Crighton “Buddy” Newsom ’68, of Hebron, Ky., passed away Sept. 19 of cancer at his home. Buddy was a psychologist with the state of Ohio, working as chief psychologist at the Southwest Ohio Development Center for 15 years. He was also a member of the Greater Cincinnati Autism Society, was an accomplished scholar, and a gentle, caring clinician. A national leader in the field of autism, he did his Ph.D. work under the direction of Dr. Ivar Lovaas, the first person to show that autistic children can be taught to modify their behavior. Buddy was a lecturer and consultant to the Autism Society. Buddy was born in Galveston, Tex., on Oct. 27, 1945, to Don and Scotty Newsom. He was the second of their two sons and a football star at W.B. Ray High School in Corpus Christi, Tex. As a psychology student at Davidson, where he attended on a football scholarship, he saw a video on autistic children and was hooked.
Buddy received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Davidson, a master’s from UNC Greensboro, and a Ph.D. in psychology at UCLA. He began his career treating autistic and developmentally disabled patients at Camarillo State Mental Hospital in California. He edited and contributed to books on autism and served as associate editor of many professional journals including Applied Behavioral Analysis. He worked as a staff psychologist at the Developmental Disabilities Institute in Smithtown and Stony Brook, N.Y., was director of education at The May Institute in Chatham, Mass., director of psychology and clinical services at Muscatatuck State Development Center in Indiana, and an adjunct professor at Xavier University’s psychology department from 1999 until his death. Buddy’s family joked that he would read anything within three feet of him. He loved to fix things around the house and visit the hardware store, where he walked up and down each aisle so as not to miss anything. He enjoyed playing golf and was a self-taught photographer. He also loved classical music and held a subscription to the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. Survivors include his wife, Dr. Christine A. Hovanitz, 2219 Kyle Dr., Hebron, KY 41048; a son, Philip Newsom ’09; and brother, Don Atlas Newsom.