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Dr. Welby finds that even a school that does brilliant work with retarded children will not accept 6-year old Paulie Stewart, since there is no basis for communication and response. his efforts to achieve a breakthrough result in hostile actions by Paulie, and a growing estrangement between the boy's parents, Janice and Bob Stewart.

Episode Info

Episode number: 1x2
Production Number: 30811
Airdate: Tuesday September 30th, 1969

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Guest Stars
Booth Colman
As Mr. Huntsman
Brian Dewey
As Paulie Stewart
Lynn Carlin
As Helen Stewart
Penny Gaston
As Therapist #1
Robert Ellenstein
As Dr. William Hall
Steve Ihnat
As Bob Stewart
William Paul Burns
As Therapist #2
Main Cast
Robert Young
As Dr. Marcus Welby
James Brolin
As Dr. Steven Kiley
Episode Notes
Paulie Stewart suffered from one of the many forms of autism spectrum disorder. The cause of this disorder is not known. (A study implicated thiomersol, a mercury-based preservative found in vaccines administered to children, but this has been debunked due to fraud on the part of the original investigator.) Autism is not characterized by any detectable structural brain abnormality. Patients with the disorder range from severe cases, who are all but "locked in" to relatively mild cases who can learn to function if they are careful to avoid certain stressors. Autism is characterized by difficulty in relating to other people; autistic patients do not seem to understand (or understand only with difficulty) the social cues most take for granted. There are indications that autistic patients do not process sensory data in the same way most people do. Some autistics, termed savants, are capable of remarkable feats within a very narrow range of skills. There is presently no cure, but intensive therapy often helps patients improve remarkably.

Warning: Marcus Welby, M.D. season 1 episode 2 guide may contain spoilers
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