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.


ginabad said...

First I want to say: damn I love your blog.

Next I want to sigh heavily over this. Actually, I feel bad because maybe J. McCarthy herself has been fooled by her own "success" at "curing" her child. I can't imagine the repercussions for her family if this is true.

My 3 year old has high functioning ASD and my 6 year old has Down syndrome. I certainly could do so much more, if I did not have to work full time and freelance, like my husband does. The economy slammed us and now we are on our feet, but I'm really hoping I can quit.

That being said, I could not give up my own dreams, put my life completely aside, to run ragged on my kids every moment of the day. They are kids, ya know. They should enjoy it too.

I did not always think this way. I was a SAHM with a baby with Down syndrome, and I alternated between PPD and everything else: baby yoga, talking, singing, photos over the bed, blah blah blah.

Then I had Zoe, who was as demanding a baby as I could imagine. I thought I'd lost my mind, and her SPD diagnosis at 2 was a relief. Her later ASD diagnosis was painful. With 2 children with completely opposite disorders and personalities, my sanity comes from building my own budding career as a blogger, and future novelist.

I'm sure Ms. McCarthy would call me a failure, but pursuing my dreams provides an example for my kids too. I dont waste one moment of my time with them, and at the end of the day, that's what matters.
mom blog

BeadBrain said...

Thank you for reading and for commenting! I haven't posted for a while. I thought nobody was reading, anyway. My family and friends say I should keep writing it, regardless of whether anyone is paying attention, gather it all together, and publish a book. My friends and family have such confidence in me!

I just finished "Autism's False Prophets" by Paul Offit and I highly recommend it. We are being assaulted by false information in the name of "hope," and being left to feel bad that we aren't doing "everything we can" to "cure" or "recover" our children.

Thank you again, and I'll look for your blog and future novel! To hell with what a playboy bunny with a need to stay in the spotlight thinks!