Brain Balance

Autism coverAutism: The Scientific Truth About Preventing, Diagnosing, and Treating Autism Spectrum Disorders – and What Parents Can Do Now

Submitter: People with autism have a hard enough time in life without being abused, threatened or discriminated against, and are invisible in mainstream society, so books, websites, etc. that spout hate, stereotypes and misrepresentations of autism harm the self-worth of already vulnerable people. The content of this book is no exception. For example, in the foreword on pg xi, it says the book is about preventing autism before it has a chance to develop, and perhaps curing it. And it gets worse: pg 4: “Autism is a real threat.” Ableism is the real threat, not autism. It should be society’s responsibility to create a world that is more accepting of people with autism, not autistic people’s responsibility to assimilate into neurotypicality to make everyone else feel comfortable. And autism is repeatedly referred to as an “epidemic” in this book, like it is a virus to be eradicated. And the use of the r-word. I myself have Asperger’s and to find this book in my local library was really hurtful. To be told I’m a threat to society and need to be “fixed” is the worst thing I’ve ever heard. I may be smart enough to know I don’t need to be cured, but it could really damage other people’s self-esteem, even make them suicidal. If you want proper information about autism, check out Autistic Self Advocacy Network – they are the true experts in this matter.

Holly: Dr. Melillo’s Brain Balance Achievement Centers have definitely been criticized. Take a look at the external links on that Wikipedia page; especially the NPR piece.

Autism foreword



  1. Any book about autism more than a year old is completely out of date.

    And the R word was considered a slur WAY before 2012!!! There was a developmentally disabled kid in my grade school class in the early 70s and we weren’t allowed to call her the R word. In the late 70s there was a kid with Down Syndrome in my class (who my mom helped tutor) and no R word for him. I had a friend who worked with the differently-wired in the 80s, and never said the R word. I’m aghast at seeing it 10 years ago.

    This quack is so wrong he’s Not Even Wrong. That NPR piece shows how sloppy his “science” is, how he’s lying about credentials, and how he’s in it for the money.

    This book should be tossed into the recycling bin so it can become something that will benefit people rather than harm them. And the quack should be in jail for fraud.

    1. My understanding is that “retard” was _never_ legitimate, that the scholarly/medical term was “retardate”, as in “person who is being held back” in their metal development. If either are being used in a 2012 work, it’s not science talking, it’s the author’s ego.

      1. Wrong. President Kennedy convened the President’s Panel on Mental Retardation in 1962. It was staffed by 26 medical and psychological professionals. In 1963 he gave an address to congress on “Special Message to the Congress on Mental Illness and Mental Retardation”.

        It’s hard, I know: The past is not what you’d prefer it was. The answer to that is not to make shit up and pretend otherwise though.

        1. And yet the R word wasn’t allowed 10 years after than in my suburban, extremely non-woke school.

  2. Books like these not only make me feel like a space alien, they make me hope that I am.

    1. Exactly, but it’s not “just you”, this world, made by the “modern human”, is incredibly materialistic and dulled down, so the remaining “normal ones” are abnormal now.

  3. this shit again… always funny to see when allistic people think they’re the “normal ones”, since the society we have to live in now obviously is the basic state of the human as a species, lol.

  4. As someone with autism, books like this make me mad at how we are treated only as something to be “fixed” and not something to be worked with. To paraphrase Dorothy Parker: “This is not a book to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.” Preferably into the schnoz of the author.

    1. You’re either diseased/disabled or you’re not. If you are, then efforts should be made to cure you. If you are not, then you’re normal and should not be paid any special attention to or receive any special privileges or consideration.

      1. You really have a hate-on for people who are wired a bit differently. Your attitude makes me think you’re either a troll and/or a MAGA.

        1. I’d like to think this person is a troll but after years of being emotionally/verbally abused for being autistic by someone who should’ve been in my corner, I know there are people who really just can’t fathom having to co-exist with ND people.

          1. Too true; sorry, Katie. Let us still together in a dim, quiet corner and not talk. Maybe one bright enough to read, though.

            I think this guy believes it, but he’s trolling here as you can tell from his dull, repetitive “arguments”. Strictly cut and paste.

            Besides his obvious personality disorder(s), maybe he’s in denial about his or someone close to him’s autism. Maybe he’s reporting back to similarly unsocialized cruel people who think he’s winning a debate. Maybe he just needs to move out of his mom’s basement.

      2. I really hope you’re just being a troll. If you are, please go crawl back under your bridge, no one will miss you.

      3. Special privileges? Are you insane?
        Let’s see what these special “privileges” entail:
        -Higher suicide rates
        -Lack of employment/poor unemployment
        -Exclusion from society and even family
        -Abuse and bullying
        -Barriers to education

        Autism can’t be cured but it can be managed with a little understanding and resources.
        I know it’s probably useless to ‘argue’ with you but I’m replying anyway because I don’t take abuse lying down. I had enough of that from my dad.

        1. He seems more like a Gab/Parler/Truth Social kind of guy.

          I am NT and can make small talk all day. but being a girl nerd in the 70s and 80s opened me up to abuse too.

  5. I enjoy all of Temple Grandin’s books. She is a neuro/cognitive scientist who went through the hard knocks herself. She is on the autism spectrum and she herself gives testimony and personal witness to what autism is. She helps me see none of us is different from any other person.

    Who of the next generation is writing about autism and showing what people on the spectrum need from neurotypicals?

    1. For one, Eric Garcia. My workplace’s DEI reading club recently covered his book “We’re Not Broken.”

    2. “neurotypicals”

      I find that term offensive and would prefer you not use it. The term is “normal people.”

      1. Normal is just a setting on the dryer, troll.

        If you’re “normal”, everyone else should be glad not to be.

        Your blinkered thinking and reflexive hostility doesn’t seem normal to me. Seems like a classic example of a cognitive distortion. I hope you’re seeing someone to get that cleared up. Don’t know if it’s from narcissism, anxiety/depression, BPD or OCD. Maybe it’s your amygdala. But there are treatments available for all of those, so I’m sure you’re assiduously working on being cured.

        Methinks thou dost protest too much. And project too much.

      2. Being a narcissist isn’t normal either, which is what you’re being. When I was a teenager and a young adult people tried to force me to be something I wasn’t. They tried to force me not to do the very things that helped me cope with this world even though they weren’t hurting anyone, because they thought it wasn’t “normal”, and all it did was give me horrible anxiety and nearly wrecked my life. But I fought back and now I’ve been living in my own apartment for over twenty years instead of rotting away in some mental hospital. But I’m not any more “cured” than I was back then.

        1. Hello, fellow survivor! My dad tried to shame and bully the autism out of me, too. He made no secret of wanting me to be like my NT siblings. And guess what, it didn’t make me “normal”; it just got me therapy, exacerbated depression and trust issues when it came to men, until I met my Special Olympics coach who’s been more of a father to me than my bio dad ever was.

      3. These “normal people” you talk about would have gotten eaten in the stone age because they’re too dull to notice the tiger lurking in the grass behind them, while simultaneously laughing about these who notice him. They would have also died by eating bad things because they just stuff themselves with anything available no matter how bad the texture, taste and smell is.

        1. And never would have figured out how to make better spears and hand axes, and the best ways to hunt various animals and improve the shelters.

  6. Ok. ASD is a developmental disorder, not a mental illness, and since I have ASD my brain is wired differently and has been my entire existence. That makes ASD a very big part of me and who I am, including my personality.

    1. If you aren’t normal, then you’re mentally ill.

      “That makes ASD a very big part of me and who I am, including my personality.”

      And yeah this is pretty much exactly what I’m talking about.

      1. You seem to be proud of being wrong about everything on this topic. Maybe you should join this quack’s clinic or write a terrible book too.

        (I personally am utterly NT, so no dog in the fight.)

      2. Pray tell, what is “normal”? Not fitting into socially constructed little boxes so I don’t make people feel uncomfortable? I don’t act and think exactly like society says I should so I’m “mentally ill”? What do neurodivergent people do besides exist that warrants stigma??

    1. Someone should’ve told my dad that. I’m the only neurodivergent person out of my five siblings and his narcissistic self just exploded over not having a ‘perfect’ child to live vicariously through.

    1. No, it doesn’t make you a bad ASD. It’s perfectly normal to want to be cured.

      It’s also perfectly normal to not wish to be cured.

  7. We’ve known Autism is genetic since the 1970s. Yet this crap still is out there. This book never should’ve been allowed in the library in the first place as it’s about as valid as any book that says the earth if flat.

  8. I’m grateful the author isn’t recommending a glass of bleach, a backpack that gives electric shocks, or 40 hours of compliance therapy a week for us.

  9. Gee, I’m glad to see I’m up there with gun violence, underfunded schools, and child abduction. Really makes an autistic person feel loved.
    I don’t mind books about how to manage and treat (not cure) autism. It can be difficult to be a parent of or live with autism. But to be told we should be ‘fixed’ or ‘cured’, or have autism mentioned in the same breath as SCHOOL SHOOTINGS isn’t responsible medical information, it’s ableism, pure and simple. And the second scan is just disgusting where the author says parents should worry about their “healthy, high achieving children” someday having an autistic child because of “rising” autism rates. First off, autism isn’t a disease. Second, autism rates aren’t rising, we’re better at recognizing and diagnosing…even if this hateful stigma persists.

  10. Autism isn’t a mental illness. We’re just wired differently. That’s like saying a Mac has a virus simply by virtue of being a Mac. Both are useful computers but their programming is different. Also, my “fascinating personality trait” earned me years of bullying and shaming that put me in therapy, so it’s not like we gain anything from our “mental illness”.

  11. @Holly/Mary, can you get rid of this young troll boy? He’s had his “fun”, but there doesn’t seem to be any more candy in him for us.

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