Anything’s Possible — From Courageous Mom
To International Autism Expert
Born in Calgary, Alberta (Canada) in 1957, Lynette Louise left school at 15, married and had two children before turning 20. By the time she was 29, she had adopted four toddlers, all boys with varying degrees of autism. “Having been a foster parent,” says Lynette, “I couldn’t stand that the kids would be bounced from home to home. I had to keep them!” Along the way, she added two troubled teenage girls to the mix, one with learning disabilities, completing the family with eight children in all. The story of how these children not only survived but flourished is a testament to Lynette’s persistence, unconventional approaches, and steadfast love.
A major turning point came when Lynette moved the family to a shelter after separating from her husband. Following this painful episode, Lynette worked an array of odd jobs—everything from mail carrier to advice columnist—in order to support the children as a single parent. But she kept returning to her first love; the theatre. Throughout the years, Lynette has performed stand-up (winning the title of Toronto’s funniest comedian in 1990), landed parts in several movies, and even hosted a weekly television cooking show on Canada’s Life Network. She also independently produced comedy and music shows, turning the family into a traveling theatre troupe. In the early 1990’s she wrote, produced, and performed Behind Bars, a musical show that toured prisons throughout Canada and the United States. Her first CD ‘Sing Me A Song… please’ was released in 1994 while her first book ‘JEFF: a sexually realized spiritual odyssey of stepping into love’ was published in 2003.
In the pursuit of helping her children, Lynette relocated to the United States in 1996. “America saved my life,” she admits. “I had constant problems with the Canadian schools. Then when I moved to the States I discovered that in America the alternative of home-schooling was more accepted.” Loading the brood into an RV, she spent a year and a half traveling around the country with her children. Traveling in this way allowed her to work closely with each of them. This period of “travel therapy” dovetailed perfectly with a new program Lynette had been introduced to: the Option Process, a treatment that stresses one-on-one play with the parent as therapist. She eventually received certification as an Option counselor.
Today as young-adults, all of Lynette’s children function independently except for Dar (32), who continues to live with her. Dar was the most severely challenged and abused of all her children when he came to her at age four after several years of being locked in a closet by his alcoholic mother. Lynette calls him a “slow moving miracle” who continues to make extraordinary progress, especially since beginning neurofeedback therapy several years ago.
How was Lynette so successful, given the severity of the challenges her children faced?
“My understanding of what they were going through was intuitive, probably because I had encountered significant problems of my own. We had common ground in trying to make sense of the world,” says Lynette, reflecting on a troubled childhood of her own that included some sensory integration processing problems. “Ultimately, in helping to heal them, I healed myself.”
Lynette also credits being open to trying everything. “Medications, diet, auditory integration, play therapy, family counseling, and neurofeedback all became part of the mix. Some things worked better than others, since each child was different. But most important, I always believed there would be a way to help them.” In addition to self-education and first-hand experience, Lynette became certified as a child facilitator by the Autism Treatment Center of America and as a neurofeedback practitioner, studying with leaders in the field, including Catherine Rule of Northampton, Massachusetts and Dr. Harold Burke of Westlake, California. Her training and understanding of neurofeedback was greatly enhanced by the honors college degree in main-frame computer languages she earned during her 20’s. Lynette Louise holds two board certifications in Neurofeedback and is working on her PhD in Psychophysiology at Saybrook University.
In 2004 Lynette founded the Brain and Body Clinic, a treatment center for autism and other brain disorders using neurofeedback, a therapy that improves functioning by training individuals to control their own brainwave activity. Although originally based in Santa Monica, California, Lynette decided a clinical setting was counterproductive to the majority of her clients. She now works on site with clients and their families all over the world.
Lynette is simultaneously performing Internationally in her one-woman play. THING TO THING TO THING—From Crazy To Sane With Biofeedback, Autism And The Brain. Full of funny, heartbreaking, and triumphant stories drawn from her life, the show is a composite of monologues, brain science, and music during which Lynette recounts her 20-year search for ways to help her special needs children develop into independent adults. The play was first performed in May of 2007 at Highways Performance Space in Santa Monica, California. Gaining popularity at public venues in Southern California, Lynette then took the show on the road to theatres in cities and towns across the United States. An abbreviated conference version of “THING TO THING TO THING” was performed and received a standing ovation at the annual conference of the International Society for Neurofeedback and Research in San Diego. Her new, more provocative version “CRAZY TO SANE” has been getting standing ovations nationally. In addition to these two live shows being presented as a singular experience Lynette also combines them with her motivational speeches into a seminar length six-hour presentation ‘SCIENCE, LIFE AND LEARNINGS’ for families and professionals throughout North America. Arrangements are underway for performances at other professional events, including many leading autism conferences.
Lynette’s international reality series FIX IT IN FIVE with LYNETTE LOUISE aka THE BRAIN BROAD, the pilot for which was originally aired at the Autism One conference in Chicago 2010, is now available for viewing on The Autism Channel. Lynette’s book Miracles Are Made: The Real Life Guide To Autism was released April 2011. Her latest book, The WingMaker, was released Nov. 2013.
To purchase Miracles Are Made: The Real Life Guide To Autism or The WingMaker (books) click here (for Amazon)
To get the show CD from Crazy to Sane or Lynette’s first CD Sing Me A Song… Please! follow this link (Radio Indy).
The names and ages of Lynette’s children are Tsara 39, Jady 39, Brandessa 36, Khiya 36, Dar 32, Cash 31, Chance 30, and Rye 28.