Henrico native talks about career success, living with autism

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — ABC’s hit show “The Good Doctor” has everyone watching and talking about its portrayal of Dr. Shaun Murphy, a resident at a California hospital with autism and Savant syndrome.

8News Anchor Morgan Dean spoke with a Henrico-native who knows the challenges that come with being on the autism spectrum.

Hallie Hovey-Murray was first diagnosed with Oppositional Defiant Disorder and Attention Deficit Disorder. Doctors would later diagnose her with autism at the age of 11. She went to the Virginia Treatment Center for Children for help.

“They worked with me on social interaction, how to deal with stressful situations,” Hovey-Murray said. “I really experienced sensory overload issues, so when I get really stressed, I freaked out.”

Like with Dr. Murphy, she’s overcome a great deal and turned what many saw as a weakness into her strength and inspiration.

“I think it’s incredible to have a show about someone with autism achieving success, to have a show where someone with autism is seen as confident, to have them seen as a very valuable player,” Hovey-Murray said.

As an undergraduate at Methodist University, she was president of the debate team and a member of a sorority. Now in law school at William & Mary, she’s the president of the Children’s Advocacy Law Society. She is also currently Miss Southwestern Virginia with her platform being autism awareness.

Hovey-Murray turned her platform into the non-profit “One in 68.” The organization hosts events all across Virginia bringing attention and awareness to autism.

“One in 68 is about ending the stigma of autism; it’s not only about spreading awareness and creating a culture of acceptance for people on the spectrum,” Hovey-Murray said.

As excited as she is about “The Good Doctor,” Hovey-Murray does have a warning for viewers.

“Autism looks different on every person, there’s not one box people with autism fit into,” she said.

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