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Old 09-28-2007, 04:28 PM
1,219 posts, read 3,821,720 times
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From what I have read about Jenny McCarthy's son, he seems similar to my son at the same age-rather high functioning. Like I mentioned upthread, I was told by the specialists that dx'd him that about 20% of these kids will have their autistic features 'fade' over time. It sounds like what happened with her son and it happened to mine.

I'm all for dietary changes if they seem to benefit the child. We used the Feingold Program, and I do believe the elimination of artificial colors, flavors and certain preservitives helped my son. But I don't think it was the cure-all...I don't think there is a cure-all. I think therapies are important. But I think genetics do play a part too.

I don't consider him 'cured'. He is always going to be a special person created by God. Part of the challenge of his life is going to be handling his quirks in a way that is compatible with the society we live in. He has many gifts to give this world, in his own way.
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Old 09-29-2007, 06:36 AM
Location: In a house
21,956 posts, read 21,453,281 times
Reputation: 14917
gerry1...Interesting reading. And I have to agree with a lot of what was said.
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Old 09-29-2007, 11:24 PM
25,740 posts, read 25,295,032 times
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I've been reading the Jenny McCarthy book. I love it and I hate it. So I just wanted to report on my findings thus far for anyone who is interested.

EDIT: Some of this post may be seen as "spoilers". So if you want to read the book "fresh" without any foreknowledge, you should probably skip over this post.

She hits the nail on the head with many of my own feelings, and many of the experiences. Unfortunately, going back in time to the Firsts...first fears, first time she realized Evan probably hadn't been understanding most of her words to him for his first three years of life, first thwarted attempt to find help, first time the word "autism" was used, first marital problems related to the parents not being on the same page...make it such that I actually have to put the book down quite a lot.

I mean this is not a very long book, and is written very very plainly and clearly...normally, without the emotional factor, it's a book I'd have easily knocked off in an evening of reading.

But the emotions are very very hard to get through.

So that's a love/hate thing. I love that there are people out there to speak on the behalf of families with autistic children but I hate having to relive everything. I haven't had this experience with other books about autism...hers just must really resonate with me for some reason, even though her son has seizures (terrible ones) and mine never did (that we know of).

I definitely love that she doesn't pull punches on all the "unacceptable" feelings. She describes shying away from her son's former playgroup because while she's in the thick of things, she just can't bear to be around neurotypical children. She describes how every single word one of those children uses only highlights all the many many words her son has never used, or used to use and lost. Things like that. I also love that she gives some very down-to-earth (and quick!) descriptions during the narrative of the different theories (vaccines, for example) and therapies (ABA...DAN! doctors...supplementation...anti-yeast medications).

I hate that she has intimated that parents for whom the therapies didn't work, actually jeopardized their children's success by their negative thoughts. In other words, the parents CAUSED the therapies physically not to work by their negative vibes or something. That's not cool. She also intimates that such parents love the misery. That wasn't even a hate thing, it was a P * SSED OFF thing.

I also hate that she prayed to God and God answered her...each...and...every...freaking...time. God was out to lunch each time I prayed for my son. (Again, she hints that she was just asking the right way and "made God her buddy". Well, bully for you, Jenny. I guess those of us who don't have the right procedure get punished by watching our children always being in pain and never really progress...thanks hon!)

This one is neither a love nor hate thing: She talks about how it costs her $1200 A WEEK for these therapies and money is soooooooooo tight that she just HAS to run out of town for three whole days to work. Okay, so... That's not actually anything to dislike. Everyone's situation is different. It's just one small thing that kind of sets her aside from, I don't know, 99% of the rest of the population...so it *might* (not will, but might) make the parent of an autistic child feel horrible and guilty that her own child can't get these therapies because the money simply isn't there. She also magically gets into these one-year-waiting-list places within weeks simply by praying. Again...that might be hard for some parents, who have prayed every single day and cried every single hour, to handle reading about. So be warned.

She comments that other parents are able to do the same, but only by mortgaging their homes or borrowing money. We don't own a home to mortgage, and there is no way in heck that our families would help fund $1200 a flarkin' week when they don't even accept the autism diagnosis, frankly. So again...I'm happy for Jenny and for parents who have these resources. It's not something that makes or breaks the book and it doesn't negate the legitimacy of, for instance, ABA, but I just thought I'd mention it as a heads-up because this book can sometimes hurt one's feelings...not on purpose.

I do like her writing style. She is very down-to-earth. And she seems to love her son very, very, very much. She is also TIRELESS. This woman went through hell, especially with the seizures and hospital visits, and she seems to have felt all the pain her son felt. On many levels, I feel almost any parent of an autistic child will be able to relate to this book. I haven't finished reading it yet, but I cheated and read the last couple of pages and it turns out that Evan is never actually "cured"...once autistic, always autistic...but that his negative behaviors are improved, he speaks and is social, etc. So that I can handle. I'm nearly finished. I'll report back after.

Last edited by JerZ; 09-29-2007 at 11:33 PM..
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Old 09-30-2007, 03:22 AM
Location: Union County, NC
2,115 posts, read 6,442,714 times
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I would love to comment on Jenny McCarthy and autism but I think the comments detract from the original thread. Want to start a new one?

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