Review of Autism and the Stress Effect: A 4-Step Lifestyle Approach to Transform your Child’s Health, Happiness, and Vitality by Theresa Hamlin, PhD; Jessica Kingsley Publisher, 2016
Cut out that “NOISE”!
Stress takes so many forms and stems from countless sources in your body, your mind and your environment. We expect it. It’s part of life. It seems inevitable. At times, loud sounds, flashing lights, movement, crowded spaces, or constant changes are overwhelming. At times, it causes gastrointestinal distress and pain. And what about too little exercise and poor sleep. Add, poor emotional regulation, fear, anxiety, and stress soars as thoughts, feelings, relating and and communicating derail. We all suffer when stress abounds.
So imagine a child with complex autism who cannot tell you how he feels but you see his body squirming, his face in pain, his head down, his ears covered, withdrawing internally. Or perhaps, you see him becoming aggressive or self-injurious in a frantic panic unable to calm down, propelled into fight or flight or withdrawal. These are all nonverbal expressions of “toxic stress.” John Ratey called it “noise.” Temple Grandin followed with the “autistic noisy brain.” Inside or out, toxic stress derails learning, loving and functioning.
What to do? Theresa Hamlin gives us answers in her remarkable book
Autism and the Stress Effect! She identifies the sources of stress and what to do about it. Page by page she provides solutions to manage the environment, for eating and nutrition regulation, to improve energy (movement, exercise and sleep), as well as strategies for calming and emotional and social regulation. She also guides the reader in practical solutions you didn’t think of in the development of emotions, empathy and creative expression.
This book provides many real-life examples of children and situations you will recognize and wonder why didn’t you think of that. Dr. Hamlin also describes new technological advances where watches alert you to stress in your body to signal the need to calm down. Dr. Hamlin’s extensive experience at the Center for Discovery, an amazing residential and day program she directs for students up to 21, rewrites the story for children with autism and their families. She gives us all HOPE!
As you read this book, you realize this is not just about autism, but the “noise” we all experience and Dr. Hamlin helps us understand the toxic impact of stress on all of us and her solutions are useful for sensory processing disorders, health, mental health and other life challenges.
|“Children with autism often experience very high stress levels in learning and social environments, which can exacerbate problem behaviors and damage their physical and emotional health. This book demonstrates that lowering stress levels through regulating a child’s experiences and environments, and giving them the tools to cope when stressful situations are unavoidable, can make a huge and very positive difference to their behavior, physical health, socialization and happiness.” Author, Dr. Theresa Hamlin|
Hear Theresa Hamlin and other speakers at the Profectum Conference, Awakening Human Potential in Mind and Body, March 18-20, in Pasadena, California. Don’t miss it!