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Jim Autry

LSVT program brings renewed confidence

Outpatient Neuro Rehabilitation program

Admission: March 16, 2015
Discharge: April 9, 2015

Jim Autry can be defined by a number of his accomplishments: a pilot flying fighter jets in the Air Force during the Cold War, editor-in-chief of Better Homes and Gardens, an author of more than 25 poems and books, president of the magazine division of Meredith Corporation, national public speaker and consultant. But there is one thing that will not define him - Parkinson's disease.

"It's easy to let your disease define you, but I refuse to do that," said Autry. "I may not always walk well or I may stagger, but I do not consider myself disabled. I am merely inconvenienced by Parkinson's." 

Autry was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 2014. He heard about the Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT) program at On With Life's Outpatient Neuro Rehabilitation program from a friend but was skeptical when it meant clearing an entire month of travel from his calendar. Nevertheless, he signed up for the program, and it only took a week to notice a difference. 

"The LSVT program has renewed my confidence in my body," said Autry. "I now can control the effects that Parkinson's has on me." 

After the four-week LSVT BIG and LOUD program, Autry says it became his mission to share the impact On With

Life had on his life. 

"The therapists are wonderful, upbeat, dedicated and optimistic. When they are working with you, you have their full and complete attention," said Autry. "I admire their professionalism and I have benefited from their professionalism and guidance." 

More than one year later, Autry still continues his LSVT BIG and LOUD exercises almost daily. Because of those exercises, he has the confidence in his body to continue doing the things he loves - gardening, walking with his wife, spending time with his family, traveling and reading poetry on the radio. 

"I am confident these exercises have delayed some of the deterioration that comes with this disease," said Autry. "Parkinson's is my enemy, but thanks to the LSVT program, I will prevail."