The Un-Prescription for Autism:
A Natural Approach for a Calmer, Happier, and More Focused Child
By Dr. Janet Lintala with Margaret W. Murphy
Forward by Dr. Elizabeth Mumper, former Medical Director of the Autism
Published by American Management Association, 2016
Reviewed by Linda M. Olsen, M.Ed.
Dr. Janet Lintala and her husband have a son who is on the Autism Spectrum. He is now in college and doing well! When he was young and diagnosed with ASD she promised that if he got healthy and happy again, she would use what she learned to help others. That is exactly what she has been doing for more than ten years! Dr. Lintala runs the Autism Health Clinic in Beckley, West Virginia(see at (www.loveautismhealth.com). This book documents her recommended ways to diagnose health problems that could be causing their behaviors and how to treat and care for children with autism.
The author is not opposed to using prescription medications. However, instead of using a "pill for every ill" her approach is to look for and find the sources of their health issues that are causing their behaviors. Her strong belief is that persons on the Autism Spectrum have underlying gastrointestinal and other immunological dysfunctions that are interfering with their behaviors. The author's approach is guided by her strong belief that irritability, gastrointestinal problems, sleep disruption, and difficult behaviors are not just part of autism. They are signs of deeper problems that, when ignored, create difficulties with irritability and mood, behavior, language, cognition, and mental clarity.
The underlying gastrointestinal, immunological and other metabolic dysfunctions need to be addressed. "Instead of directing time and energy to behaviors a parent sees, they should investigate the silent health issues that are causing the behaviors. " When Evan was around five or six his irritability and other unusual behaviors for his age became extreme. When he was eventually diagnosed with Aspergers (ASD), Dr. Lintala started attending conferences, doing much reading on the subject , and visiting famous doctors. It was then that she put Evan on a special diet and within three weeks this cleared up eighty percent of his anger and violent behaviors. It became apparent then that Evan had been experiencing much pain and discomfort.
In the author's clinic she has first-time parent visitors fill out an extensive questionnaire with the intention of discovering what is causing their child with autism to have the particular health challenges that they display via their behaviors. The questionnaire is included and provides the framework for the book. Some of the questionnaire categories with the responses that apply to them are THE PREGNANCY: bacterial Infection, antibiotics; COMMON CHARACTERISTICS: for example, pale pasty skin, poor eye contact, chewing on clothing; MEDICATIONS: Prevacid, Miralax, Risperidone; LANGUAGE AND COMMUNICATION: Does your child understand what is being said to him/her?, Does your child speak?, Does he/she answer by repeating your question?
Once the questionnaire is completed by the parent, Dr. Lintala reviews it carefully with them. In her book she explains why she has included each particlar area. After doing so she writes up an ACTION PLAN for the parent which addresses their child's particular challenges. These often include a Basic GI Support Protocol built upon enzymes, probiotics and antimicrobials, as well as a basic Immune Support Protocol built upon probiotics, vitamin D3, selenium, and others. Action Plans can also involve other specialists in Autism, Medicine or Education. Most of the book includes a variety of ACTION PLANS given to children with specific behaviors.
It is most obvious that this book was written out of love and caring for children with autism and their parents. This book is clearly written, and includes are a variety of charts and calendars which help to make the author's approach to working with children with autism doable and wise. I was left with the clear message that being a DETECTIVE to discover the reasons for their behaviors is key! The Un-Prescription for Autism is all about discovering what health issues a child with autism may have that are creating many of their challenging behaviors, and how to restore, support and maintain good health. It is not about treating or preventing autism. In my opinion, The Un-Prescription for Autism is a great resource for parents of children on the Autism Spectrum and others who work with them.