Outsmarting Autism: Expanded and Updated

By Patricia S. Lemer LPC MEd
Patricia Lemer’s Outsmarting Autism is a key component of Epidemic Answers’ health-coach training program because it teaches foundations of health, not only for children with autism, but also for children with allergies, autoimmune disorders, behavioral disorders and other neurodevelopmental disorders. With the expansion and update of the book, Outsmarting Autism, Updated and Expanded: Build Healthy Foundations for Communication, Socialization, and Behavior at All Ages, the book continues to be an important foundation for parents and professionals with questions about improving symptoms in children with autism. Outsmarting Autism is an encyclopedia infused with Lemer’s Total Load Theory. Each child has his or her own unique load of stressors to which he or she has been exposed, and each child has different triggers that cause these stressors to come into play and contribute to symptoms.

The Five-Step Plan

Lemer shows us how to prioritize healing modalities with her five-step plan:

Take Away the Bad Stuff, and Add Back the Good Stuff

Lemer’s Total Load Theory posits that stress in any form (biological, environmental, behavioral, educational, physical and emotional) contributes to the collection of symptoms known as autism. By removing these individual stressors, a child’s body and brain can heal from these symptoms.

In addition, deficiencies, such as nutritional deficiencies, hormonal deficiencies and/or digestive deficiencies, must be corrected for optimal health. Healing diets are discussed in this section of the book.

Correct Foundational Issues

After completing step one (above), a child’s body is more apt to heal and structural issues can then be addressed to rewire the body and brain more optimally. In this step, Lemer discusses structural and brain integration therapies, primitive reflex integration and dental issues.

Address Sensory Problems

Sensory processing and integration issues are common in children with autism, as well as in children with Sensory Processing Disorder, ADD, ADHD, PANS, PANDAS and learning disabilities.

In step three, Lemer reviews methods for evaluating and reducing sensory symptoms. Lemer is well-versed in the symptom-reducing effects of vision therapy provided by a developmental/behavioral optometrist and discusses why it is so important to correct vision (which is not the same thing as acuity).

Focus on Communicating, Interacting and Learning

It is a better use of time, money and development to wait until after the first three steps are implemented before focusing on social-emotional skills and academic readiness. A body that is loaded down with stressors simply does not have the capacity to address these higher-level functions.

Neurofeedback and assistive technologies as well as therapies that can improve social skills such as SonRise, Profectum, DIR Floortime and others are explored in this section of the book.

Plan for the Future

After your child has aged out of receiving services from the school system, what happens next? With the autism rate at 1 in 36 children as of November 2017, this issue is of increasing importance.

Lemer’s step five looks at transitioning your child out of school and into life by exploring self-advocacy, post-secondary education, living arrangements and more.

What’s New in This Edition of Outsmarting Autism

Despite the original edition being published only four years before the release of this edition, much has changed in the world of understanding underlying stressors that might contribute to autism as well as the implementation of therapies and supplements that can reduce symptoms of autism.

This updated edition of Lemer’s book includes discussions on the vagus nerve, stem cells, cannabis, GcMAF and dentistry as well as new topics such as neurodiversity and transitioning into adulthood.

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