Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Review of A Child's Journey out of Autism by LeeAnn Whiffin

Told with the intensity of a medical thriller, the extraordinary story of how Clay Whiffen and his family conquered autism.
When Clay Whiffen was diagnosed on the autism spectrum, his parents didn't know where to turn. They refused to believe that he could not be cured, and began to try every therapy they could afford - and many they couldn't.
Frantically they worked, knowing that Clay slipped further away every day. When intensive medical testing revealed that Clay no longer fit the criteria for any condition on the autism spectrum, the Whiffens' wildest dreams were realized. Clay had conquered autism.Written by Clay's mother, with a foreword by autism specialist Dr. Bryan Jepson, A Child's Journey out of Autism spells out what treatments worked, where the family found help, and how they made it through this crushing crisis. In a time of despair and confusion - when another child is diagnosed with autism every 20 minutes - this is a profound, proven message of hope for anyone whose life is touched by the disorder.

I have a special place for children and families who struggle with autism. My dearest friend Christine's son Andrew is diagnosed with autism. It is amazing the strength that his mother and father have to deal with this on a daily basis. I love the hope for families that is found in the pages of this book. I was so fascinated at how far this mother worked to save her child. Whether you have a child with autism or not this book is an amazing story of the perseverance of one mother. It chronicles the struggle of this family over several years and the treatments that lead to success for Clay. I was moved to tears while reading A Child's Journey out of Autism as LeeAnn had to struggle with Clay daily and when the treatment started I couldn't put the book down. I did not know all the medical terms used in the various treatments for Autism but Whiffin did an amazing job of explaining it all in terms that I could understand.I had no idea the cost that is incurred by parents who use some of the treatments. Treatment that are successful but are not covered by insurance or the public education IEPs. If anything, maybe more books like this one, which show the success of the ABA treatment along with others, could move legislation to provide these treatments for children diagnosed so more parents can get their children back.

About the Author:
Leeann Whiffen lives in Salt Lake City with her husband, Sean, and her three sons, one of whom used to have autism. Leeann serves on the Autism Council of Utah, collaborating with autism organizations and individuals around the state to help families find solutions. Leading autism specialist Dr. Bryan Jepson, the parent of a son with autism, has treated hundreds of children on the autism spectrum. He established the Children's Biomedical Center of Utah to provide the most-up-to-date care and to raise awareness.

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