I Am Not Jenny McCarthy

I Am Not Jenny McCarthy

(I've received lots of queries on this topic, as all you other autism parents can imagine.)

I am not Jenny McCarthy. For one thing, my boobs are bigger.

Not to discount her hard work in any way, but Ms. McCarthy won the Autism Lottery. She, like Catherine Maurice, Christina Adams, Karyn Seroussi, and Amy Lansky, happened to have a child who quickly responded to treatment and/or ABA Therapy. I am truly happy for Ms. McCarthy and her son, but her experience is not the experience of most autism families.

We pursued the same diet and supplement therapies she did, with the same ferocity, as did (and do) many parents I know. And I would do it all over again, as no one yet knows how to predict which children will respond to what, so trial-and-error is really all we autism parents have. But since Leelo's results haven't been so spectacular, we don't have the kind of story the Instant Fix-loving American public craves. My son's progress has been remarkable, cherished, and celebrated, but it has also been incremental and gradual. I have no miracles to shill. I bitch and blog instead.

To those of you who haven't had Ms. McCarthy's "recovery" luck (about which well-meaning friends and relatives are probably calling daily), I once again recommend Susan Senator's beautiful book Making Peace with Autism. I also send you love, hope, and bottomless empathy.

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