Dr. Todd Ward
According to Today, kindness in the mail helped an autistic teenager lose over 75 pounds.
Carson Swazey is described as a 19 year old boy with “nonverbal autism” who enjoyed going on walks to check his own P.O. Box for mail. Though he received mail for his birthday over the summer, the envelopes soon dried up.
His mom noticed that he started gaining weight during the COVID-19 pandemic. Social distancing and locking down led to Carson eating much more, as I’m sure many of us did. His mom Amanda was quoted as saying “I wanted him to be happy and food made him happy and so it just escalated from there.” Understandably so.
But she eventually noticed the weight gain. Already familiar with his dietary preferences, she put him on a Keto diet and sent out a plea on social media for people to mail him cards. The response was overwhelming, and the pleasure of opening his mailbox everyday to new mail was just the type of reinforcement he needed to keep going.
To read more of their story, be sure to check out the full article here, and share with us your pandemic weight loss strategies in the comments below! Also be sure to subscribe to bSci21 via email to receive the latest articles directly to your inbox!
Todd A. Ward, PhD, BCBA-D, LBA is a science writer, social philosopher, behavioral systems analyst, and the President and Founder of bSci21Media, LLC, which aims to connect behavioral science to the world in an engaging, non-academic way. Dr. Ward received his PhD in behavior analysis from the University of Nevada, Reno under Dr. Ramona Houmanfar. He has served as a Guest Associate Editor of the Journal of Organizational Behavior Management, and as an Editorial Board member of Behavior and Social Issues. His publications follow a theme of behavioral systems analysis, organizational performance, theory & philosophy, and language & cognition. He has also provided ABA services to children and adults with various developmental disabilities in day centers, in-home, residential, and school settings, and previously served as Faculty Director of Behavior Analysis Online at the University of North Texas. Dr. Ward can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org