That would be the blanket statement that would be impossible. Some vaccines aren’t good for some of the people some of the time seems like a much better way of putting it. If you ask a doctor, would he put his child in a study where they did the vaccine routine the way they do it now; you get, you know, four, five, six–seven things at a time. If you missed a vaccination you get them made up. If you’re sick you get the vaccinations anyway, and if you were sick the last time you had a vaccination, they don’t make any change in the next vaccination. That’s one group. And the other group is they do it low and slow, and they don’t do anything that–where there was a problem before. Any doctor would say, “Well of course I’d go in the safe group,” and you say, well if you think it’s safe, what do you mean? Which is the safe group? The one the government tells us to believe, or the one that sounds like it’s safe?

HR

You’re good. You’re good. Okay.

BU

And I’m not saying the vaccinations cause it; I ask every single patient. Only 5% of my patients say that they thought it was from the vaccination. Whenever I’m asked by somebody, what do I think?    My answer is 5% of my patients think so. 95% of my patients–90% don’t think so, 5% aren’t sure and 5% are pretty sure. And the guy’s a truck driver, and all of a sudden the day after the kid got a shot he was sick and he stopped looking at him and stopped talking. If you want to say that’s a coincidence, I’ve got a lot of coincidences.

HR

What factors do you think are being overlooked in the general media and the general autism social media that you feel are important, and, you know what–they’re just not getting any play. Are there any such issues?

BU

Oh, the biggest issue is this controversy about whether we have more autism or not. That we made–that we used to call them something else, and now we call them autistic, because that holds up all kinds of research–it holds up all kinds of treatment, everybody’s looking at you sideways because we’re not even sure that there’s more autism. And my answer to this is that 1 in 42 boys today, 2% of our boys have autism. If it were still the same as before, 2% of men walking around would have autism, and that’s just not true unless you ask their wives.

HR

Very well said. And the numbers–well, as far as I’m concerned, from my point of view, there is more of everything now; what do I mean by that? This is not cause and effect, but this is just Hackie Reitman’s observations. In 1985, I fought the first man ever to step into a boxing ring who was over 300 pounds: Stephen Elmore, who tried out for the New York Jets. That year in the NFL there was one player over 300 pounds, Refrigerator Perry. Today, every high school team has a bunch of 300 lbs. people. The second thing I’ve noticed is the internet happened during that time. What else happened during that time? I mean, you know–if you look at the internet, again, this is not cause and effect, this is, look, when the printing press came in, it took a couple of hundred years to make a difference. Facebook came in and took about eight months. Things are moving exponentially. If I don’t develop with my brain, especially if I’m a teenager, some degree of ADHD–if I don’t develop some different kind of wiring in my brain, that will allow me to talk to Brian Udell, look at the video, talk to somebody else, read a book, get a text that just came in on my phone, shut off the phone–if I can’t do that all at once, I can’t function.

 

Whereas, back in my day we would go play stickball for three hours in Jersey City, nobody would bother you. Maybe somebody had a transistor radio. That was about it. Now it’s completely interrupted. Now we have all kinds of differences in the food sources, we have all kinds of obesity we didn’t have and no one is going to convince me that if you start adding up all the different neurodiversities–autism, Asperger, OCD, ADHD, 20% of our kids in public school have some kind of IEP. There’s something going on, there’s something going on and I don’t want to hold up the research, nor do I want to hold up the resources for these families and people who need it. I was a big fan of the way comedy central did their night for autism with comedy which was, while we respect and admire the research being done, we want to support the organizations that are giving these people what they need for the actual resources. What’s your take on all of that?

BU

I practiced medicine for 25 years in the last century, so 16 years in this century now. And there’s things that are going on now that I never did. In the first two years of life, I can’t remember a child that had an ear infection requiring antibiotics. Yeah, a two or three-year-old, but not one, one-and-a-half year olds, 9-month-olds with ear infections getting antibiotics; steroids in our food–there’s Prozac levels in our water, they put anti-asthma medicine for years, anti-asthma medicine was put in all of our meat. There’s roundup in all of our gluten. I don’t even know if people are really as gluten sensitive as they are roundup sensitive. I don’t know that Monsanto is doing studies to see whether or not it’s the gluten or the roundup, but that would be an easy study to do. And you don’t see anything like that. So as an old-time pediatrician, I see a lot of differences, and frankly, the major difference that I saw in my life, Hackie, just between us is, you know, in the 1990’s, we started putting babies on their back instead of on their front. And when we put babies on their back, they urp up into their oral pharynx and they get ear infections, and then they get antibiotics for their ear infections. I–the price we pay–and we did, we do have less SIDS than we used to have, but the price we pay, I believe, is a lot of ear infections, a lot of antibiotics and maybe some of the autisms that we see.

HR

Wow. Well we’ve covered a lot of ground today, Brian, and thank you very, very much. That’s going to bring us to the end of another episode of Exploring Different Brains. We’ve been talking today with Dr. Brian Udell, the Autism Doctor, and that’s right where you can find him, online at www.theautismdoctor.com, and where is your office Brian?

BU

I’m located in Davie, in a very easy place to get to off the highway between Griffin Road and University Road, so you can always find me.

HR

He’s talking about Davie, Florida–

BU

Davie, Florida, yes.

HR

Different countries or states, we’re down here in South Florida, it’s kind of greater Fort Lauderdale, and that’s where I am right now, too, in Fort Lauderdale. And Brian, thank you very much. It’s been a pleasure. I’ve learned a lot, as I always do when I talk to you. Thank you very much Dr. Brian Udell, keep up the great work you do.

BU

Thank you Dr. Hackie Reitman.

HR

We’ve been talking today with Dr. Brian Udell, the “Autism Doctor,” and that’s right where you can find him online at www.theautismdoctor.com.

 

This video is owned by Different Brains Inc, kindly donated by it’s original producer PCE Media LLC.

Author Image
Dr. Harold “Hackie” Reitman is the founder of DifferentBrains.com. He is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, children’s activist, retired orthopaedic surgeon, and a former professional heavyweight boxer. He who currently serves as the CEO of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based PCE Media, LLC, the multi-platform production company he founded in 2004. Dr. Reitman wrote, executive produced and co-directed the full-length independent film, “The Square Root of 2” (starring Darby Stanchfield of ABC’s “Scandal”), and is the author of the book “Aspertools: A Practical Guide for Understanding and Embracing Asperger’s, Autism Spectrum Disorders and Neurodiversity” from HCI Publishing. He also hosts the DifferentBrains.com interview show “Exploring Different Brains.”
Author Image

Harold Reitman, M.D.

Dr. Harold “Hackie” Reitman is the founder of DifferentBrains.com. He is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, children’s activist, retired orthopaedic surgeon, and a former professional heavyweight boxer. He who currently serves as the CEO of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based PCE Media, LLC, the multi-platform production company he founded in 2004. Dr. Reitman wrote, executive produced and co-directed the full-length independent film, "The Square Root of 2" (starring Darby Stanchfield of ABC's "Scandal"), and is the author of the book "Aspertools: A Practical Guide for Understanding and Embracing Asperger’s, Autism Spectrum Disorders and Neurodiversity" from HCI Publishing. He also hosts the DifferentBrains.com interview show “Exploring Different Brains.”

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