Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Healing Autism Naturally by Becky Cash

Autism mom Becky Cash's new book, "Healing Autism Naturally" ($15.95) is a book about Cash's journey with several children who were very sick that happens to include children who are on the autism spectrum.

Why did she write a book?

"'I think I'm going to put my daughter on a probiotic,' I said. I don't know what kind of reaction I was expecting.

'Oh, I could have told you to do that,' he said.

After that, I went to my father, the guy who had worked for the Food and Drug Administration as a food qlaity tester, among other things, and said, 'I'm taking a good probiotic, and I started Faustina on a good probiotic, and she's doing a lot better.'

Do you know what he said? The same thing. 'Oh! I could have told you to do that.'

Now, you have to understand that my daghter had been screaming in pain for months.

So to have my pediatrician and my dad tell me that they could have told me about probiotics and didn't? To know that there was something that wasn't a guaranteed solution but wasn't a medication that we could have tried?

That was a defining moment for me. That was the moment I realized that I had to take control of my families health."

Becky Cash wrote this book for parents like her, for parents who didn't know, whose doctors didn't tell them, and about much more than probiotics.

If you have a child with developmental delays, with digestive problems, celiac sprue, diabetes, autoimmune issues, you'll related to something in this book. No, it's not an indepth guide, yet it is a decent introduction into how to approach and intervene for children with issues and challenges.

I relate to Cash's story in many ways. I've seen my daughter's regulation, health and general functioning improve with the right supplements (based upon labwork under the supervision of a doctor, not on guessing - I always recommend working with a doctor).

I have a couple of issues with the book. One is that my own experience is quite different from Cash's. She saw success with a behavioral approach and she covers it more extensively in her book, and she created a consulting business around it. A behavioral approach for us did everything the professionals promised it would not - it created a robotic, prompt dependent, more autistic little girl. She was rigid and weird and could not interact, although we gave her lots and lots of words. (She learned everything we taught her, actually. We just taught her out of developmental order.) We have been intervening for almost seven years with RDI(r), undoing, unraveling three-plus years of damage by ABA. (Part of our story is here.) Cash mentions RDI(r) as a social intervention and describes it briefly, but not enough to do it justice. My advice, from my mistakes and my journey: If you are trying to establish a game plan for your child who is on the autism spectrum, take a hard look at RDI(r) as your primary intervention.

The other is a smaller issue and that sometimes the book feels a little bit like a Shaklee commercial.

My favorite chapter, one I wish I'd read early in our journey, is chapter seven, ASD and Your Family.

If you are looking outside of mainstream medicine for what, exactly, is involved in a "biomedical" approach to treating autism, Healing Autism Naturally is a good primer for explaining the basics. The 226 page paperback is easy to read; Cash's writing style is warm and welcoming and she shares a lot of her own journey with her readers. If you've been on the pathway a while, you may have read more in-depth books than this one, although if you're like me, you may enjoy reading the story of another mom. We have a lot in common.

I was given a review copy of Healing Autism Naturally. I received no financial compensation for the review and am not obligated to provide a positive review.

1 comment:

Bright Side of Life said...

Read your 'oldie' post and really enjoyed it. So true! :)

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