Autism community show their compassion

6 Jan

I’ve refrained from blogging about the death of Jett Travolta because I don’t really know what to say about it directly. I’ve mentioned the lad before in passing and his dad in terms of the suggestion that Jett was autistic and his mum and dad were refusing to recognise his autism because their scientologist beliefs wouldn’t let them. I definitely have opinions about the life and death of Jett Travolta but, hey guess what? Maybe right now isn’t the time for me to air them?

In fact, whilst I think about it, maybe this isn’t the time for any autism group to air them when those opinions are simply carefully veiled hit-pieces designed solely to try and draw attention to ones own ideas about autism causation. Distasteful isn’t the word when you read something like the below from Dan Olmsted:

We don’t know why Jett Travolta died, but we do know that our environment is making more and more of our kids sick while the medical community and public health officials deliberately avoid investigating “the equivalent of a metallic chemical,” whether it’s found in commercial products, vaccines or carpets with spilled mercury. Our kids are paying the price.

which appeared at the end of a piece he wrote on AoA trying to link Kawasaki disease (which the Travolta’s say Jett had), acrodynia (a form of mercury poisoning) and autism. The man has absolutely no shame or decency.

But even Olmsted’s lack of social skill pales into insignificance when compared to the group Autism United who apparently tried the most appallingly bad taste PR stunt to promulgate their message.

This is a difficult time for John and Kelly, and our prayers are with them,” said Ain. “But this could be an opportunity for them to use their son’s death and their celebrity to help thousands of parents, who are caring for sick youngsters.

Yeah, because if one of my kids had literally _just_ died the first thing I’d feel like doing is jumping in front of a TV camera and ‘using my childs death’.

Jesus Christ. Gave the family a break yeah? Whatever his beliefs were and whatever my opinions about them are, I hope I can see the truth about how John Travolta felt about his son.

If there’s anyone out there who sees that and can’t see that the man loved his boy then there’s something wrong with you. If there’s anyone out there who feels that this is a good time to start *using* Jett Travolta’s death to further their own crackpot ideas, there’s something wrong with you.

16 Responses to “Autism community show their compassion”

  1. bullet January 6, 2009 at 11:31 #

    Well said.

  2. David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction) January 6, 2009 at 13:07 #

    i agree.

    what they did was pretty ropey.

  3. Estee Klar January 6, 2009 at 13:12 #


  4. dkmnow January 6, 2009 at 13:13 #

    Um, wait … I need a three-letter word for “this expression of ‘compassion’ is really just an insincere pretext for what follows.”

    Hint: far better to be sat upon.


  5. Judi January 6, 2009 at 14:08 #

    Well said!

  6. Mike McCarron January 6, 2009 at 15:16 #


    Well said. Thank you for speaking out about the comments of these groups.

    The Travolta’s are experiencing an unimaginable pain, some respect and a prayer would be in order right now.

  7. michelle turner January 6, 2009 at 18:44 #

    Excellent post-I applaud the Travoltas for not exploiting their son for book deals as some other “celebrity” folks have lately.

  8. Leanne January 6, 2009 at 21:25 #

    Here Here! Very well said.

  9. Harold L Doherty January 6, 2009 at 23:30 #

    I don’t know if John Travolta’s son was autistic and I agree with you that this tragedy should not be used as you have indicated by any group.

    It is unfortunate though, that you also used this situation to attack those with whom you disagree.

    Your hypocrisy is absolutely stunning.

  10. Kev January 6, 2009 at 23:38 #

    Harold, I’ve not used any situation. I also have no idea if I disagree with Autism United or not on any other issue as I’ve never heard of them before today. Its really quite simple to understand: I don’t think Jett Travolta’s death should be used to forward one’s agenda and thats what I said. I used the two examples I’m aware of that show people doing just that. Have I used Jett Travolta’s death to forward my agenda in any way?

  11. Paulene Angela January 7, 2009 at 00:32 #

    Absolutely Kev, I could not agree more.

    The whole thing of Autism United sucks (who are they?), it lacks any respect to even think that way in this moment in time, they are extremely close to crossing the line, do they have any idea what pain the family are going through?.

    Please tell me that they are not going to send some stupid letter to the family? I am horrified.

  12. David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction) January 7, 2009 at 04:05 #

    with you all the way, Kev.

  13. Mark January 7, 2009 at 11:36 #

    kev this is off topic but Boron Cohen was on bbe breakfast this morning talking about prenatal testing and termination options.

  14. Catherina January 7, 2009 at 14:13 #

    here is a link to the BBC story:

  15. farmwifetwo January 7, 2009 at 17:28 #

    I find it ignorant that the autism community – neurodiverse to the cure crowd – claims he’s autistic. I truly think they only do this b/c in the end…. everyone wants his name on their “brand”.

    Long ago I was told there’s only one reason to get a dx… SERVICES.

    Beyond that… who someone is, what there disabilities are, is really nobody elses concern. Why does someone require a label?? Why must they be called autistic?? Why does anyone care?? B/c it involves a high profile person, with a high profile religion and it’s a place to cast stones, blame or beg for recognition/money for your cause.

    Except those that want to armchair diagnose.

    So, yes, the fact you blogged this Kev, like Club 166, Susan Senator and Joy of Autism and many others did… is rude and forwarding a cause.

    S. Who’s eldest son informed her only a few short months ago that he “wasn’t AUTISTIC” and I told him… “You’re right”. He has a name.

  16. Patrick January 9, 2009 at 23:37 #

    Though some might find the comment inappropriate: If by any way or means the young man was removed from medication to help control his condition, then even the love apparent in the picture while true, may have been corrupted by the taint of unreasonable medical practices or religious philosophy.

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