An appropriately named book

Via The Millenium Project, I’ve learned that some of the “Dummy” books may be living up to their names a bit too literally:

I almost didn’t believe it when I was told that Understanding Autism for Dummies contains advice about how chelation might be a useful treatment for autism, so I used Amazon’s “search inside the book” feature and there it was. Perhaps the authors could get a testimonial for the next edition from Abubakar Tariq Nadama. Oh that’s right, Abubakar can’t give testimonials because he’s dead.

Understanding Autism for Dummies, indeed. Peter Bowditch is right. It’s all there, if you search inside the book using the term “chelation,” including a list of chelating agents. There’s also a credulous treatment of Mady Hornig’s infamous “Rain Mouse” study. Brief and flaccid caveats are presented in a brief paragraph at the end of the section.

I never expected high science from the Dummies series books, but I at least expect semiaccurate information, particularly given the popularity of these books among lay people as introductions to a wide variety of topics.