Jepson, Bryan 1967–
Jepson, Bryan 1967–
Born August 12, 1967; married; wife's name Laurie; children: two sons. Education: University of Utah Medical School, graduated, 1995.
Home—Austin, TX. Office—Thoughtful House, Center for Children, 3001 Bee Caves Rd., Austin, TX 78746.
Physician, researcher, and author. Children's Biomedical Center of Utah, Provo, physician, 2002-05; Thoughtful House Center for Children, Austin, TX, physician, c. 2006—.
(With Jane Johnson) Changing the Course of Autism: A Scientific Approach for Parents and Physicians, Sentient Publications (Boulder, CO), 2007.
Bryan Jepson is a physician who is board certified in emergency medicine. In 2001, Jepson and his wife, Laurie, began exploring treatment options for their second son, who had just been diagnosed with autism. Finding that medical research was lacking in the area of autism, the couple conducted their own research and decided to establish a clinic focusing on autistic children. Jepson worked at the Children's Biomedical Center of Utah and then joined the Thoughtful House Center for Children in Austin, Texas. He continues to provide clinical care and conducts research into autism.
Jepson is the author, with Jane Johnson, of Changing the Course of Autism: A Scientific Approach for Parents and Physicians. In the book, Jepson and Johnson provide information on research showing that autism can be treated by reducing neurological inflammation that is part of the disease process. This approach would replace the treatment of simply masking the symptoms with drugs, such as Ritalin and Prozac. The authors claim that the book has the potential to revolutionize the way autism is perceived and managed. Most books on this subject describe educational and behavioral therapies only, while Jepson and Johnson provide a look at autism as a medical disease, not a psychological disorder.
Writing in the book's introduction, Jepson addresses speculation on the possibility that certain vaccines might be the root cause of autism. The author notes that his wife's research on the Internet uncovered information about links between vaccines and the rate of autism in the United States. Noting that he "could no longer be impartial," the author goes on to write: "After all, this was striking at one of the few areas of preventive medicine that physicians are passionate about. Vaccines are good! They eliminate life-threatening disease!" The author continues later: "I looked at the research, largely to prove to my wife that the theory was unfounded. The further I looked, the more interested I became. And before long, I realized that this theory of a vaccine-autism link wasn't driven by the whims of angry activists or the wallets of vitamin manufacturers. Rather, it was based on real science with a strong foundation of biological plausibility, led by knowledgeable and motivated physicians, research scientists, and parents of autistic children, all of whom weren't afraid to question dogma."
An Internet Bookwatch contributor noted that Changing the Course of Autism "is an absolute must-read for new or expecting parents with a history of autism." The authors start with a section on coming to terms with autism and then proceed to relate the history of autism treatment and research. They discuss changes in diagnostic approaches, autism as a disease and not a disability, and information on the potential sources of autism and research in these areas. The concluding segments focus on their treatment approach and discuss proper psychiatric criteria for autism.
Writing in the introduction, Jepson comments on the treatment program described in the book: "We are coordinating medical treatments with intensive educational programs. I believe we're on the verge of major breakthroughs that will change the way the entire medical community views and treats these diseases." The author continued: "The vast majority of the children that we treat are making meaningful progress. Some have functionally recovered to the point of completely dropping the behavioral diagnosis. We have not found a cure; it is a chronic disease that requires chronic management, but these children have gone farther than had ever been considered possible."
A California Bookwatch contributor referred to Changing the Course of Autism as "a key autism survey any serious health collection needs." James Swanton, writing in the Library Journal, noted that the authors make it "clear that with proper medical oversight, the autistic child can improve, often dramatically."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Jepson, Bryan, and Jane Johnson, Changing the Course of Autism: A Scientific Approach for Parents and Physicians, Sentient Publications (Boulder, CO), 2007.
California Bookwatch, October, 2007, review of Changing the Course of Autism: A Scientific Approach for Parents and Physicians.
Internet Bookwatch, September, 2007, review of Changing the Course of Autism.
Library Journal, May 1, 2007, James Swanton, review of Changing the Course of Autism, p. 95.
Deseret Morning News Online,http://deseretnews.com/ (July 27, 2007), Elaine Jarvik, "Author Focuses on ‘New Autism.’"
Sentient Publications Web site,http://www.sentientpublications.com/ (April 16, 2008), de-scription of Changing the Course of Autism and author profile.
Thoughtful House Web site,http://www.thoughtfulhouse.org/ (April 16, 2008), author profile.