Celebrities on Autism: All for Better Book Sales?

Photo by Stephen Shugerman/Getty

First Denis Leary's comment from his book that autistic kids are really "just stupid. Or lazy. Or both," a product of "inattentive mothers" and "competitive dads." (He says his statements were taken out of context).

Now comes Jenny McCarthy claiming in Us Weekly that her 6-year-old son has "recovered" from autism. She, too, has a recent book out called "Mother Warriors: A Nation of Parents Healing Autism Against All Odds."

As you can imagine, our mom members have a few words of their own to add.


Sure, many are piping mad at Leary. But most chalk it up to another ill-informed celeb running their mouth to get attention.

In a journal post, Alynn74 writes: "I have no problem taking the label that I'm a bad parent. But it pisses me off when people attack kids like my kids. Drawing attention to his ignorant comments isn't going to get anything but more people buying his book. As my husband put it--Just let it go. We know the truth. Some jackass's opinion isn't going to change that.

But back to Jenny--she claims that her son, Evan, has recovered from autism, due mostly to a dairy-free, wheat-free diet. Here's how she tells it in a CNN.com essay last April:

"There are some who wonder what me mean when we say recovering from autism. They confuse the word recover with cure. While you may not be able to cure an injury caused in a terrible car accident, you can recover; you can regain many skills that you once lost. In the case of autism, we think there are treatments that often bring about such healing."

dmsfr, owner of the Autism/Asperger's/PDD Awareness Group, mom of an autistic child, and also a psychologist, is reserving judgement for the time being.

"Only she knows if she is being honest and time will tell, as well. As kids on the spectrum get older, their behaviors change. They either continue to adapt to social norms and do well or they become socially more awkward and the social gap will widen."

But dmsfr does take issue with McCarthy's oversimplification. For dmsfr's own son, eating is a social event that helps him become more outgoing. She would never dream of forbidding him from eating "boy food" like pizza and ice cream.  

"I think that if it were JUST that simple for ALL kids on the spectrum, every mom would be shopping differently. A one size fits all cure is not what works. There are a host of different events that can cause a trauma to the child's body that would lead to autism. There is research that says it is caused by vaccines, prematurity, genetics, cell phones and a host of other things. My opinion stands that there is more than one trauma that will cause a diagnosis of autism and get us all to this one point: How do we help our kids become a functioning part of society?"


Only CafeMom members can vote on polls.
Sign up for an account or Click here to log in.

Total Votes: 0

Read More >