...Someone PLEASE stop her!!
Well, with the holidays & all, I have just now gotten back to checking out TACA and all those other websites I love so much (sarcasm, in case you missed it!). Well, I missed quite a morsel here!! It seems that Jenny McCarthy (yes, the one who is unsure if any adult autistics exist...the one that has her "PhD" from Google...the one who practically guarantees that autism can be "recovered," that one) is once again writing a book. This one, I presume, will be an all-out tell-all about how to "recover" or "cure" your child. It will, it seems, feature bunches and bunches of pictures of "recovered" children, or kiddos "in recovery."
This, of course, leads me to at least 100 questions. Like, what is recovery? What does "recovered" look like? Who decides which child is actually recovered? That's just the tip of the iceberg. I also then wonder, since these pictures are just sent in with a simple label of "recovered" or "in recovery," who can really verify any truth behind the pictures? Very curious, indeed. Very irresponsible, indeed. Yes, Jenny and TACA, what a very big impact it will make, to have page after page of "recovered' children, placed strategically in a book all about how to recover your child, and, I guess, "success" stories of recovery.
The pictures, the stories, the half-truths, the lies...will only add to the current disparagements about autism. For one, it will do absolutely nothing to help a single autistic adult. It will not improve the educational or career opportunities for autistics. It will not change society's view of autism, nor will it prevent further discrimination of autistic individuals, and it won't help ensure that every autistic person is afforded human rights. No, at best, it will lead to parents wiping out their bank accounts on snake oil and further TACA's agenda (and fatten their wallet). At worst, it will again further stigmatize autism, lead to more discrimination and defiling of autistic people. Even scarier, a book such as this could lead parents to stop at nothing to "recover" their child. We have seen what can happen when parents see autism as something to be stomped out, and become obsessed with a cure.
Here is the information from TACA's website:
Jenny McCarthy Seeks Photos
of All Children Affected by Autism
Remember the impact of seeing the stack of photos of recovered and in the process of recovery from Larry King Live? It's time to do that again – this time in book form.
Jenny McCarthy is looking for photos of children for her upcoming book on
recovered kids and kids in process of recovery. This includes all children on the autism spectrum that their families wish to participate.
It is my sincere hope that this book doesn't make it to print. Most especially if it is at all reminiscent of Ms. McCarthy's media blitz. The whole "I recovered my son from this dreadful thing that trapped him inside himself" with a bit of "you are only a good mother if your child can make the same amount of progress as mine," finished with a touch of "we shouldn't let autistic children grow up to be autistic adults." I'm fairly certain that no matter what efforts are made, it will still be published. But, I feel I must at the least let the publishers & author know my concerns. With any luck, the book will include at least one big disclaimer. Like this: DIETS, SUPPLEMENTS, OR ANY OTHER SUPPOSED "CURE" IN THIS BOOK WILL NOT WORK FOR EVERYONE; MANY CHILDREN HAVE TRIED SUCH THINGS, AND IT HAD ZERO EFFECT; WE DO NOT RECOMMEND BLOWING THROUGH YOUR LIFE SAVINGS FOR ANY OF THESE "TREATMENTS;" AUTISM IS NOT SOMETHING TO THINK OF WITH HATRED AND DISGUST, IT IS AND ALWAYS WILL BE A PART OF YOUR CHILD; MOST IMPORTANTLY, LOVE AND ACCEPT YOUR CHILD..." I'm sure I could think of a chapter's worth of disclaimers.
At any rate, I am off to start writing letters now. It is my right to let my voice be heard. This is something I am passionate about, and truly worried about. I don't know how any of us can really look at Katie McCarron's picture to the right, and not be fearful of the possible ramifications of this. Should you care to join me, here is some contact info:
The publisher is Dutton, a division/subsidiary of Penguin Group (USA) Inc. Of course, Jenny McCarthy is the author. The email, fax, & address associated with the pictures to be sent (& a possible point of contact here) in are as follows:
11812 San Vicente Blvd Suite 604
Los Angeles, CA 90049
Lastly, here is TACA's contact information:
P.O. Box 12409
Newport Beach, CA 92658-2409
Phone # 949-640-4401
Fax (949) 640-4424
You can google their website, if you want additional information on TACA or on this project.