Recommended Reading

Each Day I Like It Better: Autism, ECT, and the Treatment of Our Most Impaired Children

Author: Amy S. F. Lutz

rr1In Each Day I Like It Better, author Amy Lutz dispels her experience with Jonah, her 10 year old son who has Autism Spectrum Disorder. For many years, Jonah’s autism manifested as severe violence, to the point where behavior modification trials, medications, and almost a year of hospitalization could not control his rage. Searching earnestly for a cure to control these violent outburts, Amy and her husband turned to the controversial electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). Since then, Jonah’s rage has significantly diminished, and now, at age 14, he will move to a less restricted school. Each Day I Like It Better documents the journeys of seven children and their families as they search for successful treatments for autism. Ultimately, they find that electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) can lead to positive outcomes in individuals with autism.


Autism Spectrum Disorders: What Every Parent Needs to Know

Author: American Academy of Pediatrics, Alan I. Rosenblatt (Editor), Paul S. Carbone (Editor)

rr2From autism and Asperger’s syndrome through pervasive developmental disorders, this authoritative reference from the leading publisher in pediatric health care examines how autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are defined and diagnosed and reviews the most current behavioral and developmental therapy treatments available. Through this evidence-based guide, which reflects the new diagnostic thinking from the American Psychiatric Association, parents and caregivers will learn about the symptoms and the incidence of ASDs, screening tools, the roles of complementary and alternative medicine, and what to expect as these children grow into adolescence and beyond.


Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism

Author: Shannon Des Roches Rosa, Jennifer Byde Myers, Liz Ditz, Emily Willingham, & Carol Greenburg

rr3The Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism is a one-stop resource for parents when autism first becomes a part of their lives. The book is a compilation of essays from the popular blog “Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism,” and it provides evidence-based information from autism parents, autistics, and autism professionals. Steve Silberman, senior writer for Wired magazine and autism/neurodiversity blogger for the Public Library of Science declared, “Refreshingly free of dogma, disinformation, and heavy-handed agendas, The Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism is an oasis of sanity, compassion, and hope for people on the spectrum and those who love them.” Proceeds from the sale of Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism support the Autism Science Foundation.


Deadly Choices: How the Anti-Vaccine Movement Threatens Us All

Author: Paul Offit M.D.

rr4How did we get to a place where vaccines are viewed with horror rather than as life-saving medicine? The answer is rooted in one of the most powerful and disturbing citizen activist movements in our nation’s history—a movement that, despite recent epidemics and deaths, continues to grow. Deadly Choices is the story of anti-vaccine activity in America—its origins, leaders, influences, and impact—and is a powerful defense of science in the face of fear. Proceeds from the sale “Deadly Choices” will support the Autism Science Foundation.


The Panic Virus: A True Story of Medicine, Science, and Fear

Author: Seth Mnookin

rr5Despite the lack of corroborating evidence, the myth that vaccines somehow cause developmental disorders lives. It has been popularized by media personalities such as Oprah Winfrey and Jenny McCarthy and legitimized by journalists who claim that they are just being fair to “both sides” of an issue about which there is little debate. Meanwhile millions of dollars have been diverted from potential breakthroughs in autism research, families have spent their savings on ineffective “miracle cures,” and declining vaccination rates have led to outbreaks of deadly illnesses like Hib, measles, and whooping cough. Most tragic of all is the increasing number of children dying from vaccine-preventable diseases.

In The Panic Virus Seth Mnookin draws on interviews with parents, public-health advocates, scientists, and anti-vaccine activists to tackle a fundamental question: How do we decide what the truth is? The fascinating answer helps explain everything from the persistence of conspiracy theories about 9/11 to the appeal of talk-show hosts who demand that President Obama “prove” he was born in America.


Autism’s False Prophets: Bad Science, Risky Medicine, and the Search for a Cure

Author: Paul Offit, MD

Paul Offit, a national expert on vaccines, challenges the modern day false prophets who have so egregiously misled the public with untested and potentially harmful “treatments” for autism. Instead of helping, these therapies can hurt those who are most vulnerable. Offit also exposes the opportunism of the lawyers, journalists, celebrities and politicians who perpetuate this exploitation. This book is a must read for anyone who cares about a child with autism. Proceeds from the sale “Autism’s False Prophets” support the Autism Science Foundation.


A Practical Guide to Autism

Author: Dr. Fred Volkmar and Dr. Lisa Wiener

rr7Published in August 2009, this new book is a tremendous asset for families and practitioners who want to keep up with the latest developments in autism research, treatment and education. The book is full of great practical ideas about how research can be translated into clinical practice. The issues are presented in all of their complexity but translated into language that is clear, direct, and easy to follow. The format also lends itself to understanding the complex issues and their implications through excellent charts, question and answer sections, and chapters that vary from describing diagnostic issues to stating very specifically how to expand and evaluate the services a family is receiving. There are also very comprehensive reference and resource lists.


Boy Alone

Author: Karl Taro Greenfeld

rr8An unsparing memoir of the author’s life growing up with his severely autistic brother. Greenfeld writes beautifully about living in his brother’s shadow, revealing the complex mix of rage, confusion and love that defined his childhood. Haunting, tragic and unforgettable, this chronicle of autism from the sixties to the present day is wholly original and completely memorable.