Jenny McCarthy is a loudmouthed ass, but we all knew that before she had a kid with autism (oh, wait, her kid is recovered, right?). I had hope that she, and so many others who have usurped roles supposed to be filled with role models, would learn that it pisses people off and doesn't help your cause when you throw expletive-laden mud at your enemies, and that just because someone else calls you a name doesn't mean you have to call them one, too. But, le sigh.
It makes my eyeballs explode when Jenny McCarthy is cited as an autism advocate. It pisses me off that her son and Leelo have the same diagnosis, when they are so obviously very different children with dramatically different needs. She says that Amanda Peet hasn't walked in her shoes, that she doesn't get what it's like to have a kid with autism. I would point out that my friends and I have walked in Jenny McCarthy's shoes much longer and with less "success" than she has. And few of us still believe that vaccines caused our kids to be who they are. She does not speak for us, do you hear me? Don't ever think she does.
I especially don't give a shit about anyone who can only talk about autism in terms of recovery, because that is disrespectful and just not realistic for most families with autism. Are we failures because Leelo is still autistic? I hardly think so. Newly diagnosed families need to put their energies into approaches and therapies that will help their children gain real skills (modified ABA, speech therapy, occupational therapy, social skills groups if they have the language), and then try the more harmless vitamins and supplements/BioMed/diet approaches if they have any energy left over.
As for the vaccine issue: my short version is that vaccination is a critical part of our social contract. My long version is more complex:
I think that Jenny McCarthy and most parents our age don't understand what preventable diseases are like because *we* were all vaccinated against them, successfully. I don't fully agree with Amanda Peet, either. I think that if your family has a history of neurological or immunological issues, you should space out your kids' vaccinations. I usually but not always trust our medical establishment, remembering how Stomach Ulcer Guy got slogged through the mud until his peers realized "Oh wait, sorry, he's right," and set him up for a Nobel Prize. I respect the cautious position of The MIND Institute. I think we should all think and research for ourselves, and look past cardboard cutout celebrity messengers and into the research behind their messages.
Anyhow. If you followed me on Twitter you would know that today I won a brand new Vespa! And that Leelo's social worker agreed to pay for his camp and more respite hours, without even blinking! School raffles and regional centers FTW!
If you were in my house, you would know that Iz and Mali were introduced to the term Epic Fail, when I gave Leelo a small bin filled with pinto beans so he could have some happy sensory time while I was prepping his dinner, and he immediately swung the bin in an arc so he could watch the beans spray throughout the kitchen and living room. I retaliated by grating carrots into his pancakes. Little bugger ate them right up and never knew the difference.
Off to sleep for a scant few hours before Jennyalice, DoubleTrouble, & I go stake out the office of the camp mentioned above so that Leelo can be one of the very few 1:1 campers at said camp. Wish us luck.