ISSN 1535-7821
current issue    archives
 Vol. 22 No. 4 2006 

Link to ArticleArticles

Link to ArticleUpdate from the National Library of Medicine, Division of Specialized Information Services

Link to ArticleBook Reviews

Link to ArticleMore Than a Mom: Living a Full and Balanced Life When Your Child Has Special Needs.

Link to ArticleThai Yoga Therapy for Your Body Type: An Ayurvedic Tradition.

Link to ArticleUnderstanding Cancer: A Patient’s Guide to Diagnosis, Prognosis, and Treatment.

Link to ArticleThe Ketogenic Diet: A Treatment for Children and Others with Epilepsy.

Link to ArticleTeaching Conversation to Children with Autism: Scripts and Script Fading.

Link to ArticleMental Wellness in Adults with Down Syndrome.


Link to ArticlePublication Information

Link to ArticleSubmissions

Link to ArticleAdvertising


Link to Article Articles 

Update from the National Library of Medicine, Division of Specialized Information Services

Submitted by: Colette Hochstein, D.M.D., MLS, National Library of Medicine, Division of Specialized Information Services.

TOXMAP Changes

The EPA ( recently released updated and more accurate TRI location data from its Facility Registry System (FRS) ( TOXMAP ( has incorporated these changes, which correct many TRI location inaccuracies in the FRS. Such corrections will continue to be incorporated into TOXMAP as they become available.

See the TOXMAP FAQ about TRI location accuracy for more information. (

From Ship to Shore...
Town's New Port Scene Delivers the Goods on Coastal Environmental Health

What do longshoremen, sunbathers, ship crews, and shrimp lovers have in common? Whether they live on the coast, work in a maritime industry or play on the beach, they can find information about the environment and how it might affect their health at Tox Town's new Port neighborhood. This imaginary port illustrates drinking water and air quality concerns along with wastewater treatment, shellfish safety, work hazards, sun and surf safety, aquaculture and many other topics. The port also highlights possible locations and descriptions of 26 hazardous chemicals.

Tox Town,, uses neighborhood scenes - the Port, City, Town, Farm, and US-Mexico Border region - along with color, graphics, sounds and animation to add interest to learning about connections between chemicals, the environment and the public's health. Tox Town's target audience is high school, college and graduate students, educators (see the home page link for teachers), and the interested public. Tox Town also has a growing number of resources en español.

Tox Town is a project of the Specialized Information Services Division of the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health. Promotional materials and Tox Town images for Web sites and publications are listed at Please send your comments or questions on Tox Town to

Book Reviews

short red line

Baskin, Amy and Heather Fawcett. More Than a Mom: Living a Full and Balanced Life When Your Child Has Special Needs. Bethesda, MD: Woodbine House, 2006. 487p. index. bibliography. resources. appendices. ISBN-10: 1-890627-51-8 / ISBN-13: 978-1-890627-51-8. $18.95 pbk.

While there are innumerable resources for parenting children with special needs, and resources about lifestyle issues for parents in general, it is rare to find a work devoted to the balance between both these issues. Amy Baskin and Heather Fawcett both have children with autism-spectrum disorders. Ms. Baskin specializes in Special Education and writing about disability issues, while Ms. Fawcett chairs a parent support group of over 400 lay and professional persons. They combine these skills and perspectives in More Than a Mom, a useful resource for parents in general and a very useful resource for parents of special needs children.

More Than a Mom provides a practical perspective on self-nurturing while doing what needs to be done. While it is written from a maternal perspective, the types of ideas, concepts and tools presented are useful for parents and caretakers of either gender. The book begins with general guidelines and tips for taking care of oneself, such as nutrition, stress reduction, social networking, time management, prioritizing, exercising, and spousal and family bonding. While these sound like what you would expect from any parenting book, they frame the discussion in the special needs context, with checklists, tools, strategies and goals recognizing the different resources available to this community. Continuing with discussions of financial, legal, advocacy, trust funds and other issues, the authors propose a number of creative suggestions for envisioning life in a positive and dynamic way. Each chapter presents a common concern, with a discussion of the issues, quotations of how different parents have responded to the concern, brainstorming of a variety of possible solutions, and tools. The tools are an incredible resource. These include quizzes, self or family evaluation tools, checklists for managing specific tasks, charts, creating a child’s interest profile, and much more. For the parent who needs such items, the “Sample Caregiver Interview Questions” and “Sample Flexibility Proposal” to ask for flextime at work are probably either one alone worth the cost of the book.

Recommended for collections of consumer health, general parenting, disabilities and personal or home collections.

Reviewed by: Patricia F. Anderson, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

short red line

Chow, Kam Thye and Emily Moody. Thai Yoga Therapy for Your Body Type: An Ayurvedic Tradition. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 2006. 221p. ISBN-13: 978-0-89281-184-7. $19.95.

Thai yoga therapy combines the key concepts of yoga, massage, and Ayurveda as a total natural healing practice. Ayurveda, a medical system practiced in India for several centuries, means “the science of life” and emphasizes preventive health practices and long-term wellness based on an individual approach.

Kam Thye Chow is the founder and director of the Lotus Palm School in Montreal and author of Thai Yoga Massage and Tai Chi Chuan: Mindfulness in Motion. Emily Moody is an Ayurvedic educator, yoga instructor and teacher at the Lotus Palm School. In this well-illustrated book of exercises, the authors show how to tailor Thai Yoga Therapy to the three body types or doshas described by Ayurveda: vata, pitta, and kapha (think I’m a pitta). Each of these types has physical attributes that respond differently to each Thai yoga massage posture.

Like acupuncture points in traditional Chinese medicine, there are 107 vital energy points or marmas according to Ayurveda that relate to specific organs or tissues within the body. Eighteen marmas, considered to be the majors points by nature of their strong therapeutic values, have been selected for the Thai Yoga Massage form taught in this book.

The approach of this book is holistic – Ayurveda covers all aspects of one’s life. In addition to yoga and massage, a number of areas are discussed for each dosha: meditation, specific recommendation of food products, the six breathing techniques taught at the Lotus Palm School, and lifestyle tips.

Thai Yoga Therapy for Your Body Type presents a thorough and practical exploration of this healing practice. It is highly recommended for all consumer health information collections, particularly those with a focus on complementary and alternative medicine.

Reviewed by: Susan Murray, Consumer Health Information Service, Toronto Reference Library, Toronto, Canada.

short red line

Coleman, C. Norman. Understanding Cancer: A Patient’s Guide to Diagnosis, Prognosis, and Treatment. Second edition. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006. 206p. index. ISBN 0-8018-8418-7.

C. Norman Coleman, MD is Associate Director of the Radiation Oncology Sciences Program at the National Cancer Institute and the author of over 200 scientific papers. The first edition of his book, Understanding Cancer, has been used as a required textbook for Duke University medical school students and as part of a seminar series for basic scientists at the NCI. However, it may be somewhat advanced for the lay reader, with an average reading level of grade 17+ (graduate/post-graduate students - using the FRY Readability Scale). A typical sentence reads, “For some drugs, there is a known relationship between the pharmacokinetic profile and efficacy or toxicity.” Chapters in the book focus on models for cancer molecular biology and analysis of cost effectiveness of various treatments, which seem more appropriate in a book for medical professionals than for patients. While charts on side effects of various therapies are included, there is not much information included on minimizing or coping with those side effects (for example, the section on sores or ulcers in the mouth or intestines states only “good nutrition is important”). The author has reservations against complementary medicine as cancer treatment, but feels that many of the newer areas of research (biomarkers, genomics, etc.) hold promise. The book touches upon many fascinating areas in cancer research and therapy, and will probably be of interest mainly to higher-level readers who want to understand the scientific background of their cancer diagnoses.

Reviewed by: Cara Helfner, MSLIS, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA.

short red line

Freeman, John M., M.D., Eric H. Kossoff, M.D., Jennifer B. Freeman and Millicent T. Kelly, R.D. The Ketogenic Diet: A Treatment for Children and Others with Epilepsy. Demos Medical Publishing, 2007. 249 p. index and appendices. ISBN: 1-9326-0318-7. $24.95

Dr. John Freeman is Professor of Neurology and Pediatrics at John Hopkins and also directs the Hopkins Pediatric Epilepsy Center. In this fourth edition of The Ketogenic Diet, Freeman provides an overview of the diet and its use in treating epilepsy. This diet is a rigid, mathematically calculated, doctor-supervised medical treatment for controlling seizures that works by switching the body’s primary metabolism to a fat-based energy source, rather than utilizing glucose. Essentially, the diet simulates the metabolism of fasting. Without glucose, fat is not burned completely, but leaves a residue in the form of ketone bodies that build up in the blood. A high level of ketones is associated with better seizure control, but it is not known exactly how this works. What is known is that the diet has been very successful in either greatly reducing or eliminating seizures in children with epilepsy.

The ketogenic diet is high in fat (about 85%) and low in carbohydrates (5%) and protein (10%). Because it is so restrictive, the authors repeatedly mention that a three month trial period is necessary before the family decides to discontinue the diet. For these reasons, it is important that the family be enthusiastic and persevere while on the diet. The book details many families that have seen dramatic results after using this diet, namely children that had multiple seizures a day to being completely seizure free.

This book is easy to read despite being so technical. Anecdotes from families that have used the ketogenic diet are interspersed throughout the chapters and make the sometimes droll text more interesting, and bring the diet to life. Also included are recipes and meal plans for the diet, as well as Atkins diet recipes. The Atkins diet can be modified to fit the ketogenic diet.

This book is highly recommended for pediatric consumer health libraries.

Reviewed by: Mary Anne Fernandez, Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, Family Resource Center.

short red line

McClannahan, Lynne E and Krantz, Patricia. Teaching Conversation to Children with Autism: Scripts and Script Fading. Woodbine House, 2005.160 p. index. ISBN 1-890627-32-1. $17.95

This book presents a means of developing a basic tool of social interaction for people with autism: conversation. The technique, scripts and script fading, attempts to mirror the continuity of real conversation and thus prepare the learner to initiate conversation or provide more than just the most basic responses to questions.

A script is a written or audiotaped word or sentence (depending on the student’s skill) that the student uses to start or continue a conversation. Once the student knows the script, it is gradually faded by dropping the last word, then the next to last word, etc., which allows the student to finish the incomplete sentence. The book includes chapters on using this technique with non-readers and readers, with children who do not yet talk, and with adult non-readers and people with severe disabilities. There are also chapters explaining the roles of the people guiding the learning, and how to track and evaluate progress.

The book is intended for both parents and professionals. It is easy to read and the concepts are well-explained, though it is written from a research perspective rather than a general consumer perspective. A glossary of terms assists in understanding some of the concepts. The book focuses solely on teaching this technique, and provides very little background on communication deficits in autism, and does not include any comparison to other teaching methods.

Drs. McClannahan and Krantz have been Executive Directors at the Princeton Child Development Institute for the past 30 years, and were some of the first to use applied behavioral analysis in teaching individuals with autism. McClannahan and Krantz have been using this technique for over a decade, and are also authors of Activity Schedules for Children with Autism (Woodbine House, 1999).

Reviewed by: Amy Bayley, Stanford Health Library, Stanford, CA

short red line

McGuire, Dennis and Brian Chicoine. Mental Wellness in Adults with Down Syndrome. Woodbine House, 2006. 431p. index. ISBN 1-890627-65-8.

The authors, directors of the Adult Down Syndrome Center of Lutheran General Hospital, have published many scholarly and lay articles about Down syndrome. Their first book, Mental Wellness in Adults with Down Syndrome, was published at the same time as Children’s Hospital of Boston’s Dr. Siegfried Pueschel’s Adults with Down Syndrome. While both books cover many of similar topics, Dr. McGuire and Dr. Chicoine focus mainly on behaviors common to people with Down syndrome that can be mistaken for signs of mental illness, such as talking to oneself. They explain how professionals diagnose whether someone with Down syndrome may have a mental health condition. The book’s goals include helping adults with Down syndrome and their caregivers understand mental health assessment and treatment and actively participate in wellness. The book’s strengths are its unbiased, thoughtful views toward issues like living at home vs. a group situation, and covering sensitive issues -- like when, how and why to explain to someone with down syndrome that they have it and what that means. Appendices include a sample consent form for psychotropic medications, a chart comparing common medicines and a comprehensive bibliography. Unfamiliar words like subluxation (slippage) are defined within the text and upbeat photos depict people with Down syndrome enjoying participation in their communities. This book covers a broad array of mental health topics that may manifest in people with Down syndrome, including fear of frightening movies, adolescent rebellion and eating non-food items. It is a unique, valuable contribution to the literature on Down syndrome.

Reviewed by: Cara Helfner, MSLIS, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA.

short red line

Publication Information

short red line


Consumer Connections (ISSN 1535-7821) is the newsletter of the Consumer and Patient Information Section of the Medical LibraryAssociation and is published quarterly.

Content for each issue is cumulated online at primarily during the first two months of the quarter; the issue is considered complete at the end of the quarter. Notification of publication is sent quarterly via the CAPHIS listserv. Newsletter articles and book reviews are copyrighted; please contact the editor for reprint permission.


Please submit items for Consumer Connections during the third quarter for publication in the following quarter.

Submit by this newsletter For publication newsletter issue:
March April-June
June July-September
September October-December
December January-March

Please send submissions in electronic format to the editor:

Joey Nicholson
E -mail:
Telephone: (510)642-2511


See Advertising Rate Sheet



Vol. 22 No. 4 2006 
ISSN 1535-7821     

Home About CAPHISManaging a CHISContact UsFor Health Consumers

CAPHIS, the Consumer and Patient Health Information Section, is a section of the Medical Library Association, an association of health information professionals with more than 5,000 individual and institution members. MLA fosters excellence in the professional achievement and leadership of health sciences library and information professionals to enhance the quality of health care, education, and research.

© 2003 Copyright CAPHIS