Thursday, May 13, 2021

Autism Answer: From Client to Clinician by Louloua Smadi - Book Review

"From Client to Clinician draws readers in with the beautifully told story of a family searching for something. Louloua Smadi shares how her brother's autism triggered a family mission and how that mission led to her own personal fascination with human behavior and neurofeedback. By taking readers along on her journey she offers a compelling case for neurofeedback therapy, specifically when combined with putting the client and their personal goals at the forefront. From Client to Clinician is an important and inspirational book." ~Tsara Shelton, one of Louloua's biggest fans even if she is a bit jealous of Louloua's absolute awesomeness :D 


From Client to Clinician by Louloua Smadi


Traveling with Louloua Smadi From Client to Clinician, from sibling to self, from France to Lebanon to America, feels like journeying with someone who brings out your best self. And on your travels you are often introduced to something new while simultaneously reconnecting with something familiar. The tone throughout From Client to Clinician is one of stimulating discovery, and the mechanism used is a limitless love the author has for humanity in all it's diversity.

Throughout the book Louloua shares with refreshing frankness the obstacles and fears her family faced when trying to love and teach Milo, Louloua's autistic brother. With that same frankness she invites readers to undergo and understand the massive shifts they made as a family - shifts in beliefs, in behaviors, in methods - in order to better understand Milo, each other, and what true healing looks like.

Full Disclosure: I love Louloua. I have not (yet) met her but she is a sister to me. In life, and throughout the book, Louloua shares experiences and conversations she's had with Dr. Lynette Louise ("The Brain Broad") which influence her style and bring success to her own healing; lessons and conversations that reveal why The Brain Broad's holistic methods create such unique results around the world. And Dr. Lynette Louise is not only The Brain Broad but also My Mom. However, my love for Louloua runs deeper than the mere fact she and I share a mentor. While reading From Client to Clinician I felt connected to her as a person. Admittedly, we are not the same (truthfully, she's been a better sister than me) and her interest in neurofeedback is far grander than my own (Read: Louloua is smarter than me and probably my mom's favorite. Giggle!) but the way she learns, the way she chooses to understand what she's learned, the person she wants to be in the world, these things are familiar. And the way she writes, with vulnerability, clarity, and vision, remind me of how I want to write. 

I believe I am not the only reader who will feel similarly connected to Louloua when reading this book. If you are autistic or have an autistic family member, you are going to recognize your own family in these pages. The fears, the hopes, the obstacles, the reactions we receive from the pubic, though your stories won't be the same as the Smadi's they are likely similar. And with these stories weaved in throughout a book that offers realistic hope and answers, the familiarity feels exciting rather than commiserative.  

Also, the author manages to affect readers with her passion and innate interest in neurofeedback (bio-feedback for the brain). Louloua is drawn to neurofeedback therapy first when it helps her brother and then as it helps her. Her curiosity and excitement influence the reader and as we learn about this natural therapy, as we are offered cogent and compelling information about the brain and behavior, we easily understand otherwise challenging concepts. 

Reading this book, infused as it is with empathy, science, personal stories, hope, humanity, and a vision of diversity that includes everyone while raising the bar, is a transformative experience. I highly recommend it to caregivers, parents, educators, disability advocates, and anyone who enjoys spending time in conversations that consider all the people in our world. 

You can purchase the book here: From Client to Clinician: The Transformative Power of Neurofeedback Therapy for Families Living with Autism and Other Special Needs