Jerry Kartzinel’s Attack on the Dignity of Autistic People and their Families

28 Sep

I have just learned from a blog named The Quirk Factor that some guy named Jerry Kartzinel, claiming to be a doctor, has stated the following in the introduction to Jenny McCarthy’s book.

 “Autism, as I see it, steals the soul from a child; then, if allowed, relentlessly sucks life’s marrow out of the family members, one by one. It relegates every other “normal” thing to utter insignificance.”

This is an irresponsible and reprehensible statement to make, obviously. It’s not hard to imagine how statements like this in a highly publicized book could lead to an autistic child being institutionalized or worse.

But it is even more reprehensible because it is a complete fabrication. Can Jerry Kartzinel demonstrate his claim is true? I highly doubt it. In fact, let me propose something. If Jerry Kartzinel can successfully demonstrate, by means of peer-reviewed evidence, that his statement is mostly true, autism-specific, and not dependent on parental beliefs, I will publicly apologize to him. If not, I would suggest that he needs to apologize to autistic people and their families.

While there is some evidence that families of autistic children, like families of children with other disabilities, tend to have higher than normal levels of stress, the preponderance of the evidence suggests that these families experience resilience and adaptation by developing positive views on disability.

For example, King et al. (2006) found the following.

“The themes indicated that raising a child with a disability can be a life-changing experience that spurs families to examine their belief systems. Parents can come to gain a sense of coherence and control through changes in their world views, values and priorities that involve different ways of thinking about their child, their parenting role, and the role of the family. Although parents may grapple with lost dreams, over time positive adaptations can occur in the form of changed world views concerning life and disability, and an appreciation of the positive contributions made by children to family members and society as a whole. Parents’ experiences indicate the importance of hope and of seeing possibilities that lie ahead.”

Bayat (2007)  identified “specific resilience processes, such as: making positive meaning of disability, mobilization of resources, and becoming united and closer as a family; finding greater appreciation of life in general, and other people in specific; and gaining spiritual strength. “  It then concluded that “a considerable number of families of children with autism display factors of resilience–reporting having become stronger as a result of disability in the family.”

Twoy et al. (2007) revealed “the resiliency and highly adaptive nature of these parents who are under severe strain and stress of caring for a child with ASD.”

Bristol (1987) had found that poor adaptation in families of autistic children “was predicted by other family stresses, unwarranted maternal self-blame for the handicap, and maternal definition of the handicap as a family catastrophe.”

It is clear from these studies that adaptation improves as parents change their views over time in the direction of a positive attitude toward disability. Self-blame for autism, and viewing autism as a horrible nightmare will tend to make adaptation difficult. From these findings, I would suggest that parents who believe in an “acceptance” or “neurodiversity” type of model are better able to adapt and cope. On the other hand, parents who accept the sort of claim Mr. Kartzinel promotes, ironically, could very well end up as he describes in his statement.

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41 Responses to “Jerry Kartzinel’s Attack on the Dignity of Autistic People and their Families”

  1. Kelly S September 28, 2007 at 15:24 #

    So, he basically sees autism as a vampire of sorts. Me thinks Mr. Kartzinel has read one too many Anne Rice novels.

    He certainly does owe an apology. Those statements are completely fabricated and out of line.

  2. Dr. Curtis E. Flush September 28, 2007 at 15:33 #

    “Autism, as I see it, steals the soul from a child; then, if allowed, relentlessly sucks life’s marrow out of the family members, one by one.”

    It seems to be claimed that DAN! doctors are somehow better at listening to parents than mainstream pediatricians. If that’s true, this statement says a lot about what kind of parents they are listening to.

  3. Matt September 28, 2007 at 15:54 #

    For the vast number of kids who are non-responders to the methods promoted in her book, biomedical therapies steal the soul of a family. If left unchecked, it will suck the marrow from their bank accounts, one by one. It relegates critical thinking and science to utter insignificance.

  4. jypsy September 28, 2007 at 16:56 #

    He was the guy on Larry King.

  5. jypsy September 28, 2007 at 16:57 #

    He’s got an autistic kid too…..

  6. notmercury September 28, 2007 at 16:57 #

    “Autism, as I see it, steals the soul from a child; then, if allowed, relentlessly sucks life’s marrow out of the family members, one by one.”

    No, I’m pretty sure it’s DAN! that’s doing the sucking. Nice of Jenny to corral unsuspecting parents their way.

  7. Uncle Dave September 28, 2007 at 17:09 #

    That’s just great!!!
    He can’t prove his statement because he is not making a statement of fact, but a personal value judgement.

    In order for some people to gain relevance (in this case, selling a book) they feel they must add drama. Much like you add eye of Newt to a caldron of Bullsh*t.

    Again, is it any surprise here that the primary input that Ms. McCarthy brings to this issue is one of pure drama?

  8. notmercury September 28, 2007 at 17:11 #

    “The only reason they know about me is because parents say my kids are doing better if you do this and this and this,” said Dr. Jerry Kartzinel, who comes to California once or twice a year to treat about 200 children. Traditional doctors “refuse to look at the evidence,” he said.

  9. Erica September 28, 2007 at 17:12 #

    This is really upsetting to me! i never thought of my child as souless or even trapped inside. i hear parents say they have to get their kids out but I never thought of my kid as being lost or anything like that. also the marrow has not been sucked from my family. we have a great time as a family and we integrate R’s challenges into our life, we don’t fight against them. it really isn’t that tragic at all. I think this comment by the doctor is really demoralizing to austic children. social and communication problems are hard for people to see around sometimes, calling that soulless really makes for alot of misunderstanding and prejudice that will just make is to much harder for my kid. i want to cry :*(

  10. Gonzo September 28, 2007 at 17:12 #

    Holy crap. Here’s another moron that has no business trying to represent the autism community.

    My child has a soul, you dumbass. A happy, kind and loving soul. Thanks for giving the general public that doesn’t know anything about autism the idea that my kid is a zombie.

    You scored 100% on that title, Joseph. “Attack on dignity” is correct.

    I’m going to stand in line behind you, Kelly S. I want an apology too.

  11. bullet September 28, 2007 at 17:35 #

    Earlier today I had the lovely fortune to witness my two sons giggling happily at each other and hugging as they did so. Steals the soul? Please, Mr Kartzinel, don’t talk such bollocks.

  12. Sharon September 28, 2007 at 17:36 #

    What a ‘insert monosyllabic expletive here’!

    (I’m borrowing Andrea’s polite swearing technique, so as not to lower the tone too much.)

  13. Steve D September 28, 2007 at 18:36 #

    Clearly this guy has never seen any PosAutive videos.

  14. Prometheus September 28, 2007 at 19:36 #

    This is on par with Boyd Haley’s infamous “Mad Child Syndrome”. The DAN!ites have reached a new all-time low.

    Have they – has he – considered the effect of this sort of rhetoric on the families of autistic children? How will they respond?

    Well, for starters, the parents are going to be a lot more eager to see Dr. Kartzinel, which will certainly raise his spirits (and bank account). But how will this affect the way they see their autistic child?

    Will they be more or less willing to have their autistic child receive “therapies” that are experimental, untested or even potentially dangerous?

    Will they be more or less accepting of their child’s disability? Will they be more or less likely to engage in physical or mental abuse and neglect?

    Will the siblings be more or less caring and kind to a child who has – so Dr. Kartzinel claims – no soul/

    Remember, this was what Dr. Kartzinel said in order to promote a book that advocates the use of treatments that Dr. Kartzinel prescribes. More book sales means more patients and more money for Dr. Kartzinel.

    Autism has clearly stolen the soul of at least one member of the Kartzinel household – can you guess which one? [Clue: the one who says that autistic people are lacking a soul.]

    But perhaps I am blaming the wrong entity. Perhaps it isn’t autism that has stolen Dr. Kartzinel’s soul. Perhaps it was the draw of money, fame and influence that led this Brave Maverick Doctor into his Faustian bargain.

    Perhaps autism is blameless in this case.

    Prometheus

  15. Ian MacGregor September 28, 2007 at 19:46 #

    I’ve got to agree with Matt’s comment, biomedical therapies vaccum bank accounts. I know folks spending their time taking their kids to “listening” centers, forcing supplements down them, doing chelation. This does not mean they don’t love their children. They want them to be free of the burden of autism, to flower.

    The doctors who offer these treatments are not usually hucksters. They are often people with autistic children themselves. They, just like the parents who take their children to them are swayed by anecdotes. They believe in what they prescribe, even when there is no basis to claim it works. When you have a doctor who believes passionately in useless remedies, and parents desparate to help their child there is a striong tendency to follow the heart rather than the brain. People who try get involved with biomedical treatments are not inferior to those who do not either in intelligence or in their love for their children. They are wrong, not evil.

    I know a doctor who firmly believes in biomedical treatmemnts. He’s not an immoral person having spent his early career setting up pediatric clinics in some of the most poverty stricken areas of the world. Not oly setting them up, but working in them for a couple years at a time. He has a strong academic background. Now, he’s a DAN doctor. I don’t think he’s a charlatan, he truly believes he’s helping.

    I also know a family who took advantge of his services and their child has made remarkable progress. It’s useless trying to convince them that they’ve wasted their money. Their child talks and is making friends now. Shout, ” Post hoc, ergo proctor hoc!” until the stars fade from the sky. You wont dissuade them that the treatments has nothing to do with their child’s progress.

    I’ve tried biomedical treatments GFCF, enzymes, B12 nearly everything but chelation. None of it was the least bit helpful. Of course the DAN doctor aquintance tells me, chelation is the answer, that I need to detoxify my daughter. The last CDC study might not have killed off the mercury-autism connection postulation, but it certainly severely wounded it. I expect that on-going studies will finally bury it. Yet when I look at children who have gone to him prosper, and the excruciatingly slow progress my daugher has made. Part of me wants to say damn the science, where do I sign up. My wife certainly wants to do so. [Sure its hogwash, but look at so-ans-so’s son now.] Hmmm I just saw this http://www.cbc.ca/health/story/2007/09/27/autism-study.html

    Whn your raising a child with severe autusm some of the alties tell you that you don’t love your child because you have not tried every alternative out treatment out there. Of course for those who have and their children did not benefit, it’s because they were not administered in the right combination,and every child is different don’t you know.

    From the hign-functioning/Aspergers community and their advocates, one hears, “You don’t love your child because you don’t celebrate her autism. ”

    Two years ago my daughter had one of her periodic evaluations. They estimated her develpmental age at 18 months. She had just turned 8. Neurodiversity, ain’t it wonderful! What exactly am I suppose to accept?

    I love my daughter, not her autism. Before she was born I had almost a fear of special needs children. I treated them as if they were contagious. Before my daughter was born I had no idea about love. There were years of apparently unreciprocated feelings which will wear on anyone. However those days are in the past. She greets me now with a broad smile and a hug.

    I see the spectrum as both a curse and a blessing. The blessing is that as more people are added due to changes in criteria, more sudies are done on the disorder. I the present Journal of Austism and Developmental Disorders there is a list of autism symptoms to be looked for in a one-year old. I sure wish we had had that nine years ago.

    The curse is that folks with high-functioning autism and their advocates, believe they speak for all who on the spectrum. They, and I’m painitng with a broad brush here, are not only against quackery, but even against any pursuit of a cure.

    My wife and I are taking our daughter to the dentist today. I hope she has no cavities because they cannot give her novacaine for fear she’ll chew her numb lips.

  16. Sick o' Jenny September 28, 2007 at 20:33 #

    Dr. Jerry Kartzinel is a heartless vampire. And a brainless twit besides, as shown on Larry King.

    I’ll take it back when he apologizes and they stop printing Jenny’s idiotic book, too.

  17. Jon September 28, 2007 at 20:34 #

    This type of thing is always disappointing – esp when MSM, charities etc. give it credibility. I’ve blogged about a nutritionist here in the UK, who has a nice hierarchy of mental health – with autism right at the bottom. He’s also CEO of a charity that is affiliated with MIND.

  18. Jon September 28, 2007 at 20:35 #

    um, meant to post a link to hierarchy – are tags playing up? Anyway, hope it’s OK to link here:

    http://holfordwatch.info/2007/09/11/holford-has-a-hierachy-of-mental-health-with-autism-right-at-the-bottom

  19. Patrick September 28, 2007 at 20:45 #

    Well if these philanthropic organizations (including Governments, who so far seem to be kind of cold hearted about social welfare) would just get off there tushies and start setting up some real Care Centers then no-one else would have to get sucked dry eh?

    Of course I think the attitude in JKs above statements are PooDoo (to quote Sebulba.)

    But in my opinion, we need to have some real advocacy organizations that are interested in supporting the needs of Autistics first, then some of the stress will of course let up on the Families.

    Needs first, food, water, shelter, clothing, health care.

    Society’s desires for educable independent workers (read that as Taxpayers all you capitalists) need to be secondary concerns.

  20. culvercitycynic September 28, 2007 at 22:07 #

    _”Again, is it any surprise here that the primary input that Ms. McCarthy brings to this issue is one of pure drama?”_

    Well, more like _tainted drama_ actually.

  21. culvercitycynic September 28, 2007 at 22:36 #

    Well, now I’m perplexed: Does this mean that the Asher lad was a soulless Crystal Child?

  22. HN September 28, 2007 at 23:39 #

    Patrick said “Well if these philanthropic organizations (including Governments, who so far seem to be kind of cold hearted about social welfare) would just get off there tushies and start setting up some real Care Centers then no-one else would have to get sucked dry eh?”

    Something like this?

    http://www.scottishrite.org/what/phil/ritecare.html

  23. Ian MacGregor September 29, 2007 at 00:26 #

    I tried to reply earlier perhaps Iwas too much of a windbag or too strident. Seems to me we have people who say that autism took away their children’s souls another group which says if you cure autism, well you’ll take our children’s souls. Both grouups put autism or their conception of it ahead of their children.

    Two years ago.when my daughter had just turned 8 she had her periodic evaluation. Her developmental age was estimated at 18 months. I apologize that I’m not a member of the neurodiversity hallelujah chorus.

    Parents who try alternative treatments with their children are not stupid nor evil. They shouldn’t be treated with disdain. They have lef their hearts overrule their brains. Doctor’s who prescribe the treatments are not necessarily hucksters. Most I think believe in waht they prescribe. Though I imagine the large sums of money pourng in aid in their suspension of disbelief.

    I certainly see my child as trapped by her autism. We’ve spent years trying to draw her out and will spend years more. Now that she is returning our love, it’s so much easier to continue. Sure there were times when we were full of despair. However, everyday we see autism losing its grip on her. She now greets us with smiles and hugs. Her academic progress is almost to small to be measured. But behaviors and her capability to love has grown immensely.

    I’d love to have a conversation with my daugheter, for her to be able to express herself. Is that unloving. If i could slay the demon of autism, I do it without hesitation. I know however, that there is no sword to do that andf chances of it being unsheathed are nearly nil.

    One thing I will say, it has in no way ruined our lives. Many marriages are torn apart by it, ours it strengthened. It influences much of our lives, but does not control them.

    We are lucky thsat we have found a church which caters to special needs children, Now, nearly everyone I know in the church with an autistic child, mostly fairly high functioning, are into biomedical remedies and touting their successes. It wears on me sometimes, but I’ve come to the conclusion to stop pitting the perfect against the good. They have helped in more ways than I can count

    It can be extremely hard for parents of low-functioning children to find a community.

  24. Another Autism Mom September 29, 2007 at 00:30 #

    I was so mad they had this idiot on Larry King Live. That show was basically a big propaganda for the DAN! cult. Larry bought into the whole bullshit…

  25. Ms. Clark September 29, 2007 at 07:53 #

    Mr. McGregor, sometimes comments get caught in the spam trap. Try not to take it personally, it happens to many of the commenters here… it’s sort of random, but the spam catcher eats some people’s comments more than others… it’s very fond of mine. If you don’t feel like rewriting a comment you can try making a short one that says, “Kev, my comment disappeared… can you release it?” Hopefully, one like that will eventually get through.

    Yes, it’s frustrating, but it’s not deliberate on anyone’s part.

  26. Rjaye September 29, 2007 at 09:04 #

    Mr. McGregor–

    The thing I would say to you is to have your mind and heart work together. Your daughter is not quite trapped. She will continue to develop. That is not frozen in time. If you have a support system in place, especially the support of other families, hold onto that.

    Please don’t discount some of our words because of our disgust and frustration with those who would prey on parents’ desperation. Some of us are in the same boat as your are, with children on the spectrum. Some of us are the people your child is going to grow up to be. As an adult with HFA, I can tell you your daughter will continue to develop. With your help and support and acceptance, she’ll do so with some self esteem.

    There’s more I could add, but there are others who would be able to phrase it better.

    I wish you luck.

    Metta.

  27. Kev September 29, 2007 at 10:32 #

    _”Two years ago.when my daughter had just turned 8 she had her periodic evaluation. Her developmental age was estimated at 18 months. I apologize that I’m not a member of the neurodiversity hallelujah chorus.”_

    Why? What do you believe the neurodiversity hallelujah chorus would tell you?

    _”Parents who try alternative treatments with their children are not stupid nor evil. They shouldn’t be treated with disdain.”_

    Once is a mistake. After that one has to question why any parent would risk the health of their child simply to attempt – with no evidence of efficacy – a ‘reversal’ of autism. Some mistakes have led to hospitalisation. At least one has led to death. Parents are not automatically saints or above responsibility.

    _”I certainly see my child as trapped by her autism. We’ve spent years trying to draw her out and will spend years more. Now that she is returning our love, it’s so much easier to continue. Sure there were times when we were full of despair. However, everyday we see autism losing its grip on her. She now greets us with smiles and hugs. Her academic progress is almost to small to be measured. But behaviors and her capability to love has grown immensely.”_

    This to me is illogical. I utterly agree with the how difficult it is to work with an autistic child who is considered retarded. There have been plenty of times we were also full of despair and exhaustion. But we also see the same progress you do. However, I cannot for the life of me understand why you describe this process of progression as autism losing its group when it clearly is doing nothing of the sort. Your daughter progresses as an autistic person, as does mine. Please understand I am not trying to be confrontational, I am genuinely curious about the way your family views autism as something entirely separate from your daughter – as if there is a ‘hidden’ child waiting to be unwrapped in some way.

  28. Joseph September 29, 2007 at 12:27 #

    I think Mr. McGregor realizes that his daughter is developing, but his complaint seems to be that she’s not developing fast enough. And he has a medical view of autism, obviously, and that’s why he sees this development as “autism losing its grip” (the disease going away), rather than, well, his daughter having a developmental disability that causes her development to simply be slower.

    It’s interesting though, that his friends, who have high functioning autistic kids, are more of a curebie/quackery mindset than himself. That just comes to show that political opinions in autism are not divided across high functioning vs. low functioning.

    One thing I’d tell Mr. McGregor is that it’s probably best to assume psychometric testing is garbage. (It’s a cultural construct of unclear value anyway.) Autistics do well in some types of tests but not in others. She also has her whole life ahead of her. Many autistics begin to show an interest in socializing in their mid to late teens.

  29. Ian MacGregor September 29, 2007 at 13:45 #

    I didn’t my daugher has not made improvements. I’v detailed them. As she makes those improvements she moves towards the NT world. She is less autistic than she was before. She is moving up the spectrum. Will she ever come off. I doubt that, but we are doing what we can to move her up.

    I haven’t heard read in any posting that any of you have not tried to move your children up the spectrum. You too are trying to make your children less autistic. However despite that you state that autism isn’t a problem. Why then do you try to help your children. You should be embracing their autism, not trying to mitigate it.

    Whn you’ve seen your child progress from someone who was completely withdrawn to somone who through gestures asks you to play with her. The joy you feel is indescribable. Here again she is becoming less autistic. It was the autism which kept her in her own world, Yes I do see that as unwrapping a hidden child.

    How can one not view it this way. I’m beginning to think you folks have a different view of autism than the clinical one. Tell me when your children improve are they less autistic, more autistic, or is there no change in the level of their autism? If you state the former how do you not see autism as the problem?

  30. Joseph September 29, 2007 at 14:44 #

    She is less autistic than she was before. She is moving up the spectrum.

    That’s certainly one way to see things (a medical sort of way where the disease is gradually fading away.) I don’t believe it’s correct, nor do I think it makes sense.

    It’s like saying that a kitten is gradually becoming a dog as it grows up. After the kitten is done growing up, it might be able to fetch the paper. Or more like saying that a little person is becoming a normal-size person as he grows up.

    Your daughter is a different type of person, Mr. McGregor. She’s not an NT person with extras that are fading away.

    I do have a classically autistic son myself, BTW. He’s making progress all the time too. Last year, at 5, he was potty trained. He learned to pee standing up on his own. In one year he’s had exactly 1 night accident. This year his receptive language is quite good, and can follow multiple instructions. In general, I can tell he’s a happy child who is by no means “suffering” of anything.

    I don’t see his development in a medical light. Some kids have milestones at a given age. My son has his milestones at a different age. I don’t think this indicates that a disease is fading away or any nonsensical stuff like that.

  31. Steve D September 29, 2007 at 16:52 #

    Ian –
    In answer to your question
    “How can one not view it this way. I’m beginning to think you folks have a different view of autism than the clinical one. Tell me when your children improve are they less autistic, more autistic, or is there no change in the level of their autism? If you state the former how do you not see autism as the problem?”:
    I recently did a post that addressed this issue almost exactly. Here’s a link if you are interested:

    http://onedadsopinion.blogspot.com/2007/09/recovery.html

  32. Todd October 1, 2007 at 16:07 #

    Wow, what a group of, I’m at a loss for words. (It’s something along the lines of bitter).

    I think you took his words out of context, I know you did. He too has a child with Autism, (no, I don’t know him, don’t know of him, but did see the entire LK live episode.)

    He was speaking (writing) in an exagerated, dramatic way. If left untreated, no special schools, no therpy, you don’t think there is alot of truth to what you took out of context? Do you think for one minute, he is anti-autism? Anti treatment, of any kind?

    Jenny, Mc., is bringing more media coverage of the condition, and discussing some of the treatments. THIS is Bad? She DOES have a child with Autism.

    I wouldn’t be at this site, ‘cept for my son with Autism. NOw 6 y/o. I have a Medical Degree and constantly argue with my wife over biomedical treatments, which she uses on our son daily.
    She found a DAN doctor on the net, Dr. Miriam Jang, ever heard of her? I met her once, on a trip to China, we stopped at her house/office, in San Fran. This was the ONLY time she had ever seen my son. I was NOT impressed! She did NO exam of ANY kind to our Son during the visit! The only visit.

    My marriage is just about over, largely b/c of the sharp contrast in belief over treatments. I don’t believe that non evidence based treatments is good enough for my son. Double blind, multi location trials. Evidence based, not anecdotal.

    I do advocate all the O.T, P.T. and the private school we have him in. It’s pretty much a woderful place, The Westview School, Houston TX.

    My son, Talks well, has some conversational speech, and social skills are improving, but are delayed.
    He has a fine motor deficit, and attention deficits. He reads well, he can get you out of a neighborhood you’re lost in (he’s in the rear booster seat.)

    We’ve been blessed that he has no self destructive behavior, and is a wonderful child. He is very obsessive about a variety of things, that change every few weeks, etc.

    I found this site, b/c I wanted to look up Dr. Kartzinel, and have him eval my sons urine and blood tests, and see what he thought.

    We are all in this together, all with an Autistic family member, no one has all the answers, and may never have, lets stay positive!

    Todd,
    Houston, TX

  33. Kev October 1, 2007 at 16:20 #

    Todd,

    Kartzinel is a DAN! doctor just like Miriam Jang. Rumour has it that she managed to hospitalize an autistic child with an overdose of vitamin A.

    This isn’t a case of being bitter. I’m simply and utterly fed up of dehumanising attacks being perpetrated against autistic people by DAN! quacks and their media allies.

  34. Joseph October 1, 2007 at 16:52 #

    He was speaking (writing) in an exagerated, dramatic way.

    So in your view, if you’re speaking in an exagerated, dramatic way, it is OK to label an entire minority (disabled or otherwise) as ‘soul-less’.

    If left untreated, no special schools, no therpy, you don’t think there is alot of truth to what you took out of context?

    Explain the context to me. What context explains the quote?

    And no, there is no truth to it. I’ve studied the outcome of autistics extensively. Poor outcomes are mostly the result of early unwarranted institutionalization.

    Do you think for one minute, he is anti-autism? Anti treatment, of any kind?

    He is anti-autism. He is anti-mainstream treatment of any kind, yes. He says so in the text preceeding the quote (which Mike Stanton has just written about.) The only thing he is for is the treatments he promotes. Which is funny because I don’t think Jenny McCarthy buys it. She’s spending over $100,000/year in treatments currently considered mainstream.

    Jenny, Mc., is bringing more media coverage of the condition, and discussing some of the treatments. THIS is Bad? She DOES have a child with Autism.

    It is bad that she proclaims to know what autism is, how to treat it biomedically and so forth, without so much as testimonials and anecdotes.

    Double blind, multi location trials. Evidence based, not anecdotal.

    We agree on something.

    I found this site, b/c I wanted to look up Dr. Kartzinel, and have him eval my sons urine and blood tests, and see what he thought.

    I’d research Kartzinel more thoroughly if I were you. Clearly this is someone who is making unsubstantiated statements about autism designed to scare parents into going to him.

    We are all in this together, all with an Autistic family member, no one has all the answers, and may never have, lets stay positive!

    All we do around here is to try to counter the negative with positive views.

  35. Ms. Clark October 2, 2007 at 01:55 #

    Todd, Dr. Jang nearly killed a three year old boy with long term overdosing of Vitamin A.

    He ended up with a swollen out belly and severe liver damage. His doctors were considering whether or not he’d need a liver transplant, as it turned out he did not.

    If you were not impressed with Jang, there’s good reason not to be. Besides the overdosing with Vitamin A, she also recommends “magnetic clay baths” to “detox” or chelate the autism out of the kids. She’s bizarre, to say the least.

    Jenny is more bizarre, and Kartzinel is a deep into quackery. He’s been employed at the same place as Wakefield for a few years, first in Florida, then in Texas.

    If you aren’t horrified by Kartzinel and McCarthy, it’s because you don’t have all the facts.

  36. Regan October 2, 2007 at 03:51 #

    ““Autism, as I see it, steals the soul from a child; then, if allowed, relentlessly sucks life’s marrow out of the family members, one by one. It relegates every other “normal” thing to utter insignificance.”

    Sez you.
    Sure, it’s not always a bowl of cherries and sometimes quite complicated but I am more than sick of this kind of pseudo-tragico hyperbole. That it is in the introduction to a piece of pulp fiction seems appropriate.

    I think we will be rolling our eyes at this when we our out and about running our errands, cooking dinner and reading stories together and carving up the family Jack-O-Lantern…if we bother to think of it at all.

  37. culvercitycynic October 2, 2007 at 18:51 #

    One of Kartzinel’s clients says that he claims to have “reversed the Alzheimer’s” of either his MIL or FIL, using his version of the DAN! ‘protocol’. Perhaps on his next talk show appearance, an interviewer will ask him about this claim.

  38. Kev October 2, 2007 at 19:26 #

    Reversed Alzheimer’s??? Good grief. Has he got a mate called Lazarus too?

  39. mandyque October 3, 2007 at 12:51 #

    My daughter has learned to hug and kiss, she has learned that a hug can be comforting if she has hurt herself or is upset. She has learned that bringing me an empty dish makes me go into the kitchen and get her some food. She has learned the movements involved to learn how to swim, although she hasn’t mastered it yet. She knows that she can have chocolate at the shop if she gives the person at the counter one of those shiny metal things (a coin). She has learned lots and lots and lots of things, due to being taught at home and school. But she is still severely autistic. Learning stuff doesn’t make you less autistic, IMHO, it just helps you to get by in this world. And let’s face it, someobdy with an ASD needs to be able to cope with the outside world if they are to have their basic needs fulfilled. So I, as her mum, endeavour to teach her as much as she can possibly learn to be as independent as possible, however little that may be in the future.

    But I don’t think she will ever be ‘less autistic’. I think it is more likely to be ‘more able to cope with the NT world’.

  40. bullet October 3, 2007 at 13:55 #

    Fully agree with Mandyque. I am not striving to make my son NT, to say that if he thinks and communicates and perceives things as he does there is something wrong with him, I am helping him as a parent would help any child, to learn and develop at his own pace and to find ways of doing things, however he might do them, that will help him as an adult.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Autism Parents and Celebrity Endorsements « Action For Autism - September 30, 2007

    […] Nice, eh? A typical rant from one of mercury malicia? Not exactly. It is part of the forward to McCarthy’s book. The author is Jerry Kartzinel MD, the medical director of paediatric services at Andrew Wakefield’s Thoughtful House Clinic in Austin, Texas. Their website is down at the moment because it has exceeded its bandwidth. I would like to think their server has been overwhelmed with angry parents seeking to complain about Kartzinel’s dehumanizing comments about autism. But it is more likely that the Jerry and Jenny media roadshow has sent them a whole new raft of hopefuls looking for a magic cure.  There is a lively discussion about Kartzinel’s remarks over on Left Brain/Right Brain. […]

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