The New McCarthy-ism

19 Sep

When it comes to autism, those who chafe at vaccine conspiracy theories and “trapped in their own world” stereotypes and the endless biomed cures du jour may have science (not to mention sanity) on their side.

But step aside, people: Jenny McCarthy is armed with Google, and she’s not afraid to use it.

The model and self-styled actress was on Oprah today to talk about her autistic son, and if you’ve caught wind of her thoughts on autism already (or seen how pretty much anything about autism is treated on the Oprah show), you just knew this could not be good.

No joke: McCarthy was cheered lustily by the studio audience for announcing that, after her son was diagnosed, she typed the word “autism” into the Google search engine, launching a courageous and audacious search for the truth. And what came up? Why, story after story about remedies and recoveries and other amazing stuff your pediatrician is paid handsomely by the CDC not to tell you about.

Luckily, Google employs an army of people whose only job is to make sure everything that pops up on the site is totally legit, although I probably should Google that sometime just to make sure it’s true.

McCarthy spoke particularly of clicking on a link “up in the corner” (I believe those are what are known as “advertisements”) and learning about the wonders of biomed.

In the video clips Oprah showed, McCarthy’s son looked healthy and happy (although there wasn’t really much pre-biomed footage to compare with). And i applaud her for being an apparently caring and involved mom — she’s a convenient target for satire, and maybe she deserves the benefit of the doubt. (Although there was something chilling about the way she described getting an employee of a play gym fired for suggesting her son might have a “brain problem.”)

But here’s a TV show with an audience that’s humungous by any standard — many times larger than all the autism blogs put together. And here’s a celebrity announcing that her “real” son had become “trapped inside” this autistic shell, and that she was hell-bent to “get him out.” (More big cheers.)

And here’s Oprah opening the show by quoting McCarthy’s book (yep, she writes, too!) on the different reactions encountered when people learn a child has been diagnosed with cancer vs. diagnosed with autism. Surprising those reactions are so divergent, because as we’ve been conditioned to learn by Autism Speaks and others, autism is at least as terrifying as pending death.

Oprah also cooed approvingly when McCarthy defended biomed by saying, “Well, chemotherapy doesn’t work for everybody either.”

At least McCarthy didn’t talk about train wrecks. Instead, she talked about bus crashes.

Seriously. She offered an analogy about autism that went like this: “If you get hit by a bus, you’re going to recover. But you’re going to have a little booboo.” (She definitely used the word “booboo.” Coming soon to the DSM-V.)

And naturally, vaccines had to come up. McCarthy said she had invoked what she calls her “mommy instinct” to finger the MMR in the case of her son.

Then Oprah read a response she had received from the CDC (at least she took a stab at social responsibility by contacting the agency) that talked about the lack of scientific support for the idea that thimerosal triggers autism.

McCarthy scoffed and said, speaking of her son: “He is my science.”

Well guess what, Prof. McCarthy? MMR doesn’t contain thimerosal. Never has.

She apparently didn’t know that. Oprah also either didn’t know it or didn’t bother to correct it. The studio audience and the vast TV audience were left with yet more misinformation and hysteria and hand-wringing about the horrors of autism, in a forum where so many people could have instead been enlightened about notions like autistic kids who aren’t “broken” and therapies that offer help without taking families for a ride. (A bus ride, if you like. Only one that REALLY crashes.)

Speaking of which: I would have liked to describe the whole show. But about halfway through, I realized my stop had arrived.

172 Responses to “The New McCarthy-ism”

  1. Colleen October 9, 2007 at 01:23 #

    I am appalled at the way people are twisting what Jenny says around. My friend has a child with Autism. I have heard her state many of the things that Jenny believes not to mention that there are many many others that believe the same. It is not just the mercury that is in shots but many of the ingredients. You would be APPALLED at what is in shots. She does not think that it is only shots though but that these children have comprimised Immune systems. The shots then reek havoc on the body because of the this. She IS for a new schedule as for how these children receive these shots as well as a test for newborns to see if the they have a compromised immune system. But when it comes to vaccines money talks doesn’t it. It is the food we are putting into our mouths, it is the crap in the ground being leaked into our water, it is a genetic code that won’t let our bodies process all this crap. She was retelling her story and is not putting it on anyone else. She wants people to listen and do everything they can for their children. MOstly, She wants the goverment to listen to mothers with children of Autism no matter what is your child’s condition!! Did any of you even read her book? I did and it was touching, heart wrenching and honest. This is not about who is right or wrong it is about getting to the bottom of what is wrong with our children. Can you imagine how scary it will be when OUR children have children if it keeps up at this rate? Most of you need to open your ears to listen and just be honest with yourselves instead of badmouthing a mother who is just trying to save her child!!! You ALL need to work together people and all this back and forth crap is not going to cut it!!!

  2. original cali biomed xprt October 9, 2007 at 02:07 #

    _”it is a genetic code that won’t let our bodies process all this crap”_

    If that’s true then the human species is completely doomed.

    _Carpe Diem_, baby!

  3. HN October 9, 2007 at 02:40 #

    Colleen said: ” You would be APPALLED at what is in shots. ”

    Actually, we know what are in the shots. Some very nasty germs that have been treated so as to only create an immune response rather than the actual disease.

    Would you rather we go back to the “good ol’ days” when measles regularly killed 500 people a year in the USA, and several thousands of babies died from pertussis… OR when measles, mumps, rubella, Hib and polio caused kids to become severely disabled.

    About that, try reading some other good books: _Deaf Like Me_ by a pair of Spradley brothers (it deals with the daughter of one who was deafened as a fetus during the rubella epidemic in the early 1960s)…
    … or _Train Go Sorry_ by Leah Hagen Cohen

    And Colleen continues “MOstly, She wants the goverment to listen to mothers with children of Autism no matter what is your child’s condition!!”

    What about the rest of us with disabled kids who are not autistic? Those kids that have been disabled by the actual diseases, or have not been able to get the vaccines or have other disabilities like hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Why should autism be the only one that gets the glory?

    Do you want to ignore these two young men in the UK:
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article1055533.ece

    And then Colleen continues (without any paragraph breaks) “Did any of you even read her book?”

    Sorry to burst your bubble, but there are much better books around. I would suggest you try _Not Even Wrong_ by Paul Collins, _Unstrange Minds_ by Roy Richard Grinker and _Making Peace with Autism_ by Susan Senator.

    Other highly recommended reads would be:
    _No Time for Jello_ by Berneen Bratt
    _Vaccine_ by Arthur Allen
    _Vaccinated_ by Paul Offit
    _Anthropologist on Mars_ by Oliver Sacks (plus his other books like _Awakenings_, _The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat_, etc).

    Then she continues “Most of you need to open your ears to listen and just be honest with yourselves instead of badmouthing a mother who is just trying to save her child You ALL need to work together people and all this back and forth crap is not going to cut it”

    I’ve been dealing with type of stuff for over 19 years. First having a kid with seizures, then having him NOT get vaccinated for pertussis when the county had a pertussis epidemic, then having all sorts of “kind” people telling me a bunch of stuff I should be doing (No, a gentle head massage is not going to repair damage in Broca’s or Wernicke’s areas of the brain), having a kid in special ed. who was mainstreamed… yet only got birthday invitations from his SpEd friends but NEVER from the regular ed. kids and then having people like you trying to tell me you know more than me.

    Come back after you finish reading the books I listed… Plus these fictional ones:

    _The Curious Incident of the Dog at Night Time_ by Mark Haddon
    _The Silent Boy_ by Lois Lowry

  4. Gonzo October 9, 2007 at 03:38 #

    A friend of mine had a great comment about this – Let’s give up on vaccines and go back to giving birth to 15 kids in the hope that 2 survive childhood.

  5. original cali biomed xprt October 9, 2007 at 06:44 #

    Hi, Gonzo:

    Of course, the standard reply from the altie-biomeddler playbook (to the comment of your friend’s) will be all about “improved sanitation”.

    _”In the world according to Garp, we are all terminal cases.”_

  6. HN October 9, 2007 at 15:01 #

    Oh, the “it is improved” sanitation really doesn’t fly when polio started to become a real problem AFTER sanitation was improved (it delayed the infection until after kids were out of babyhood, it seems to affect older kids more than babies — though some babies did die regularly of polio).

    Also Japan had to close several college campuses last spring due to a measles outbreak. They do not seem to have any problems with sanitation.

    The thing is that if you read any history the scenerio mentioned by Gonzo was all too common. The movie “Amadeus” showed that Wolfgang and Constance Mozart had one son, actually they had had SEVERAL children but only two survived childhood. Mary and Percy Bisshe Shelley had only one of several children survive childhood (she wrote _Frankenstein_, he was a poet). Even the Gilbreth family of _Cheaper by the Dozen_ lost a child to diphtheria (the family pictures show only eleven children).

    I was sent an old family bible by a cousin a ocuple of years ago. This was when I found out that my mother had two uncles I had never heard of… one died when he was 7 years old, the other when he was 10 months old. My own mother was the only surviving child born after her parents had been married for almost 20 years.

    Colleen, do you really want us to go back to the days when families shared the common experience of burying children? Measles is still a concern in both Japan and the UK, and it has returned to Michigan. Shall we live through this:
    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/910761.html

  7. Colleen October 9, 2007 at 19:36 #

    First of all, I am all for vaccines. All 3 of my children were vaccinated. Never said I was against them. And if you actually read Jenny McCarthy’s book which is what was the original topic of discussion(I have actually read some of the books suggested thank you but that was not the topic. Give me the discussion site for those books and I will gladly comment.)she does not think that we should ban vaccines either. But there should be something done in regards to vaccine schedules and cleaning up the ingredients to the vaccines. Also there should be a test when children are born to test children’s immune systems to see if a child can handle vaccines, tap water, etc. Even if this is NOT what causes Autism I think this should be done anyway. I do not think we should go back to the “good ol days”. But so now instead of all these kids dying of some disease like measles, they are living with Autism?? That is suppose to be better???

    Also HN funding for Autism is ridiculously low compared to other diseases and disabilities. Jenny actually gives some stats about that in here book.There are few resources for Autistic kids in most areas. But if you read the book you would know that there are 1 in 150 kids and 1 in 94 boys diagnosed. I don’t think Autism or any other disease or disability should have “glory”. I think we need to look at the FACTS and be glad that someone is speaking out for a disease that needs some attention.

    Lastly HN it is pretty sad to say that you have been “dealing” with your child. Thank you for YOUR life story. I can only begin to imagine what your child has had to “deal” with. God Bless him.

  8. Kassiane October 9, 2007 at 20:16 #

    You did NOT just say that dying was better than being autistic.

    You did NOT.

    Oh wait. I can read.

    You did.

    What the HELL is wrong with you?!?!?!?!?!

  9. Matt October 9, 2007 at 20:25 #

    But so now instead of all these kids dying of some disease like measles, they are living with Autism?? That is suppose to be better???

    1) these two are not related. NOT. Autism and measles have no connection aside from the fact that autistic people (like everyone else) can catch the measles.

    2) Dead vs. autistic. That’s what we call in my home a “no-brainer”. Alive is better.

  10. original cali biomed xprt October 9, 2007 at 21:09 #

    From my reading of what HN wrote, it appeared to be clear it was about _dealing_ with the woo; pseudoscience; unsolicited [ersatz] advice.

  11. Bink October 9, 2007 at 21:41 #

    Oh, my God. Colleen, please either retract that statement or go fuck yourself.

    Doubt this will make it through the filter but want to type it anyway

  12. HN October 9, 2007 at 21:48 #

    original cali biomed, you are correct.

    But, not only is it pseudoscience it was the “Oh, my second cousin’s stepsisters uncle’s friend had a grand-nephew who couldn’t talk until they were 4, 5, 7, 30 and they are just fine now! So just wait and see!”. Or the “He can’t talk because you don’t talk to him!” — Or he had seizures because he drank milk (he was a newborn), or I drank milk OR my absolute favorite was because someone who was on “stimulants or depressants” was thinking about him. Or being told to read stupid books by Thomas Sowell, Glenn Doman and the celebrity with a disease of the week.

    Colleen said “But so now instead of all these kids dying of some disease like measles, they are living with Autism?? That is suppose to be better???”

    Are you really that idiotic? You do know that rubella is a cause of a certain type of autism, and several other disabilities. Plus measles can cause this less than lovely condition: Subacute sclerosing panencephalitis, SSPE, http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/subacute_panencephalitis/subacute_panencephalitis.htm

    It is where you get to see a child slowly lose brain function and then finally die.

    Colleen, go back and read the list of books I listed.

  13. HN October 9, 2007 at 23:52 #

    I would also like to remind Colleen that there is absolutely no real evidence that the MMR vaccine causes autism, and that also goes for the other vaccines.

    If you have real evidence to the contrary, please present it.

    It should be of this kind of caliber:
    http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/abstract/357/13/1281

    and those listed here:
    http://www.immunize.org/autism/#journalarticles

  14. bullet October 10, 2007 at 09:05 #

    “But so now instead of all these kids dying of some disease like measles, they are living with Autism?? That is suppose to be better???”

    My older son is autistic. He needs a lot of support to help him understand even relatively simple things, he is verbal and can list a lot of objects, knows numbers, colours and shapes but cannot tell you what he likes to eat, or how old he is, or that he needs changing. He is probably hyposensitive in a lot of ways. He understands and copes best in a small, quiet environment with lots of visual prompts and lots of familiar routines. He tears books up, has semi regular poo smearing sessions (which is par for the course at his age, four, but he can’t tell us he needs to be cleaned up) and loves to mouth at objects, thereby giving me a good scare when I catch him with a penny or a small piece of lego in his mouth.
    He loves to hug and kiss his younger brother. He loves to climb on people’s laps and wave their hands and hair about and touch their faces. He laughs with delight at “incy wincy spider”, “humpty dumpty”, “this is the church” and “round and round the garden”. He loves looking at books or building towers. His laugh makes people turn around and smile when they hear it, the bus driver that takes him to his nursery says he’s a lovely lad, everybody who knows him says it’s rare that he’s unhappy or in a bad mood.
    So yes, in conclusion, it’s a hell of a lot better him being as he is than dying of measles. Does he need help and support? Undoubtedly. Is he suffering, in pain, his life expectancy diminishing? Absolutely not.

  15. Kay October 11, 2007 at 06:29 #

    I am shocked as I sit and read all the comments on here. I just got done reading Jenny’s book. What her, and her child went through I would not wish on anyone. I cried as I sat and read, and imagined my child going through the same thing. My son is 2 1/2, and it scares the hell out of me to think that one day he can be fine, and the next, not even in this world. As if he is lost. I love him with all of my heart, and can understand how Jenny felt watching her son, and not being able to help. I would do the same, and plan on looking at all my options. Why do we not question these things, and instead we talk as if we know the answers. We don’t. We are always hearing of recalls on Meds. People sick because of stuff that we shouldn’t put in our bodies, but Dr.’s say it’s ok. Wake up people. Pay attention. I’m not saying to rule it out, and not take the medications, but hello….. Stop popping pills just because a Doctor says it’s ok. Read up, look it up, and educate yourself. I do. I also know that there is a lot of crap on the internet, but I don’t just take the first site I go to, and run with it, I keep searching, and note the repeats of certain things.

    I’d actually heard about mercury being in the shots, about 2 years, or so ago, and it causing autism. I thought “Well, atleast they caught it, and will take it out.” I could not believe it when I heard that it is still in there. This is stuff that you shouldn’t even touch to your skin, and we are putting it into our children. Yet we are super freaked out with all the lead in paint recalls. From what I’ve read, it’s ok to touch lead, just not injest it. Mercury should not even touch the skin. Does that make sense?

    Jenny is just a person who watched her child go through way more than most anyone would want to watch a child go through. With that, it motivated her. That should be applauded!

  16. Kay October 11, 2007 at 06:33 #

    And, if you read it right, that is not what Colleen is saying. She is NOT saying that death is better than Autism.

  17. original cali biomed xprt October 11, 2007 at 07:04 #

    Hi, Kay:

    Speaking of the internet and educating one’s self, do you use PubMed regularly?

  18. bullet October 11, 2007 at 09:55 #

    Kay, can you explain what you thought that Colleen meant when she said:
    “But so now instead of all these kids dying of some disease like measles, they are living with Autism?? That is suppose to be better???”

  19. Gonzo October 11, 2007 at 13:16 #

    Simple and blunt question – would you prefer your child to be dead or autistic?

    That’s what Colleen seems to be inferring.

    Kay? What about you? How would you answer the question?

  20. century October 11, 2007 at 13:31 #

    “Simple and blunt question – would you prefer your child to be dead or autistic?”

    From the murders of ASD kids here and in the US it would seem that some people choose dead!
    And that is a problem that needs addressing.

  21. HN October 11, 2007 at 14:51 #

    Kay, I would suggest some better reading material:

    _No Time for Jello_ by Berneen Bratt
    _Not Even Wrong_ by Paul Collins
    _Unstrange Minds_ by Roy Richard Grinker

    Kay said “I’d actually heard about mercury being in the shots, about 2 years, or so ago, and it causing autism. I thought “Well, atleast they caught it, and will take it out.” I could not believe it when I heard that it is still in there. This is stuff that you shouldn’t even touch to your skin, and we are putting it into our children. ”

    Uh, huh… So those of us who played with mercury from broken thermometers are doomed! Oh, good grief. Chlorine gas is deadly and will kill you very painfully, and sodium explodes when it contacts water. So are we now supposed to avoid table salt because those two deadly elements make up most (actually) all of salt?

    I would suggest you read this link and look at the actual figures for thimerosal:
    http://www.fda.gov/cber/vaccine/thimerosal.htm

    Take note that Jenny, PhD Google U., has blamed the MMR. This a vaccine that has been used in the USA since 1971, and has never contained thimerosal.

  22. kay October 12, 2007 at 01:48 #

    Gonzo, I would have to say that what she ment was that depending on the level of autism, that Autism may not be much different from death. When your child is in another world, and does not realize what is going on, and has to be taken care of for the rest of their life, is NOT a wonderful thing. She wasn’t saying that if they have autism that they might as well be dead. She’s saying we want heathy children!

    And I have to say that all of you made fun of Jenny about going on the internet to get info, but all, that you all can throw out to make a point is web sites! So, what’s the differnce? Is that where you got your info about all of this. Funny what we will believe. I’m shocked that you all are ok with all of this.

    HN, did you eat the mercury? What would’ve happened then? You got a website for that too?

    I think all of you are reading every other line, and making up what you want. Stop looking at this with closed eyes, and open up your minds. Thank goodness the rest of the world does not think like all of you!

    Your pissed about the comment Colleen made, but the way I hear all of you talking, it’s ok to have a world where all of the Children are Autistic. What would the world be like then? The statistic of autism are going up, and up at a very high rate. In fact, if we all thought like you, we probably would live in a world where most children born would be autistic.

    And, one more thing…..The info she was looking up, she was getting from mothers of autistic children. They were giving her info, and she was going from there. Are those mothers wrong to you all too? They are living with Autism. Are you?

    you all really need to read the whole book, and stop taking bits a pieces from it, and coming up with your own version.

  23. Joseph October 12, 2007 at 02:45 #

    Gonzo, I would have to say that what she ment was that depending on the level of autism, that Autism may not be much different from death. When your child is in another world, and does not realize what is going on, and has to be taken care of for the rest of their life, is NOT a wonderful thing. She wasn’t saying that if they have autism that they might as well be dead. She’s saying we want heathy children!

    I’m quite sure that even the most severe autistic child in the world would be likely to prefer life over death.

    You might want perfectly healthy children, but that doesn’t mean that what you believe are “unhealthy” children don’t want to exist. They probably do and they have a right to. Even someone in a comma has a right to life.

  24. Kay October 12, 2007 at 03:09 #

    Joseph, you’re right, they do have a right to live. It’s amazing, I’ve asked other people I know, how they take that statement that Colleen made, and everyone I know, gets it. Why don’t you all? That’s what this is about Joseph.

    Would you want your child to have Autism, and be lost in some world, with no conection to life?

    Or would you rather them be dead?

    If the answer is no to both, then there is no difference.

    YES, we get that death is worse. DUh! but we answer NO to both.

    They are both bad, but one can be fixed, let’s do it. Let’s stop the epidemic, and make the numbers go back down. For the children.

    Joseph, autistic children cannot fathom life or death. they have no idea what either is. If you asked them if they prefer to live or die, they cannot answer you. Is that how we want our children to be? NO!!!! We want them to live, and know the difference.

  25. Gonzo October 12, 2007 at 03:35 #

    Uh, no, Kay. A lot of autistic children can fathom life or death. Don’t belittle and degrade autistics. I’m sure if you ask any of the adult autistics here, they can fathom life or death. I know autistic kids that are five or six years old that understand that when they step on an ant, it’s dead.

    Your view of autism seems to be one of children sitting in the corner in a total trance-like state, drooling all over themselves and brain dead to the world. I’ve got news for you – not all autistics are like this. There are varying degrees of autism.

    What prejudice. Do your research before you continue to insult the intelligence (of which there is some!) of many autistic people and their families. Go to a walk for autism and see how many autistic kids are out there that are walking with their parents that aren’t dead to the world. “No connection to life” my rear.

    Damn Kartzinel and his stupid introduction to Jenny’s book. Now everyone who reads that thinks all autistics are brain dead and lost to the world….

  26. Gonzo October 12, 2007 at 03:37 #

    By the way, Kay…

    Are those mothers wrong to you all too? They are living with Autism. Are you?

    Yes. My son is autistic and, as you say, “lost in some world, with no conection to life?”

    And you couldn’t be more wrong.

  27. Ms. Clark October 12, 2007 at 03:41 #

    There is absolutely no evidence that there’s ever been an epidemic or anything close to an epidemic, Kay. You’ve been listening to people who have been lying to you.

    You obviously have very poor skills for telling the difference between good sources of information and poor sources of information (those would be the ones that push the epidemic and those who blame vaccines and “toxins” for autism”) . Even Autism Speaks knows there is no evidence for an epidemic. It’s just that they know there’s money in harping an epidemic so they try to have it both ways.
    http://autismdiva.blogspot.com/2007/07/online-conference-autism-speaks.html

    Check out the interviews with experts explaining how they know there hasn’t been an “epidemic” at all.
    http://www.autismspeaks.org/whatisit/interviews.php

  28. Ms. Clark October 12, 2007 at 03:53 #

    And I have an autistic child. The kids who are sitting alone in a corner drooling one minute can be up learning things another minute, the most “extreme” caricatures of “autistic” people are not just “autistic people,” they are autistic people who have been systematically abused and neglected.

    I dare say even the kids and adults who have been abused only want the abuse to end, they don’t want to die. And you, Kay, are abusing autistic people with your repeating of stereotypes of autistic people being basically worthless and nearly better off dead or just better off dead.

    How’d you like it if people decided that women like you are worthless and of no use to humanity, that’s you’d probably be better off dead. I think you’d take offense to that. You are saying things that make it harder for my child to have quality of life. I will thank you to stop verbally deriding, degrading and abusing my child.

  29. original cali biomed xprt October 12, 2007 at 04:23 #

    Kay there is a significant difference between scientific-based websites from the US Government, Academia; and Indexed Journals made available online versus proprietors who purchase google adwords to hawk their wares to the consumer. Ms McCarthy, in her brief stint at googling, admittedly clicked on a google advertisement and it was from that business-person’s ad where she got her agenda-driven mis-information. And that may be acceptable (in her eyes) for her child, but please understand that many others will find that neither acceptable nor adequate when it comes to obtaining health information for their own children.

  30. Kay October 12, 2007 at 04:30 #

    Gonzo, in no way do I think that ALL autistic children are brain dead, and once again you’ve read my statement, and come up with some off the wall idea of what i think.

    I am familiar with autism, and do know autistic children, one that I had no idea he was till they told me. One that was treated for ADD because they had no idea what was wrong with him.

    My Mother is very familiar with autism, she worked in a classroom with them for years, and her and I have had talks.

    You can think I’m stupid, and crazy all you want, but…. I will not stand by and let autism happen to my child because someone says it’s not from mercury in the vaccines!

    Think back to the days when Vicks vapor rub was taken orally, Or when cocaine was used to treat things. Someone figured out that it wasn’t good to do that, and it wasn’t from someone that said… “nope, it’s fine to put that in your body”.

    Now Gonzo, you answer my guestion… Are those mothers that gave Jenny that info wrong?

  31. Kay October 12, 2007 at 06:04 #

    And again you have read something that I said, and taken it all wrong. You are talking about me, saying things about them being dead, and dying. I was commenting on a statement that someone else made.

    I’m finished with my statements on here because it’s like talking to a brick wall. Jenny never said to not vaccinate. She never said one shot was the problem. She never said that they are all the same. She’s made it very clear that all autistic children are ALL different.

    The reason I ever said anything on here at all is because I was shocked at how you all made fun of her and what she is doing.

    And Original…I can’t believe that you mentioned a Government site. I will say it gave me a good laugh though. I’m sure that all the info the Government tells us is true.

    Ms. Clark, in no way, is what I am saying keeping your child from having a quality of life. If my eyes were closed to this, then I would. It’s being close minded that would stop that from happening.

    I love children, and love my son very much. I’m for keeping them safe, and believe it’s the parents job to do that. I stand on Jenny’s side for now. You have your beliefs and I have mine. I will check out the sites that you all have left for me to, because I have an open mind. I’m gonna weigh my options with my son, and make sure I do everything in my power to keep him safe in every way. I do not believe everything I am told, but do know, that I believe in checking into it if I have doubts. This isn’t something Jenny made up. I heard about it years ago.

    I suffer from Astma, and Jenny says that she believes that something was causing the things that were happening to her son. I believe that too. I have cronic Astma, and have to take medicine everyday to keep it under control. I was born with it, and almost had it under control for years, then one day it came back, and no control of it. I ask Why all the time. WHAT CAUSED IT? It’s a mission of mine to hopefully find out why… Or… I could just listen to the Doctors who say it’s not this or that, but won’t test me, and just keep giving the medicine that has major side effects….

    NOPE… I don’t accept that!!!!!

    Unfortunatly, you all have this idea that I’m not educated enough, think autistic children should be dead, or want to be dead, or are close to dead, and are all the same. You are SO wrong.

    I will not waste anymore time here.

  32. qchan63 October 12, 2007 at 06:14 #

    I consider myself a pretty diplomatic person, and as the one who wrote the original blog post i suppose i should try to retain some sense of decorum.

    But i’m having a really hard time holding my tongue as, a month after the fact, Colleen and Kay weigh in here with their ignorant, half-assed and downright disgusting comments.

    Just so you two understand: The people you are lecturing to on this blog are for the most part either parents of autistic people, or autistic themselves. They are people who have been looking at and living with this topic for a long time. They — we — know it firsthand, not based on what some friend said or what a mother saw or what friends of “Jenny” (so nice that you’re on a first-name basis) told her.

    So please, please don’t try to explain to us why Colleen’s sarcastic question as to why autism should be considered better than death by measles wasn’t offensive. It was very clear what she was saying. We all understood what she meant.

    Seriously, what kind of people are you, to come on here and make ridiculous, trite, cliched generalizations about autistic people “living in their own world,” and to express (or defend) inhuman sentiments about the worth of people we love and care for?

    Kay says, “educate yourself. I do.” The falsity of that statement is glaringly apparent to everyone here.

    When it comes to my son and his future, i don’t fear what’s in the environment nearly as much as i worry about what’s in the brains of the people he’ll have to deal with as he grows up. People who express ideas like these ones.

    Kay also says: “In no way do I think that ALL autistic children are brain dead.” Really? How gracious of you. How many are “brain dead” then (putting aside the fact that a person who is brain dead is generally not conscious, which rules out pretty much all the autistic people i’ve seen)?

    10 percent? 20 percent? More? Is it listed in Jenny’s book somewhere?

    Honestly. You should be ashamed.

  33. Kassiane October 12, 2007 at 06:19 #

    Ive been dead.

    Give me life.

    Give me life with epilepsy, autism, the Rett mutation and a mitochondrial disease (both of which do funky things to some processes, University of Google will tell you), Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, whatever else they decide to say I have.

    It’s still better than death. I know the difference.

    We all do.

    Those mothers were wrong. Lying or mistaken, whichever, it still adds up to WRONG.

  34. original cali biomed xprt October 12, 2007 at 07:40 #

    Ho-Hum. Kay you’re trolling. Of course, I knew you’d make a snide comment about the US Government, but the site is PubMed and it’s a service by the Gov’t whereby peer-reviewed articles are indexed for all to read. Any practitioner who believes in his or her treatment for autism and does not attempt to publish it and submit to peer-review (so all kids can have access via their doctors), is not sincere. Period.

  35. Gonzo October 12, 2007 at 14:05 #

    One last response to the troll, and I’ll stop feeding it. Especially after qchan63’s excellent comment.

    Are the mothers wrong? Potentially. I can’t take anything that comes out of “Jenny’s” book as scientific fact as most of it is researched on Google and based on unproven and scientifically untested testimonies. “Talking to mothers” doesn’t equate to a research study to me.

    “Jenny” is no more an autism “expert” than I am, based on her “qualifications” that I see splashed all over of being a mom of an autistic kid and doing research on Google. She just has an agent, a (somewhat) recognizable name, a book and a publicity machine. Hardly what I would call a good source of information.

    Oh. And she’s got the “Autism Whisperer.” How could I forget about that…

  36. Joseph October 12, 2007 at 14:49 #

    I’ve asked other people I know, how they take that statement that Colleen made, and everyone I know, gets it. Why don’t you all?

    Because here people generally respect autistics, and some of us are autistic.

  37. Joseph October 12, 2007 at 14:52 #

    Would you want your child to have Autism, and be lost in some world, with no conection to life?

    Or would you rather them be dead?

    Kay, I must say you’re clueless.

    I have a son who is autistic, very much classically non-verbabally autistic. Asking if I’d rather him be dead is offensive and thoughtless.

    My son is accepted and loved, and brings joy to his family just as much as his typical sister. He’s not a burden or an annoyance.

  38. Joseph October 12, 2007 at 14:55 #

    Joseph, autistic children cannot fathom life or death. they have no idea what either is. If you asked them if they prefer to live or die, they cannot answer you. Is that how we want our children to be? NO! We want them to live, and know the difference.

    Plus, evidently, you don’t know the first thing about autism, Kay.

  39. HN October 13, 2007 at 03:08 #

    Kay said “HN, did you eat the mercury? What would’ve happened then? You got a website for that too?”

    I said that liquid mercury was not a problem, but breathing in mercury vapor was to.

    And yes, I do have several papers on that also. They can all be found at PubMed, something you don’t seem to know about, understand or how to use.

    Here is one:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?Db=pubmed&Cmd=ShowDetailView&TermToSearch=12040263

    If you look at the right hand side of the page you will see more similar case reports.

  40. Erica October 13, 2007 at 04:10 #

    Kay said: “Would you want your child to have Autism, and be lost in some world, with no conection to life?”

    My kid has a connection to life, is not lost and lives right here on planet earth, not some other world. just wanted to set the record straight.

  41. Kay October 13, 2007 at 05:15 #

    There is no single treatment protocol for all children with autism, but most individuals with ASD respond best to highly structured educational programs. Some of the most common interventions are Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), Floortime Therapy, Gluten Free, Casein Free Diet (GFCF). Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, PECS, SCERTS, Sensory Integration Therapy, Relationship Development Intervention, Verbal Behavior Intervention, and the school-based TEAACH method.

    I said I wasn’t coming back, but I also said I would check out the sites you left me. I did, and the info from above is from one the sites. It is exactly what Jenny is saying in her book, but you have not read it.

    To Joseph:

    Would you want your child to have Autism, and be lost in some world, with no conection to life?

    Or would you rather them be dead?

    These two statements do not go together. I did not say anything about, “rather them be dead”. I simply said that, that is not what Colleen ment. Do you truely beive that Colleen would rather them be dead? Come On!

    You all are very sad. You’ve been extremely rude, and have not given me any reason to believe you, but your websites. Sorry, but I found nothing on there to make me “see the light” You’ve called me a Troll, and Prejudice. You’ve taken mine, and Colleen’s words and twisted them around to try and make us sound like idiots. You tell me to get educated. You tell me not to speak of things that I don’t know about. I do not claim to know everything about autism, but I do know some.

    You should do the same though. Don’t speak on things you don’t know about, and you don’t know what’s in Jenny’s book. You’ve taken tiny snippits from the book,( I’m sure it’s just parts that you’ve heard about her and there) and put your own words around them to make them sound the way you want them to sound.

    Wow, what a community of people to make fun of a Mother of an autistic child.( I guess she’s just a big fat liar to you all though)

    It’s funny how you all never really answered all of my questions.

    If you are so educated on this. Tell me, what causes it? What are the treatments? what are the signs? Do some of them really have stomach problems, and if so , why?

    I’m sure I’ll be back to see how you twist my words this time.

  42. Kay October 13, 2007 at 05:47 #

    Gonzo said: “Damn Kartzinel and his stupid introduction to Jenny’s book. Now everyone who reads that thinks all autistics are brain dead and lost to the world….”

    I never, EVER said Brain dead!!!!! Gonzo added that in, and in my one statement that it is in, I was trying to defend myself and only repeated what he said, but unfortunately, I said that I don’t think that all of them are brain dead. I’m not stupid like you all think I am. I know what brain dead is, and know the difference between autism, and being brain dead. I know that they are beautiful children, and adults, and are loved, and bring life to the families they are in. I never want to see them hurt, or dead, and only want for them what I would want for any child or adult,life, happiness and love!

  43. HN October 13, 2007 at 07:39 #

    Why is it that a celebrity’s experience is more valid than those of Kev, Joseph, Gonzo, Ms. Clark, Kristina, original cali biomed xprt, Maya M, Estee, qchan63, brett, Steve D, Club 166, Suzanne, Emmanuel, HeatherS, jessamom, Colori, Lucas McCarty, bones, Erica, AngryMom, bullet, Jennifer, Prometheus, Regan, Matt, Toad, wskrz, Jon, and Bink?

    Oh, and some of the previous listed are actually autistic. As is Kassiane… why should we listen to a celebrity over the RettDevil?

    What special expertise do Colleen and Kay have over those folks?

    Kay asked “If you are so educated on this. Tell me, what causes it?”

    The most recent research points to genetics. The same reason my son had seizures (there is a family history of migraines, which are closely associated with seizures… read _Migraine_ by Oliver Sacks), and the same reason he has hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

    “What are the treatments?”

    Most of them are educational. Usually speech/language therapy, along with OT/PT… You might check with some of other blogs on the AutismHub, especially The Interverbal blog by Jonathan.

    “what are the signs?”

    Read this:
    http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/autism/complete-publication.shtml

    “Do some of them really have stomach problems, and if so , why?”

    It is not really part of the diagnosis of autism. Lots of kids have stomach problems, for various reasons. Some children do actually truly have food intolerances. I knew one little girl who had issues with soy (which did not please her Korean born mom!). There are children who actually have celiac disease, or are really lactose intolerant (my sister has been lactose intolerant since the day she was prematurely born!).

    It is not really an autism “thing”. The only reason it is associated with autism is that a lawyer happened to find a willing doctor to do the research he wanted. It just so happened that doctor was not a pediatrician but a gastroenterologist (Wakefield). I am sure if the lawyer found a dermatologist to do the “research” and come up with the paid for results you would be asking about skin issues.

    Digestive problems happen, and the real reasons need to be discussed with a pediatrician tuned into the issue.

  44. Regan October 13, 2007 at 07:52 #

    With apologies to the author and blog–I have been following this thread with some irritation and 2nd thoughts about posting

    Kay,
    Take a break.
    You may have read a lot, but as you have already stated, you do not have a child with autism that you have lived with 24/7 for years. In my case, 8+ years, which may be on the low end for some of the parents commenting on this blog. Certainly I am not going to represent my 2nd hand opinion or experience as those of the folks who are autistic who also comment here.
    Jenny McCarthy’s experience and opinion is hers. My experience and opinion differs, and I am educated. All those intervention models are very familiar to me.
    Have your opinion–but please stop patronizing and proselytizing.

  45. Ms. Clark October 13, 2007 at 08:08 #

    Good grief if experience is what counts, my experience trumps the dumb bunny McCarthy’s experience by a couple of decades plus a year or so. McCarthy is a liar. She contradicts herself in order to make money. Her son was a “crystal child” and capable of super-normal powers, then suddenly he’s not, because autism is just another word for crystal child, and autism is devastating and leaves the child without a soul or whatever.

    Jenny McCarthy is pulling a scam in order to keep the attention coming to herself that she craves. The woman is the very definition of an exhibitionist and she’s just about as dumb as a brick, with apologies to bricks everywhere who would not be capable of the kind of disgusting behavior and damaging rhetoric that damages **my child’s** quality of life.

    Once more. Stupid Jenny McCarthy is damaging **my child’s** quality of life by insinuating that autism is caused by yeast, and vaccines, and whatever else, and by describing it in heinous derogatory and demeaning (and false) terms. She’s an idiot and worse, she’s a liar and exploiter.

    If you love Jenny for her “courage” or “insight” or whatever, Kay, that’s fine. But you are not the parent of an autism spectrum kid, and you are not an autism spectrum person yourself. I am both. Your opinion of the queen of bargain-basement sleaze, Ms. McCarthy, doesn’t count for much with me.

  46. 666sigma October 13, 2007 at 14:29 #

    I want to thank Ms. Clark for her raging rant. This little post proves exactly what I have been saying about the AS/ND community’s view on Jenny McCarthy. They simply can’t handle a bio-med message getting out to the public.

    HN, I don’t believe that AS qualifies someone to be a spokesperson for ASD. It might qualify them to speak for AS, but the notion that they can or should speak for the entire ASD community is flawed. Jenny McCarthy may not be the best spokesperson for ASD, but you sure don’t want someone like Ms. Clark as the spokesperson. She would turn all parents into curebies overnight.

    Our best science indicates that there are at least 100 genes involved in ASD. In addition, the study of twins shows that genetics play a significant, but not all inclusive role in autism. For identical twins, if you look for the same diagnosis/behaviors, the rate of concurrence drops to 30-70% depending on the study. Clearly, there are environmental factors which play an important role at least in the severity of the symptoms.

    Whether you want to believe it or not, there are thousands of parents that report improvement by simply changing diet and/or adding the right supplements. Jenny McCarthy is just one of many.

    My experience is similar to JM’s. My child had the PDD-NOS diagnosis removed within 7 months of initial diagnosis. There are still some language delays, the occasional stimming and even hand flapping when stressed. The fine motor skills are not where they need to be, but progress has been made on all fronts. I attribute most of the progress to ABA, but the diet/supplementation has helped with focus.

    The effect of dairy seems to be dramatic. I cannot and do not speak for anyone else’s child, but my experience matches a lot of the “recovered” stories on the internet. While I don’t think it is wise to experiment on children, a smart parent can figure out what can and cannot be safely done.

    YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT.

  47. Joseph October 13, 2007 at 14:39 #

    HN, I don’t believe that AS qualifies someone to be a spokesperson for ASD. It might qualify them to speak for AS, but the notion that they can or should speak for the entire ASD community is flawed.

    Interesting. So if you’re completely off the spectrum, you can be an expert in autism all you want. If you’re in the spectrum, you should shut up. I like that logic.

    Parents are experts on autism, but hold on. If the parent is on the spectrum, then they can only speak about Asperger’s. That’s very funny, isn’t it?

    BTW, Kassiane doesn’t have Asperger’s. Inform yourself.

  48. Kassiane October 13, 2007 at 14:58 #

    *laughs so hard she chokes*

    I most certainly don’t have Asperger’s. Officially it’s ON PAPER as MecP2 associated Autistic Disorder/Atypical Rett Syndrome. Depends which office you’re at. They keep changing the order of the words but not to “Asperger Syndrome”, cuz that’s not the box I fit in.

    And I think I don’t need to say again that Jenny McCarthy doesn’t speak for me. It has nothing to do with ideology. It has more to do with it’s high time people started asking us what we think.

  49. Kev October 13, 2007 at 15:38 #

    _”Whether you want to believe it or not, there are thousands of parents that report improvement by simply changing diet and/or adding the right supplements.”_

    Yeah? Where? Apart from your son who only had autism for 7 months?

  50. bullet October 13, 2007 at 15:56 #

    “HN, I don’t believe that AS qualifies someone to be a spokesperson for ASD.”

    You are aware, I take it, that Aspergers is classed as one of the five subsets of the Autistic Spectrum by the DSM IV criteria. These are Autism, Aspergers, PDD-NOS (also sometimes known as Atypical Autism), Retts and Childhood Disintegrative Disorder. There is an awful lot of overlap between at least the first four (though Retts has some other factors which I’m not qualified to write about but Kassiane’s blog should help). In terms of Aspergers and Autism if you look up the criteria for both you will see how much they overlap. On a personal level because I had communicative phrases at the age of 3 I fit the criteria more for Aspergers, but then it also says no delay in self help skills, which I definitely have difficulty with, so you see how it’s not clear cut? My older son fits the criteria for autism. We both have sensory issues, both perceive things differently (in terms of what we look at, what we focus on, can’t say what else with my son at the moment). We both need routines and have perseverations. We both have communicative difficulties and differences, although my son’s are, at this stage, more pronounced. We both have co-ordination or motor control issues, although he has better fine motor skills than me. If you look up Kanner’s original Autistic children and look up Donald and I think a couple of the other lads you’ll get some idea of what my son is like. If you take out the particular language issues of echolalia and not appearing to use language to communicate, you’ll get an idea of what I was like as a child and am still like in a lot of ways, though greater independance for me has helped with some things I find difficult.
    To have such an arbitrary distinction as language and even then that is not to say that people who are ASpergers have no language or communication issues, ensuring that AS people cannot speak alongside people who are autistic (and bear in mind some people receive the AS diagnosis rather than the autistic diagnosis based on the decision of whoever assesses them and that decision may not be agreed by others), when movement, perceptions, sensory issues and a whole host of other things may equally apply to both seems very strange to me. There was talk I think of removing the autism and aspergers diagnoses and instead saying whether a person was on the spectrum, but I don’t know if anything is happening with that.

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