Tag Archives: Reason

Charlotte Parent: Asking For Help Doesn’t Make You Weak

What is it about the Y chromosome that prevents dudes from asking for help?

Dudes need to stop trying to muscle their way through life and ask for help.Heck, the Human Genome Project, which mapped every single gene on every single chromosome in the human genetic code, was formed specifically to answer that question.*

Yet it remains unanswered.

Today, over at Charlotte Parent, I’ll be talking about why dudes don’t and dudettes do ask for help, why that might happen and why most of those reasons are straight-out wrong. As usual, I’ll be blogging under our Stay-At-Home Dudes column name.

Join us, won’t you?


*It really wasn’t.

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A Universe Of Worlds, Each Separate And Alone

To look at a child with severe autism from the outside, is to see a child fully immersed in a world that can be shared by no one else. It is a world of one, a universe of one. No matter how many people surround and love the child, there can be no response.

Across a gulf of infinite space, the child’s mind drifts alone, unconnected, unreachable.

Or is it?

According to Dr. Robert Melillo, founder of the  Brain Balance Achievement Centers, an internationally recognized expert on Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and author of the recent book,  Autism: The Scientific Truth About Preventing, Diagnosing, and Treating Autism Spectrum Disorders–and What Parents Can Do Now, it is completely possible to cross that gulf and bring connections to that child’s isolated mind.

“There’s nothing preventing change. There’s nothing damaging his brain (if he has an ASD). So, why can’t he get better?”

I sat down with Dr. Melillo recently and asked him about this. Well, I sat down at my desk and he was at his desk and we were both talking on the phone. But we were sitting down. It counts.

Before we get any further, let’s define a few things. It’ll make for a slightly easier discussion later on. Autism isn’t a binary disorder. That is, it’s not a question of you either have it or you don’t. Unlike pregnancy, you can have a little bit of autism. That’s the reason for the Autism Spectrum Disorder bit up above.

Think of it as a sliding scale. On one end, you’ve got your completely neurotypical individual who performs within the norms on all tests. On the other end of the spectrum, you’ve got a person with very severe autism, a person who might exhibit symptoms like complete withdrawal, rocking back and forth, head banging on walls, everything most laymen think about when they consider autism.

Those are the outliers, though, dudes. Most of the people on the spectrum (which is what it’s called these days) are somewhere in the middle. Think of it as a classic bell-shaped curve with neurotypical on one end and completely withdrawn autism on the other.  Included on the spectrum are disorders such as Attention Deficit (Hyperactivity) Disorder, Specific Learning Disabilities, Asperger’s Syndrome and others.

So, you see, saying someone has autism just doesn’t work. For a diagnosis to do any good, you’ve got to do a lot more testing and find out where on the spectrum that patient is, what kind of symptoms present and the rest. It is, as you might guess, a delicate task that involves a lot of work. And, to make it even more difficult, we don’t know what causes ASDs. We think there’s a genetic disposition and, probably, environmental triggers, but we don’t know.

Despite the difficulty in correctly placing people with ASD on the spectrum, we’ve seen an amazingly steep growth curve in the number of diagnosed cases in just the last decade.

“People think that autism’s cause is purely genetic,” Melillo said, asking how, if the cause is genetic are we suddenly experiencing such an upsurge in cases? “There is no such thing as a genetic epidemic. But look at the prevalence of autism. We’ve gone from one in 10,000 to one in 50, as of last week.”

Now, when something like this shows up in such huge numbers, my first thought is that it’s not an actual increase in cases, but, rather, doctors simply are doing a better job of recognizing and diagnosing the disorder. Melillo, though, said that just doesn’t cover what he’s been seeing.

Melillo said that is one of the reasons he wrote his first book. “People are completely unaware that you can prevent it.”

We’ll talk more about that one tomorrow.

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Sunday Shouting. . . About Us. . . Again

It’s all about A Dude’s Guide to Babies here today, dudes. If you’re interested. . . You’re in the right place and you’re going to be very happy.

If not, well, sorry. Check back later and we’ll probably have something that will interest you. Wait, on second thought, why not stay? Maybe I can change your mind. We’ll see.

Here’s the deal, folks. If you’ve been thinking bout buying a copy of A Dude’s Guide to Babies all for yourownself from Amazon.com, now’s the time to do it. The more purchases we have in the first week, the more people will see it because it’s ranked higher. That’s good for us.

And, if you do buy a copy, please make sure to go back to Amazon.com and leave a review. It’s the same thing as the sales. The more reviews we get, the more people will come and look at the book, which will lead to more people buying the book. Please, please, please.

The earlier the purchase, the earlier the review, the better. We’d really appreciate it.

To show that appreciation, we’re going to be giving away an autographed copy of A Dude’s Guide to Babies. Barry and I will sign it, saying pretty much anything you want. All you need to do is send either of us an e-mail and tell us your funniest reason for wanting a copy of the book. Should we get more than one entry, we’ll pick one out at random. We’ll also give away a book to the best commenter (or one chosen at random) in this comment thread.

This give away is in addition to the book we’re giving away with all the WebMD swag we talked about Thursday and Friday, and in addition to the book we’re giving away on Facebook. It’s e-mail for the first one and simply liking the A Dude’s Guide page on Facebook for the second.

What generous fellas, us.

Speaking of generous, we’re giving of ourselves once again.

We’re going to be interviewed for an actual hour on Charlotte Talks, a local radio talk show on WFAE 90.7 FM here in Charlotte. This show has been on the air for years and is a true patriarch in the local broadcasting scene. Why they want to sully their reputation by hosting us is, well, sort of beyond our understanding. But we’re not going to pass it up, you understand.

We’ll be on from 9 to 10 am on Monday, March 25. The show is broadcast on 90.7 FM in the Charlotte area, and is on the internet as well if you want to stream live. It should be interesting.

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