Just Published: Evo Aut - The Evolution of Autism Spectrum Disorders

Hey guys,

After years of mental agony and delight, I have finally published my first book. Evo Aut is a meta-analysis and narrative about a new theory pertaining to the etiology of autism. I am ecstatic to have finally published it, but I know I have a long road of PR ahead of me. Any feedback about my book and/or PR is greatly appreciated. Also, if you know of anyone who is interested in autism, please spread the word.  I have a feeling I will be on these boards often, so it is nice to meet everyone. Smiley Happy

Abstract

Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) entail a broad range of neurodevelopmental disorders with varied degrees of cognitive, behavioral, and social deficits in 1 in 88 children born in the United States. Recent literature suggests the etiology of ASD is multimodal and complex in the absence of a unifying theory. It is not the intent of the author to examine every potential causational variable within a multi-factorial examination of ASD because the possibilities can be broad, specific, and infinite in design.  The analysis of the literature is designed to address the relationship between sociological, psychological, and biological risk factors of ASD through identification of a collective overarching pattern. Economic inequality coincides with an increase in ASD prevalence and could be indicative of an evolutionary process. Resource driven economic expansion, stratification, and consequential social inequality mobilizes social and psychological stress through perpetual activation of the central nervous system - as expressed by oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction. By conducting a meta-analysis, the investigation identifies the way in which stress psychophysiologically crosses each discipline in a complex, multimodal design which interweaves maldevelopmental propensities to the fetus.

 

* Please note that the preview starts in the middle of the book. I want to get past the introduction to autism and showcase the meat of it.

http://www.lulu.com/shop/jaymi-shull/evo-aut-the-evolution-of-autism-spectrum-disorders/ebook/product-20349178.html

Comments

  • This all sounds well and good, but...

    What are your qualifications? Why is this being self-published as a Lulu book and not in a professional journal?

    The answers might be in your book, but the preview is in a format I cannot open.

  • I have a Master's in psychology, a BCBA (Board Certified Behavior Analyst), and I will be a School Psychologist after I complete my internship in December. I didn't publish it in a journal because it is way too long to be an article and can't be cut (I tried).

    Moreover, even the academic publishing world is changing. Journals are expensive (subscription and per article) and the author does not receive royalties for their work. I am not a professor and I did not receive any funding for this work. I have $50,000 of student debt that I would love to pay off. I don't understand the point of giving my work away to an expensive journal where few, if anyone will ever see it. I don't want to limit my audience to students and a few academics. I see this book as a public health piece that should be relatively cheap and accessible to the general public.

     

    Can someone else try to open it and let me know if problems arise? I used word for everything, so I'm not sure why it wouldn't open...

  • I'm not sure about Ron, but for me its not that it doesn't open, it is just that I do not have word on my computer and would prefer the preview to be a pdf.
  • 1 in 88?! That sounds like mass over-diagnosis, which seems common in the USA.
    Do not most of them also have ADDs and have also been abducted by aliens? :-)

    BTW: It may be a good idea to write it in plain English.

  • Hi JShull, welcome to the forums! I have to confirm that the preview doesn't work. I was able to open it, but it showed a garbled mess of symbols and formatting characters. I would recommend that you save it as a PDF instead of a Word document.

    It sounds like you wrote a scholarly thesis. On the other hand, you say you don't want to limit your audience to students and a few academics, and you want your book to be accessible to the general public. Reading over your abstract, I'm not sure your writing matches that goal. The wording is full of jargon and big fancy words familiar to scientists, but you're writing "over the head" of the public. As someone teaching biology classes to college kids, I can tell you that incoming students and the general public will be hopelessly lost at sentences such as: "Resource driven economic expansion, stratification, and consequential social inequality mobilizes social and psychological stress through perpetual activation of the central nervous system - as expressed by oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction."

    I think the first thing you need to figure out is: What are you hoping to get out of this publication? There are two options: 1) Go for a scholarly publication with impact factor for your professional career. 2) Self-publish and hope you can make a few bucks by selling it to a public audience. Academics are unlikely to purchase or reference self-published works.

    If you think there is any chance that you will want to stay in academia, go for a PhD, write grant proposals for research, apply for tenure at a college or university in the future, then you really ought to go for a peer-reviewed scholarly publication. Self-published stuff is pretty much invisible and has zero impact factor in the academic world - you need to get it through a peer-review process before scientists will take note. Find a faculty mentor to help you and collaborate with. You say you have a Master's degree - are you on good terms with your thesis advisor? That is the first person I would pitch this to and ask for ideas. It doesn't have to cost you anything to publish - look for online journals that don't charge printing fees. To make the article most widely accessible to everyone, look for "open access" journals that publish under Creative Commons. You will be able to hold onto your copyright that way and still self-publish your own version. You wouldn't be able to do that with a journal that claims exclusive rights on its articles.

    If a career in academia is not something you would ever consider, I guess there is no harm done in self-publishing your research endeavors. However, to have any chance of selling it, you need to pitch it to a different target audience. This means you need to simplify the wording and get rid of the jargon, or at least explain it to the reader. The general public may not know what a mitochondrion is, or what you mean by stratification. If they have to look up several words per sentence in a dictionary or encyclopedia to understand the vocabulary you are using, they are likely not to bother reading it at all. Right now it looks like an academic thesis, and the general public is likely to skip on it.

    I hope this helps a bit. I once got carried away writing an "introduction" to a paper that got way too long and went off-topic. I sent it to my advisor, admitting that I got carried away and would have to start over. The next day, she was in my office telling me that yes, I had to start over on the specific paper, but that my literature summary was fantastic stuff and we ought to try to publish it. And we did - it became a review article in a well-regarded journal! I wouldn't have known how to do that by myself, so I really would recommend finding an experienced faculty mentor to talk about your options with this.

  • Okay, good to know, I will post a preview in PDF tomorrow.

    As far as publishing goes, it's been a tough road. I have been done with this project for over a year now. I am from Oklahoma, and I was in a clinical program (not a research program). My intense interest in autism came out of nowhere. My advisor let me enroll in independent study but never reviewed my work, just gave me an A. I asked another professor for help and he just kept saying he'd get to it...I wated for these professors for well over a year. I realize that I was in a clinical program that just wasn't equipped for the work I was doing. No one had time. My advisor is about 70 and has trouble keeping up with that day to day. Anyway, writing has been a privilege, but getting help has been a nightmare. I just don't know what to do with this. I know it's very very important; I just don't know what the best route is.

    I applied to a couple Phd programs: Stanford, Georgetown, U of Colorado. All very high ranked, didn't have any current publications, got rejected, realized that I don't even know if a Phd is necessary. I wanted to go ito neuroscience...I might apply again...haven't decided.

    But really...this information is meant for the general public. It starts out very simple and reader friendly and gradually gets more complex. I try to teach the reader throughut my work. My abstract encompasses everything, I don't know if I want to dumb it down. Maybe I can have 2 intros.....

  • docx preview is unreadable to me

  • Ah, sorry to hear of your troubles and frustrations with finding help. Sounds like you are doing the right thing already, but without much luck so far. You are probably right that a clinical program is not exactly the best place for this, and your advisor is essentially retiring and no longer has any need to push for publications. That is very unfortunate. It may require some more networking to identify a good mentor for you. Can you ask these professors to refer you to someone doing research in this field that you could contact? Maybe look for young upstarts - junior professors still depend on publications to get tenure, so they may be more likely to seize the opportunity to help a student to get their name as a co-author onto another paper. Maybe try contacting the Mentoring Program at the Society for Neuroscience or other groups like this for help. There has to be someone out there willing to help a motivated student and give some career advice or at least read your work and give you appropriate feedback and suggestions on it! If you're still serious about a PhD in neuroscience and have an opportunity to participate in lab-based research, take it. Experience in a research lab will count more heavily in applications for PhD programs than literature-based or clinical research.

    If you are set on sharing your ideas with a book aimed at the general public, you may want to get some beta-readers from the general public (e.g. show it to friends and family who have no background knowledge in the topic) to give you feedback on whether it captures their interest and is comprehensible to them. I'm not suggesting to "dumb it down" in regards to ideas and concepts presented. Just because someone hasn't gone to college to take a cell biology class doesn't mean they're dumb. But you will likely need to change your terminology to more common English and spend more time explaining words that the public is not familiar with. It helps if you connect it with concepts and imagery that people are familiar with from everyday life. For example, you could explain that mitochondria are the power generators in a cell running on oxygen as fuel. Under stress, these power generators produce an excess of harmful by-products (we scientists call them reactive oxygen species) that can damage the protein machinery in the mitochondria. This is essentially the same chemical reaction that causes iron to rust. This rusted machinery then is no longer able to work at full capacity, therefore the mitochondria become dysfunctional under oxidative stress. People are familiar with the concept of a rusty machine not working properly, so making these associations would help them to understand what is going on without having studied the details of cell biology before.

    In regards to promoting your book, a scientific abstract like you have right now is very unlikely to attract interest from the general public. Instead, you essentially want to write an ad for your book in fairly plain English, and for nonfiction books like this also sell yourself as an expert on the subject. You want to tell potential readers briefly what it is about, why they should care about this subject and what make it so interesting, what fascinating new insights they can expect to learn from reading the book, some details on how you are going to teach them and prove your case so they get an idea of your writing style, and why you are the best-qualified person in the world to write on this subject. E.g. sell yourself as an aspiring neuroscientist, brag with your degrees and state that you have spent years researching the subject. Leave it to the book to explain any scientific details.


  • JShull wrote:

    I have a Master's in psychology, a BCBA (Board Certified Behavior Analyst), and I will be a School Psychologist after I complete my internship in December. I didn't publish it in a journal because it is way too long to be an article and can't be cut (I tried).

    Moreover, even the academic publishing world is changing. Journals are expensive (subscription and per article) and the author does not receive royalties for their work. I am not a professor and I did not receive any funding for this work. I have $50,000 of student debt that I would love to pay off. I don't understand the point of giving my work away to an expensive journal where few, if anyone will ever see it. I don't want to limit my audience to students and a few academics. I see this book as a public health piece that should be relatively cheap and accessible to the general public.

     

    Can someone else try to open it and let me know if problems arise? I used word for everything, so I'm not sure why it wouldn't open...


    These are all things you need to point out. There are tons of self-published books that purport to give medical advice, mostly written by people with neither experience nor training in the field. If you have special qualifications for writing in this subject, it's very important to make sure these are spelled out.

    I understand what you are saying about professional journals, but a peer-reviewed publication does carry more weight.

    One of the reasons I asked was the formal way in which you introduced the book to your potential reader, making it in the form of an abstract.

    You saved the file in the .docx format, which is difficult for many people to open.

    ============

    I just saw the comments that others have made and can only underscore them---especially those who pointed out that you made your book inaccessible to the very readers you say you want to read it. Instead, you have written it for academics.

  • Sorry for the late reply, had to move this weekend.

    AnnKat, Thanks so so much for all your input. Everything helps. I guess it just isn't designed for a journal because it's too long and non-traditional. My plan is to apply for some research type positions and decide on the Phd thing later. I recently moved to Washington and I have an interview at Seattle Children's for a research associate position for a study involving autism and attention activation. So there are other ways I can get lab experience and I'll keep this project for myself. The primary intent was to get it out to the public anyway. I understand that it will not hold as much weight as a scientific journal, but I hope it will at least stimulate some inquiry (research) about my theory. I know it's not going to be an overnight success, but I am hoping it trickles down. My plan is to distribute it to research organizations like autism speaks and NIH. There are also a lot of sites I can post to like reddit and even facebook will let you pay to place an ad. Autism is a very hot topic, and I would think I would be able to target people who already know quite a bit about autism. I love your idea about illustrating topics to general readers though. Your mitchondria comparison is awesome, would you mind if I used something like it?

    Anyway, since I moved out of state, I really don't have any good contacts but I will check into the mentoring program you mentioned. Sounds really cool! Again, seriously appreciate your help.

    I will change my intro to readers today to make it more friendly. Makes total sense.

    I saved my preview in PDF, please check it out!

    http://www.lulu.com/shop/jaymi-shull/evo-aut-the-evolution-of-autism-spectrum-disorders/ebook/product-20349178.html 

  • Are you saying you have never actually worked in this field, but you are simply repeating part of your Uni course?

  • Hi JShull, the preview works now. You're of course welcome to use that mitochondria analogy. I think comparing them with machines is quite common actually. I would recommend keeping a notebook or database or whatever works best for you to collect ideas like that. They come in handy when talking to a more general audience.

    You say you hope it will stimulate some research and plan to distribute it to research organizations. You could also consider presenting at a research conference. But again that would be aimed at scientists rather than the general public. It almost sounds like you may need two versions: one to pitch to the research community, and one to offer to the general public. Good luck with it and with your interview!

  • haha no, I have worked with autistic kids for 7 years. Independent study isn't a normal class with lectures either, it is literally independent study.

     

    Thanks Annkat!

  • If you have current preview of your work I am willing to comment on it with regard to current theories about the involvement of oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction and endothelial dysfunction as the bridge between "life stressors" and diseases, including ASD.  There are academic publications that can be found in www.pubmed.com using the following literature earch strategy:

     

    Diesease of concern, e.g., ASD AND ("oxidative stress" OR "endothelial dysfunction" OR "mitochondrial dysfunction")

     

    Another literature search strategy could be:

     

    (ASD AND stress) AND ("oxidative stress" OR "endothelial dysfunction" OR "mitochondrial dysfunction")

     

    It is also useful to look at a YouTube videos made by a Stanford Prof, Kelly McGonigal concerning the endothelial dysfunction aspects of stress.

     

    You are very likely right in my opinion concerning ONE (of many) origins of ASD with Stress and Autonomic Nervous System activation being ONE trigger to an Oxidative Stress, Endothelial Dysfunction, Mitochondrial Dysfunction, Regional Blood Flow Abnormalities (due to Neurovascular Unit dysfunction) pathways to the origin of ASD in general.

     

    I am thinking about ways to make this more understandable to Lay Persons.

     

    Kelly McGonigal's lectures on YouTube are an example of how this can be made more understandable from an etiology AND therapeutic intervention point of view to stimulate a resilient response IF the disorder can be properly identified in its earliest stages.  This identification of candidates for therapeutic intervention must come from a more educated population such as what you are trying to create from publishing in Lulu.com.

     

    There are some layman's books about oxygen, oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction already published from whence one can glean insights as to how this hypothesis can be made more layman friendly.

     

    The missing component in your hypothesis and from the lay books on oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction is the role of potentially reversible microvascular dysfunction (small blood vessels constricting rather than dilating) in response to a "stress".  That is exactly the topic that Kelly McGonigal addresses.

     

    So the Gordian Knot to cut through here is the following regarding the "science" behind "stress" and microvascular dysfunction:

     

    "Stress" (socioeconomic, psychological, physical) ----> Activation of the Autonomic Nervous System -----> redox changes and oxidative stress -----> endothelial dysfunction (vasoconstriction of the small blood vessels) AND mitochondrial dysfunction (depletion of the body's intracellular energy stores) ----> microvascular bed dysfunction -----> in the brain, Neurovascular Unit dysfunction, in part also due to "Inflamasome Activation") ----> Regional Blood Flow abnormalities in the brain -----> maldevelopment of the brain -----> "downstream and upsteam" pathophysiologies such as ASD.

     

    The role of a book, properly done and directed at parents, could be to: 1) point out means of family-diagnosis at the age of 2-3 of possible ASD; 2) point out the role of "stressors" that even can be intrauterine and pregnancy self-care of origin; 3) provide guidance for achieving professional diagnosis; 4) provide hope that early diagnosis can lead to interventions that can significantly improve the prognosis of those with at least some varieties of ASD.

     

    Charles Beauchamp MD, PhD

    cbeauchamp@stanfordalumni.org

     

     

  • You possibly cannot find the book at that link because this thread is almost 4 years old.

     

    Or is your posting just an advert for you?


  • kevinlomas wrote:

    You possibly cannot find the book at that link because this thread is almost 4 years old.

     

    Or is your posting just an advert for you?


    Kevin, I doubt Dr. Beauchamp realized the age of the thread.

     

    You are correct that the fact that Schull has not logged in for 4 years makes a dialog difficult, but it appears that he is legitimately trying to help with factual support.

     

    One should not discourage actual help.

  • Dr. Beauchamp, if you wished to follow up on this, the bast contact method might be through Linked-In:

     

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/jaymi-shull-73197a85

Sign In or Register to comment.