Thursday, September 25, 2008

Jenny McCarthy has another book to sell.

Jenny McCarthy has another book to sell. Yesterday, she plugged “Mother Warriors” on Oprah’s TV show and on an evening webcast on I haven’t checked the listings, but be assured that Larry King Live is next on the schedule.

One of her main messages was that mothers should not take the diagnosis and their child home and give up to despair and do nothing, but should become a “warrior” for their child and do anything it takes to “fix their kid.”

It would seem that moms with kids diagnosed with autism would hardly need reminding that they have to do everything in their power to help their children, but then there’s Joan, who wrote not too long ago to Lisa Jo Rudy at the Autism site that she felt her autistic child was “a waste of human life” and that “God ruined him.” Before having her child, Joan prayed to God for kids with “no mental or social problems.” Joan needs to do whatever it takes to stop feeling sorry for herself and start taking care of the child she has, not the one she thought she’d custom-ordered. Joan probably needs a dose of Jenny’s get-off-your-butt prescription.

But there’s still something about Jenny’s message that greatly disturbs me: she seems to be telling mothers to try EVERYTHING and ANYTHING in the pursuit of “fixing their kids.” That can lead to dangerous and at the very least, crushingly expensive, desperate measures. She claims her kid, Evan, is “recovered.” Even though she will cop to having provided him with every possible therapy such as OT, PT, speech, and Behavior Modification, she’s convinced that the GFCF diet and supplements that did the trick. Her advice to others who have tried it and saw no results? Move on to the next thing! What next thing, Jenny? Chances are, anyone doing the diet is also already doing the OT, Speech, PT, ABA, etcetera. What’s left after that is the scary stuff, like chelation, hyperbaric, and exorcism.

That’s where Jenny really loses me. It’s all fine and good to tell mothers to fight for their children, but what about those fragile, vulnerable people who think just because she’s on TV and she says her kid has autism and that he’s supposedly recovered, that makes her an expert? Those moms need to remember this: Jenny McCarthy pays for all HER kid’s treatments and therapies by selling books.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Live now

I've been thinking a lot about "living in the now" after having read a few books about the subject. It makes a lot of sense to me to enjoy now, because it's the only time I can do anything about, really. We think we can do something about the future, but really what we're really doing is stuff NOW that MAY affect the future. We're not really IN the future, affecting it.

So, it makes no sense to freak out about the future. I can plan. Planning is good, but worrying never solved anything. This simple idea has changed my life. The very idea that there's a difference between planning and worrying was revolutionary to me when I first heard it. I suspect it's the same for most people.

I was once the Queen of what I call "extrapolating." I'd have a conversation - okay, argument - about money with my ex, for instance. I'd take that "conversation" and start worrying about the day my son with autism, now 11, turns 21 and is no longer in public school but will probably still need to be watched constantly, I'll no longer get child support from my ex, so I'll need more income to replace that money which I won't be able to do because if I get a full-time job, who's going to watch my son? And then there's health insurance. If I can't work fulltime, how will I get health insurance I can afford, because I'll be getting older and more of a risk, and what if I got sick, what if my ex got sick, what if neither of us could take care of my son any longer....ack! These thoughts all became a jumble of pure panic, and the scenarios I imagined for ten years into the future became more and more dire.

One day, I was "extrapolating" on the phone to my sister. She must have gotten fed up, because she interrupted me at some point and said, "Julie, you're thinking up all the BAD things that could happen. MAYBE some GOOD things will happen, too." It's crazy, literally, how that never occurred to me. I decided then and there to stop extrapolating - just STOP. It hasn't always been easy, but I'm getting better at it all the time. It's changed my life. It's changed the way I think about my son and our life, our future. Our Now.

I'm thinking of taking up "extrapolating" again, but with good things. Only with good things.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

"Colin's Fans" Dylan's Run 208

"Colin's Fans" have a great day walking

Thanks, Friends and Family that participated in the September 7, 2008 Dylan's Run/Walk for Autism to raise money for research, support the Autism Society of Southeastern Wisconsin and to raise awareness! The event had record participation (over 2500 people!) and we are hoping when the countin's done that record funds were raised as well. Our team was called "Colin's Fans" after my son, Colin, who is eleven. The team's name is a play on words: we all are, of course, fans of Colin, and Colin is fond of fans and all other things that go "whir."
I love you all for your support!