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Isabel Lyman Book Reviews by Izzy Lyman

Unraveling the Mystery of Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorder - A Mother's Story Unraveling the Mystery of Autism - A Mother's Story
by Karyn Seroussi

This is an inspiring account of one mother's blitzkrieg against a developmental disability with no cure.

At nearly a year old, Miles, Karyn Seroussi's son, is an engaging baby who delights in games of patty-cake. Several months later, however, his interest in interactive play wanes, and he becomes unresponsive and mute. Miles is also plagued with ear infections, seizures and chronic diarrhea. At 19 months, a prominent pediatrician identifies Miles' odd behavior by the chilling name of autism.

Seroussi, like a modern-day gladiator, decides to tackle this “beast.” As she consults with her scientist husband, she also scours medical journals and uses the Internet to seek advice from parents of autistic children. Seroussi becomes physically and emotionally exhausted, receives little applause from the medical establishment and considers filing for bankruptcy, but her heroic efforts are not to be in vain.

She discovers this startling clue to Miles' condition: “His autism began exactly 10 days following his MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine, after he was taken to the emergency room with febrile seizures.” Seroussi also suspects that Miles' digestive system can no longer break down certain proteins, so she removes gluten and dairy from his diet. Two events then occur: Miles' health problems begin to diminish, and his social skills dramatically improve. By age 4, little Miles is declared “fully recovered” from autism.

Today, Miles attends first grade and reads at a fourth-grade level. Seroussi runs an international support organization called Autism Network for Dietary Intervention (www.autismndi.com). She champions her belief -- not widely accepted in medical circles but convincingly argued in this book -- that autism is an immune disorder causing metabolic dysfunction.

This article appeared in The Oklahoman on July 9, 1999.

Isabel Lyman lives in Edmond, Oklahoma. A former editorial columnist for the Daily Hampshire Gazette of Northampton, Massachusetts, her views have appeared in various national publications, including the Wall Street Journal and Investors Business Daily. She may be contacted via e-mail by clicking here.
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