Martha is also an old friend of mine, and her book and approach look excellent. I know that despite her excellent credentials, she has had to struggle against more entrenched and established positions:



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On Mar 23, 2012, at 8:36 PM, Mitchel Cohen <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

This book sounds absolutely first-rate, written by my old pal Martha Herbert, who was one of the leading figures in the late '70s in the women's liberation movement's radical critique of science and who became an MD and a researcher of neurological development in children.


From: Dr. Martha Herbert <[log in to unmask]>


Whole Body Strategies for Making Life All It Can Be
By Martha Herbert MD PhD with Karen Weintraub.
<3a793d0.jpg> I want to tell you about my new book, The Autism Revolution, which Random House/Ballantine and Harvard Health Publications are publishing at the end of this month. In The Autism Revolution, I spell out my science-based view of autism as a whole-body condition where genes create vulnerability but environment shapes how bad – or how good – things can be. Check out my book website, and like our Facebook page.

My view of the autism spectrum is fundamentally a hopeful one. After treating hundreds of children, hearing the stories of hundreds if not thousands more, and following scientific research for the last 15 years, I have concluded that autism is better understood not as a static disease or “trait” characterized by irreversible damage, but rather a “state” that can change. In some children, autistic symptoms abate while they have a fever; many have a huge range between their best days and their worst. This suggests that their brains are capable, but that things are in the way of expressing full potential.

In my book, written with science journalist Karen Weintraub, I lay out the science behind this perspective, and how it points to a systematic path to help make people with autism healthier at every level. The specifics will be different for everyone, but the principles are universal: optimize good things – like high nutrient food, movement and exercise, appropriate sensory experiences, and interesting learning opportunities; and remove noxious exposures like toxins, allergens, and stress. I walk you through how to treat autism as a collection of problems that can be tackled, and how to create better health and function from your child’s cells and organs all the way up to their brain, behavior and learning.

The book, subtitled Whole Body Strategies for Making Life All It Can Be, does not promise a cure for autism. But I have been repeatedly amazed by how much better people with autism can do when their underlying health is improved and their vulnerabilities shored up.  Without the distractions of stomach pains or sleepless nights or seizures, children who seemed unteachable can start to learn – and better express what they already know. Without the constant stress of illness, allergies, toxic exposures or challenging environments, they can relax and grow into themselves. Good health lays the basis for fulfilling the potential for extraordinary brilliance and creativity that we are learning to appreciate in so many with autism.

I argue in the book that thinking about autism in this way requires a revolution – a revolution in the way parents think about their child, in the way doctors make predictions about a child’s future, in the way teachers and therapists approach a child’s capabilities, in the way scientists investigate autism, and in the way our entire society promotes health and human potential and builds a healthier world.

We still lack a lot of crucial information about autism – information that will one day help us treat autism better, and perhaps even prevent it from happening at all. In the meantime, I think these simple, commonsense solutions are the best way to provide genuine benefits without doing more harm. Parents of children on the spectrum can also help those who follow by keeping careful track of the efforts they make to help their children – by being scientific in their approach. In a website I will launch in the next few weeks,, I will help people understand the assumptions behind the science and treatments to help you make your best choices. Both the and websites will include information on how to pursue the approach I recommend, and the burgeoning science that supports it. For shorter items, I will use Twitter, @AutismRevolution, or Facebook.

I hope you’ll join the discussion on these sites and be part of the Autism Revolution with me. 

-Dr. Martha Herbert
March 23, 2012 

“The Autism Revolution” will be available on March 27, 2012.

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Our mailing address is:

The Autism Revolution
P.O. Box 45722
Somerville, MA 02145

Ring the bells that still can ring,  Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack, a crack in everything, That's how the light gets in. 
~ Leonard Cohen