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Howard G. Smith, M.D. is a former radio medical editor and talk show host in the Boston Metro area. His "Medical Minute" of health and wellness news and commentary was a regular weekday feature on WBZ-AM, WRKO-AM, and WMRE-AM. His popular two-way talk show, Dr. Howard Smith OnCall, was regularly heard Sunday morning and middays on WBZ.

Dr. Smith has adopted audio and video podcasting as conduits for HEALTH NEWS YOU SHOULD USE. Based on the latest medical, health, and wellness literature these reports provide practical information you can use to keep yourself and your family healthy. Many reports have video versions, and Dr. Smith’s YouTube Channel may be found at:

Trained at Harvard Medical School and a long-time faculty member at Boston Children’s Hospital, he practiced Pediatric Otolaryngology for 40 years in Boston, Southern California, and in central Connecticut.  He is now based in New York City.

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Please note that the news, views, commentary, and opinions that Dr. Smith provides are for informational purposes only. Any changes that you or members of your family contemplate making to lifestyle, diet, medications, or medical therapy should always be discussed beforehand with personal physicians who have been supervising your care.

Feb 22, 2019


Exposing autistic children to situations they instinctively avoid in a safe, virtual environment permits at least 45% of them to conquer their fears and phobias.  A study from Newcastle University just published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders utilizes an immersive projection video environment called the Blue Room with images the kids themselves can control.

The study tested 32 autistic children from 8 to 14 years of age with various fears including fears of buses, airplanes, and even dogs.  A total of 40% of children showed improvement after two weeks and 45% of them did well after 6 months of treatment with personalized video scenarios.  

One dramatic story involves an 8 year old named Harry.  His fear of dogs was so severe that he would hysterically run across a road to avoid one, and he was oblivious to traffic.  

After a total of 4 sessions, Harry became so comfortable with dogs that his family bought him his own.  The his fear of canines never returned after spending time in the Blue Room.

#autism #phobias #virtualreality #immersion #healthnew #healthtips

Morag Maskey, Jacqui Rodgers, Victoria Grahame, Magdalena Glod, Emma Honey, Julia Kinnear, Marie Labus, Jenny Milne, Dimitrios Minos, Helen McConachie, Jeremy R. Parr. A Randomised Controlled Feasibility Trial of Immersive Virtual Reality Treatment with Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for Specific Phobias in Young People with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 2019; DOI: 10.1007/s10803-018-3861-x