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
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.
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.