I recently posted an entry about the health costs being one of Jenny McCarthy’s Mother Warriors can exact on the Mother Warrior in questions kids. It was a pretty horrific litany of blown veins, heavy medications and screaming kids being restrained by adults in order to receive IV Chelation. Sometimes in babies as young as 13 months.
Today I thought we might take a look at the range of treatments on offer and how, in order to be a true Mother Warrior, you are expected to know them all.
Stan Kurtz recently produced a list (PDF) of the typical treatments one of Jenny McCarthy’s Mother Warriors are expected to know and use. There are a mindboggling 150+ different treatments.
Of course, a parent is not supposed to use all 150+ in one go. No, they are expected to use the ones that ‘work best’ for them. This is of course under the care of a DAN doctor – who sometimes might actually be a doctor, sometimes they might not.
In reality, what we have is a list of things that are used on a trial and error basis. There is absolutely no way to know which are having an effect and which are not. Even the most simple test of – is my child ‘less autistic’ than they were before is not an accurate judge. It is well know that autistic kids improve with age and to be perfectly frank, most of the ‘recovery stories’ I’ve read are stories of kids who are still very much autistic and really not in a very different place than my own.
A Mother Warrior on her blog reports the cost of ‘recovering/curing’ her autistic child:
Here’s the breakdown:
DAN Doctors $2000
GI Doctor $6000
Private Labs $2000
Supplements & RX $2000
Speech & ABA $3000
Additionally, we spent $500 for respite care once a week (a special needs babysitter). We also paid an unknown amount in expensive GFCF foods, like $6 per bag of wheat-free pretzels….
In 2008, we will add the additional expense of IV chelation at $320 a month.
And how do they describe their child now?
After implementation of the gluten-free, casein-free (GFCF) diet, our son regained eye-contact and lost the repetitive behaviors. Six weeks after initiating an anti-fungal drug to counter the yeast overgrowth in the intestines, our non-verbal almost three-year-old child began to speak and gesture. He gained 120 new words in two months. We supplemented specific vitamins and minerals, and we saw evidence of his immune system starting to respond properly. After treating the gut inflammation with anti-inflammatory drugs, he began to eat a better variety of foods and started toilet training.
He is now four years old, and he speaks in simple sentences. He has mastered letters, numbers, colors, and shapes. He sings songs and laughs at humorous things. His demeanor is sweet and cute. He will attend preschool with his peers this fall. All of his special education teachers and therapists are amazed by his unprecedented progress.
I always feel deeply saddened when I read stories like this. This is just simple development and education. I know so many autistic kids who are at similar stages of development and/or could report near-identical things. And yet these parents have near bankrupted themselves for no real reason.
This is far from an unusual situation. A 2005 survey reports:
The mean number of current treatments being used by parents was seven….
These parents are bankrupting themselves and the DAN fraternity et al are watching the money come rolling in.
Getting back to Chief Mother Warrior McCarthy. Apparently in her new book and on Oprah she veered between describing her son as ‘recovered’ and ‘recovering’:
…And lets get back to where this started. Jenny said her son Evan, HAD autism.
This surprised me because in her both of her books she repeatedly says he is IN RECOVERY or RECOVERED from autism. She doesn’t ever say CURED – though it is implied. In her book she says that if/when he is sick – his symptoms of autism resurface. So, then it is not really ‘gone’, right? And all the biomedical treatments did with him (the gfcf diet, supplements, threelac, b12, [chelation/HBot]) does she no longer need to do these? I’m just thinking out loud.
This isn’t the first time McCarthy has cut her message to her audience with no regard for the accuracy of what she’s saying:
So, in April 2008, Evan McCarthy is recovered (‘we believe what helped Evan recover…’). Not recovering but recovered. We can also see that among the treatments the helped Evan ‘recover’ is ‘detox of metals’.
Fast forward two months later and apparently Even needs chelation. Why? Back in April he’s recovered. Now he’s not? Now he needs chelation?
Apparently, at the last Autism One conference, McCarthy was asked about the expense of treatments. She answered:
I just need you guys to be creative in your thinking and say we’re going to give up Starbucks this year.
Does anyone you know have a coffee habit of $15k per year?
Jenny McCarthy isn’t living in the real world. A massively well-off celebrity lecturing people to give up a coffee in order to finance a totally fabricated treatment schedule that she can’t decide from one month to the next has cured her son or not? And people _listen_ to her? People give her _credence_ ?
Katie Wright was interviewed by Jenny McCarthy for her new book. Another rich Warrior Mother who doesn’t live in the real world where scrabbling to make ends meet is the first priority. Not ‘living in the moment’ and not really having to worry about where the next months food is coming from.
Warrior Mothers? These people have fought for nothing.