Drawing on interviews with doctors and several patient histories, alternative health writer Marohn (Natural Medicine First Aid Remedies) recommends natural medicine and a controlled diet as "cures" for children diagnosed with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD). While examining environmental factors, pollution, and vaccines as possible causes for ASD is perfectly valid, Marohn posits that they are the main causes and, in turn, provides an unbalanced and unsound approach to treatment. The 14 alternatives that she suggests (e.g., targeted therapeutic nutrition, homeopathy) are rarely supported by more than anecdotal evidence and create unrealistic expectations. Marohn ignores behavioral, speech, and occupational therapies, which are considered critical to the successful treatment of children with ASD. In addition, she makes the ludicrous assertion that preventing autism is as easy as disregarding physicians and protecting your child from our toxic environment. Marohn risks shifting blame for the rise in ASD back to the parents, who supposedly control their child's environment. A better choice for libraries is Mitzi Waltz's Autistic Spectrum Disorders: Understanding the Diagnosis and Getting Help, which presents a more evenhanded section on alternative remedies. Not recommended.
Corey Seeman, Univ. of Toledo Libs., OH
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