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The Autism Revolution: Whole-Body Strategies for Making Life All It Can Be Hardcover – March 20, 2012

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Editorial Reviews


Advance praise for The Autism Revolution
“Martha Herbert’s book gives us a new approach to understanding how autism affects many different body systems. It is essential reading for learning more about sensible biomedical treatments.”—Temple Grandin, author of Thinking in Pictures and The Way I See It
“This book offers hope and practical guidance to heal your child’s whole body system. It will be an important reference for everyone who knows someone with autism or has an interest in the field to read, study, and use.”—Robert L. Hendren, DO, professor and vice chair, Department of Psychiatry, and director, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco
“Combining meticulous, world-class research on autism’s biomedical causes and treatment with an artful presentation of the condition as a whole-body phenomenon, Martha Herbert elevates to a new level the thinking about, understanding of, and developing of interventions for supporting individuals on the autism spectrum. The Autism Revolution is a unique and valuable resource.”—Stephen M. Shore, EdD, assistant professor of special education at Adelphi University
“Written by a brilliant scientist in easy-to-understand language, The Autism Revolution gives parents two life-changing gifts. First is the gift of realistic hope; the second is the gift of knowledge. Drawing upon her vast knowledge of research and an eclectic array of approaches, Dr. Herbert helps parents understand their child in a new, holistic way, sending them on a journey of exploration and opportunity.”—John L. Martin, director, Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities
The Autism Revolution is a remarkable book. Complex evidence is summarized in easy-to-read prose, and practical advice is sprinkled throughout the book. A convincing case is made that autism is a disorder of both the brain and the body, and that there are many features of the environment—from the foods we eat to the pollutants that we breathe—that may play a role. This book will provide a blueprint for the future research agenda on this fascinating condition.”—Richard J. Davidson, William James and Vilas Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry, and founder and chair, Center for Investigating Healthy Minds, University of Wisconsin-Madison
“It is clear that Dr. Herbert cares deeply about the subject of autism and the people affected by it. Covering the topic as a physician, a scientist, an anthropologist, and a philosopher, she uses her exploration of autism to guide people to possible factors they may not have considered.”—Timothy Buie, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics, Harvard Medical School

About the Author

Martha Herbert, MD, PhD, is an assistant professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School and a pediatric neurologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, where she is the director of the TRANSCEND Research Program. She sits on the Scientific Advisory Committee for Autism Speaks.
Karen Weintraub, MA, is an award-winning journalist and freelance health writer for outlets like The Boston Globe, USA Today, and the BBC. A past recipient of a prestigious Knight Center for Science Journalism fellowship, she also teaches journalism at the Harvard Extension School and Boston University.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; 1 edition (March 27, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345527194
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345527196
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.2 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #370,724 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 41 people found the following review helpful By my_1_point_five_cents on March 31, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Dr. Herbert has written a fantastic book about the "whats" and "whys" (and also "why nots") of addressing autism spectrum disorders using approaches that are not usually part of the standard clinical repertoire. In a nutshell, the book reviews stories of individuals on the autism spectrum that either improved or got off the spectrum entirely, through methods that are not usually included in the standard family physician's to-do list. The beauty of the book is that it reviews these methods from several angles, in a simple, common sense way: (1) What is involved (2) What are the risks, (3) What are the costs, and perhaps most importantly, (4) Why might it work (or not work), from a scientific perspective.

Dr. Herbert advocates for low-risk, low-cost, potentially high benefit appraches to autism, which revolve mostly around specific proper diet and a healthy lifestyle. Yes, we've all heard this before, in many other contexts. And yes, this approach IS relevant well beyond autism (which is why I'd recommend this book to parents of children with a variety of issues, not just autism). What makes this book special is Dr. Herbert's careful and meticulous explanations. For instance, she discusses *why* diet affects your child's brain, and why the autistic brain might be more vulnerable. She walks the reader gently and in great detail through relevant complex scientific concepts, from gut bacteria to the inner workings of various types of brain cells, and their interactions, and in doing so she explains why (for instance) having a pizza might trigger a terrible tantrum in certain sensitive children.

Perhaps most importantly, while staying realistic and grounded, this book is written with amazing compassion and emphathy and offers real hope. Dr.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By K. Robertson on May 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Despite over forty years of research connecting symptoms to the disease process that we call autism it is still considered a psychiatric disorder that is not medically treatable. This book explains in very readable language why autism is a disease and a treatable disease. It is not a medical book for practitioners to use to treat the disease but it does give changes, and why they might be helpful, a parent can make in their child's life that might prove beneficial. It also discusses some treatment options that are currently available for children with autism that are harmful and why they are harmful. The first part of the book is about the science and the second half about rehabilitation. Autism occurs at critical stages of child development and stops or greatly retards development. Medical Treatment can make the child healthier but the child has to be taught what he has missed. Parents sometimes think it as an either/or proposition; either I go the ABA route of the medical, when in actuality it is the combined approach that will give the best outcome. Dr. Herbert did include the fact that agents are being developed that might be very helpful in the treatment of this disease in the future. This information has been available for some time for people who know where to look but somehow, it is never in the media. I wonder how many families give up in despair because they have absolutely no hope? This book will give everyone hope!
This book is a step (and I hope a huge one!) in changing the way we think about autism in this country. I am telling all of the families in our clinic to read this book, putting it on our website and every listserve I am on.
Thank you Dr. Herbert!
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Caroline Writer on August 21, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have been working with a family member to reverse his autism symptoms most of his life, using the DAN approach, gluten free-casein free diet, and many other techniques one reviewer here scoffs at. Guess what --THEY WORK! I am a highly educated Mom who had the luxury of time to research all of this back before it was mainstream. I read the pub-meds. I read the science. It's all true.

I'm so glad I never saw the doctor who wrote the negative review here *(one star) and that I didn't listen to those like him.

Instead, figuring they would have the motivation and integrity to tell the truth, I listened to doctors who were recovering their own autistic children, toxicologists, and OTHER PARENTS. Thank God I did because if I had waited for the consensus of those whose lack of imagination could not envision any path but the current thinking, my family member would not be about to start mainstream school this week. Whether that reviewer wants to believe it or not, treating my family members condition AS IF it were caused by toxins in our current world (ochams razor) rather than as if it were some weird coincidental thing that was rarer than rare in the previous generation but oddly 1 in 20 boys in this one---was the key to bringing him back. Listening to people who pretend it is normal to have exploding diapers, that we just didn't "notice" the hand flapping kids in the 1960-s--brought me no answers. Instead, I listed to those who said "obviously these children are the canaries in the coal mine and something is wrong NOW" "Obviously these kids were fine and then they weren't--SOMETHING happened to them".
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