Thursday, January 9, 2014

Autism on the "RADAR"

I admit it…I have a guilty pleasure.  Although I generally read scientific journals or textbooks, when I want to escape the heavy-duty study sessions, I read gossip sites.  There, I said it.  I’m not proud of it, but it is what it is.  So imagine my surprise last week when I clicked on RADAR online® and found a piece there entitled, “Changing Her View? Jenny McCarthy Abandons Controversial Position on Vaccines and Says Her Son May Not Have Had Autism After All!”.

Changing Her View? See what they did there? Jenny is a co-host on ABC TV’s “The View”. I get it--haha. Cute play on words, or it would be, except that is totally untrue and inflammatory and in my opinion is libelous.  Fortunately, Jenny McCarthy thinks so, too and has promised legal action. You go, girl!
Jenny and her son, Evan...who did in fact have autism, diagnosed by doctors at UCLA.
The piece said Jenny McCarthy no longer thinks her son, Evan ever had autism and she has “reversed her position” on vaccines.  This was based on a supposedly new interview with TIME magazine (no comment on the journalistic "integrity" of that publication) that was in fact a rehash of an article written almost four years ago in which an “expert”, who had never met Jenny nor examined Evan, diagnosed him with Landau-Kleffner syndrome.  That’s quite a feat—to diagnose someone you’ve never even laid eyes upon, unfortunately this is not an uncommon occurrence for celebrities.

I would guess the “reversal” in her vaccine position is due to her son supposedly never having had autism in the first place, ergo, vaccines had no part in causing his autism since he never had it to begin with! QED—it is least to gossip column standards, anyway.

I’ve never met Jenny McCarthy, I don’t watch “The View”, and honestly can’t remember anything I’ve ever seen her in, but I feel like I know her, and in a sense, she knows me, too. Those of us with severely autistic children share a profound experience. 

After Ryan was diagnosed and I heard all the doom-and-gloom prognoses for him, I decided there had to be something I could do. I went to and began searching for books about autism and bought Jenny’s book, “Healing and Preventing Autism: A Complete Guide”. The book was very readable and done through a series of interviews with a pediatrician who saw his child regress into autism after vaccines—yes, there are doctors who believe vaccines can play a role in autism. The book explained what had happened to my son’s immune system and how I could improve his quality of life. 
This book helped me to help put me on the road to what I hope will be his recovery.
Because of this book, I learned there was hope for Ryan and for other children with autism. I sought doctors who actually knew something about the condition and began supplements for Ryan. Is he cured? No. Is his condition better? Dramatically.

This because a celebrity whom I’ve never met was, through her financial means and mommy-bear drive, able to get answers for her son…and share them with those of us without seven-figure bank accounts.  

That is precisely why the comments I see regarding Jenny truly appall me. She has “blood on her hands”, is a common rant. Hyperbole, much? Some refer to her days as a Playboy bunny, as if this means she is stupid, or a “two-bit whore” to quote a so-called gentleman commenting on one of the many pieces I’ve seen written about her vaccine stance.  That might be one of the more polite comments I’ve read, too. People like to feel superior to others...they like to sound smart, so they throw around words and phrases without knowing what they really mean.

If your child received vaccines and had no reaction, I’m very happy for you. You were fortunate but some of us have not been so lucky. Of course, you may not attribute your child’s ADHD, allergies, diabetes, epilepsy, learning disabilities, etc. to vaccines.  Why would you when you’re constantly told how safe and effective they are? 

Most people discussing vaccines as mankind’s savior have never read a vaccine insert, never looked at government statistics regarding the decline of disease before widespread vaccination, nor read the vast body of literature of research into vaccine components and their neurotoxicity. These aren’t widely talked about because the cash cow that is vaccines must continue grazing unabated, while greener pastures in the form of new vaccines for just about everything you can think of are promoted. 
"Get your damn flu shot!", says the "good" Dr. Snyderman.
Fear-mongering rules the day. We have Dr. Nancy Snyderman on TV describing the flu as if it were Ebola and the vaccine, which is not particularly effective (last year 57% overall; 9% in people over 65 years of age—these are US government figures), as if it were mother’s milk.  In fact, we tell pregnant women not to have so much as a glass of wine while pregnant, but encourage them to get vaccines to “protect the fetus”. Check out a vaccine insert and you’ll find they say there is no data to suggest they are safe for pregnant women and they should be given in pregnancy only when clearly indicated. No one tells you that part do they?  Oh, and by the way, your doctor and the vaccine manufacturer have NO LIABILITY if you do have an adverse reaction. You will be left to deal with the painful and expensive fall-out.

To those of you who say we simply don’t remember how terrible these diseases were, I say you probably don’t know the answer to that, either. I have friends from Eastern Europe who are in their 30s who have had measles and mumps and say everyone there has had them—no big whoop; my father had measles as a child and told me it was simply something just about every kid caught and recovered from.  In fact, the presumption in the US is you have had measles if you were born before 1957. 
Measles--unpleasant, yes, but if you don't live in a third world country, odds are you will completely recover.
The fact is there can be horrible side effects to any disease—even the common cold, but those are the exception and not the rule. President Calvin Coolidge’s son died of an infection from a blister on his foot, but we don’t generally treat blisters as if they were an incurable plague, now do we?  Perhaps because we know more now about the nature of disease and how to treat it, we in modern countries don’t live in third world conditions, eat nutritious diets and generally live in a sanitary environment?

The prevalence of US kids with a developmental disability is 1 in 6...will it soon be 1 in 1?
A staggering 1 in 6 American children has a developmental disability—not my figure, folks. It’s the US government’s (from the CDC website at Why does this figure not horrify people as much as getting the freaking flu? 

Perhaps because you don’t see it plastered all over the news, which struggles for stories with a 24/7 news cycle to keep you tuned in…someone with the flu died!  This represents perhaps a millionth of a percent of the population, but we’re scared to death and run out for a flu shot, as if it provides meaningful protection. Washing your hands and taking vitamin C are better protective measures. And if you want something to be scared of, driving your car is a whole lot more dangerous, but you don’t give that a second thought.
But I digress…why do the media constantly try to badger us, scare us and belittle anyone who so much as questions the efficacy of vaccines? To those of you who quote what you heard on TV or read on a random site on the internet, I challenge you to google “adjuvants and neurotoxicity”—heck, look on the CDC’s website. You can find studies there describing the adverse effects of vaccine components, but the bet is you won’t. 

I, for one, thank Jenny McCarthy for sharing what she’s learned about autism and how to treat it, and for taking the constant flak she does on behalf of autism families. You don’t have to agree with her, or with me, but consider other opinions as a data point. 
It is easier just to accept what you hear on your own research, form your own opinions.

Investigate…research…and to quote one of my favorite comedians, question everything. Don't believe everything someone tells you just because s/he is wearing a white coat.
Smoking--it's healthy, right?  "Doctor" says so...
They've been known to be wrong before...

No comments:

Post a Comment