Louder Than Words: A Mother's Journey in Healing Autism
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Product Description

The New York Times bestseller that is an inspiring ¡°story of hope¡± (People) for parents of autistic children

One morning Jenny McCarthy was having a cup of coffee when she sensed something was wrong. She ran into her two-year-old son Evan¡¯s room and found him having a seizure. Doctor after doctor misdiagnosed Evan until¡ªafter many harrowing, life-threatening episodes¡ªone good doctor discovered that Evan is autistic.

With a foreword from Dr. David Feinberg, medical director of the Resnick Neuro-psychiatric Hospital at UCLA, and an introduction by Jerry J. Kartzinel, a top pediatric autism specialist, Louder Than Words follows Jenny as she discovered an intense combination of behavioral therapy, diet, and supplements that became the key to saving Evan from autism. Her story sheds much-needed light on autism through her own heartbreak, struggle, and ultimately hopeful example of how a parent can shape a child¡¯s life and happiness.

Customer Reviews:

  • WOW Jenny points the way to help for our spectrum kids! THANKS
    First of all I was nervous about reading the book, still in denial about PDD NOS for my daughter. I couldn't put it down once I started. I could relate to the behaviors Evan displayed. While my daughter is not as extreme, it affects your life and marriage. Jenny tells it like it is. She inspired me to get up and stop with the pity party and do something. OT and Speech was doing very little good, she had maxed out after 2 years of both. She started the GFCF diet and saw remarkable results, then got the probiotics and SNT from Kirkman Labs. More improvement. I wanted the B12 shots, but did not have access to a DAN doctor. We moved a couple of months later and I made an appointment with a DAN before we even found a house in the new state we moved to. That was more important than the house hunting. I would have moved anywhere to be near a DAN. Jenny's book got me so excited that I could dare to hope for healing my daughter. When the DAN brought up the shots, I said can we leave with them today! She laughed and said I was the first parent that did not have a look of terror at the thought of giving shots. I was not looking forward to giving them, but wanted to see if she would be a responder. She is a responder and has seen an explosion in her reciprocal language and awareness of us. She cries now when Daddy leaves for work, she didn't even notice before the shots. We are on our 15th shot and 2 months into DAN treatment. We are fighting yeast and the yeast die off symptoms, but at least we are doing something and there is hope to get through this. Read this book, no matter how you feel about Jenny, she's been there done that. I don't care about her ranting or criticism of the medical community, I am mad too. Read as a how to get started book if you are still in denial, read it to reinvigorate your efforts if you are already treating with biomedicine. The point is do something. It is easy to get mired down in pity. Don't be ashamed or embarrassed. Remember 1 in 150 kids are afflicted with a spectrum disorders, that is better odds than a scratch off lottery ticket. Jenny's point is there is so much more help out there, besides traditional therapy. She's not telling you how to treat your kid she is just pointing and saying that way, you have so much to gain . Hope this helps, we are on our way and I have Jenny to Thank!
    Also read Dr Bocks book Healing the 4A's cover to cover, refer to it all the time. Great book too....more info
  • What an amazing mom!
    What an amazing mom! Jenny is full of faith and deep conviction, passion and determination, and has an amazing connection to her baby and strong intuition.

    This is such an inpsiring story, I highly recommend it. I couldn't put it down until I finished it!
    ...more info
  • NOT what you're looking for
    I oppose this book so strongly because it's likely to do the reader more harm than good. In a kind-hearted effort to empower parents, Jenny instead conveys the false message that autism is reversible. This can cause tremendous guilt in parents whose children are not making progress, and leave them feeling responsible for not "fixing" their child. With comprehensive treatment, every child will show improvements, but to varying degress, and they will forever remain autistic. It is far more important for parents to learn to accept their child's disability, understand their internal experience, and advocate for the best services to help them achieve independence and happiness.

    If you're a parent of a child with autism or looking for a gift for a parent, please look elsewhere. It's well worth the time and effort to sift through tons of book reviews with a topic as complex and emotional as autism. Reading other parents' experiences is very helpful, but this parent does not represent the average. As someone who studies and works with autistic children and their parents, and has an autistic child in the family, I hope you will trust my judgment....more info
  • Easy reading, interesting story, LOTS of great references
    Our son has autism and we are currently exploring diet intervention therapies. I really wish a book like this w/a celebrity presence existed when he was first diagnosed, how incredibly hopeful to parents. So much of her experience has been our experience, when dealing w/doctors. As a parent of an autistic child you do all the research and you find out all the options and learn quickly that regular doctors are pretty useless in the search for therapy, other than the basics, and they may even highly oppose things you find on your own. Then if you follow some of the parents you start to worry they might be a bit, well... crazy... it is such a difficult thing to know what works and what doesn't and who to believe. This story is so honest and inspiring to many parents who often feel like they are going crazy thinking doctors should know more. Thanks to Jenny we realize we are all in the same boat and it is more than a hunch, we actually might know instinctively how to help our children!

    Finally, I also highly recommend Karyn Seroussi's book, for anyone who is uncertain about diet as it pertains to their own autistic child, especially if they can't relate as clearly to Jenny's experience... Karyn's book was the first time I had ever read another mother describe behaviors so precisely like my son's as a toddler, right up to the point where he basically stopped eating most foods, it brought me to tears because it simply never even occurred to me that it could be an allergy. Things I never told a doctor because I didn't realize it wasn't normal to even ask about. I think more doctors should read these fabulous books and recommend them to parents!...more info
  • A must read for every mom of an autistic child
    I read this book and I was amazed. First of all, I thought I was the only mom who had to struggle with handling a marriage, being a mom, having to work and dealing with all the doctors. It was an inspiring book for me, full of hope and it made me feel like I am not alone. My son is almost seven years old now. A year ago I moved to the states to pursue a better life for my son. Doing this alone was a very scary thing but thank God he is doing a lot better. Thank you Jenny for all your support, for making us feel good about ourselves, for giving us ideas to deal with our kids and for helping me understand the root of my depression....more info
  • Inspiring!
    I have spent many many hours in the UofG (University of Google) and could relate to this book 100% I could not put it down and finished it in a few hours. My son does not have any diagnosis at this point and may or may not have autism, but it gives so much hope for the future. Alternative medicines have been overlooked by the medical community for so long, I love that this book opens people's eyes to more possibilities than just what they've been told by Drs. I have 2 autistic nephews and my SIL is doing some of the treatments with her children that Jenny did with her son. Sometimes knowing that other people are in your same position is all it takes to keep chugging along. I read another review that pretty much said google and mothers instinct is not as good as what Drs will tell you. Well, doctors don't know everything. That is why it's called "practicing medicine". Mother's instinct is right most of the time, even if the scientific evidence isn't there to support that. I feel rejuvinated having read this. Definitely recommended to anyone with a special needs child, or anyone who loves a special needs child. ...more info
  • Great Book
    Louder Than Words: A Mother's Journey in Healing Autism

    Loved every minute of this book. I too have a son with autism it's a sad but also remarkable disability. God only gives autistic children to those who are strong enough to handle it. ...more info
  • NOT what you're looking for
    I oppose this book so strongly because it's likely to do the reader more harm than good. In a kind-hearted effort to empower parents, Jenny instead conveys the false message that autism is reversible. This can cause tremendous guilt in parents whose children are not making progress, and leave them feeling responsible for not "fixing" their child. With comprehensive treatment, every child will show improvements, but to varying degress, and they will forever remain autistic. It is far more important for parents to learn to accept their child's disability, understand their internal experience, and advocate for the best services to help them achieve independence and happiness.

    If you're a parent of a child with autism or looking for a gift for a parent, please look elsewhere. It's well worth the time and effort to sift through tons of book reviews with a topic as complex and emotional as autism. Reading other parents' experiences is very helpful, but this parent does not represent the average. As someone who studies and works with autistic children and their parents, and has an autistic child in the family, I hope you will trust my judgment....more info
  • depends on your point of view
    I was unimpressed by this book and what seem to be assumptions and opinions that McCarthy misconstrues as fact. Glad I bought the ParentsDigest summary and not the whole book....more info
  • Cute book, but not a true look into autism.
    I liked the book but as a mother of an autistic son the things she does to "cure" her son, wouldn't work for us. My son has had all the tests there are but all come up negative. My son doesn't have seizures as her son does. She is only an expert when it comes to her own son, and that is how it should be read. Not as a book of facts for everyone. It's the story of her journey not yours. Every mother and/or father wants to do what is best for their child and that is what she did. You need to figure out what is best for YOUR child because every child on the spectrum is different. I'm not sure she understood that, though....more info
  • mother of autistic nine year old
    I thought this was a great, easy read. Jenny McCarthy was so candid about the ups and downs of her experiences with bad and good doctors. It was comforting knowing I'm not alone. I would highly recommend!...more info
  • Not all children with Autism are the same, but the book is interesting
    My Auststic son is nothing like Jennys', but I did find it interesting. Also greatful that I did not have to go through what she has. I have much compassion for these Mothers. It goes to show why it is called "the spectrum"....more info
  • Louder Than Words: A Mother's Journey in Healing Autism
    Product arrived in excellent condition & I absolutely adore the honesty & entertainment of Jenny McCarthy. Such a serious subject matter but the load is somehow lightened by her amazing attitude....more info
  • Not good
    As a therapist, and a woman wanting to have children, this book was very disappointing. Speaking as a therapist, we are not all out there to steer you in the wrong directions, rip you off, or give misinformation. This book makes it sound like the medical world is trying to prevent parents from getting answers or help and that is simply not true. Autism is tough, no doubt about that, it's tough for everyone involved, and we should be in this fight together instead againist each other which is what the book infers. Speaking as a woman trying to conceive, I did not appreciate the authors comments about being "very afraid" if you are wanting children. After I read that, I immediately stopped reading and almost threw the book away. As a woman trying to conceive, that was a really disturbing line to read. Shame on the author for trying to promoe fear instead of understanding. My advice, there are many other books out there that are much better....more info
  • Autism - is that REALLY what is wrong?
    While a good mother is trying hard to help her child, she misses the boat totally. There is so much medical information available that links autism to other medical causes which SHE NEVER EVER bothers to research or even mention in her book. She knows nothing of true clinical double-blind studies and believse that his "diet" is going to solve the problem It is like putting a bandaid on the Titanic. 10 years from now when the child is still not functional and has illnesses that SHE DOES NOT KNOW are inter-related, perhaps then she sill open her eyes.... hopefully it will not be too late. Nice try, but falls short if she is really trying to help other people, or just make money out of the tragedy she has survived. Had she not been a celebrity, her story would never have been nearly as appealing....more info
  • Don't waste your time
    Jenny has NO idea on what it is like to be an average person with a child on the spectrum. Nannies, intensive intervention--we don't live in that world. We live in the world of waitlists, minimal services and fighting with public schools.
    I really do not want our children represented by a former playmate who believes she found a cure for autism.
    ...more info
  • A story about a Know-It-All Playboy bunny, with a hefty side of narcissism
    That's right folks! I said a story about an "I know everything" bare-my-boobs celebrity. Notice I didn't mention that this book was about a boy's struggle with autism and how a mother "healed" him, because that IS NOT what this book is about. I came across this book when a friend of mine showed it to me saying that she had bought the book to give to her mother. She had never read the book (and I use that term lightly), but she had an adult brother who had been previously diagnosed with autism and thought maybe her mother would be able to relate to the topic. After reading HALF of the book, my friend decided she could not give this book to her mother. After reading it, I can completely understand why. This book is judgemental, offensive, neurotic, and blantantly self-centered.

    Where to begin?? I started reading the book with the intention of skimming it. Seventy pages later, I found myself disgusted with what I had read thus far. When I say disgusted, I mean that if Jenny McCarthy were standing right in front of me, I would have hit her over the head with this piece of trash and asked her what the hell she was thinking when she thought she was "the voice of autism". Are you kidding me??

    First off, let's evaluate WHO we are getting this story from: a woman who's made her fortune (and I do mean fortune) by exploiting her body and acting like a ditzy blonde (anyone remember MTV's Blind Date?). It makes me sick that she's now making a fortune exploiting her son. A son she seemed to be ashamed of in the beginning. Case in point: after her son was diagnosed with autism, McCarthy went to the bookstore to find books on the subject. Keep in mind she didn't want to ask an employee to direct her to the section because she was "too scared to ask anyone for fear of being recognized". That's right people... She didn't want anyone to know that she had an autistic son. There is a second example of this in the book, as well. Finally, after searching for 25 minutes she "decided to tell her ego to shut the f*** up and ask for help". Can you say ashamed??? Unbelievable. Throughout the book, she states that she would do ANYTHING to help her son. I guess that's as long as no one knew she had a son with autism. In fact, McCarthy became so angered that a worker at a play gym inquired if Evan had a "mental problem" that she screamed at the woman and, inevitably, got her terminated from her job.

    Now touching on McCarthy's use of language, both profanity and vulgarity. If she really wanted people to pay attention to the message in the book, then she should have refrained from using the f-word 5 times per chapter ("I still haven't seen one f***ng neurologist! Not one f***ing neurologist has come into this f***ing room...Find the f***ing doctor! Go! Find the f***ing doctor!" - and that's just in one paragraph) and writing things such as watching her son thrash in bed as he slept in such a way that it appeared he was "humping his bed". That is your son, lady! Have some respect for him. I'm sure he would appreciate America reading that he "humped his bed". I felt embarrassed for Evan.

    Another person I felt embarrassed for was McCarthy's husband. The whole book encased one giant husband bashing. All about how he wasn't there for her and how could he let her go through this whole thing alone. Blah Blah Blah. What about Evan? There isn't one mention about how Evan needed his father. Total narcissism, but I'll come back to that later... The marriage is told from an entirely one-sided point of view and it isn't pretty. I am less inclined to take McCarthy's word about all that she says about her husband after reading the part where her husband picked up Evan, jumping excitedly into the pool with all their clothes on because Evan said he wanted to go swimming.

    As a nurse, I was completely appalled (although not surprised) with the way she refers to medical staff. Completely misinformed and unappreciative. I'm sorry, but last I heard, they didn't give out a medical license when you pushed a baby out of your womb. When did being a mother mean you became all-knowing? I can't count how many times I rolled my eyes when McCarthy referred to her "mommy instincts". Not being a mother, I can't understand the mental bond between a mother and a child, but I do understand that, as a PERSON, I can't possibly know what is the best treatment for someone. Not even doctors know exactly what the "best" treatments are. Sometimes it a process of elimination to see what works for THAT patient. Personally, if I were taking care of her son, I would become offended at the way she spoke to me. She makes such a huge (and psychotically rude) spectacle of getting a neurologist in to see her son, that when he finally comes to see him, she is SO grateful that she refers to him as "Dr. I Can Fix Any Brain Except My Own". Later, she refers to him as "brain dead". Kind of ironic since he's a neurologist...

    As an average working schmoe, I was offeneded by the flaunting of her financial resources (buying a heart monitor for $5,000 so she could sleep better at night, or paying $4,000 a month for in-home treatments). I am sure many many mothers would spend any amount of money to make their children better. Unfortunately Ms. McCartney, not EVERYONE has millions of dollars they can spend on medical expenses. I felt this was a slap in the face to all the other parents who live with an austic child that cannot afford to buy expensive foods, dietary supplements, or treatments. I also absolutely loved the various times she mentioned being able to see the "best" doctors immediately (because Evan "deserved the best") instead of having to wait several months like everyone else. Must be nice.... Ms. McCartney, are you aware that you are not the only parent with an autistic child? Of course not, because it's all about YOU!

    Which brings me to McCarthy's blatant display of narcissism. McCarthy's rantings about how hard things were on HER ("There wasn't much of a nest egg...the pressure was always on me to pull us through...") came off as a ranting of a 4 year old child. Throughout the entire book it's ME ME ME or MY son MY son MY son. Another wonderful addition to the book is McCarthey's conceited attitude. Case in point on page 70: "I don't think anybody in the world would have been able to get on a plane and do what I was about to do after finding out her child was autistic...We all (celebrities) suffer like everyone else. Don't let designer shoes fool you." Not quite Ms McCarthy. Did I miss the paragraph before that where she was about to cure world hunger or bring peace in time of war? Because all I remember reading there was that she was going on a talk show. Um, EXCUSE ME??? Wow, getting paid to go on TV for 5 minutes and hawk your current book so that you can "get another book deal" sounds rough to me. Such an ordeal... I can tell you exactly where in the book I was overwhelmed with the desire to watch a public display of a mass burning of this crap: page 77. Now, I'm not a psychologist, but the term "Delusions of Grandeur" came to mind when I read this next part: "I was really hoping to find one (a book) that said, "I cured autism", but I didn't. I remember thinking, 'Well, maybe that's the one I'm supposed to write someday.'" Another example comes on page 85: "Now I realized God had me write those books simply as a warm-up. To get moms' attention. This is the book I hope will shift the world. This is the book I was born to write." Nice thought, but off by a long shot.

    I was initially interested in her story, but half-way through the book, I wanted to stop reading it. I was so disgusted. However, I put myself through agony to read about Evan's outcome. Admittedly, I wanted to also see if McCarthy could get much worse. I have to say she didn't disappoint. She goes on to place blame on her husband, disregarding her father as a potential source of help because she didn't want "2 special needs people living in her house" (since when is being blind in ONE eye considered "special needs"?), unfairly and unjustly judging other parents who did not follow HER ways of treatment, and basically trying to come off as Evan's savior, having, what sounds like to her, single handedly "curing" Evan of autism.

    Don't let the pretty face and celebrity persona fool you. This is not a good resource about autism and how to cope with it. If I could have rated it any lower than 1 star, believe me, I would have. Basically, I can summarize this review into 1 sentence: DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME. Boy, am I sorry I did!...more info
  • Jenny is Right, and the Gluten-Free Diet is Worth a Try!
    I have a son on the autism spectrum. He was diagnosed at the age of 2 1/2, an earlier than usual diagnosis, and yes, very much due to the Mommy instinct Jenny writes of. Regarding recovery: it is possible, I've met a whole panel of recovered children. And consider football great Dan Marino's son, diagnosed with autism, and years later, had friends say to him, "I heard you had a brother with autism." He tells them, "No, that was me." One size does not fit all, and vaccines are a likely culprit. That said, MOST people will do well with a gulten- and often soy-free diet. These are giant protein molecules that the kids on the spectrum often have trouble digesting. My son, who had GI issues, hadn't talked for 11 months, and within 3 days off of gluten and casein (the protein in milk), began speaking again. Please, to the reviewer, who has a child on the spectrum, and to all others, do not say "autistic children." The term is "a child diagnosed with autism" or, as I like to say (and I'm not delusional), "a child recovering from autism"). My son is now 9; he's doing great, talking up a storm, bright, social, and delightful. And he's on the road to a complete recovery. No way he would receive an autism dignosis today. ...more info
  • Easy to understand - the information is vital!
    We were already doing many of the same things that Jenny describes in this book so I wasn't expecting much new information. I was pleasantly surprised at how enjoyable it was and how moving her painful moments were to me. I felt there was someone else out there who truly "gets it" and realizes what needs to be done for these children. We have also seen amazing results from some of the same interventions that Jenny does with her son. I highly encourage people to read this with an open mind and an open heart, and then to check out the Generation Rescue site for more information about biomedical intervention. Jenny, thank you for all you are doing to help our children!...more info
  • Does the boy's father have Aspergers?
    Jenny's ex-husband's reaction in the book points to a man who might have Asperger's Syndrome. He was very inappropriate in the way he handled his son's medical problems. He was inappropriate in his inability to support his wife through their harrowing experience. His reaction left me wanting to hear more about his demeanor and hear also what his parent's experience was with their son as he was growing up. The husband's diagnosis would support the genetic theory of autism. As a mother of a boy who has Aspergers, I would like to see money go into the school systems to educate the educators about how to best teach these incredible children. Also money should not be wasted on theories that have been scientifically disproved....more info