Customer Reviews: Children With Starving Brains: A Medical Treatment Guide for Autism Spectrum Disorder, Second Edition
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on May 11, 2003
Please do yourself, your child, or your patients the monumental favor of reading, living, and practicing this book. Children with Starving Brains is an easy to read and comprehensive guide to the painfully complex issues surounding the causation, gastrointestinal pathology, toxicity, and evaluation process of working with children with Austism Spectrum Disorders.
The book then deals extensively with the steps involved in healing the injuries. Dr. McCandless walks the reader through gastrointestinal healing measures, removing heavy metals, restoring proper immune function, and healing the STARVING brain.
You will shake your head in amazement both at the amount of helpful and hopeful information in this book, as well as in absolute awe at the lack of comprehension that most medical, dental, and nursing practitioners have concerning the contemporary state of causation, pathology, and treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorders.
I work in a practice that has successfully treated almost 100 children utilizing the principles outlined by Dr. McCandless. All the children have improved to varying degrees. Some have almost totally "recovered", others have shown islands of significant improvement, but ALL have responded positively.
This is good, progressive, modern health care. It is not "alternative" treatment. It is correct treatment to address an acute illness or "insult" to a child's entire brain, body, and self. These interventions have also proven tremendously helpful in our treatment of 200 adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders.
I especially appeal to my nursing colleagues: READ THIS BOOK. In so many situations, We are the professionals advising mothers about conception and prenatal care; administering immunizations; counseling parents about the use of antibiotics; teaching about dental care; providing care in pediatrician's offices, or in our own pediatric, psychiatric, and general health care practices. If we do not avail ourselves of this information, we are part of the problem, and NOT part of the answer. If we are ignorant of the issues surrounding vulnerbility and causation, we are directly contributing to the epidemic of Autism Spectrum Disorders.
In the future, we will look back on the pioneering work of Jaquelyn McCandless, and her colleagues such as Teresa Binstock, and the innovative professionals associated with DAN! and similar organizations,and know that this was indeed a turning point in the history of medicine and nursing.
We have purchased several dozen copies of this book and have distributed it to parents and professionals, and they have been amazed. Parents intuitively know there is much truth to be found in this book. Professionals who read it with an open mind often come around and start to pay attention to data rather than dogma.
Invest a few hours reading this book. It will change the life of someone you love, or someone with whose care and development you are entrusted.
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on December 12, 2007
High Functioning Autistic, for those who aren't yet familiar with the terminology. I have an adult diagnosis of Asperger's Syndrome, despite the fact that echolalia was my primary form of communication until I was 8, and I couldn't form a sentence on my own until that age.

I enjoy being who I am, and I view autism as an essential part of my personality. I do not want to be "cured". That does not mean I do not want any of my symptoms to go away. I should add that this is more a review of the treatment approach recommended by the book than of the book itself.

I started experimenting with the biomedical approach to treating myself 5 years ago. I began with what is basically the Feingold Diet - removing all artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. I stopped having seizures (except for one time, when I accidentally had some Yellow #5 and began seizing about half an hour later, I went through everything I ate and drank that day two days later after staying in bed before finding the trigger). It helped me a lot with issues of emotional lability (sudden changes in mood). I also started to sleep a little bit better, and lost 15 pounds of the extra weight I had gained (I weighed 185 when I first started with biomedical approaches).

Fast forward two years. I was happy with what I had gained from Feingold, and read Lisa Lewis' book on GFCF diet and found myself. As a child, I had consumed a gallon or more of milk per day, and as an adult, still ate cheese or yoghurt on a daily basis. Giving up all milk products allowed me to start looking people in the eyes for the first time in my life, notice facial expressions (though not process what they mean), and removed a lot of the haziness I had always experienced.

Almost two years ago, I went gluten free as well. I didn't notice any major improvements... although I did start reading body language a little better. What I did notice is that about 3 months after I went gluten free I broke out all over my body, a good sign of toxin release in me... and that attempted reintroduction and later accidental exposure to gluten made me feel extremely ill. The last time I accidentally had some gluten, I broke out in open sores all over my body. The other thing is that all the vitamins I had been taking finally started to do me some good, probably because I was absorbing them for the first time ever. Due to my symptomology, I highly suspect I have had undiagnosed Celiac disease for my entire life...

About a year ago, I removed soy. I didn't notice any improvements from it, but when I tried to reintroduce any soy, found it caused severe intestinal problems. Accidental consumption of soy tends to lead to me spending the rest of the day in the bathroom. Incidentally, I dropped 15 pounds more.

I "accidentally" ended up removing eggs, then found out that they made me feel sick when I reintroduced them, and also caused some intestinal issues.

Another "accidental" removal - nuts. I just didn't feel like eating anything with nuts for a while, and when I had a product containing nuts a couple months later, I had some absence seizures the following day. Tried repeating it with a different nut several months ago, had the same side effect. I also lost 15 pounds.

I'm still working on getting the mercury amalgam out of my mouth, so I can't say too much about it.

However, I had SEVERE lead poisoning - to the point where I had to have my cataracts removed when I was 30. I underwent oral chelation with DMSA (supplemented with potassium, zinc, calcium, and magnesium, to help offset any possible negative effects), and had some definite increases in attention span and ability to sleep. These were temporary, but helpful at the time. I plan do another couple rounds of DMSA after I finish getting the amalgam fillings out of my mouth.

If I forget to take my EFAs I tend to stutter and ticque more. I take about 1500 mcgs of B12 every day, and have a hard time even getting out of bed without it. I take megadoses of several other vitamins, some mineral supplements, and etc., but those are the most obviously helpful.

My current weight is a relatively healthy 133 pounds, from a starting high of 185. Not a bad side-effect, though not one I was intending.

So, for those of you who discount the biomedical treatments, give them a truly serious try with your child before you blow it off. If nothing else, it can't hurt and might help, which is a lot better than what I can say about the psychiatric medications that are available. I admit to being fanatic enough that I even read the ingredient lists of my shampoos, soaps, toothpaste, lotion, and other "external" use products, but have found that gluten, soy, and artificial ingredients in these negatively affect my health. Good luck, and I sincerely hope your children don't have as many sensitivities as I do.
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on November 13, 2003
I have a child diagnosed with autism. We were given two books to read; one from a friend ("Facing Autism: Giving Parents Reasons for Hope and Guidance for Help"), and one was given to us by our Regional Center (can't remember the name right now).
I didn't like those books very much, because I felt they were dealing with MY feelings and fears. But it's my son that needs help! My first priority is to do what I can to help my son, not do what I can to help me feel better about how or why this has happened. I, and he, simply don't have time to spare, we need to start addressing his problems now, while he is still young.
"Children with Starving Brains" was a real page-turner for me. Yes, it can get somewhat technical. But it is written for parents, not doctors. Why? Because the doctors that follow the approaches listed in this book are all really, really busy with waiting lists of patients. Why? Because biomedical treatment for autism works!
When we first started down this road of autism, I wanted someone or something to tell me what to do. I found this book told me exactly that. And now that we are on this course, our son is making constant improvements. This is not the only book I've read, but this is the one that really got us started down the road to recovery.
I think every parent of an autistic child could benefit from taking a look at this book.
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on December 8, 2003
This book is the answer for starting to cure your child who has an Autistic Spectrum Disorder. What is Autistic Spectrum Disorder? Think of any disease or syndrome that is caused by chemicals in the brain not working correctly. My 5 year old was diagnosed with PDD (Pervasive Developmental Disorder, a lesser form of Autism), OCD and ADHD, since doing the tests recommended in the book and beginning the usually very simple and safe treatments, our daughter has made huge leaps in development and has lost ALL of her diagnoses. In fact, we just received our first-ever teacher review that said our daughter was a completely normal 6 year old--no developmental, behavioral or emotional issues of any kind! This book provided hope in my darkest hour, and the books advice has followed through with real results. I've spoken with many parents whose children have lost their ASD diagnosis using the treatments in this book.
I stumbled upon this book after 2 years of expensive doctors and tests, all of which concluded that she had Autism, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and ADHD. All of those doctors wanted me to medicate her symptoms, but none could offer information on the CAUSE of these diseases or medication to address the CAUSES. I always left the office wondering "why was she normal before 2 years of age and not now? What is causing the chemicals in her brain to not work correctly so that she displays Autistic, OCD and ADHD symptoms?" Many dollars later, I read this book. I immediately found a DAN (Defeat Autism Now) doctor and asked her to do the tests and begin the treatments discussed in this book. We reached the light at the end of the tunnel! This book is not meant to take care of parents emotional issues, it is strictly information on the causes and cures that Dr. McCandless and other DAN doctors have found that work on ASD children, which is exactly what I needed in order to help my child have a normal future. Hooray for Dr. McCandless and the pioneering DAN doctors!
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on January 9, 2003
If you are a parent of a child with Autism this book is an absolute must-have! Dr. McCandless' book is the most up-to-date guide on treating children with Autism biomedically. Her book is easily understandable and well writtten. I have followed the recommendations within her book to a "T" with my 26 month old ASD daughter. My daughter's response to these interventions have been nothing short of miraculous. Dr. McCandless is an absolute God send! **Please remember that everyone is different and that each individual will respond differently to these interventions**, but because these are so safe and easily adaptable - it is definitely worth giving it a try! My only regret is not getting this book sooner!
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on August 13, 2004
My son is developmentally delayed with expressive receptive speech delays and sensory integration disorder and he is making great gains with the help of this informative book and his DAN! doctor and nutitionist. My husband (who is reluctantly supportive of this approach) said yesterday: "he is talking so nicely, whatever it is your giving him, it's working." Note: my son is on a GFCF diet (no gluten or casein) and taking many of the supplements recommended and explained in this very important and informative book.
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on September 27, 2005
This is likely one of the best if not THE best book for parents on biomedical issues in children with Autism. It is so easy to understand. I have an 11 year old son that was diagnosed at age 5 with ASD. He showed no improvement through to about age 7 when I took it upon myself to find ways to help him. With this book and strategies from Nathan Ory, Dr.Mercola and Steven Gutstein (all avail through a web search) as well as the DAN protocol, I can honestly say NO-ONE that meets my son now believes he has or ever had an autism diagnosis or anything for that matter!! He is sweet, affectionate, articulate, out going, funny, and HEALTHY. My best advise to all parents new to Autism is "Trust your own instincts and read everything you can, especially books like this one!!"
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on October 6, 2003
As a mother of 2 children within the ASD spectrum, Dr. McCandless has put together much information all in one book that it took me over three years to research on my own.
My first son, vaccine injured by thimerasol and now suffering from confirmed MMR induced colitis has made HUGE gains from the biomedical therapies out there that many standard doctors do not know about.
Dr. McCandless, a grandmother to a child with autism, changed her pratice to start helping others affected with this disorder. This maybe not the most personable book, but I have seen her on many online support groups lending her knowledge and support to many parents and families. She is an amazing,very knowledgable giving woman.
I highly recommend this book. As an autism treatment guide - like a school course Autism 101. I do have a medical background so the reading wasn't to technical for me.
I have seen first had what the diet, supplements, chelation, and other biomedical treatments may do for a child. I think every parent has a right to decide which therapies to look into for the course of treatment for their children.
I praise Dr. McCandless for rising to the occasion and not treading so lightly on topics that make some doctors cringe.
The local doctors here refused to test my sons' digestion problems. Two years later after seeing a Ped. GI Doctor that was aware of the DAN, he was found to be suffering from an infection in his stomach and colitis in his colon. The gains from treating these two illnesses that co-exist with his autism have proven HUGE gains in his health and other family life as a whole.
I just wish more professionals would look beyond the autism label and really consider the "symptoms" a child presents with.
I realize not every treatment option works for every child. I consider myself lucky with help of researchers and Doctors like McCandless my sons' quailty of living are improving.
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on September 29, 2005
Dr. McCandless tells about her quest to help her beautiful grand-daughter as they struggle with the diagnosis of autism. This book is full of very useful information regarding the trials and tribulations associated with the long road ahead for many children diagnosed with ASD, PDD, and other related autism disorders. Dr. McCandless has given an insight as to possible treatments today. I ordered three books and gave one to my grandson's pediatrician to read! Some doctors haven't a clue.

Grandparents hurt twice as much.... once for their children and then for their grandchildren.
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on May 1, 2003
This book could quite possibly change your child's life, your family's future or your professional ability to avoid iatrogenic tragedies, and HELP children impacted by Autism Spectrum Disorders(ASD).
Jaquelyn McCandless has done yeoman's work in researchng, synthesizing, and applying cutting edge scientific theory and research to develop a road map to the restoration of health of people with ASD. She has clearly chronicled the most recent, successful, and exciting developments and insights that make it possible to actually help children AND adults with ASD.
In our practice, we treat 100 adults and 75 children with ASD, and use Dr. McCandless' book as our "workhorse" reference. We have also purchased dozens of copies of the book, and given it to parents to read as an excellent introduction and guide to the treatment they are about to undertake. They get a quick, strong, succinct educaton concerning what has made their child sick, and how we are cooperatively going to go about returning their child to his/her highest state of health. Parents love this book, and professionals NEED TO LEARN how to use the information and insights it generously offers.
The good news is also that the book is imminently readable, and easy to share with your family, friends, pediatrician, teachers, early intervention staff, nutritionist, psychologist, psychiatrist, neurologist, and circle of "Doubting Thomases". It is an especially powerful tool for parents to take to medical appointments for on-the-spot information and credibility. It's all there. Show it to the clinician. You'll soon know whether the people you are entrusting with your child's health are motivated to pay attention to data or dogma.
Do yourself and your child (or adult family member with ASD)an immense favor. Get this book, read it, re-read it, live it, and have your child's treatment based on it. Your child will thank you for it.
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