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April 7, 2024 27 mins
Geza Gyuk discusses the upcoming solar eclipse across America and what we can expect here in Chicagoland. For National Autism Acceptance Month, Kristyn Roth checks in to discuss general facts about autism, what autism acceptance means, and how people can take action and get involved. Lisa Kolavennu with Wellness House joins the show and Whitney Reynolds to chat about how they offer complete cancer wellness support every step of the way.
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Episode Transcript

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Welcome to the Weekly Show on iHeartRadio, heard every weekend on ninety three point
nine Light FM, Rock ninety fiveto five and one oh three five Kiss
FM. This show is all aboutChicagoland and our community, keeping you up
to date on things that matter toyou, from finances to housing, careers,
education and more. We've got anothergreat show lined up for you this

week. We have the senior directorof astronomy at ath Their Planetarium on to
talk about the big solar eclipse happeningacross the country and here in Illinois and
Indiana this Monday. We've got thaton the way for National Autism Acceptance Month.
Kristin Roth, the Chief Marketing Officerfor the Autism Society of America,

joins us here on the Weekly Show, and Whitney Reynolds is back for another
edition of Whitney's Women. This week, she's spot Letting Wellness House, offering
complete cancer wellness support every step ofthe way for you and your loved ones.
That and more on the way.First up, though, the big
solar eclipse happening across the country thisMonday. Melissa Foreman is here to talk

with the senior director of Astronomy atAdler Planetarium. Hey Melissa, all right,
so Gaye, how are you today? Very excited? I mean,
this is like the Super Bowl whenyou're an astronomer, right, I mean
absolutely, this is just something thatjust happens only once in a very long

time, and it's just so excitingthat we've had two eclipses in short succession,
and the last one's fantastic and thisone is shaping up to be great
too. Now did you want tosay once in a blue moon? You
almost said this only happens once ina blue mood. I'm just going to
find that out. Okay, allright, good? So wait when,
by the way, before we startanything else, when is the next one?
Because I didn't know in twenty seventeenthat this was going to be happening

so soon. When's the next totalsolar eclipse? The next total solar eclipse
that's visible sort of broadly across theUnited States isn't until twenty forty five.
Wow, So we really do haveto enjoy this, like, we really
have to take this in, right, we do? So now you and
I are going to be heading downsouth or to places that are in the
swath where we can have a fulltotal solar eclipse. But here in Chicago,

most people will have ninety four percent. Now that's still better than their
visual in twenty seventeen. Right,Yep, that's ninety four percent is fantastic.
Okay, It's it's not going toget all dark, but it is
going to It's going to seem alittle odd. You know, there's going
to be the shadows will be strangesort of quality of light will it will

feel like it's overcast. Except greatto not be overcast. It's going to
be clear as day. There isday exactly. I mean, you know
Tom Skilling, everyone kind of madefun of him a little bit because he
was crying at the last eclipse.I cried. I can imagine for you
that you cried. It was tosee something like that in the sky was
so moving and and bizarre that Ilost it. How do you feel as

someone who studies this, Oh,I approach you eclipses as just an amazing,
fantastic thing. I don't have myastronomer hat on when I'm looking at
the eclipse. Yeah, I'm I'mjust enjoying it. It's it's a fascinating
thing, and it's connects you thewhole universe. You know, you're there.
The moon is the next, andthen the sun, and you're all

on the line. And then youcan also think about all the past you've
heard about eclipses and history and peoplehave been amazed by them and wondering about
them for thousands of years, andit's all just comes together and it's overwhelming.
Oh God, that was such agorgeous way to describe it. Gaza,
Gosh, I love that. Allright, listen for everybody, know,
some kids are gonna get out ofschool. We're still hoping that the

weather, you know, you justdon't know. But there's that totality.
What time is that expected over Chicago, like two o seven or something,
because those few minutes are really themost important. Okay, so two of
seven is when maximum eclipses. Okayin Chicago. Since we're not on the
path of the totality, we're notgoing to get totality. The sun has
never going to be completely covered,and so it's also going to mean that

the sort of the and we'll bea little bit more spread out. You
know, if you see it anywherefrom sort of you know, two o'clock
to two fifteen or whatever, you'llstill get it'll still look like a tiny
little sliver in the sky, butit's a little bit more time. So,
for example, if you only havea handful of that clips glasses,
you could share those with friends becauseyou know you could take turns looking at

the sun with them. I meantto ask about that too. Everybody's been
talking about the glasses. You dohave to be very careful. Please make
sure that your eyes that you haveisso official glasses or something like that.
Right, you don't want to absolutely, yeah, exactly. You don't want
to look at the sun without somesort of protection, even when it's ninety
four percent covered, because it's notthe total amount of sun that's covered,

it's how bright the sun is thatthe individual parts that's what's is dangerous.
And so even if half the sunare more or ninety four percent of the
sun is covered, the part thatremains still has that intensity of light that
can do the damage to your eyes. What about the planetarium, what's going
to be going on and is anyonegoing to be there or is everyone going
to be out on the lawn.What's happening over Okay, so we're having

a festival celebration of the eclipse andobserving the festival, and we're going to
be handing out to clips, glasses, We're going to have tents there.
We're going to have telescopes who havesay filters on it for people who want
to take a closer luck at theeclipse as it goes on. We're gonna
have people there who can talk tofolks and explain what's going on. It's

just gonna be a fun event.We're going to be outside on the lawn,
of course, so that we cansee the sun. Bring your friends,
bring your family, just enjoy ittogether with all of Chicago. That's
awesome, all right, Giza Duke, thank you so much, the senior
director of Astronomy at Adler Planetarium.I'm going to cry. I think what
we should do is make sure thatwe get our airbnb for what year again,

twenty forty five? What is inAugust? Okay, sign up everybody.
That's going to be the biggest lessonof all. All right, well,
listen, I'm setting my best forvery awesome day for total sunshine so
we can see it, and Ican't wait to talk to you after.
Can we check with each other afterwards? Absolutely? Yeah, that's awesome.
Thank you, Melissa. This isthe weekly show on iHeartRadio. Up next,

Brady and Whitney Reynolds are back withtheir new edition of Whitney's Women,
spot letting a great local organization.Hi Brady, we're back. You can
feel it. The energy is herespringtime. It's crummey outside today, but
it's always bright when Whitney Reynolds ishere. Now I love it. You
know the whole April shower. BringWhitney flowers. Yeah, I know.

Here. We are Whitney's Women.Oh my goodness. And I couldn't ask
for a better guest than Lisa.Welcome to the show. How are you
good, Whitney. Thank you forhaving me here today. I am so
thrilled you are here because we aretalking about the spring and things that bloom
and make a difference. And youhave an event coming up in May,
but people are signing up for itnow. Tell us all about what's going

on. That's right, Thanks Whitney. So I work with Wellness House,
a cancer support organization, and reallyeverything we do is to help people who
are experiencing cancer, and so weprovide programs for people of all ages in
the areas of exercise and nutrition andsupport groups and we never charge anybody for
the programs that we provide for them. And so one of the ways that

we support those programs is through anevent we have coming up on May fifth.
It's called the Walk for Wellness House, and we'll be bringing together thousands
of people to help raise money forWellness House. I love that before we
get into the walk, but I'mglad you said the date, so people,
we're gonna say it like at leastthree times wonderful on this so people
know. So we said mayfax.Okay, there's two, but I want
to go into the mission of theWellness House because you said a couple of

key components that just immediately make mylittle intennas go up. One was no
cost, that's right, and justthe impact you're having in your community.
So let's go back to the whatprograms do you offer? Yeah? Absolutely,
you know, we know that whensomeone's diagnosed with cancer or going through
treatment, it's often one of themost challenging and vulnerab bowl moments in their

life. And that's exactly when WellnessHouse steps in. We're here to help
provide a path for people when they'restruggling with you know, physical activities or
concerns about end of life issues orworry about their family. That's when Wellness
House is there with experts who provideevidence based programs in the area of support

groups and educational seminars. We teachpeople about nutrition and how to eat healthy
during cancer, and how to bephysically active because we know these things make
a difference for people in their cancerjourney. Well in cancer, when you
hear those words or you hear someonethat you know is impacted, it becomes
extremely personal and it's a whole newlearning curve because the cancer journey is different

for everyone and you actually have avery personal connection with cancer. I do.
I do. My father was diagnosedwith stage four non Hodgkins lymphoma several
years ago, and unfortunately he passedaway seven years ago, and so my
family and I saw firsthand the tollthat cancer takes not only on the person
who's diagnosed, but really their familyand loved ones. And so that's one

of the main reasons that all ofthe programs that we provide a Wellness House
are not just for the patient,but for the entire family. Wow.
Now I saw a number of thereach of how many people you are reaching
and you're based in the Hnsdale area, do you mind sharing that with our
viewers? Absolutely? So. Weserve just over three thousand people each year
and they made close to forty thousandvisits to our programs. And our main

location is in Hinsdale, that's wherewe're founded, but we've really taken a
lot of effort in recent years toexpand our reach. So we work through
partnership with healthcare providers throughout the Chicagolandarea to take our programs into neighborhoods outside
of the western suburbs. And we'realso fortunate to have a strong online presence
with our programs, so really peopleacross the country can engage with us well.

And you said partnerships, one that'svery near and dear to my heart
that you're working with is Together atPeace. Tell us about your partnership with
them. Together at Peace has beena wonderfully, amazing and supportive partner.
They're really focused on folks who areexperiencing grief and bereavement and they've come to
the table at Wellness House to providefinancial support. They help provide programs for

our children and families who are grievingand speaking of the Walk they're founding a
team for the walk and will bepresent on May fifth. Well and Together
at Peace is doing a team,but other people can do a team too.
Okay, So now let's get intothe logistics of May fifth. I
already asked you it's on May fifth, Cinco de Mayo. It's not a
Sinco de Mayo theme, right,No? No, no, Okay,
I know I'm gonna be craving Mexicanfood all week. Now, okay,

walk, run and then go andthen go home. There you go.
Okay, So how do people getinvolved with this? Yes? So you
can visit our website a wellnesshuse dotorg slash walk, and you can sign
up as an individual, you canform a team, or you can join
a team that's already working to raisemoney for Wellness House. And when you're
walking, is there going to belike station or anything where people can get

more info on what it is thatyou provide. Absolutely, In fact,
we encourage people to come early thatday. There are lots of tents with
information. Some of our partners willbe present. You can learn about Wellness
House and our programs, and alongthe route we have lots of fun surprises
planned. You'll get to hear fromsome participants who have benefited from our programs.
It's really an inspiring morning that's allabout community and supporting one another.

Well, thank you so much forcoming on. Where can people get more
info? Give us that website onemore time and the date so we check
it off. Yes, absolutely,the morning of May fifth, go to
Wellnesshouse dot org slash walk awesome.Thank you so much for coming on.
That sounds like a walk for everybody, really, Whitney, because you know
it's so true, ESK. Onehundred people out there on the streets,
one hundred people have been affected bycancer one way or another, one hundred

percent. You know, we seethis time and time again, even through
Whitney's Women, our guest on thenext Whitney's Women is an organization that helps
other cancer organizations. They help nonprofitsall around. But that's the one common
cord I feel like when you talkwith people is we all know somebody that's
been impacted by cancer. And soto have a place like Wellness House that
is free of charge for people andthat you can get more info because again,

when you hear that word, youdon't really know where to go,
and there is a place waiting foryou to help here in Chicagoland, which
is amazing. Well, we knowwhere to go when we want positivity.
That is Whitney. That is Whitney'sWomen. That is the Whitney Reynolds Show.
You got a lot coming up,I'm sure as always. Okay,
well, this is not just alot coming up, guys, this is
my season premiere on April eighth.Yeah, let's woop woop. That was

not a little click of about andthat was actually Brady my fan club in
the back. The April eighth isour premiere for the new spring season,
and it is really kicking off witha lost city, talking about places that
fuel loss, that have been foundpeople walking alongside them and bringing them back
to life. And I'm really excitedbecause this last Friday we actually were able

to go into a school in myneighborhood at the studio. My studio is
based in Lawnde, Sin City,and we were able to go into the
North Londel College Prep and really givethese kids hope and say, hey,
guys, you're seeing your story matters. And that's the mission of our show.
So this whole season, we're goingto kick it off April eighth,
but every Monday on Lakeshore PBS.You can catch it here locally. We

also stream on almost every device folks, so if you want to catch up
before we kick off, you canget up on our last season through any
streaming and we hit April eighth.You can go to Whitney Reynolds dot com
for more info. Great, thankyou Whitney and Brady. This is the
weekly show on iHeartRadio ninety three pointnine, LED FM, one OZHO three
five, Kiss FM, and Rockninety five to five. Up next for

National Autism Acceptance Month, we haveKristin Roth, chief marketing Officer for the
Autism Society of America, on theshow, Chatting with Ryan Gorman. April
is National Autism Acceptance Month, andto talk more about this, I'm joined
by Kristin Roth, chief marketing officerfor the Autism Society of America, which
you can learn more about and supportat Autismsociety dot org. Kristin, thanks

so much for coming on the show, and let's start with the backstory on
how your organization was first created.Absolutely thanks for having me Ryan. The
Autism Society is the nation's largest andoldest drassroots autism organization, and annually with
our network of about seventy affiliates acrossthe country, we support over half a

million people per years by focusing onadvocacy, education support and community PROGA programming,
and by really focusing on initiatives thatlook to advance opportunities and healthcare,
education, employment, safety, andpublic policy. We're focused on executing a

national reach with that meaningful local impact. How much has awareness and acceptance of
autism grown in recent years, that'sa great question. So we all know
that words matter and how we uselanguage is incredibly important, and awareness was
largely helpful when the knowledge and understandingof what autism was was largely misunderstood and

not discussed across mainstream media or ineveryday conversations. We have advanced in that
greater awareness of what autism is andhow the autism community shows up within our
greater society, and much like anything, our language has to evolve as well.

So it's really been a natural evolutionfrom awareness to acceptance because it's not
just enough to be aware of something. We have to accept that everyone's experiences
are unique and valid, and thatwe all need different supports and services to
really allow us to live fully andhowever we choose to live our lives,

and autism is something that impacts alot of Americans and a lot of families.
What are the general numbers in termsof how many kids are diagnosed with
autism and how many autistic adults wehave here in the US. Yeah,
So for basic background, of course, autism is a complex and lifelong developmental

disability, and it typically may showup in a person through socialization skills,
communication relationships, and self regulation.However, it's so important to note that
the autism experience is really different foreveryone, and as we really focus on

at the Autism Society, everyone's experienceis totally valid and unique, and we
need to honor that. Our currentdata shows that about one in thirty six
children are diagnosed with autism in theUS, and there are over five point
four million adults in the US whoare autistics. So that's a little bit

more than two percent of the population. So there's a really strong chance that
you work with someone, love someone, or know someone that's autistic. I'm
Ryan Gorman, joined now by KristinRoth, chief Marketing Officer for the Autism
Society of America. She's with USfor national Autism Acceptance Month. You can

learn more about this organization at Autismsocietydot org. To follow up on what
you were just mentioning the amount ofpeople who have autism here in the US
and the likelihood that many of us, like you said, know someone,
love someone, or friends with someonewho is autistic. Can you give us

a sense for those maybe who feellike they're kind of aware of what autism
is, but maybe don't have afirm grasp on the developmental disorder. Can
you dive a little deeper into that? Absolutely? So. I mentioned a
little bit earlier that while the autismexperience is different for everyone, it typically

may show up for people in termsof social skills, communication, relationships,
and self regulation. And what thatreally means is that people may present themselves
differently. So someone may be nonspeaking and not be able to verbally communicate,
but they use an eyepad or otherassistive devices to communicate or wants,

needs, goals, and desires.It's incredibly important to always presume confidence.
We all know that autism is thespectrum, and we need to treat everyone
with dignity and respect, just likewe expect to be treated that way as
well. So in addition to somecommunication skills, being able to interact socially

may not come as naturally, youknow, there may be some additional prompts
or plain language that's preferred, maybenot making eye contacts. And then some
sensory consideration. Sometimes there can beover stimulation, whether it's sound, color,

lights, And being able to beopen minded and accepting to creating accommodations
and educating yourself about those inclusive mindsetsis an incredible first steps towards really welcoming
and accepting the autism community for exactlywho they are. You mentioned and sensory

stimulation, And I've got to sayI've noticed more and more places, different
venues offering areas that allow those whoare experiencing that issue to be able to
enjoy themselves. It's a more inclusiveenvironment for those with autism. Have you
noticed a rise in that as well. Absolutely, an inclusive community really starts

with that inclusive mindset. So theAutism Society works with plenty of community partners
and professionals and employers and event venuesto create a much more censory, friendly
and inclusive designed experience. So,for example, our Health Equity Initiative works

with healthcare providers, pharmacists, pediatricians, nurses to make sure that they are
supporting the autism community in their healthcareneeds and making healthcare more accessible. So
having supports for routine vaccinations or howto calm someone down in a doctor setting

is incredibly important. Our safety programswork with first responders and police departments to
reduce and de escalate situations with theautism community. We provide excuse me,
we provide communication boards and trainings thatreally help people to identify their interactions with

an autistic individual and how to bettersupport and navigate through certain experiences together.
So it's taking it a step furtherfrom that com room or sensory safe space
which we love to see at venuesacross the country, but also incorporating into

our experiences with each other. I'mRyan Gorman and for National Autism Acceptance Month,
I'm joined by Kristin Roth, chiefmarketing Officer for the Autism Society of
America. So, Kristin, whatdo we need to know about screening for
and diagnosing autism? That's a greatquestion. So the Autism Society promotes that

individuals and caregivers, parents should tryto speak at least three screenings before the
age of three. So typically whenworking with your doctor or pediatrician, they
have a routine developmental screenings at nineto twelve, eighteen or twenty four months,

and you should be talking to yourdoctor about any concerns or behaviors that
you may have noted. So earlierthat a person can get screened and diagnosed
with autism allows for earlier into theinterventions, support and services, which can

cannot be overstated, significantly improves longterm outcomes for individuals to be able to
have the resources and support in placefor them to live fully. And that
leads me right into what I wasgoing to ask next. Once someone is
diagnosed with autism, what are someof the resources, of the tools,

of the strategies that have proven tobe helpful over the years. That's a
great question as well. So asyou've heard me say a few times now,
everyone's experience is different, so theredefinitely is no one size fits all
approach. At the Autism Society,we really believe in making informed decisions with

science based best practices. So earlyinterventions and support services can range from speech
to occupational therapy to really having astrong plan with your school system and individualized
education plan to make sure that yourself or your loved ones are really getting

a community of support in all ofthe areas of their life. It's not
just you know, a couple hoursat a dedicated time per day. It's
really working together with that network,with family and friends and your support team
to help you build those skill setsthat you want to improve upon. As

part of Autism Acceptance Month, you'redoing a Road to Acceptance campaign. Tell
us about that absolutely, and weare really excited to have iHeartMedia as a
partner as well. But the Roadto Acceptance project is part of the Autism
Society's greater efforts to celebrate differences forAutism Acceptance Months, and thanks to our

partners like iHeart and Good Nights andChrysler, we're hitting the road in our
branded Chrysler pacificus to connect with thecommunity and capture their stories. And it's
really important to us to ask thegreater community questions about how, safety,
employment, and more so that wecan amplify those diverse experiences as we continue

our efforts to advocate for necessary supportsthat are needed right now. And finally,
what are some different ways that thoselistening can support the autism Society of
America and also get involved. Soone thing I want to highlight is that
acceptance happens every day and small actscan have a really big impact in someone's

lives. So whether you're speaking out, if you witness fully, or even
offering to help someone at the grocerystore who may be trying to support a
loved one who may be feeling overstimulated, it may seem like a small moment,
but it can have a big impactin their overall day. There are
so many ways to get involved ona daily basis. Educating yourself and spreading

awareness is just one of them.We also have affiliates across the country that
are hosting a variety of incredible eventsthis month, and you can find more
about those local affiliates and their eventopportunities at our website. And lastly,
just try to get involved and bean ally and your advocacy efforts. You

can always learn more support or giveas well, and we have so many
resources at our website at Autism Soocietydot org. Roth, chief Marketing Officer
for the Autism Society of America,with US for National Autism Acceptance Month.
Christen, thanks so much for takingthe time to come on the show.
We really appreciate it. Thank youso much. Ryan, it was great

to be here. Thank you somuch. This is the weekly show on
iHeartRadio ninety three point nine, LightFM, Rock ninety five to five and
one oh three five Kiss FM,talking about all things that matter to Chicagoland.
And that wraps up this week's show. We'll be back again next weekend.
In the meantime, if you're partof a local charity or nonprofit organization
doing great things for our city andsuburbs and you feel like you deserve the

spotlight here on the radio, we'dlove to hear from you. You can
email me directly. That's Mick withan m Mick Lee at iHeartMedia dot com.
Have a great week. We'll talkto you next weekend here on iHeartRadio.
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