Autism: The Scientific Truth About Preventing, Diagnosing, and Treating Autism Spectrum Disorders%E2%80%94and What Parents Can Do Now

Robert Melillo, Author
Dr. Robert Melillo. Perigee, $26 (352p.) ISBN 978-0-399-15953-4
Reviewed on: 01/28/2013
Release date: 12/01/2012
Dr. Melillo, a self-described "chiropractic neurologist", is the founder of a national chain of franchised Brain Balance Centers that train people to treat autistic children. Here, he proposes that environment and genetics come together in specific ways to produce symptoms of autism in children, and suggests that the disorder called autism can be minimized by getting the two hemispheres of the brain communicating. He includes diagnostic tools of his own design and suggests medical evaluations to help parents understand their own predilections and tests anyone can do for babies too young to get a diagnosis of autism. Melillo's style of writing is clear and concise, albeit overly confident and authoritative when it comes to making statements concerning a disorder about which much remains unknown. Moreover, though he makes reference to some autism studies, he doesn't cite any of them in sufficient detail for the work to be considered, as the title implies, scientific truth. While Melillo's ideas are thought-provoking, the science to back up his approach is still lacking and the book feels too much like an ad for his brain balance centers. (Jan.)