We'd like to express our gratitude to Tony Lyons, Publisher at Skyhorse Publishing in New York City. Skyhorse is one of the fastest growing independent publishers in America and one of the few to tackle the toughest, most controversial topics in health and autism. For the next 12 days, we'll be creating a list of books that we hope will interest you. Some will be very familiar, like those from Dan, Mark and me (Kim) and others we hope will be new sources of information and stories to help you navigate your family's autism journey.
Day 7: Autism Adulthood: Insights and Creative Strategies for a Fulfilling Life―Second Edition by Susan Senator
One of the biggest fears of parents with children with autism is their looming adulthood and all that it entails. In this Second Edition of her lauded book Autism Adulthood, Susan Senator further tackles the challenges of adult life on the autism spectrum on the more severe end of the spectrum – those who cannot communicate for themselves, honestly discussing the complex decisions that await all parents and caregivers. To help parents find the guidance they need to provide fruitful lives for their autistic loved ones’ and the support they themselves need, Senator shares her own family’s personal story about her son, Nat, and his struggles and triumphs as an adult with severe autism.
Autism Adulthood features interviews with parents, caregivers, researchers, and professionals. Each vignette reveals firsthand a family’s needs and goals―the circumstances, thought processes, and unique solutions. Sharing the wisdom that emerges from parents’ and self-advocates’ experiences, Senator adds her own observations and conclusions based on her long-term familiarity and understanding of autism. Told in Senator’s trademark warm, approachable style, Autism Adulthood, Second Edition paints a vivid and thought-provoking picture of many people grappling with grown-up, real-life autism. Senator’s is the only book of its kind, as real families share their stories and their creative solutions.
Day 6: The Environmental and Genetic Causes of Autism By James Lyons-Weiler
The Environmental and Genetic Causes of Autism delves deep into the full body of past and current research to reveal how genetic predispositions and environmental factors can combine to produce the conditions autism and autism spectrum disorders (ASD).
To make this groundbreaking volume, Dr. James Lyons-Weiler combed through the past fifty years of published research on autism, exploring subjects such as genetic variation, mechanisms of neurotoxicity of metals and pesticides, and the central and combined roles of each in causing autism.
Lyons-Weiler provides a major overview of all aspects of the condition of autism, reviews changes in diagnoses and treatments, and explains how genetic information can be used to tailor effective treatments, and sometimes reversals, of the symptoms. He also presents practical forward-looking suggestions on how to design future studies to facilitate the discovery of biomarkers for autism risk and how to classify the full range of autism spectrum disorders.
Autism is considered one of the most mystifying conditions of our day, and alarmed scientists, doctors, politicians, and parents are desperately trying to understand why the condition is escalating. According to the CDC, rates in the United States have risen from an estimated one in two thousand children in 1980, to one in sixty-eight in 2012, and a new National Health Interview Survey shows a rate of one in forty-five. By the time you read this book, that number may have changed yet again.
While most autism researchers focus on either environmental or genetic causes of autism, Lyons-Weiler’s opus demonstrates that to fully understand the condition and to finally put its rate on the decrease, it is essential to pay attention to the science showing how the two classes of factors interact.
Even as the autism rate soars and the cost to our nation climbs well into the billions, a dangerous new idea is taking hold: There simply is no autism epidemic.
The question is stark: Is autism ancient, a genetic variation that demands acceptance and celebration? Or is it new and disabling, triggered by something in the environment that is damaging more children every day?
Authors Mark Blaxill and Dan Olmsted believe autism is new, that the real rate is rising dramatically, and that those affected are injured and disabled, not merely “neurodiverse.” They call the refusal to acknowledge this reality Autism Epidemic Denial. This epidemic denial blocks the urgent need to confront and stop the epidemic and endangers our kids, our country, and our future.
The key to stopping the epidemic, they say, is to stop lying about its history and start asking "who profits?" People who deny that autism is new have self-interested motives, such as ending research that might pinpoint responsibility—and, most threateningly, liability for this man-made epidemic.
Using ground-breaking research, the authors definitively debunk best-selling claims that autism is nothing new—and nothing to worry about.
Day 4: Your Special Education Rights by Jennifer Laviano and Julie Swanson
The definitive guide for parents of children with disabilities is out. This book is authored by two special education experts and draws on decades of experience from the front lines of special education advocacy.
The authors, Jennifer Laviano and Julie Swanson, detail a strong, practical, and results oriented perspective that helps parents cut through the fog of special education to get the services their children deserve.
"We're passionate to pull the curtain back on the realities of special education - and tell parents the truths that school districts don't always disclose," said Julie Swanson, co-author and special education advocate, who's also the mother of a child with a disability. "Our message to parents is - plain and simple: Know your rights or run the risk of being taken advantage of," Swanson added.
Your Special Education Rights provides parents with vital information and specific guidance to address key challenges - including: How to respond to special education "urban legends" like your child is "too smart" for services; how to avoid "toothless" language in a special education plan; and overcoming discrimination and low expectations. The book also explains why now, more than ever before, parents must be vigilant to protect children's rights - and how recent Supreme Court case law and changes at the federal level impact children with disabilities.
Though Your Special Education Rights is for parents primarily, educators and administrators can also learn how difficult it can be for parents to understand the special education system, which hopefully helps schools and parents work more closely.
Day 3: How To Prevent Autism by Dara Berger
The statistics are alarming and become more so every year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1 in 68 children have been identified with an autism spectrum disorder, making it one of the fastest growing developmental disorders in the United States. Further, the CDC estimates that parents with a child on the autism spectrum can have nearly a 20 percent chance of having a second child with autism.
In How to Prevent Autism, Dara Berger shares her personal journey with autism. She describes everything that went wrong with her son that led to an autism diagnosis and everything she did differently to prevent her daughter from suffering the same fate. She interviews eight well-known ASD experts--including doctors, nutritionists, nurses, and scientists--about the factors that have led to the growing epidemic of autism. Based on the best practices for preventing autism in children, each professional offers perspectives grounded in their own research and their patients’ improvements. The book covers every detail--from the importance of mothers’ cleaning out their bodies preconception, through common genetic mutations that may put children at risk, to the crucial role of nutrition in prevention.
All parents agree that every choice counts when it comes to the health of their children. As Dara Berger makes clear in this personal, informative, and authoritative book, the stakes could not be higher when it comes to autism.
Day 2: Vaccines A Reappraisal by Dr. Richard Moskowitz
Drawing on fifty years of experience caring for children and adults, Dr. Moskowitz examines vaccines and our current policy regarding them. Weaving together a tapestry of observed facts, clinical and basic science research, news reports from the media, and actual cases from his own practice, he offers a systematic review of the subject as a whole. He provides scientific evidence for his clinical impression that the vaccination process, by its very nature, imposes substantial risks of disease, injury, and death that have been persistently denied and covered up by manufacturers, the CDC, and the coterie of doctors who speak for it.
With the aim of acknowledging these risks, taking them seriously, understanding them more holistically, and ultimately assessing them on a deeper level, he proposes a nationwide debate based on objective scientific research, including what we already know and what still needs to be investigated in the future. He argues that with no serious public health emergency to justify them, requiring vaccines of everyone deprives us all of genuinely informed consent, and prevents parents from making health-care decisions for our children, basic human rights that we still profess to hold dear.
For the present, given the legitimate controversy surrounding the mandates, he proposes that most vaccines simply be made optional and that further research into their risks and benefits be conducted by an independent agency in the public interest, untainted by industry funding, CDC sponsorship, and the quasi-religious sanctimony that is widely invoked on their behalf.
Day 1: Cooking with Leo by Erica Daniels.
This heartfelt cookbook tells the story of a mother desperate to heal and connect with her hard-to-reach, severely autistic son, Leo, through the most vital everyday activity—cooking.
For many years, Erica Daniels had been out to find a successful dietary intervention for eleven-year-old Leo, who suffers from significant food allergies, gastrointestinal disease and autism. Through trial and error in her own kitchen, she finally hit her gastronomic stride of preparing nourishing meals for her entire family without gluten, dairy, soy, nuts, additives, or GMOS—with Leo by her side.
Part cookbook and part love story, Cooking with Leo takes you into the real life messy kitchen of a family affected by autism and food allergies. You will laugh and cry along with Erica and Leo as they cook, create, dance, act silly, and, most importantly, bond. A family-inspired collection of over 60 allergen-free and autism diet–friendly recipes to be prepared and shared together by your whole family, you will make meaningful connections with your child and nurture their passion for cooking with nutritious recipes.