Geekdad.com – ‘The Un-Prescription for Autism’: Not the Voodoo I Expected’
A short time ago, I received an offer to review an advance copy of the book The Un-Prescription for Autism. I looked at the line at the top of the cover: “A Natural Approach for a Calmer, Happier, and More Focused Child” (emphasis my own). I did a cursory check of the author, Dr. Janet Lintala. “Doctor,” in this case, meaning “chiropractor.” I managed only a hint of malice when I chuckled, cracked my knuckles, and responded to the offer with a restrained “yes.” As the father of a son on the Autism spectrum, I keep my eyes and ears open for what is going on in the medical world as it relates to ASD. Since becoming a contributor here at GeekDad, I’ve had an opportunity to voice some of my experiences and take a look at some helpful and informative products that cater to people on the spectrum and those who love and care for them. I’ve also seen my share of pseudo-science and complete disregard of science. Being a parent of a healthy child is hard enough (or so I hear… all three of mine have unique health issues), and being the parent of a child on the spectrum can, at times, be completely overwhelming. I understand when frazzled parents are tempted to rely on voodoo and rubbing homemade tinctures fashioned from mint extract and lawn clippings on their kids because the application of such a balm coincided with a child’s tantrums subsiding once for “this friend of mine.”
It was with visions of anti-vaxxers dancing in my head, peddling their essential oils, incense burning from the ends of acupuncture needles, that I dove into my review copy of The Un- Prescription for Autism. What I anticipated was another person trying to make money by promising frustrated parents that with another book and another home remedy, they can fix their broken child. I was soready to rip into this book and write a scathing review, telling all of you to stay as far away from this book as possible. Take the money you saved and treat your kid to a frozen yogurt or something; it’d be a better use of your resources. What I found couldn’t have been further from my expectations.
First off, Dr. Lintala addresses her formal instruction as a chiropractor head-on, so that obstacle was quickly removed. She presents her relevant experience not only as a parent living life on the spectrum but in working with others on the spectrum as the head of Autism Health!, an agency that serves children and adults on the spectrum in 12 states. I grumbled for a minute. This isn’t what I wanted! I wanted to tear down this author and her book. “I’ll bet there’s no science,” I thought. “I’ll bet it’s all anecdotal evidence presented as quasi-scientific.”
As though she knew what I was looking for, Dr. Lintala filled her book with testimonials from parents, pediatricians (“Crap, there are real doctors in here,” I thought), and references to actual scientific articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals (“Double crap!”). In fact, the end notes contained 25 pages of references cited throughout the book. This wasn’t going well at all! My scathing review was dying on the vine.
The approach that Dr. Lintala takes in her book is one that is gaining traction–albeit slowly–in the field of health care. Rather than just focus on treating the symptoms or cutting out the disease, the idea of healing the patient as a whole, as advocated by the prominent names like Dr. David Agus, are gaining traction and shifting paradigms. It’s an approach that makes sense to anyone who thinks about the body as a complex machine. Stress on one area of the machine that is the human body causes stresses elsewhere throughout the body. I like Dr. Agus and his approach, so to see Dr. Lintala approaching ASD with the same mindset was the third strike against my preconceived notion of what this book and subsequent review were going to be.
What Dr. Lintala suggests in her book is that the worst behavioral issues that manifest in the lives of individuals on the spectrum are caused by imbalances and irregularities in the gastrointestinal system. Makes sense, right? How do you feel when your guts are acting up? More than that, how do you act? How do you behave? Are you on your best behavior? Couple that upset feeling with the fact that the guts are the engine that converts what we eat into fuel for the body and are integral in the working of the body’s immune system. Dr. Lintala posits that if one can get the GI system regulated and supported, then the patient will feel better. When the patient feels better, the patient will be more agreeable to behaving better. Note that Dr. Lintala doesn’t say that GI health will cure Autism. Right now, there is no known cure for Autism. Nor is the method detailed in this book for those with less severe forms of ASD, what might be called “high functioning” or what used to be diagnosed as Asperger’s Syndrome. This is not the book for the parents of the Sheldon Coopers of the world. What Dr. Lintala presents in her book is a detailed and specific regiment that parents of those on the more severe end of the spectrum can follow with their pediatrician’s oversight (very important… while most of what Dr. Lintala lays out is available over the counter or online, one should not enter into this routine without consulting the patient’s doctor first) to help get the patient’s guts operating regularly and correctly. In addition to helping the patient feel better and act more appropriately, Dr. Lintala’s program aims to break the cycle of prescription drug (particularly antibiotics) use and abuse that a lot of people with ASD are subjected to.
Does it work? The science behind Dr. Lintala’s methods is sound. The logic and reasoning pass the sniff test. The testimonials from caregivers and medical professionals suggest that the routine proposed has produced results. People on the spectrum who follow Dr. Lintala’s routine feel better, and when they feel better they are more agreeable to behaving better. That is what the program presented within the pages of this book sets out to do, and it appears that when the routine is followed as laid out, then it accomplishes its stated goal.
But, who am I to make that judgment call that the presented routine is medically sound, much less medically safe? I presented a high-level overview of the routine Dr. Lintala suggests to Pediatric Gastroenterologist Dr. Jody N. Hefner, DO, and asked him to sort of summarize his thoughts about Dr. Lintala’s approach toward treating the bellies of those with ASD. While Dr. Hefner did not have a copy of Dr. Lintala’s book to reference, he was able to share the following (cherry-picked and edited down for space):
The regimen you sent me touches on the current paradigm shift in modern medicine. With the internet and medical resources being readily available, patients now (finally?) have access to mountains of information and misinformation and everything in between. One of the roles of physicians now, in my opinion, in helping navigate this endless pile of information and help sort the wheat from the chaff. Whether it is alternative, complementary, or integrative, non- “traditional” or non-“western” medical practices and approaches have filled a niche that patients and parents have been wanting and like it nor not, is here to stay. Sometimes this need is due to religious or personal beliefs. Sometimes it is due to feeling left out of or not an active part of the conversation of caring for their children. Sometimes it is due to a previous negative experience–theirs or a close friend of family member–or lack of empowerment when making medical decisions. Some may even be “at wits end” or are knowingly reaching for anything that may help or even just give simple hope for improvement. Regardless of how patients and parents get there, the end point from the physician or health care provider is similar. Some may be more confrontational, some more nervous, but the conversation invariably will boil down to, hopefully, “what do you think about (insert treatment or approach here).”
My thoughts on the diet are two-fold. First, I don’t think it would be a harmful diet to follow, and may indeed help some patients “feel better” and therefore act better. So I would be comfortable if the parents of one of my patients (after we did our due diligence and at least screened for other GI issues) wanted to try it. Second, I think there are some parts of the diet that are “overkill”–namely the length of time to transition to gluten-free, casein-free, and the higher than needed dose of vitamin D. The probiotic regimen (without seeing the “anti- microbial” specifics) is fairly routine. In a clinic visit, this is where I would discuss my personal opinion with the parents, and see what their goals of the diet are, and their understanding of it. If they are dead set on the diet, or are willing to perhaps customize it to something we come up with ourselves, we could easily use this as a springboard for more discussion.
In addition to the routine Dr. Lintala lays out, the book is filled with other useful tips for managing life in a house with one or more children on the spectrum. Dr. Lintala’s style is one that embraces parenting with a sense of humor. Dr. Lintala is frank about the challenges parents of children with ASD face, including some of her personal stories and struggles, and at times calls out the absurdity of what amounts to being the ringmaster in a circus that is one’s own home.
It is without reservation that I suggest that anyone involved in the care of someone with more severe ASD pick up a copy of The Un Prescription for Autism, read it cover to cover, and talk about the program laid out by Dr. Lintala with their pediatrician. In addition to the specific routine and the various tips provided, Dr. Lintala tackles the real-world subject of how to have a frank discussion about your child’s health with a doctor, particularly when your child presents with ASD and you’re at your wit’s end.
The Un-Prescription for Autism is available on Amazon and other outlets where books are sold.
Postive Review from the Cyber Librarian:
American Management Association 2016
288 pages Nonfiction
My second year of teaching was a disaster. I was pregnant, but more importantly, I had a combination room of fourth and fifth graders. Among the 30 children in my class was a boy whose parents had just been arrested for murder, four students whose parents were being divorced, and one boy who would not speak to anyone or look them in the eye. He is the child I remember the most from that year, because I could do little for him. He could do more complex math problems than anyone in the class, but he could not tie his shoes. Everything, including all his knowledge, was shut up inside him. At first, he wouldn’t let me hug him, but eventually he became my friend. Today we would say that he was on the Autism spectrum. Then, he was just a strange and different little boy.
We didn’t have a name for Autism until about 100 years ago, and the public didn’t have much understanding of it until Dustin Hoffman appeared as an autistic savant in the movie Rain Man. This movie was a major breakthrough in public awareness. Special services in public schools began to be offered in the early 1990s, until now autism and a large spectrum of disorders have come to be recognized, understood, and appreciated.
The author of The Un-Prescription for Autism, Janet Lintala, is a Chiropractor, the mother of a child on the spectrum, and has a practice devoted to integrative health and autistic health. She believes that autism and all its variants can be faced head-on with therapies and protocols that are prescription free. She suggests that many of the imbalances in the lives of individuals on the spectrum are caused by irregularities in the gastrointestinal system. Her premise is that if you get the gastrointestinal system regulated, life will improve for the autistic child. She doesn’t say that the autistic child will be “cured” but that life will be better, the child will be calmer, happier and more focused. It may also break the cycle of prescription drugs (particularly antibiotics) that are endlessly given to those on the spectrum.
She also offers chapter after chapter of suggestion from her own life experience and from the experience in her chiropractic practice. There is plenty of research that backs up her practices, and useful diagrams and examples create plausibility for her assertions. The format is outstanding, the examples are pertinent, and the charts and diagrams are very helpful.
From my own life experience, I know that parents constantly search for help for their children having life adjustment problems. This book offers many helpful suggestions—although perhaps no major solutions. Any parent who reads The Un-Prescription for Autism will be intrigued with Lintala’s assertions about probiotics and gastrointestinal imbalances and find lots of valuable information to incorporate into their child’s therapies.
This book came from the publicist. Share it with friends and family who will find it beneficial.
THE UN-PRESCRIPTION FOR AUTISM: A Natural Approach for a Calmer, Happier, and More Focused Child
Stacey Chillemi , Contributor
Health Expert, Writer and Author
The Un-Prescription for Autism: A Natural Approach for a Calmer, Happier, and More Focused Child is an empowering, informative and motivational read. Janet Lintala and Martha W. Murphy book, “ The Un-Prescription for Autism: A Natural Approach for a Calmer, Happier, and More Focused Child,” provides readers with the insights to understand what autism is, the symptoms to look for, and powerful, effective ways to improve your child’s condition without resorting to prescription medications. Many individuals are unaware how our child’s environment and the surrounding we set for our child plays a vital role in health, productiveness, and well-being of that child.
Most individuals also do not realize the importance of getting to the root of the problem and then focusing on treating the problem, not the symptoms. Martha and Janet teach the readers how to treat the problem with the outstanding tools, techniques, and strategies that they provide in the book, which helps readers to learn how to improve their child’s mental health, physical health, quality of life, and overall well being.
In the introduction, (Janet) opens up and shares her personal life from a mother’s perspective sharing heartwarming moments, including includes moments from her rocky journey as she discovers her son is autistic. (Janet), she shares advice and guidance on how she was able to take the traumatic obstacle that crossed her life path and use it as a motivator to grow and create positive change in her life, her son’s life and her families life. (Janet) explains that this book is not about treating, curing or preventing autism. It is about restoring, supporting and maintaining vibrant health on the autism spectrum. Martha and Janet’s goal is to help parents, by teaching effective tips, tools, techniques and strategies that will help them overcome the difficult challenges that await every parent who has a child with autism.
The Un-Prescription for Autism: A Natural Approach for a Calmer, Happier, and More Focused Child, provides the reader with step-by-step instruction on how to gain control back into their life. Their teachings and stories in the book give the reader an understanding on how to improve their child’s life naturally without having to resort to medications by focusing on an action plan that they created provided in the book.
An action plan based on eating the right foods, taking the right vitamins and supplements, the importance of probiotics and over 200 pages consisting of a step-by-step action plan that is easy to incorporate into your child’s life. Martha and Janet give you the opportunity to improve your child’s life with autism. They provide excellent guidance for improving your child’s way of thinking, focus and behavior in their astonishing book, The Un-Prescription for Autism: A Natural Approach for a Calmer, Happier, and More Focused Child.
The Un-Prescription for Autism: A Natural Approach for a Calmer, Happier, and More Focused Child is packed with magnificent advice, stories, techniques, and strategies, which teaches readers how to improve their child’s focus, help make them calmer, giving them the ability to take back control in their lives, so they can experience a healthy and productive life.
Janet Lintala and Martha W. Murphy provide brilliant insight on how to transform your child including fabulous stories plus a wide range of recommendations and tips to help you prepare when you visit your child’s doctor so you can achieve the best care possible. This book provides you with the necessary tools, so you are able to harness the books incredible power.
Throughout the book, Janet Lintala and Martha W. Murphy provides a vast array of research that helps readers acknowledge the vital importance of diet and how it plays an essential role in a child’s mental and physical health. One important factor I acquired from reading this amazing book on autism was that it’s crucial for individuals to maintain a healthy diet and incorporate ways to maintain a healthy gut. Creating a healthy lifestyle, incorporating the right vitamins and supplements, and eating right can help a child with autism and improve their overall health.
The trick is how do we renew our child’s bodies and transform their lives so they can have a life filled with happiness and productivity. Janet Lintala and Martha W. Murphy teach you in their book how to turn your child’s life around with the tips, tools, strategies that are easy to incorporate in your life and very self-rewarding.
Janet Lintala and Martha W. Murphy not only discuss how to transform your child’s life with diet and lifestyle changes, they show you how to transform your child’s entire life as you read this astonishing life changing book.
A life filled with happiness, inner peace, good health and strong inner strength that can lead your child to endless opportunities and the ability excel to the highest levels that life has to offer.
I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in improving their child’s autism naturally. Janet Lintala and Martha W. Murphy book is excitingly packed with outstanding advice, tools, and stories and I find The Un-Prescription for Autism: A Natural Approach for a Calmer, Happier, and More Focused Child a rewarding, motivating, inspiring and an enjoyable read.
READERS’ FAVORITE 5-STAR REVIEWS BOOK REVIEW
Reviewed by Divine Zape for Readers’ Favorite
The Un-Prescription for Autism: A Natural Approach for a Calmer, Happier, and More Focused Child by Janet Lintala is a wonderful tool for parents, guardians, and teachers handling kids with autism, a book written by a professional in the field, and the founder of the Autism Health center. This book offers non-medical tools that can dramatically transform the lives of children with autism. In this book, readers will learn to understand the underlying conditions affecting the behavior of autistic kids, determine the best protocols to apply to them, and correct the disregarded health conditions with probiotics, digestive enzymes, anti-fungal, and other treatments. The explanations are so clear that they provide a wealth of knowledge to readers.
It is interesting to notice how the author weaves personal experience, the most recent research in the field, and her clinical expertise into this informative book to provide clear answers to readers with children who are autistic. Janet Lintala’s voice is both sympathetic and eloquent, charged with authority and confidence, and the reader has the clear feeling that they are dealing with an expert in the field, someone writing from their own intimate experience with autism. The language is accessible and it flows beautifully. Readers will enjoy the manifold examples that are provided, the convincing facts that corroborate the author’s insights and practical advice. The Un-Prescription for Autism: A Natural Approach for a Calmer, Happier, and More Focused Child is an invaluable tool to help readers successfully deal with autism in kids and the protocols and solutions offered tackle the underlying issues behind this condition painlessly.
Reviewed By Rabia Tanveer for Readers’ Favorite
The Un-Prescription for Autism: A Natural Approach for a Calmer, Happier, and More Focused Child is a book on how parents can help their autistic children to live a healthy life as it is possible. Written by Dr. Janet Lintala, who is mother to an autistic child, this book details how parents can support the health of their ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) children without giving them medications that just simply cloak the symptoms. The medications make the child “submissive;” however, Dr. Lintala believes that is unnecessary.
Instead of feeding the parents of autistic children medical jargon and information that is not useful for them, the book gives sound advice and a plan of action that they can actually work on. This book can help parents with nonverbal autistic children and children displaying varying levels of issues. This is not a cure! This book gives parents a chance to heal their children so that they can grow and function better. This is a natural method of support for autism that helps to make aggressive children calmer, helps them with their speech and to simply get better with time, patience and the loving care of their parents.
What I really appreciated about this book was the fact that it did not give any false hope, saying that autistic children will be cured and be like other children of their age. The book is informative without being too complex and helps parents really understand what they should do rather than jam their minds with ideas and procedures that don’t actually work. Sound advice from a professional and it shows!
Reviewed By Romuald Dzemo for Readers’ Favorite
The Un-Prescription for Autism: A Natural Approach for a Calmer, Happier, and More Focused Child by Janet Lintala is an invaluable tool for families and parents with children diagnosed with autism, a book that offers answers to the pressing questions that most readers face when it comes to determining the best way to help their children with autism. It is interesting to note that the author of this book is an autism mom herself and the founder of Autism Health center. In this book, she shares the natural and best protocols to help improve the well being of children with autism, making relevant references to recent research and developments in the field. Readers will learn to walk past the easy fixes — dishing out medications to suppress the problems — and focus more on handling the underlying issues.
Janet Lintala’s expertise, experience with patients, and wisdom come across powerfully in this book. She writes with simplicity, a style that makes her work accessible to a wide audience, and her voice comes across as sympathetic and understanding. The Un-Prescription for Autism: A Natural Approach for a Calmer, Happier, and More Focused Child is a compelling, information-packed book that offers clear explanations and advises parents with autistic children on what to do to help their children. If you are looking for a book that will help you understand the factors that affect the health of your autistic child most, then this is the book to read. The confidence with which the author writes is clear proof that she has mastery of the subject. This book is a great gift for families with autistic kids.
Reviewed By Vernita Naylor for Readers’ Favorite
What is autism? Autism is a neurodevelopmental condition that affects the social interaction and communication skills of the individual. Celebrities from Sylvester Stallone, Holly Robinson Peete and Ed Asner to Dan Marino all have family members that are autistic. The Un Prescription for Autism: A Natural Approach for a Calmer, Happier, and More Focused Child by Janet Lintala is more than a book; it’s a self help resource where you will have assigned reading and action plans to be accomplished throughout the book to help you to better understand the disorder. This book was developed as the author and her husband went through the challenges of raising their sons. Janet Lintala is also the Autism Health! Founder, a center which provides the formula and encouragement that all is not lost. Her son, Evan, who was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome, was able to reduce 80% of his difficult behaviors within three weeks by being given a special diet. Despite a few small challenges, Evan is now in college and achieving many accomplishments; and the family has now been able to settle into a more comfortable and relaxing family pattern. Regardless of where your child’s circumstances fall within the spectrum, Janet Lintala has thought of everything from the financial effects and the various levels of discord to the challenges that your child will experience.
This book was extremely informative and confirmed my suspicions of why autism is so prevalent in today’s culture. Our lives are centered around a variety of things, from what we eat to our environment, and there is a cause and effect syndrome that occurs. Children diagnosed within the autistic spectrum are no different. For me, it was interesting to learn that there are different types of Autism Spectrum Disorders, from Autistic Disorder and Asperger Syndrome to Pervasive Developmental Disorder. Janet Lintala provides some explanations as well as clarity from her own experiences about not only its effects, but in providing support. She has also created a website dedicated to the continued effort of supporting those that either have children or family members affected by autism. In this book, you will read parent testimonials, find a list of healthy resources from liquid supplements and helpful articles to locating a specialist, learn a glossary of terms and abbreviations, and see charts and graphs to make the material easy to read. The Un-Prescription for Autism can definitely be useful for understanding the path and the journey that you, your family and your child are experiencing.
Reviewed By Gisela Dixon for Readers’ Favorite
The Un-Prescription for Autism: A Natural Approach for a Calmer, Happier, and More Focused Child by Janet Lintala is a break-through book for autistic children and adults. Janet Lintala, herself a mother of a child on the spectrum, as well as a medical professional, brings her personal and professional experience to this book. The Un-Prescription for Autism covers several important tips, strategies, and information about how to support good health on the autism spectrum. Some of the important points covered in this book are the connection between physical ailments and irritability and behavioral issues in ASD, including common physical conditions found in people with ASD such as gastrointestinal issues, colds, runny nose, sleeping problems, immune system dysfunction, irritable bowel movement, and the ways to manage these using probiotics and altering the body chemistry naturally. Also included are case studies and examples with some short questionnaires and exercises interspersed throughout the book.
I thought The Un-Prescription for Autism was an excellent book for anyone who has autism, or knows someone who has autism or any of the disorders on the Autism Spectrum. This book is unique in my experience in the sense that it actually provides some illuminating insights about the connection of the GI tract and the immune system to some of the behavioral and attention problems associated with ASD. I don’t know how many people are aware of this fact, and that not only can this be managed with probiotics, etc. but it actually provides results! Although this book predominantly discusses ASD in the context of children, it does devote a chapter to adults, and these support protocols are certainly applicable to both. Janet’s humorous and engaging writing style makes this an easy and extremely educational read. I highly recommend it.