A rant from a mommy with an autistic child.
An article came out in Time magazine (in 2010 by the way) stating that Jenny McCarthy’s son doesn’t really have autism. It goes on to call her corn-fed looking and put her down in what I’m sure they persevere as tactful. I think the point of the article was to state that she was irresponsible to advocate anti-vaccinations but I didn’t take the time to finish reading it. The internet has blown up in the last few days with its opinion on this woman and why she is horrible for advocating and scaring parents about vaccines.
A blog that doesn’t deserve a name drop popped up on facebook bashing her and has been re posted several time. She is being called irresponsible, ignorant, “a menace to public health” and recklessness.
I am Jenny McCarthy.
I have a 7-year-old daughter who has autism. Well, that’s what she was diagnosed with at the age of 3 and that’s what we believe in our hearts is what she has. Maybe years down the road they’ll find something different in her and tell me that it was never autism but rather something totally different. In the mean time I will advocate for her autism. I will fight for her to have every advantage in life that she can. I will defend, protect and raise awareness at every opportunity.
Jenny’s son was diagnosed with autism by a doctor. I’m pretty sure that she took him to one of the best doctors she could find. She is most likely not limited in resources, choices in doctors, locations of doctors and the many other factors that most of us are so I can only imagine that her son was diagnosed by one of the best.
She didn’t go into a state of denial and hide her sons diagnoses like I have seen so many parents do, mostly out of shame. She didn’t try to pass her son off as “normal” (whatever that is) because she was in the public eye.
She bulldozed any and every obstacle she thought was in her sons way so that she could give him the best chance at life possible. She also wanted, like most parents with autistic children do, to know what “caused” her son to be this way. That’s a momma bear defending and protecting her child, not a reckless mother.
Millions of people believe that vaccinations cause autism. I’m not one of them. My daughter is an identical twin out of a set of triplets. They’ve all been vaccinated at the same time, by the same vaccinations and on the same schedule. She’s the only one with autism and her identical shares the same DNA. No argument can convince me that vaccinations cause autism. I believe that my daughter is simply wired differently. I believe that God created her exactly the way she is supposed to be and I believe that we are all autistic…but that’s another blog post all together. That doesn’t mean that I think Jenny is a moron for advocating for years that they do. I’m sure she talked to several doctors, did tons of research and believed that on some level these shots were harming our kids.
Does that make her reckless and a menace to society? No, that makes her a mother that was doing whatever she could to fight for her son and all the other children that she thought were being affected. That makes her a mother that had a loud voice and used it to her sons advantage. If mothers based their decisions for their children’s lives and future on what a celebrity said instead of doing the research themselves then that make them the reckless parents not Jenny.
Why do we believe the article? Why do we believe the sloppy blog post by some random guy that has no idea what the truth is? Jenny tweeted to clear things up a bit but we love the controversy so most of us will cling to the article and continue to fuel the mess.
If you have never had to face hearing a diagnosis of your child that you never expected then go ahead and bash her. If you have always handled everything in life with perfection and do not carry a single flaw then go ahead and bash her. If you have absolutely perfect children mentally and physically then go ahead and bash her. If you have never struggled to make sense of something that is out of your control then go ahead and bash her. If you have never had a single fear for your child and their future then go ahead and bash her. Other than that, zip your lips.
Mother to mother I commend you for doing whatever it takes to stand up for your child and for using your voice to try to advocate for the things you think might be harming our children. We might not see eye to eye on vaccinations but we most definitely see eye to eye on plowing over every speed bump our children come across. If I had a voice as loud as yours I would be using it at every turn and no one would be able to silence me when it came to fighting for my little girl. You are not the irresponsible one in all of this. The irresponsible party is the one who writes a deceiving article or blog that twist things in a way that society will cling to and create controversy and more readers for themselves. God bless you and your son. I pray that you find all of the answers that you need to help him excel and that you continue to use your voice to stand up for him and for what is in your heart.
– A fellow mommy of a special needs child.