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Louder Than Words: A Mother's Journey in Healing Autism
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Louder Than Words: A Mother's Journey in Healing Autism

3.80  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,015 Ratings  ·  525 Reviews
One morning Jenny McCarthy was having a cup of coffee when she sensed something was wrong. She ran into her two-year-old son Evan's room and found him having a seizure. Doctor after doctor misdiagnosed Evan until after many harrowing, life-threatening episodes one good doctor discovered that Evan is autistic.

With a foreword from Dr. David Feinberg, medical director of the
Hardcover, 203 pages
Published September 17th 2007 by Dutton (first published January 1st 2007)
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Jul 17, 2008 megh rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: no one
Recommended to megh by: oprah
horrible, biased, awful. so many better books out there on Autism that are actually helpful and don't go about looking for a "cure", but rather helping your child reach his/her full potential. Last book you should read if you want to waste your time reading it at all.
Jul 14, 2014 Kaethe marked it as stricken
My contempt knows no limits: "healing" autism, my ass
May 25, 2012 Lucy rated it did not like it
So I'm actually autistic, and I hate Jenny McCarthy. She spreads dangerous misinformation about autism and uses her son as a way to get attention for herself.

I hate to break it to everyone, but autism cannot be cured. The best course of action is behavioral, social, and speech therapies and special education. Putting your child on a special diet might lessen some of the symptoms, but they aren't "cured." We are not "crystal children" either. Crystal children is a comforting lie for parents who r
Dec 18, 2007 Laura rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: parents who have just received an Autism Diagnosis
McCarthy book details the journey of her son Evan beginning with severe seizures which led to a diagnosis of Autism.
McCarthy does a great job of projecting the strong emotions associated with receiving a diagnosis and going through the ups and downs of the journey.
McCarthy used a variety of treatments including ABA and the GFCF diet. She provides lots of information on the different methods and resources available. I found the most valuable part of this book to be the summary guide she provid
Oct 20, 2008 M rated it it was amazing
My little boy was recently diagnosed as being on the Autistic spectrum and it's a scary, confusing and overwhelming thing to have to deal with...especially in the beginning. My husband and I have spent untold amounts of money already on therapy, therapeutic/adaptive toys, sensory paraphernalia and we've spent countless hours reading "how-to" books, on the phone arranging for services and arguing with our insurance company.

What a breath of fresh air to read a book by a mother who's been there! I
Alison Lake
This book was a little bit strange to me. I am really interested in autism as I am a teacher and come across children with autism frequently. I thought it might be interesting to read a celebrity's account of her son's autism. The beginning of the book was really good and drew me in to her story. But then she started to get a bit pushy about her ideas about the origin and treatment of autism. It almost seemed like the book was pushing a very specific agenda. Also, I was very confused about her d ...more
Mar 26, 2008 Erin rated it did not like it
Shelves: autism
"If someone you love is diagnosed with autism, Louder Than Words is the first book you should read." So far from the truth. This is probably one of the last books you should read. Jenny McCarthy's book is her personal story of her journey in dealing with her son's autism. It offer little factual information on autism or on ways to treat it. For me, this book was a 200-page rant. It was whiny and full of swear words. While I appreciate Jenny's struggles, she comes off as extremely self-righteous ...more
Aug 05, 2008 Terry rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Okay. When I saw Jenny McCarthy on Oprah's show (don't judge!) about autism I was enraged by her insistence that autism can be cured. (I was curious that she mentions "healing autism" in the book's subtitle but she really doesn't push the whole "I cured my son's autism" that much...well, until the end. I still find that stance unethical at best.) It can't. It can be managed, and the symptoms/effects can be drastically reduced through aggressive, consistent therapies and diet, but it cannot be cu ...more
Sep 07, 2010 Liz rated it did not like it
I should start this review stating that I am a Speech Language Pathologist working in the schools and I work with kids who have Autism and their families.

I went into reading this book completely preparing to hate it, having previously heard the Author's point of view about the cause of Autism and that it can be "cured." After reading the book I am in two minds. It was written by a good parent with the intention of giving others Hope. But, we should not forget: she is NOT a medical or other profe
Feb 17, 2008 Jacqlyn rated it did not like it
Shelves: autism
While McCarthy provided brief descriptions of various treatments (ABA therapy, GFCF diet, and supplementation), she spends much more time blaming God, the medical community, and her ex-husband for Evan's autism. This poorly written book reads more like a rant or distasteful monologue. While I am not defending or excusing the medical community for their slow responce to Autism or the general refusal to link the possibility of vaccines to autism, profanity, name calling, and blaming will not serve ...more
May 04, 2014 Gia rated it did not like it
I have always strongly disliked Jenny McCarthy, not as an actress or anything but as a person. I think she is completely uninformed and ignorant of so many things and, indirectly, causes harm to others. I find her whole campaigning again vaccines and claims to "curing" her sons autism, cruel and, quite honestly, dangerous. It's people like this woman that made diseases that were nearly extinct start rising again and that are harming other people and children. Ignorant people like this woman obvi ...more
Oct 21, 2007 Tara rated it it was amazing
I saw Jenny McCarthy talking about this book on Oprah so I bought it. I have not read any of Jenny's other books, but I was very interested in learning how autism effected her life.

I have to say, Jenny McCarthy is a very dedicated mother who was going to stop at nothing to find out what was wrong with her son and how to "fix" it. I thought her journey, from the initial incorrect diagnosis to the numerous breakthroughs Evan completed was both heartbreaking and hopeful.

At age 2.5, Evan is discover
Apr 01, 2009 Cyndee rated it did not like it
I knew at the outset of reading this book that I did not agree with Jenny McCarthy's opinions on the causes and treatments of Autism but I'm a firm believer that you can't argue your own point well if you don't know the opposition. Also, as a mother of a son with Autism myself, I thought I would AT LEAST find some passages, some experiences, some emotions in common with her...something that would touch me and make me say "I know exactly how she feels." It didn't happen. The only thing that I got ...more
Sonya S
Dec 12, 2008 Sonya S rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: NO ONE
Never before have I tried to read a book so full of misinformation. It is PAINFUL and CAUSES ME TO FROTH AT THE MOUTH. Want *real* information? Read Paul Offit. Check out the Autism Diva's blog. Visit the James Randi site ( Listen to the Skeptic's Guide to the Universe. But please, do NOT believe this woman. It is offensive, scientifically fallacious, and downright *wrong*.
Aug 02, 2011 Amber rated it did not like it
I am ashamed to say that I actually wasted time and money on this book. Jenny McCarthy is a moron! Her son doesn't even have autism, he has Landau-Kleffner syndrome which is often misdiagnosed as autism. Also her claims of "curing" autism are ridiculous and disgusting! She has encouraged the untrue belief that vaccines cause autism, they have been proven NOT to have ANY link to autism! As for her claims of her son being a "crystal child" and her being an "indigo mom" they just prove just how ign ...more
Apr 05, 2012 Aryn rated it did not like it
Story of a Mother Dealing with Discovering her Child Has Autism: Two Stars
The first fifty pages were all pre-diagnosis of Jenny McCarthy's child, Evan. It was really focused on the fear and confusion of a parent going through something awful. Evan was having seizures constantly, with no seeming reason. After the diagnosis, it took a bit of a nose dive as the book seemed to be become about what was wrong with Evan and what Jenny was doing about it. There was very little focus on how Evan was actu
May 30, 2009 Ellyn rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2009
Because I work with parents of kids with autism, and Jenny McCarthy's name is out there in the autism world, I thought I should read this book. In all fairness, I have to admit that I went into the book expecting to thoroughly dislike it, and I wasn't disappointed. For one thing, Jenny McCarthy is a terrible writer. She swears far too much, and much of the book feels like an irrational, self-centered rant. Granted, I don't have kids, let alone a child with autism, so maybe I shouldn't judge. One ...more
Jan 20, 2008 Roger rated it liked it
My brother is one of the hundreds of thousands of Americans with autism. I don't believe that he would have responded to any of the treatments that worked for Jenny, rather he's making some progress with lots of therapy and a constantly evolving cocktail of behavior modification meds. The fact is there's many different varieties of autism, and her son Evan's journey is quite different than my brother's. But as McCarthy says, this book isn't about a cure for autism, it's about having faith and ne ...more
Nov 05, 2012 April rated it did not like it
Jenny McCarthy should really shut her mouth unless she's going to call this a work of fiction. And I would really caution anyone reading this if you're looking for hope for your autistic loved one. First of all she claims her son is "cured." Really? Then perhaps she should market that, because medical professionals haven't been able to do that yet. I would encourage her to take her son off all the MANY therapies he's on, & then see how "cured" he is. You didn't cure him Jenny, you're simply ...more
Sep 19, 2008 Bmfinn1008 rated it really liked it
Who knew Jenny McCarthy could write? I read this book to better understand what my daughter-in-law does and came away with a much better understanding of autism than I thought.
Beth Harrelson
Jul 25, 2014 Beth Harrelson rated it it was amazing
Wow, after reading all of the hate reviews I feel as if there is something wrong with me. I enjoyed the book. If nothing else it brings me hope. I have two grandsons on the spectrum. M is right in the middle and Z is an Aspie. M was 3.5 years old and wasn't talking. He had been in therapy for almost a year. My chiropractor asked me to bring him in to see if he might possibly be able to help. I did and my chiropractor worked wonders. Two days later M's speech therapist and counselor were taken ab ...more
Aug 23, 2009 Lea rated it it was ok
Shelves: true-stories
ok, i read this book and went into it with an open mind.... Being a profesional in the special education world, I found some of this book helpful but mostly absurd. Her good points is that not all children who suffer from autism are the same...I CANNOT STRESS HOW TRUE THAT IS. The main part I dont agree with is that there is a cure....THERE IS NO CURE OR PREVENATIVE AT THIS POINT. We all like to wish we can fix these children/adults, but realistically the best thing we can do for them, is accept ...more
Jessica AKA Riley
Apr 02, 2008 Jessica AKA Riley rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Parents dealing with PDD issues
Recommended to Jessica by:
Okay, I get that this is written by Jenny McCarthy. She's not exactly a genius. But she is a mother. Her story really hit home for me in her descriptions of medical personnel lacking a bedside manner and the fear that creeps into your heart when you have no idea what is going on with your child except the fact that something is. Jenny definitely gets a bit crazy in some of her attempts to "cure" her son's autism (the whole Mormon thing was kind of funny), but the story had some interesting takes ...more
Jun 27, 2008 Christina rated it it was ok
This was a quick read, and I'm not sure what to think about it. If it weren't for the language (she likes to use the f word a lot for some reason), I'd probably give it three stars. The author is a celebrity (not that I'd ever heard of her) whose son is diagnosed with autism. The book follows her journey as she tries various diets, medicines, and behavioral intervention (she even tries various faith-healings, and visits from some persistent Mormon missionaries made me smile). The healing her son ...more
Mar 25, 2009 Ben rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone whom has or even knows of someone diagnosed with Autism
Shelves: health-fitness
I first want to start by saying my youngest brother is as well autistic. I've only allowed myself to fully show my emotions and how this effects me to one other person besides my mother, that person knows whom I refer to. This book was by far the hardest book I have ever read. I completely read this book front to back all in one sitting. Throught the 8hours it took me to read this book I couldn't stop myself from crying, it got to the point a couple time that I had to put it down to control mys ...more
Tammie McElligott
Sep 26, 2007 Tammie McElligott rated it really liked it
I read this book in one afternoon after I saw Jenny on the Oprah show.

Looking at blogs online I see that there are many who were not happy with it or having her on Oprah.

Jenny herself says in the book that it is not a book about autism but rather about faith.

Does Jenny do a disservice by speaking only about a select few treatments? I don't think so, she's speaking about what worked for her and the book does take you thru her process of what the Emergency Room doctors were like when her son had h
May 26, 2014 Vicky rated it it was amazing
A well written enjoyable read. This is not really supposed to be a "how-to" book, which is nice after reading a large amount of very medical books on autism. Jenny does an awesome job of expressing her personal struggles with her sons diagnosis, family relationships, and treatment. I read her baby books which were funny and kinda silly, but I have a new found respect for her and when you read this book you can tell this is coming from a more genuine place. My favorite quote from the book "... I ...more
Jul 27, 2008 Amy rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: any parent with a child on the spectrum or friends of parents who have a child on the spectrum
Recommended to Amy by: Deanne Serra
my friend Deanne saw Jenny interviewed and immediately ordered this book. She read it first and then passed it to me where I avoided it and avoided it until I finally had to read it. Our son Luciano has not been diagnosed at this point but he has many characteristics that lead us to believe he may be somewhere on the Autism spectrum. I loved how Jenny never took "no" as an answer, whether it be with a doctor, or Tri-Counties Regional center, etc. She always went the extra mile, researched like c ...more
Caristy Olson
Feb 17, 2016 Caristy Olson rated it it was ok
Shelves: self-help
So I don't believe that Autism can be cured....but I do believe in trying to finding the reasons for things. I think the takeaway from this book is that she worked hard to solve what was wrong with her son. She tried to make sure that he got the best care that she was able to provide and get for him. Some people are not able to do that because of lack of money and resources. She also researched and tried things to see if it would help and work, for her child it helped. But that doesn't mean that ...more
Apr 17, 2012 Vanessa rated it really liked it
This book is controversial because of the author. Say what you will, I enjoyed reading it. What she went through is heartbreaking. I admired the author's faith in God as she was trying to heal her son. It really was a riveting read. As a parent, I can empathize with the heartbreaking diagnosis her son received and the helplessness she felt at first when told there was nothing she could do. I recommend this to anyone who is interested in the autism/vaccine debate or their child has been diagnosed ...more
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Louder than Words 2 31 Dec 23, 2012 12:52PM  
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Jennifer McCarthy is an American model, comedian, actress and author. She first appeared in Playboy magazine in October 1993 and was named Playmate of the Year in its June 1994 issue. She later began a career in television and film and has recently started writing books dealing largely with her pregnancy and motherhood of a child with autism.
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