A mother turns to Chinese medicine and alternative therapies to heal her autistic child.
Evans’ daughter, Sarah, was a bright, happy child until the age of 4, when she began exhibiting some unusual symptoms, including an awkward gait, repetitive speech patterns, and trouble socializing with other children. Her behavioral issues were compounded by disturbing physical symptoms, including food sensitivities, hives, vomiting, and bug bites that refused to heal. Trips to numerous doctors yielded no clear answers. The official diagnosis from her pediatrician was “delayed development,” although Evans recounts that “he told me in words that she was autistic.” Desperate for answers, the author embarked on a quest to cure her child. Eventually, a friend’s recommendation led her to Dr. Ross J. Stark, who practiced traditional Chinese medicine as well as an unusual alternative therapy called Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Technique, developed by a chiropractor and acupuncturist named Devi Nambudripad in the 1980s. Once Sarah began the NAET treatments, Evans writes, her condition improved dramatically. The child’s visits to Dr. Stark, coupled with dietary changes, seemed to reduce her dyslexia symptoms, improve her ability to focus, and enhance her coordination. The author tells of her daughter’s therapy in exhaustive detail, explaining the meticulous process of clearing Sarah’s body of the “blockages in her system that did not allow various nutrients to flow freely.” Although Evans had already removed many problematic foods from Sarah’s diet months earlier, she says, “they would still be present in her system since the body carries a memory of everything that passes through it”; the alternative therapies, she notes, recalibrated Sarah’s digestive system and eventually allowed her to return some offending foods to her diet. Evans’ account of her daughter’s transformation is certainly inspiring. However, the treatments she describes sometimes sound far-fetched, and the book stumbles when it points to discredited research by Dr. Andrew Wakefield to support Evans’ contention that childhood vaccines may be connected to her daughter’s condition. Nonetheless, the author’s commitment to doing whatever it took to ease her daughter’s symptoms will appeal to other parents looking for solutions to their own children’s health problems.
Skeptics will raise their eyebrows, but open-minded parents will find encouragement in Evans’ story.