Jennifer Brown remembers the summer day in 1977 when her son was diagnosed with autism.
“Back then, they were still saying autism was caused by poor parenting,” says Brown, who lives in Evendale. “They were still calling parents ‘refrigerator mothers.’ ”
In other words, cold and uncaring.
That wasn’t true of Brown then, now or anytime in between. Soon after Richard Brown’s diagnosis at age 3, she became an advocate for him and others. She stopped pursuing a law degree so she could work with people with autism and their families. Today, she is outreach coordinator at the Kelly O’Leary Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.