June 22, 2012

I Support @JennyMcCarthy: Enter Blog Suicide

My post on why the Vogue editor’s "Top 10 don'ts of the summer" can bite me has been postponed due to controversy.  What? Controversy in the blogosphere?  Never.  I'm usually not one to partake; I think bloggers manipulate controversial topics for page views and attention oftentimes.  I usually steer clear and just write about dumb crap that you all read for some reason or another, thank you very much.

Today is not one of those days, however.  I may be committing blog suicide, followed by a mass blog and twitter un-following as well as a possible lynch mob.  I'm sure I'll receive some nasty comments, but I will publish them, because I'm ethical like that.  Before I explain the crux of the crusade here, a little background if you will.

My son of 5 is on the severe side of the Autism Spectrum, or, he has Autism.  I am a single mom with full custody and divorced.  I rarely write about Autism on this blog.  Not because it is not important, not because I haven't anything to say about it, not because I feel it would do no good.  Autism consumes my every waking moment.  I live it, breathe it, think about it, only second to my son to which I cannot compare.  My daughter of 7 has taken a back seat to Autism, not by choice, by necessity.  I read many Autism blogs and they are wonderful, inspiring and passionate.  Because my son has Autism, doesn't mean I have to write about it; this blog is my escape from Autism.

I have battled the last 4 years through a divorce, losing my home and everything I had, starting over by myself and learning how to parent by myself.  I could write about all the turmoil, the child support woes, the broken-ness of living with a gambler and drug addict, but I rarely do.  This blog is my escape from douche bags also.  Pardon my French.

I don't write about Autism and being a single mom because I don't want to complain.  NOW WAIT...I'm NOT saying every Autism blogger or Single parent blogger complains, NO!  I'm saying when I {I as in me, not you} write about it, that's what it sounds like to me.  I need to write more purposefully as not to come across as a victim of circumstance. Like it or not, this is my life, may as well enjoy it.   Perhaps that is a disservice to my readership.  It's my blog, my prerogative, I write for me.

I drive 3 hours a day to get my son to therapy.  I work full-time.  I pay the rent and the bills.  I make all the school plays and doctor appointments and meetings without respite.  I go to 4 grocery stores to meet my son’s gluten/dairy/soy free dietary needs and cook from scratch every day. I do this and go to bed at night without someone to talk to at the end of the day.  The emotional support is far and away the most important.  I do these things because I am my kids' Mom.  See all that doesn't sound fun to read.  I don't want sympathy.

Autism is a mystery.  Little is known about it, our children are guinea pigs when it comes to treatment.  To date, I do not believe there is a cure, although I am trying to cure my son.  I do believe there is treatment.  Hell, I'd do a naked rain dance in Times Square to make him better.  Since not every child with Autism is the same, not every child can be treated the same...see guinea pig.  You keep trying new things until you find what works for you.  "He's doing so good, or so much better" is not good enough.  Do we accept a little bit of cancer left?  No!  I'll keep fighting and trying new things until he makes a full recovery.  I will keep trying new things until my son has no signs of Autism and is considered and labeled, typically functioning in the areas of social and cognitive development, speech and motor skills; among others. I will continue biomedical treatment for my son because it works for him.  I have seen results for HIM.  Might not work for other kids, I'm not pushing it.  But for a child who hardly spoke, or smiled, or couldn't ride a bike, to transform in 6 months because of dietary changes, I'm a grateful believer. Here is a portion of Jenny's speech:

As we continued to talk about alternative treatments for our children, I noticed the room separating into two sides. We were no longer talking as a whole anymore. There was a group of moms who didn’t want anything to do with what we were talking about. They slumped into a corner and had a “woe is me” attitude. I decided to eavesdrop on both conversations.
The “woe is me” moms were talking about how they didn’t get to shop or go to the beach with their friends anymore, and the “I’ll try anything if it will help my kid recover” moms were trading success stories about the latest treatments.
And, later…
“My other theory was that they enjoyed the victim role. I know that might sound mean, but I’m sure you’ve met people who are constantly having shit go wrong in their life. They complain and play the “don’t you feel sorry for me” game.

You can view Jenny's speech, here, the victim portion in question begins at about the 6minute 50second part.



I could've been nicer on my t-shirt too.
Two months ago I received an email from a reader asking advice about how she could support her friend with a child on the spectrum.  And I quote the friend said, "sad, cries and acts like a victim".  This is before Jenny even opened her mouth.  Could Jenny have said this better?  Of course.  God only knows if I had every word I said scrutinized and published, I'd be hated by bazillions.  But she is doing something.  She has a platform and people are listening.  She sees improvement in her child and wants to shout it from the rooftops.  Thanks to her voice, I have seen miracles in my son.  1 in 88 kids has Autism, the rates are increasing and we don't know why.  She says vaccines may be one of the causes.  WE DON'T KNOW WHAT CAUSES AUTISM, so let’s talk about it, debate it, voice our opinions, get people fired up about it and bring change.  We can hand hold and support each other as much as we want {and that is necessary} but it isn't changing anything.  Insurance companies are pulling coverage; some states don't even cover Autism services.  It costs $80,000 a YEAR to send my son to Autism Day Treatment.  They take 12 kids in the program, TWELVE!  I'm blessed, and know a hundred people that would scrimp sell a kidney {got one to spare?}and pay that much to send their child too.

Here's where I get crucified:  I can see what Jenny was saying.  When are we going to wake up and do something drastic?  This is an epidemic. Just accepting some therapy is good enough and what our undereducated doctors say  is just a band-aid.  She wants us to do something.   At least that's how I see it.  Might not make me popular, but I've never really been one to care too much about what other people think.

I think there are plenty of idiots in this world.  But I would hope there are many more that are not.  I knew next to nothing about Autism when my son was diagnosed at age 2, so I did my research.  Bets are 99% of parents would educate themselves after diagnosis.  For every one person that mindlessly follows Jenny McCarthy without doing their research, there are 2 more people who will tell you she is an idiot and doesn't know what she's talking about without having tried any biomedical treatments.  Neither of those do any good.  I happen to agree with some of the treatments she advocates.  I am also aware she is not a doctor.  I do also think half the doctors that practice are not God, do what they are told and are drug pushers.  So do yourself a favor and make an informed decision for yourself, bandwagons on either side of the road are not necessities in life. I have more respect for those who are bold and follow their own educated path; even if our viewpoints differ.

I respect the time and energy she gives to Autism.  I respect the time and energy all the parents, caregivers and therapists give to Autism.  I don't respect name calling, by either side.  By Jenny for "victim Moms" or the backlash of the parents sinking just as low and calling her names or joining "I hate Jenny" pages. 

I love the Autism community.  They are my rock.  They are also divided.  This is nothing new.  Divide us as you will, ABA vs. DIR, Biomedical vs. 'medical', Intensive therapy vs. non-intensive.  In the community, we just learn to get along.  We know we are all doing our best for our kids.  It's hard for all of us.  We all love our kids.  I know from being on Facebook and Twitter, most of our grief comes from close friends and family who don't understand or care enough to support or educate themselves.  So we have to agree to disagree on some things and do whatever it takes to eradicate the real villain...Autism.  I don't want a 1 in 9 number in 2022.  It's going to take more than t-shirts and walk-a-thons.  {Which reminds me, Autism parents you should research the corrupt organizations Speaking about Autism and see how much money they really make contribute, another rant entirely.}

Because we differ on therapeutic interventions for Autism, doesn't make me better than someone who doesn't.  But good enough is not good enough for my son.  Why wouldn't you try, just try, anything to make your child's life easier?

I appreciate and welcome your comments and debate.  Please be discreet or I'll have to get all meanie-pants on yo ass.

52 comments:

  1. I think this is a really well written post.

    I am not a parent with a child who is on the spectrum so it most certainly is not my place to add to the different treatment discussions.

    My issue with Ms. McCarthy is that she says that vaccinations caused her son to develop autism. Not that she believes they did but that the DID. There is a huge difference there.

    Sadly, her celebrity has made her belief, that she states as fact, become commonly accepted and has led to a great deal of confusion and misinformation circulating about.

    Creating awareness is one thing and it is a very important thing but spreading beliefs as fact is a totally different thing . . . a very damaging thing.
    Jenn

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  2. Thanks Jenn. Vaccines are a tricky issue. I believe yes, they do trigger Autism, it depends on the individual. I don't think that they "cause" it. I do not vaccinate my children anymore because I think vaccines triggered my son's Autism, among other things. I have clearly visible video showing loss of language, etc. His poor little body cannot break down or rid itself of some of the junk, like metals {aluminum}, he can't even break down some proteins or gluten.

    I would get my kids vaccinated again in a nano second if they cleaned up the vaccines and reduced the schedule. Our kids are over-vaccinated, and they are full of dangerous toxins used to preserve the vaccine. Not getting your kid vaccinated because you think it will cause Autism is not right, I would say a lesser vaccine schedule is called for as well as the dependence of some genetic factors, etc.

    Again, research is key, not just jumping on the bandwagon, I agree that can be dangerous.

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    1. Absolutely well-written and thoughtful.
      We all have our process we have to go through in life, and some of us definitely need to play victim at times. I behaved like a victim when we first moved to CA from my hometown in MI, SO FAR away from my daughters in NY & FL. I guess for me it was part of my grieving process. A year and a half later, I'm not a victim anymore; I took control, became a warrior and started my blog/website West Coast Posse.
      Something I haven't talked about there, is the fact that my son was damaged by vaccines, as well. And yes, I say fact. Because I observed it. Because I DIDN'T let them do the HepB at birth, I had the opportunity to get to know my baby with no toxins on board, other than the ones he got from me. After his two month visit, when they stuck him 5 times with about 8 different things, I observed him have a head tremor. Being sleep deprived and addle-brained, I wasn't sure anything really happened, and it didn't happen again. Until after his four month visit. Same vaccination protocol, after which he had TWO episodes of head tremor. He was nursing and falling asleep, just as before, and I gently held his head and the tremor moved into his arm & hand. I never even went back to that pediatrician because they had a policy in their office that they didn't take patients who refused immunization. He was the same doctor who had taken care of both our grown daughters, so this broke my heart. So yeah, my son hasn't had another vaccination since.
      I agree that vaccinations can prove to be the tipping point that puts kids who are at risk over the edge. The key will be discovering what those risk factors could possibly be, besides being male.
      I'm extremely interested in the protocol that recommends high doses of probiotics, because of the gut issues that seem to effect so many of these kids.
      My son has not been diagnosed on the spectrum, however he has attention issues and struggled in school until this year (3rd grade--magical teacher who believed in him and had very high expectations that he blessedly rose to). We were gluten free/dairy free/yeast free from my 2nd trimester of pregnancy because of research I did during my battle with infertility (a little of which I describe at GlutenNaziMom), and feeling that my husband needed to be gf due to his ulcerative colitis (however resistant he was at the time). Behavior- & performance-wise, it's obvious our efforts have only helped him, as well as several months spent in neurofeedback therapy.
      As far as Jenny goes, I think it's important to remember that clearly this is an ongoing dialog she's had with her audience over a period of time. When one video is taken out of context, and you add the swearing (and yeah, hating her for her spectacular non-saggy boobs!), etc., it's easy for it to be promoted as inflammatory. But isn't that part of the point? It can ONLY be beneficial if her celebrity (any attention is good attention, when you're an attention whore, which pretty much defines celebrity, right?) GETS PEOPLE TALKING about it, instead of whispering behind their hands and behind closed doors. I believe, had we continued vaccinating, my son would have absolutely added to the mortifying autism spectrum statistics.
      One in 88--THAT's and epidemic if there ever was one. But the only people talking about it now are those affected by it. The rest of us are simply holding our collective breaths hoping it doesn't find our children.
      So yeah. Go, Jenny, and bless your heart, I think your shirt ROCKS, as does this blog. I'll be sharing it.

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  3. wow! very well written post. very nice.

    i don't know what to say. think we live in a very divisive time. where people are unable/unwilling to hear the other side. it's a shame, really.

    we all have our crosses to bear. how we deal with them, makes us who we are. it sounds like you bear yours well. you have my utmost respect.

    your label: "wish I had Jenny's boobs" hilarious.

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    1. It's true, I do wish it! You said it so well, Jman. We do all have our own "stuff". There is no one who walks this Earth that doesn't have a cross to bear in some respect. But yes, what do we do with it? Lots of crappy stuff has happened in my life, but it has shaped me and I am happier being on the other side of it.

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  4. Very well written, and although I have no knowledge at all of Autism, I agree that people need to do their own research. I have said this numerous times for numerous issues/causes. STOP jumping on bandwagons and following each other blindly. In re: the JM debate...I think for a cause as important as Autism research, it is a terrible shame for all who are actually on the same side to be fighting each other. To me, she did not say "YOU, Autism MOM, are playing the victim card" she's saying to those that are, get your heads out of your asses and do something. You can't say there isn't at least one mom who doesn't fit what she's describing. I am disappointed in the energy that is wasted on attacking her or forming FB pages or whatever else people think will get them some attention. IMAGINE what you could do for autism if you put that energy into ...autism. And thanks for touching on the "organizations". For every cause there are a million orgs and charities that people throw money at that don't do a damn thing for the cause. RESEARCH...And also, you are awesome. Just saying.

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    1. Thanks girl, and thanks for letting me vent to you about my frustrations on the topic. The bandwagon jumpers kill me. Grrr. Be educated before you speak, that is how we will get things accomplished. To see your child get well is a miracle, why wouldn't you want to spread that? What she advocates is no miracle cure, but let's lift each other up instead of pulling each other down. The blogs and pages calling her a bitch and brainless make the Autism community look classless. This battle is a no win. Yeah, don't get me started on the organizations, one of the major Autism orgs is about the worst out there, sadly.

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    2. A thoughtful, interesting post. As a psychologist and the mom of a lovely little boy with Autism (Moderate), I agree with Jenn's comment, however. The power and influence of celebrity cannot be underestimated (just recall the 1938 War of the Worlds radio broadcast, where seemingly intelligent people feared an invasion from martians). I particularly have a problem with a celebrity with no health credentials speaking so publicly about her truth. Fair or no, celebrity means influence and needs to be used with more caution, in my view.

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    3. Good point, Alicia. But are we upset because it is just so radical? You probably know as a parent of a child with Autism that Autism still carries many stigmas & un-acceptance, that is because people don't know about it. We are {higher in my opinion} at a 1/88 kid statistic and most people think "Rainman" when they hear Autism. Her voice is giving Autism attention, attention that Autism gravely needs. If a celebrity gets cancer, they may publicly speak about their treatment, what worked for them, even what may have caused it and they have no medical credentials. I guess until we definitively know what causes Autism, it's anybody's guess.

      Thanks so much for your comment. I didn't mean this reply to come off as 'Preachy' to you, I just can't get off my soapbox today.

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    4. I was looking for the like button^!! Here, here!

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  5. I also disagree that grieving or "sobbing" means being a victim. To me, it means processing what can be devastating news and possibly mourning what "might have been". To me, it's not either/or. One can grieve/sob AND seek help. Okay, enough from me! ; )

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    1. Absolutely. After diagnosis there is definitely a grieving process. For me it was also a relief, relief that I had a name to give the behaviors I was seeing and further instruction and guidance on how to help my kiddo.

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    2. I agree with you completely about the relief. For me it was like finally (finally!) there was a name to the tornado that seemed to keep picking up my little boy and throwing him about. So much worse to not know, I think.

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  6. Well Written post ! Don't know much about autism, but getting motivated to learn after this post. Have a nephew who is autistic. All I can say is if I had a give a " Strong and Sane Mom" award it would be you ! Good stuff and your kids are going to be tough strong kids with you parenting them. Kids learn from parents so You Go Girl !!

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    1. Thanks, Sue. I think there are a lot of Mama's out there that deserve that award, autism or not. Let me know if you have any questions about Autism, I'd be happy to help. Just understanding what makes these kids tick is a good start.

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  7. I am all for supporting each others' choices. Your choice is your choice, and I absolutely respect that. I think there needs to be WAY more of that in the community. I just wish Jenny felt the same. She's judging, too.

    Also, her kid doesn't have autism.

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    1. Yep, I agree, both sides need to be supportive, Jenny included. I hate when we all turn on each other.

      Hope I'll be able to say that about my kid someday too.

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  8. Very insightful post. I have not personally experienced autism, but had a brother who was handicapped. Educating people about how to treat him/what he needed was always the challenge. I agree with you that every family has to learn what they can, embrace what works for them, and not criticize others if they choose differently. In a perfect world. I suspect, but don't know, that critical/angry parents are resentful that a particular method does not help their child, so they criticize. It's easier than facing the fact that their child might not be helped. I encourage you in your struggle, your daily life. God bless your family. BTW, I gave you an award yesterday...if it's too much to follow up on it, just paste the badge and be proud! You deserve it.

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    1. Thanks so much, for the comment, thoughts and award. I will check it out. Thanks for sharing about your brother as well. The Autism community is so large, yet so divided on so many things. We need to focus on educating and research. I know that many parents have said they feel like a failure if they don't try biomedical intervention or if it hasn't worked for them. I've tried many things that didn't work for my son too. At the heart of it all, we love them, that is what they need most.

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  9. What a great post Cari!!! I must admit I am not particularly a fan of JM. Having said that I do believe there are always multiple sides to every story.

    I do think it's all about doing what you think/feel is right and will work best for your child and family. That's how we have always approached things with Riley. No one way but a whole bunch of what-ever-worked ways.

    Nice job! Diane

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    1. Thanks Diane for your undying support always! See, even though we differ on our views of JM, we aren't having a brawl! Can't we all just get along?

      Super duper lucky to know you in the blogosphere and twitterverse, you are an amazing Mamma to R.

      I do a whole bunch of finger crossing too;) {Straws anyone???? lol}

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    2. Was that a subliminal "virtual hug" you were sending me??? LOL!

      Absolutely...like you said, let's just all learn to play nice and get along. As long as we all do what we think is right by our kids...what more can you ask for.

      Thank you for your kind words! Means a lot.

      D

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  10. Yes, Yes, Yes....and music therapy and Love all around.
    I just got back from Florida...accordions..mini keyboards ...and singy songs.....It cures everything that's not right with the world at the moment.... :)

    Aunt Gladys is a lot like you...or you like her....she'll tell you where she stands on every subject. I think that's why I respect you so much...you remind me of her! She's awesome just like you are!

    Keep it up girl! Luv ya!

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    1. Yes, and music therapy....can I get an amen for that amazingness!

      Well, I think that is one of the nicest compliments ever to be compared to Aunt G. She is a extraordinary lady! Thanks for your love and support;)

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  11. You are an amazing strong mom and a very wise beautiful soul. I admire your strength and dignity to the moon and back. Love you!

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    1. Well all of those lovely things right back atcha! You are making me blush Shzelly! Love you, hugs!

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  12. I immersed myself in biomedical. I ate, slept an breathed it. We traveled to one state for secretin infusions from one doctor and another state for visual/spacial therapy from another....a third state for a sensory/motor guru. I had a dietician who sold me tiny $100 bottles of this serum to develop brain function or that syrup to improve liver function. Mustn't forget the homeopathic RN on call from AZ since our son is intolerant of everything under the son. In one year, we dropped $35,000...and our son still has autism.

    I don't regret it. At least I tried, and although I don't think it worked for him doesn't also mean that I take a seat in the victim camp. I don't think it is "either" "or". I don't think you do, either.

    Diet has been and still remains the key factor for our older son. Although on the severe end of the spectrum, his outlook in life would be so bleak had we not been in tune to alternative treatments. I hope one day, we all power through this and find more answers.

    BTW, Cari, we're free of gluten, casein, corn, soy, egg and nuts. I live in the kitchen, and I don't work outside of our home. You are such a great mom.

    Thanks for this post.

    Amy

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    1. Bless your heart, what do you eat? That scares me, because I think I could probably take egg out of the mix too, but can't bring myself to try it yet. I should have mentioned above indeed how expensive biomedical is and that insurance covers squat of it. I spend close to $75 a month on supplements alone. When our families are already paying out the wazoo for therapy, it is hard to find the extra funds for B12 shots and so on. {we don't} We have seen a DAN doctor but I cannot afford to follow the complete protocol. I know JM tries hard with scholarships and so on, but you are right, when our kids have allergies to EVERYTHING, it costs a mint to get even a mulit-vitamin they can take. Having them take is a whole other issue entirely. I just do what I can when I can a little at a time.

      You are an amazing mom and writer, I totally look to you for guidance.

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    2. Couldn't we write (yet another) book on all of this???

      The specially formulated vitamins, because his gut cannot digest ones that are commercially made. Plus, he can't digest every vitamin out there. Also, when you are doing a liquid compound, the medium across which you deliver that vitamin isn't always tolerated. Son of a gun, it is enough to drive you to the brink of insanity. You pay a million dollars for a bottle of vitamins just to keep your child healthy only to find that he doesn't digest the first 1/4 teaspoon. Shoot me.

      When your child is on a restricted diet due to intolerances, the trick is to then make sure he doesn't restrict his diet due to autism/sensory issues. As the years go by he can tend to get used to his textures/tastes and self limit. We fell into that trap. Our son eats very little variety where he used to be great.

      This diet costs a fortune. This life costs a fortune. As a parent, it is very hard to draw the line because of money when you feel you are saving your child. It's heartbreaking.

      BTW, did my response post three times? lol. I did it on my phone, checked back and saw it in triple form. I was hoping it was a glitch. Hope so. Sorry if not.

      God bless your little, hard-working heart, Cari. You are one in a million!

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    3. It did post thrice;) Probably because it was worthy of saying 3 times! I did delete the two copies, that was the only commentary I did delete though. I was fully expecting some back lash here but people are very discreet.

      As restrictive as the diet can be, I find my son eats better and more variety with that than other children in his class who will eat corndogs and mac & cheese. I'm super lucky. We deal with some sensory issues where food is concerned, but now it is becoming more of an OCD thing than sensory. Never.Ending.

      Amy, you are amazing yourself, my friend.

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  13. Really great post! I am not a fan of Jenny - but in my early days of my son's diagnosis, I read all of her books. Hell - I bought those dvds. Which my son loved and they really worked for him.

    I do understand your point of view.

    We don't have to agree with each other. But we do need to respect each other's point of view.

    Lisa

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    1. Thanks Lisa. I agree fighting each other won't make anything better. I WANT to be, no, I AM happy for anyone whose child improves. When our emotions and the people most precious to us are hurting and we can't make them well, it hurts. Most of us are in survival mode as is, sometimes it's just hard to get through the day. Thanks so much.

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  14. AnonymousJune 22, 2012

    You have gained one follower, and if you lose any they are the ones missing out. I will say this about biomedical, it hasn't "cured" my daughter. BUT she is is able to stay awake and focused while at her ABA center. Her school is 60k a year and it would be wasted 1:1 therapy with out biomedical intervention. it improved her by 15%-25% in my view. I am not psycho about it but I do what I can. I cant wait to for gf/cf/corn free in the coming weeks and see if there are any improvements. I will not rest till my daughter with moderate to mild autism is independent. I can see where is Jenny is coming from with the poor me comments. I could go into a whole rant about that but that would be judgment in/on a life I do not live. So I will refrain from diving into that pool.

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    1. Thank you. I suppose I had fully expected the worst. After this hit the blogs, I read many and commented on a few. The bloggers were just name calling, I didn't see the point of that other than to vent. If anyone in the commentary disagreed in any way, they were fed to the wolves. I am happy to find that there are those of us who can discuss this without four letter words or mud-slinging.

      I agree, any little bit helps. If my kiddo has something with soy he becomes angry and aggressive. It is well worth it not to have it than to deal with that. Good luck to you and your kiddo!

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  15. This is a great post. After my son was diagnosed at age 6 two years ago I started to educate myself. The first thing I did was get my son into private therapy. We joined our local support group and I won a copy of Louder Than Words. The book is excellent. We started GFCF because of that book and my son's GI issues. Jenny has done amazing work for the autism community but I do not agree with her Victim mom point of view. I do not think name calling helps anyone. Respect should be given because we all have children with autism. I wish she would remember that before she said anything.

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    1. I agree, I don't think that she should have said that, although I understand it...I don't condone it. Generalities never go over well. I'm sure she gets put through the ringer quite a bit though. Glad to hear the diet is working for your son. I found after putting him on the diet, I do have some adverse affects to dairy as well. Of course I love cheese too much to quit it, but it does put me in a cheese coma.

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  16. I'm glad you linked this post from FB, since I'm absent from the blogosphere at the moment (I'm coming back someday). I love everything you wrote here. Also, on a more personal note, I know G has had some setbacks, but I would not move him over to the "severe" side. He was doing great everytime I saw him this week. You're a great mom.

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    1. Thanks G! He had such a good time this week and you and the crew did an AMAZING job! He is loving the music, still. Honestly, when he was diagnosed he was a "severe". Would I categorize him as severe now? No. But I guess that is habit due to the insurance purposes. {whole other rant there} He still has some severe markers in some sensory/OT and social development, but nothing like it was. Was so good to see you this week, I've missed BLH.

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  17. While I don't have experience with Autism other than thru your posts, my nephew has Diabetes (the 4-shots-a-day kind), & I find it interesting how similar are the debates in differing treatments. I think women are so ready to be mad --- particularly when there is actually something to be mad ABOUT, such as an ill or dysfunctional child --- they are ready to lash out at anyone. My sister homeschools her son, & tells me that there are actually fights between differing camps over what constitutes a "real" homeschooler. Breast or bottle --- yet another battle between women. Natural versus medically assisted; stay-at-home-mom versus works-full-time-outside-the-home mom. WTF??? All these women, clearly doing what they think is best for their child, because (most) moms loves their babies... yet they fight & bicker & argue over the stupidest shit.

    I'm sorry --- I didn't mean to hijack your post here. I just wanted to tell you I agree --- people need to drop their megaphones & join hands (Jesus that sounds so hinky!!!). "Can't we all just get along?" ... especially when it's for the kids!?

    BTW, you're like the BEST mom ever & I feel like a louse in comparison. Wish you lived closer to me cuz I'd come over & help you like ALL THE TIME, girl. Best I can offer from afar is my everlasting love, & virtual (((hugs))), & my witty (heh) support. xoxo

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    1. Thanks, Andi. I will take the virtual hugs and support anytime;) I feel ya up there. Society or people, generally speaking, tend to get defensive about those issues because those are about their kids. All of us want to think, and do think, and are for the most part, doing what we feel is the absolute best for them. When that comes under "attack" we feel insecure about our choices, wrong or right, and we attack back. That is a human defense mechanism. I think it takes more courage to meet in the middle than to tell them they are wrong. Thanks as always for a great comment!

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  18. Haven't heard JM's speech. Don't have time to listen to it this week.
    But, I think your analysis and conclusions about how it and the controversy raised can be used to remind people that we need to band together to accomplish great things and to overcome issues, particularly those that affect our kids, is well put and timely.
    Most of my pack has special needs of one kind or another. I've noticed in spending time researching, attending lectures and classes,etc to determine how to best treat my kids' issues, that there is always the two camps, also. Sadly, some people refuse to move out of the "Poor me" camp and into the "Let's work our arses off to beat this thing" camp. Those people tend to be like that in every area of their lives, not just with respect to the issues their children have. It's sad for them. It's sadder for their children.
    Good for you, Cari, for doing what you believe is best for your kids!

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  19. This is such a well written post Cari. As neither a guardian to a child with autism or a mother at all, I have no right to discuss this subject in the slightest. I did however, spend 4 years working closely with autistic children - and from that I would say that individual research from parents is so important. Obviously a lot of people have an issue with Jenny McCarthy stating "facts" about vaccines which a lot of people are taking as truth because of her celebrity status - I can see their point, but I think any parent of a child with autism who takes their information on the subject from one source, (be that one celebrity or one doctor) is going to be misinformed either way. Also I do think a lot of parents play the victim card - there is a need for support but you can't support someone who never wants to look at the good in their life.

    Neither you, nor Jenny has pointed anyone out and said "you're playing the victim" or "your way is wrong" - so if someone chooses to be offended then that's their problem.

    Brilliant post xx

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    1. Thanks, Scarlett. It is easy to play a victim in any facet of our lives, not just in reference to Autism, if people around us enable it and if we feed off of it. Poor me works the same way. I suppose there is a grey area where venting and victim teeter. Another post entirely.

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  20. Cari, is it possible to love you even more? I could not have done a better job if I had tried for a week! Yes, you have taken a big risk by talking about Jenny McCarthy! And, I fully admit I have been too chicken to even entertain a post like this.

    To be honest, I don't fully understand why she is SO VERY controversial. Don't we have better things to do with our lives than be catty about her? Can't we just all agree to have different opinions and move on with our lives? I will never understand how we in the autism community can be so divisive when we are all on the same side. We are, aren't we? With some of the crazy debates raging about this, it seems that autism families are on opposite ends of the universe. But, in my opinion, it's not about any of the other crap we muddy the waters with. We just all want to be good parents for our child (or children) with autism. And in our own ways, we try our best...I would hope.

    Autism looks different for every single kid who has it. Why shouldn't the way we approach it? There's about a zillion different things we as parents can try if we are looking to make a different in our child's symptoms of autism.

    Some will try 1, 2 or several things, like therapy, vitamins or the GFCF diet. Some will be on the cutting edge of science and will know more about autism than any doctor in their state. Some will see results and improvements in their child and some will not. Some will try anything and don't even understand the research, or the lack therof. Some don't want to label their kid and choose not to do anything other than respect where they are at. Some can't get past the dreams they had for their child and mourn the loss of that dream, launching them into a very deep, dark depression and they simply cannot do anything - for themselves or their children. And, there are many other ways to parent a child with autism...

    You have my utmost respect for writing this post, being honest about your feelings, and not deliberately alienating anyone in the process. You are entitled to your opinion and I truly respect it. I also agree with it!

    Once again, you rock.

    -Angela (aka Caffeinated Autism Mom)
    www.caffeinatedautismmom.com

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    1. Well we could have written a co-post about this because you said everything I wanted to say in 3 paragraphs and it took me a never-ending post! I suppose this is why I read your blog...which is where I'm going right now.

      Thanks as always for your support and friendship!

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  21. I love when you share things about autism. I learn so much from these type of posts and other blogs. You're right, the numbers are growing everyday. Just because someone doesn't have a child with autism now, it doesn't mean they wont. If that's the only reason we educate ourselves and join in the fight with those of you who live it, then that's a start. You made a great point of not being satisfied with just a little cancer left and looking at autism the same way. I hadn't looked at it that way before. I don't hear any "feel sorry for me" type of lingo coming from you at all when you talk about living with autism. The truth is the truth. As long as that's what you're giving - I'll be reading.

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    1. I love that! It is a scary world and staggering statistics, looking away and ignoring it will not make the problem go away. Neither will the Autism Community turning on each other. At the heart of it, these are precious kids that we just want well.

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