Inspirational Model ♥ The Voice for Autism
Natalie Jessica Oden was born on September 27, 1994 in Whittier, California and she is the daughter of Ana and Charles Oden. She has twin sisters, Wendy and Janet Oden. At the age of three, she was diagnosed with autism which runs in Charles’ family. She was placed in school at that time and was in a special education program until she graduated from high school. She made tremendous progress during this time and went from non-verbal contact to fully engaging with others in society. Natalie, however, did suffer during her junior high years from horrible bullying which her parents did not know until after she told them after high school. This episode during her junior high years caused depression, anxiety, and fear in Natalie. She tried counseling and taking medication to help her but it did not work.
When Natalie was 17, she did a photo shoot with a photographer from Mexico that was a nephew of one of her Mom’s friends. The photos came out great but that was it for a while. When Natalie was 19, she thought about those photos and told her Dad that she wanted to model. This is where the journey began and has progressed greatly over the last year.
In March 2015, Natalie met Vaiva Tuckuviene at the LA Convention Center where Vaiva was promoting her new book, The Road to Modeling Success. Her father asked Vaiva to help coach Natalie and she began to instruct Natalie on how to become a professional model. In January of 2016, Vaiva Tuckuviene became Natalie’s mother agent, and she signed Natalie to become one of Vaiva Models.
Natalie has been involved in several photo shoots and even received her first magazine cover in January 2016 for M12 Magazine. She worked at the NASCAR race in Fontana, California and at Comic Con in San Diego last summer. In early 2016, Natalie also participated in her first editorial photo shoot for designer's Vaiva Tuckuviene's "Vaiva Style" the book collection "The Road to Modeling Success" featured in both The Eden and Happy 365 Magazines.
Her future goals are to continue to advance in her modeling career and acting as well. Everything she done has been the greatest therapy she could ever receive. Her interaction with others during her modeling adventures has helped her to become more positive and trusting in people once again. She is hopeful and excited about her future especially with people like Vaiva. She also wants to be an example to others who have similar conditions and to those who have suffered from bullying like her. She has even received messages of support from other parents who have autistic children. They have told her that she brings hope and inspiration to them and their families.
In a little over a year, Natalie Oden has watched her dream come true in front of her eyes, and she could not be happier!
By Charles Oden