ASSESS, ADAPT, and ACHIEVE!
Stop Your Spaces From Causing Challenges for Autistic Children and Adults (Then Start Seeing Their Function Improve)
Within 6 Weeks, Create a Home, Classroom, or Workplace that Optimally Supports Autism Turnarounds
Get succinct, practical support that makes all the difference in autism turnaround (without this, your efforts are constantly undermined). We'll work together on the exercises, and remove the biggest barriers to the future you desire: a healthy, satisfying, integrated life for someone with autism.
Climb onto a clear and productive path. Minimize costly interventions and time for recovery. This program covers the full spectrum of inexpensive, structural, DIY options that unblock and supply autistic health and functional improvement.
This is the 3rd of the SMART Steps to Thrive With Autism. Work your way through Symptoms (The Autism Decoder report) and Model (The Five Root Causes of Autism Challenges webinar), to personalize your process and get the most benefit from this Assess, Adapt, and Achieve program!
Jallal ud din Rumi
“Whoever enters the way without a guide will take 100 years to travel a 2 day journey”
"100% Risk Free Guarantee"
You are either completely satisfied with this program before the last module, or you get a full refund, no questions asked.
If you follow through on my affordable, actionable, personalized recommendations (tailored to your needs and capacity through extensive Q&A opportunities) and aren't saying "wow" about what you've discovered and achieved, your money returns.
Who Is This Program For?
This program is designed for you if your top priority is to optimize the health, function, learning, and ability to actualize the full potential of the autistics in your life. You're in the right place if you are:
- Tired of losing sleep while doing all of your own research, and trying to figure out how to put what you’ve learned into practice -- I do the autism research for you
- Sick of outdated information, misinformation, and incomplete information from the easily available sources about autism & interventions -- I do the curation and summaries for you
- wanting to stop wasting your time, resources, and money so you can focus on the best tools and support for your particular situation -- You get the short-cuts
- ready to invest your time and energy in taking effective action towards the best possible function and health for the autistics you support -- You get proven steps to where you want to go
- open to shaping your physical surroundings to optimize autism (optimize the gifts, minimize the challenges) -- You take action, you get results
If you want more autism help than just another online program...
Join the ASSESS, ADAPT, and ACHIEVE Experience
Most online courses are hands-off. You get very little 1:1 support, instead accessing materials you have to find the discipline to go through by yourself... and an ugly secret of the online course industry is that 97% of course attendees don't even get through the course materials, never mind achieve the results they purchased the course to help them get.
This is different. This is a supported, take-action, program.
1. You aren't left alone to wonder if you're doing it right, or to feel overwhelmed. Together, we'll get you through the exercises, the moments of doubt, and the nay-sayers, live.
2. If you join and realize this isn't right for you, anytime before we get to the last module, you can get a full refund, no questions asked.
3. As you get through the program, you see results growing, just from no longer aggravating and undermining autistic function.
4. By receiving the level of support I promise, at least 25x more of you are going to get the results you're seeking (and if I find ways to increase your likelihood of success even further, I'll implement them, too)!
5. By taking the focus away from the information, and putting it squarely on getting you results, you have more fun! (Seriously...)
Anna Van Dyk, parent and activist:
“I find your programs very refreshing. You tell the truth. So many people in the autism community have to be careful what they say due to licensing or being politically correct. The only way to help parents and their children is to tell the truth. I am so tired of being lied to even from well meaning doctors and people trying to help. God bless you and your work!”
Are You Ready for a Better Life?
Parents: You are going to have a lot more fun with your child, and it's going to keep getting better!
Educators: Your autistic students will show you just how much they've already learned from you.
Professionals: Your fantastic results with your autistic clients will have your colleagues asking for your secrets...
Spectrum Adults: You have no idea how much your quality of life, social life, and work experiences will improve!
Do NOT Join This Triple-A Experience If You Plan To...
- Throw money at one expert after another until “the problem is fixed” (or you run out of resources - much more likely)
- Leave someone else in the driver’s seat (and/or the navigator’s seat) on your journey with autism
- Unknowingly invest in rote, iatrogenic, counter-productive, unnecessary, or dangerous/deadly autism interventions
Anya Sophia Mann, AnyaSophiaMann.com,
“If you’re asking where you can get the most trustworthy, succinct, researched information to support people on the autistic spectrum, Jackie McMillan is your ‘go to’ person. She is heart centered, playful, passionate and purposed in her intention to be of service to this community. Parents, caregivers, teachers, physicians, all therapists are well-served and informed from any amount of exposure to Jackie. From lectures and on-line programs to private coaching, I have confidence in sharing her pristine work with clients. You are a true ‘change agent’ in a world that needs change! Thank you, Jackie.”
You Might Have Been Told:
- There's no cure for autism (there isn't, but all of the challenges of autism can improve - or even disappear). If anyone says "nothing can be done," they're misinformed.
- The best that autistics can expect is a drugged and limited life (but we're camouflaged all around you, and besides, there's Temple Grandin, so that can't be true).
- Many other conflicting things that left you bewildered or didn't work very well.
Want the Secret? They Didn't Consult Autistic Adults...
Confused? You're not alone.
My name is Jackie McMillan and I’m autistic. In 1988, I was pretty confused to find that the medical dogma about autism didn’t reflect my experience — or the experiences of other autistics, or of their successful parents & teachers, or of the outstanding health professionals in the autism field.
Fortunately, when I bumped into that dogma right after learning I had autism, I’d already spent 12 years figuring out ways to optimize my own health and functioning — with great success. Even more fortunately, other autistic adults had also independently discovered multiple and overlapping ways to improve their own quality of life, so I could stop doubting myself in the face of that bleak medical picture.
Actually, the medical dogma didn’t even reflect what was showing up in their own medical journals! — That autism challenges are overwhelmingly caused by unhealthy environments: the internal impacts of air, water, food, emfs, and skin-absorbed, unhealthy substances; and the external impacts of less-than-ideal social interactions and support. These are simple to address, but it's far-too easy to miss which details can trip you up and block the results you’re so deeply wanting.
As a result, the people who have the greatest ability to make a positive difference and spare autistic children, teens, and adults years of stress, pain, and difficulty — PEOPLE LIKE YOU — weren’t getting the information and support they needed. As soon as I realized that, I started trying to change it. Over time, the questions I was answering during my talks at meetings, conferences, hospitals, supported living organizations, boards of education, and other venues turned into my SMART system for how to thrive with autism, of which this program is the 3rd step.
What Do You Mean, SMART System?
If you have limited time and resources, you need to be strategic about what you do when, so that you get the best health and functional returns for your investments. With that in mind, here are the SMART Steps to Thrive With Autism:
- S: Decipher what the unique autism SYMPTOMS you’re experiencing are telling you about what types of underlying stress, pain, and illness are being experienced, to what degree (the Autism Decoder report).
- M: Using an autistic-informed MODEL of autism, identify which of the 5 root causes are at play in your particular situation (link to 5RC report/webinar sign-up).
- A: Working with this information, begin to ASSESS and ADAPT your most controllable environments, and as you ACHIEVE health and functional gains, keep careful records of what helps, and to what degree. Sometimes, this is all that’s needed to optimize autism. You're on your way to this step, just reading this page.
- R: Once you’ve clarified which root causes are at play, and which environmental changes are making a difference, you can then REACH for POTENTIAL (click the link to learn about the next online program) by bringing larger lifestyle choices into alignment, and dodging the pitfalls. Surprisingly often, this is all that’s needed to optimize autism.
- T: Having clarity about which root causes still need help to achieve the best health and function, you can TAILOR your TREATMENTS and THERAPIES to what you’ve learned. With lifestyle now supporting recovery of health and function, your investments go to the right places, and have the fastest, easiest, least expensive, and most effective impacts on autistic health and function (Mentoring).
If you skipped the 2 previous steps of the SMART Way to Thrive With Autism, here’s the critical data:
What we call autism is a varying cluster of symptoms which can stem from up to five specific types of health injury, PLUS the adaptive way the brain evolves when under high stress during key developmental stages. No matter what some previous IQ test may have said about “high” or “low” functioning — all of us tested have off-the-charts problem-solving capacity, one of the reasons I call autistic brain development ADAPTIVE.
These adaptive changes are what those of us who have optimized our autism celebrate and appreciate about our autism. Temple Grandin solves problems with ethical cattle management. Satoshi Tajiri solves problems with engaging, non-violent gaming for children. John Elder Robison solved problems with musical instrument construction. Amanda Baggs solved how to communicate through type and YouTube. Jacob Barnett solves astrophysics problems that stumped Einstein. Me, I solve how to thrive with autism.
Each person who has autistic challenges has one or more of these five specific health injuries — what I call the 5 root causes of autism challenges — at play. The symptoms of these health injuries look similar from the outside, but respond to different types of treatment, depending on their source. To complicate matters, a single one of these health injuries may stress the body enough that the other injuries cascade down because of it. And finally, if you try to heal these injuries in the wrong order, you get slow or no results. Lifestyle changes, though, fully outlined in Assess, Adapt, and Achieve, help the body heal itself, with its own wisdom directing the order and process.
As autistic health improves, symptoms and behaviours (which I call autism challenges) drop, and social, learning, coordination, and other skills all catch up. Emotions become increasingly positive and balanced. A larger percentage of autistics recover some degree of health and function with every year that passes; in 2012 up to 20% of us were seeing significant gains. Autistics who “lose their diagnosis” are still systems thinkers, introverts, and often highly intelligent -- we still have the autistic way of being. Quirky and often still socially awkward, we almost always have lingering health challenges which never fully heal, leaving us more vulnerable to other illness.
NB: You’ll get a lot more out of this if you apply the Symptoms and Model information to your situation before taking this course!
First, the ways that we autistics have optimized our autism are remarkably consistent, regardless of where we live in the world, or whether we’re considered high or low functioning. What helps one of us, helps most of us. What hurts one of us, hurts most of us.
Through the books we’ve collectively written, and the (usually online) venues where we gather, this is clear. To see what I mean, read some of the better books by spectrum authors (e.g. Donna Williams, John Elder Robison, Naoki Higashida).
Second, and very exciting, there are a few brave doctors who are supporting autistics, and researchers who are finally listening to spectrum adults, and getting great health and research results from paying attention.
“Standards of practice” created and policed by medical associations limit what doctors and researchers can say or do, limited by accepted models of health.
Attentive researchers and doctors are brave because right now, medical dogma says autism is an “incurable neurological disorder”. If they study or treat autistics’ underlying health problems when those treatments aren’t the do-nothing “standard of practice” reflecting this outdated model of autism, they risk losing their licenses to practice medicine, their funding and labs to do research, and their livelihoods.
When an autistic sees some degree of health and functional recovery, the standard medical response has been that “They must have been misdiagnosed; no-one with autism gets better”. This suppresses the voices of autistics and their supporting health professionals.
Despite this, increasing numbers of medical doctors are paying attention — especially those who have close relatives with autism. It’s hard for an experienced health professional to spend much time around autistics without realizing we’ve got some extraordinary health challenges, and without trying to help.
Seeing the results for themselves, most of them become convinced enough of the link between poor physical health and autistic challenges that they open their practices to support others dealing with autistic challenges.
However, because of their training, doctors and researchers have a narrower definition of health than we autistics do. Through observation and BioMedical research, they’ve spotted our gut, detox, and immune difficulties. But most of them just don’t have the background to talk about nervous system impingement, or stress and trauma. And very few of them have time to explain what they do understand!
If you want to get a bigger health perspective, several researchers and doctors are also authors: Dr. Robert Scaer, Dr. Bernard Rimland, Dr. Stephen M. Edelson, Dr. Jonn Matsen, Dr. Martha Herbert, Dr. John Upledger, and others have all written books about autism health challenges that are easier to read than medical journals.
These MDs, NDs, and DOs are much closer than usual to explaining the actual experiences of autism, though each of them misses the mark in at least a few ways. In addition, if you speak "medicalese", both Autism Canada and the Autism Research Institute in the US have years of video recordings from medical conference presentations.
However, if you’re getting tired of losing sleep while doing all of your own research, and trying to figure out how to put what you’ve learned into practice, that’s what this program does for you.
This 3rd step (Assess, Adapt, and Achieve) is where you really start to get the most benefit from some feedback and direction. These are built into this very-small-group, lots-of-personal-attention program. And I promise, it’s all in plain language.
Absolutely. Low Functioning Autistics Have the Same Potential to Thrive
I don't believe in the model of "Low-Functioning Autistics".
When you can lift the health challenges, so-called low-functioning autistics become very high-functioning indeed… and when a so-called high-functioning autistic has further health injury, it’s a speedy, steep and slippery slope to lower functioning.
Lifting the health challenges is a lot simpler than you think -- though it can take up to 6 months to achieve steady, ongoing improvements, while the maintenance and repair backlog is dealt with.
In fact, parents of lower-functioning children often achieve better and faster results, because they are more motivated to put the changes in place and give my SMART system a fair try.
Also, in the overwhelming majority of cases (except when there is another cognitive challenge such as Down’s or Fragile X syndromes), autistic brains are doing just fine under all those health problems.
Even when Down’s or other genetic syndromes are present, huge gains can be made through addressing inflammation and oxidative stress, which you’ll learn how to do in this DIY program. Evidence is also accumulating around how games increase brain development for people with Down’s Syndrome, and likely others as well.
Please stop worrying about skipped developmental stages, or fretting about missed windows of opportunity. Our autistic brains are developing in their own unique way. Our poor health blocks our communication, not our learning.
You will be amazed at what we’ve learned and remembered under the challenges! Even if we miss the optimal window for learning to speak, many of us have learned to communicate through type — some of us autistics have even taught ourselves to both read and type.
If you haven’t yet seen Amanda Baggs’ YouTube videos, I find them very inspiring. ... And I have a lot more in common with Amanda than I do with non-autistics.
I’ve deliberately given a HUGE amount of direction in my blog, and especially on this and other sales pages.
A lot of people dealing with autism and reading this page are in situations similar to mine before I figured my health out -- not sure whether there would be a roof over their heads next month, and not always sure where and when they’d have the resources for meals. And I want those people to be able to thrive with autism, too! Most of them are likely somewhere in the autistic spectrum (Dyslexia & other Sensory Integration Disorders, ADHD, OCD, PDD-NOS, Asperger’s, Tourette’s, etc.), so also have some of my insights.
But what I -- and other people living on the edge -- needed to do that research was a lot of time, and internet or medical library access. Internet access through a public library, café, or some other community centre (or if you’re really lucky, where you live) means hours and hours, days and nights, when you struggle to learn "medicalese", and then to evaluate a huge breadth of health research for both how it relates to autism, and its pertinence to your particular set of autism challenges.
Getting sidetracked, confused, overwhelmed, and exhausted is par for the course.
What I also have is many years of ongoing self-testing of what works in my own life with autism challenges, and many years of corroborating those discoveries with other spectrum folks so I could be sure I wasn’t way out in left field.
Beyond that, I had years of hunting down medical information about my own and other autistics’ symptoms, entirely outside the blinkered-by-dogma autism research.
Though autism research is beginning to hit the mark more often, my experience allows me to easily sift out the stuff that will make a difference to autistic quality of life. A fraction of what’s out there is actually relevant to autistic health and well-being, even ignoring all the ways that financial interests can lie through statistics and reporting.
But here’s the crux: You’re a DIY-er, or you wouldn’t be here. And you’re who I’m here to help out. But have you ever been stumped by a DIY project? One you had to call an “expert” to resolve? Someone who untangled your months or years of work in days… and then told you how much money and time you would have saved if you’d called them to advise you on your DIY project before you started?
I have, and I didn't like it.
If you have enough resources that you’re interested in investing wisely and getting the best possible returns, I’m that kind of expert, the one who’ll help you set your project up for success in the autism field.
Let's Reframe This Question...
The 20% of parents who currently see their autistic child’s life turn around invest between 3 and 10 years in doing their own medical research… say an average of 6 years.
This time is cut out of their sleep, their weekends, their holidays, and any other time they don’t have to take care of their children. And despite all that time invested, 80% of them don't achieve the results they're seeking
Just for contrast, in 6 months, I get families onto a path that proves its value in ongoing health and functional gains. That half-year is a tenth the time the average successful parent invests… and 4 out of 5 parents going without my help aren’t succeeding.
How long do you want things to stay the way they are right now?
Efficacy of investment:
Most parents with any financial resources try to find good help for their child with autism, spending 100s to 1000s of dollars a month for years.
For example, weekly ABA/ IBI where I live costs between $100 and $1,040 a week, or $400 to $4,160 per month. Most parents end up investing in more “school” (language, behavioural, social, occupational therapy, physio…) because that’s what’s recommended by the outdated “incurable neurological disorder” model of autism.
But the latest research all indicates underlying health problems….
Now, if your kids are sick, do you give them extra homework above and beyond their hours in school? Or do you keep them home and help them get healthy, so they can catch up on schoolwork when their brains and bodies have regained peak ability to learn?
Please stop wasting your money sending sick autistic children to extra schooling; wait until they’re healthy enough to benefit the most from it.
ATTENTION! I just saved you many years worth of hundreds to thousands of dollars a month…
Some well-informed parents look a little further, get some holistic health support - most pediatricians will not risk their livelihoods by working outside their association’s outdated standards of practice.
Which type of health support parents choose is a bit scattershot… it depends on who is accessible, who other parents or specialists recommend, and how far the family is willing and able to travel.
But if you don’t tailor your choice of interventions to the specific challenges an autistic child or adult is experiencing, you aren’t likely to see good results.
Is your best investment extra schoolwork, or shot-in-the-dark health support, for your autistic child?
Return on investment:
Where I live, the cost of holistic health support is not covered by our national health care system, and neither are the extra tests and prescriptions that often triple the cost of an appointment.
A single hour’s visit to a health professional here will set you back somewhere between $60 and $500 just for the specialist’s time, and most professionals want to see their clients monthly.
In a year, assuming no extra tests or prescriptions, that’ll add up to between $700 and $6000 for a single professional’s support. If there are “extras” included, that’s roughly $2,100 to $18,000 per year.
Now let’s say you want to see 3 specialists, perhaps a CranioSacral Therapist, Homeopathic Doctor, and Nutritionist. Depending on “extras”, that could run you $2,100 to $54,000 a year.
Most parents take their child to holistic health professionals for years with only marginal health and functional improvements. It’s not that these professionals aren’t good, or well-trained, or deeply caring. It’s just that they’re only trained in a tiny fragment of the possible interventions.
Health professionals only train in their own discipline, and have to work hard to keep up with their professional association’s continuing education expectations. This perpetuates a limited understanding of what can be done to treat autism challenges -- they just don’t have time to find out what else is out there, or what might work better for the kids they can’t help.
Can you afford to invest in scattershot interventions that are not specifically tailored to your child’s challenges?
What’s the cost of doing nothing?
A 2014 JAMA Pediatrics study estimated that the lifetime cost of supporting a person with autism runs from $1.4 to $2.4 million, the first number being for supporting high-functioning, and the second for low-functioning autistics.
But this assumes that the degree of challenge stays the same. Yet there is no best-before date, for health recovery. The sooner, the better, and yet seniors in the autism spectrum see health and functional recovery from these very steps I’ll take you through.
Why my SMART System is Worth It:
In my SMART system, the first two steps are free, and they aren’t hard to tailor to your own situation.
From there, you can do the whole process yourself if you’ve got the inclination and 3 to 10 years.
If you join me in this SMART program the least expensive way (that only 3% of you complete and get success from, AAARGH!), you spend $200 on this AAA program, another $200 on the following RFP program, and then invest in a couple of mentoring sessions with me to clarify and tailor your next steps.
However, for both programs and mentoring, I have alternative economic options (bursaries, exchange of services, and “pay it forward” projects).
The programs will take you 3 months if you get through one module a week. You start seeing results as soon as you effectively and thoroughly implement what you learn.
For the families who take immediate and consistent action, that means that before they’ve completed this AAA program - sometimes within the first 3 weeks - they are already seeing more gains than they did from years of other interventions. So that least-expensive SMART option is give-or-take $400.
Is it a good investment to spend roughly $400 on something that isn't going to get consumed, never mind make a positive difference for 97% of you? I could cry...
Now let’s say you go for the most expensive way to get through the entire SMART system, the Dream Summer 6-month program. You get individualized assessments, personal support going through the program materials, research summaries and reports tailored to your own specific needs, and a bunch of other stuff you can look up if you’re interested.
The first time I ran it, it was roughly $5000 (this is likely to go up, 'cause it was really hard work) for 6 months of intensive support, and the folks who completed those 6 months were VERY happy. In 6 months, I get families onto a path that proves its value in ongoing health and functional gains.
So for spending somewhere between $400 and $5000 and investing 6 months of your own DIY efforts, focused and guided by my expertise, you’re on a path of evident, ongoing gains in a child you didn’t know how to help.
No matter what you’re comparing, you spend A LOT less time and money if you accept my help.
Lee H., autism parent, couple and family therapist, Waterloo ON
“Fantastic!! Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you. This Cole’s Notes version of a PhD in autism is, I believe, a pivotal piece for our family. Very enthusiastic, well researched and easy to listen to. I appreciate your knowledge and your positive, warm presentation style. Difficult concepts explained well. Nice that you remind us to just do “doable” baby steps. I love how you present. Love your passion re. teaching. Love your enthusiasm. It’s so contagious & uplifting! Clear. Practical. Informative. Thank you.”
Jackie works with you to find solutions that will fit into your life without turning it upside down.
Jackie has a strong footing in so many disciplines that she has several directions from which to tackle any health issue. She is also practical enough to know that heavy-handed modifications to diet or routine aren't feasible, and works with you to find solutions and suggestions that will fit into your life without turning it upside down.
You Will Get:
Initial "Setting Up for Powerful Results" Interview
Initial "Key Autism Aggravators" Assessment
A Personalized Plan of Action
Recorded Weekday Check-ins
Unlimited Email Support, Plus
Biweekly Progress Evaluation
Personalized Training in New Skills
Access to My Complete Complement of Resources
24 Weeks of Personally Tailored Support
Bonuses As Needed, Tailored To YOUR Situation and Needs
The Two Most Commonly Chosen Bonuses:
As a primary care-giver and chief change agent, you want confidence and momentum. Sometimes, these are blocked by negative emotions: fear, sadness, anger, shame, guilt... If you want to reconnect with self-trust and free up your inner resources to be available where they will truly make the biggest and best difference, these game-changing body-awareness tools will revolutionize how you deal with stress.
When your household or support network isn't on board with the changes you believe are necessary, sometimes the best way to catalyze change and create the space for miracles is to build the right commitments. One way this can happen is through a meeting that is professionally facilitated and mediated, a meeting in which common goals are named, possible strategies are developed, areas of conflict are surfaced, and collaborative tools for conflict resolution are agreed upon.
It Doesn't Matter...
- How severe the challenging symptoms you're dealing with are (or how mild); improvements are not only possible, but easier than you think
- How many interventions you've previously tried. Your child's unique challenging symptoms are your primary guide to what's needed to improve health and function, and any interventions you've tried are merely more information about those symptoms.
- How long your autistic child has had difficult symptoms, nor does it matter at what age those symptoms turned up, nor whether your child is well into adulthood...