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Changing the Course of Autism: A Scientific Approach for Parents and Physicians Paperback – May 11, 2007
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Twenty years ago autism was rare: today it's prevalent, making Changing the Course of Autism: A Scientific Approach to Treating Your Autistic Child even more essential to any public or college-level health collection. This book challenges many conventional beliefs about autism's origins and diagnosis, and suggests it has roots in the environment. Chapters cover nutritional and disease models of autism and offer important medical insights on autism's many influences. It's a key autism survey any serious health collection needs; particularly those catering to parents. (Midwest Book Review, September 22, 2007)
Once viewed as rare and unusual, autism is now considered an epidemic with the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention findings reporting that one in 150 children in the United States now has autism. The parent of an autistic child, Jepson (founder, Children’s Biomedical Ctr. of Utah) encourages physicians and parents to view autism 'as a medical illness, not just a behavior disorder.' He discusses the neurological, gastrointestinal, genetic, and environmental issues that complicate our understanding of autism. His book is meant to be used as an overview for the layperson, not as a step-by-step guide on how to treat autism. Although there are agreed-upon common treatment approaches, each autistic child is unique. Jepson makes clear that with proper medical oversight, the autistic child can improve, often dramatically. Recommended as a comprehensive reference resource on autism in consumer health collections.
(Library Journal, 05/01/2001)
'Calling it a developmental disorder is like calling a brain tumor a headache. Autism is merely one symptom of an underlying disease process that affects the immunological system, the gastrointestinal system, and the toxicological system, as well as the neurological system.'
If you've searched for biomedical treatments, chances are you've encountered a glaring lack of knowledge or even outright skepticism. Dr. Jepson wrote this book to help overcome such obstacles.
Changing the Course of Autism is radically comprehensive. Dr. Jepson has consolidated all the current research on thimerosal, immune system dysfunction, gut disease and environmental toxins. He explains the biochemistry of autism and discusses how biomedical treatments work. His goal is to educate mainstream physicians about the medical basis of autism, but he also writes for parents so they can understand the biological rationale behind the treatment strategies for their children.
The scientific information is extensive but there is plenty of understandable content and readers can skip to whatever sections suit their needs. Dr. Jepson has truly created an indispensable one-stop reference for autism's biomedical issues.
(Autism/Asperger's Digest Magazine, November 1, 2007)
This book will be the new PDR of autism for parents and physicians. Incredibly well referenced and easy to understand, it challenges long-held beliefs about this condition and introduces us to the new medical model of autism. An important book that every professional and family member who deals with autism must own.
(Lee Grossman, president and CEO, Autism Society of America)
Dr. Bryan Jepson demystifies the disorder by providing the most up-to-date information on symptoms, detection, diagnosis, treatment, and the impact of the disorder on families of individuals with autism. Based on Dr. Jepson’s extensive research and clinical observations, this book answers myriad questions about autism with authority and compassion.
(Doreen Granpeesheh, BCBA, executive director, Center for Autism and Related Disorders)
The idea that the suffering of autism could be rooted in environmental injuries poses a huge challenge to medicine, science and society. Opening our hearts and minds to fresh thinking is the only way forward. Dr. Jepson's information-filled book moves the reader through the discomfort of painful news to a framework for constructive responses.
(Martha R. Herbert)
Board-certified emergency medical doctor and parent of an autism spectrum child Bryan Jepson, M.D. presents Changing the Course of Autism: A Scientific Approach for Parents and Physicians, a scientific scrutiny that re-examines commonly held beliefs about autism spectrum disorder, along with Jane Johnson, whose expertise lies in the field of researching and treating autism in children.
Changing the Course of Autism takes the bold stance that autism is not solely caused by genetic factors, but rather a combination of genetic and environmental factors - an abundance of toxicity in the environment combined with autistic individuals' reduced ability or inability to detoxify. The sudden epidemic of autism in today's society (1 in 150 children has been diagnosed) underscores that environmental factors must be at work, since a disease that is solely genetic is not likely to produce a similar surge. Chapters further explore possible environmental causes of autism, and ways to treat autism and help children recover. Written in plain terms for parents, caretakers, and medical personnel alike, Changing the Course of Autism is an absolute must-read for new or expecting parents with a history of autism, or who wish to prepare themselves to defend their child from an onslaught of environmental toxins in today's unfortunately polluted world. Highly recommended.
Top customer reviews
In all fairness I've decided to write an update on the book. When I had originally bought this book I was new to autism ,and my daughter had been diagnosed two weeks prior.Now that I'm more familiar with some of the terms such as methylation,mitochondria etc I really like the book,I've read it three times now front to back and have important tidbits I miss every time I re read it. I have yet to find a book that tells you what's exactly going on with the body and helpful info on how to fix it.
This book highlights once again the need for a sea change in the way doctors, as well as parents, view autism.
Here's a quote from the very popular book Three Cups of Tea, detailing one man's ability to counter terrorism with educational opportunities: "The enemy is ignorance."
Our autistic children's enemy is not the conventional-thinking practitioner, it's his or her ignorance of the scientific facts.
For those who read and see the value of this book, please consider taking steps to dispel the pervasive ignorance about autism.
Request copies of Jepson's book for the special needs resource section of your school library, for your public library, for your local chain or independent book store. Ask your local newspaper and radio station to read and review the book. Recommend the book in your support group, and your school parents advisory council for special needs kids.
If you don't currently have a DAN doctor for your child, please do not use this book to treat your child; that was not Dr. Jepson's intent. If your area of the country does not have one, you can link up with great DAN doctors in other states. Some DAN practices have patients from all over the world.
Brian Jepson, MD, and all the other DAN doctors who through their research and practices contributed to this book: a heart-felt thanks for giving parents and practitioners alike an opportunity to apply an intelligent, scientific approach to understanding autism and its treatment.
I pray he will publish another book as more information becomes available.
*Autistic Spectrum Disorders, PDD, (including 'regressive' autism in children who initially developed normally.)
[If there is a better book -- or one even nearly as good -- PLEASE leave a review pointing the way to that book since I want to read it too. This and the Jaquelyn McCandless' book, "Children with Starving Brains: A Medical Treatment Guide for Autism Spectrum Disorders are the best and you should read both.]
Dr. Jepson is quite simple a scientist AND a physician who is trying to learn everything *he* can about autism, and to teach what every parent and treating physician needs to understand as a basis for beginning to help those with autism.
In this book he has provided a primer on the science needed to understand autism from a medical view point and on the current medical treatments and how they might work or be improved.
This is a book any literate (or really determined) parent can read, while at the same time presenting the scientific documentation so enable a physician to use it as a primer on the current debates and state of knowledge.
When deciding "can I read this book", consider it to be roughly at the same level as high school or college freshman biology in raw difficulty but remember that likely you are motivated to understand this disease far more than you ever were in high school.
Those who gave it low ratings as 'unscientific' quite simple never read this book, since practically every page is a discussion of biochemistry, immunology, and/or the scientific literature, both in support and in opposition to every major theory of autism and its treatment.
Jepson warns parents and physicians to seek the science. He is NOT a "mercury causes it" fanatic, but instead (for example) presents the science for and against mercury being a contributing factor.
He leads with the primary known risk factor and reminds of this throughout the book: autism has a strong genetic component.
He also points out that autism is on the rise (now estimated by the CDC at between 1 in 150 or 1 in 165) -- diagnostic changes and anomalies do NOT account for the increase of the last 20 years -- and that purely genetic diseases do not exhibit "epidemic" characteristics.
Jepson's only consistent "points of view" or biases are these:
1) Autism has a STRONG genetic component
(e.g., monozyotic twins incur it far more frequently but not
universally than either fraternal twins or other siblings)
2) Autism is more than just genetic and is a complex condition
likely to have several 'causes' which affect those with the
3) Other (than neurological) conditions are commonly seen in
conjunction with autism, and might either be more closely
related to the root causes or environmental factors which
cause autism to express so tragically. (Intestinal disorders
being the most common.)
4) Finding a way to TREAT the babies that is safe and scientifically
supportable, driven by neither fads nor hindered by refusal to
really LOOK at and UNDERSTAND what the current scientific
studies indicate and do NOT indicate.
There is much more research to be done on autism -- read this book if you care for someone who has autism, or who may have it.
Give this book to your physician, or if you are a physician yourself, then recommend it to your friends AFTER you have read it and determined for yourself that it is indeed scientific.
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