Having an autistic child is not the end of the world--far from it. It is my hope that through this blog, at least a handful of people will get to understand that. My child is amazing, she brings us tremendous joy. We have good days & bad days, but we CHOOSE to focus on the good. Our belief is that by loving our daughter, giving her the most comfortable environment we can, and by most of all accepting her differences, she will continue to blossom--in her OWN way.

1/25/08

Jenny Is Back On Her Typewriter...

...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:

recoveredkids@gmail.com
FAX 310-826-8020

Ashley Davis
11812 San Vicente Blvd Suite 604
Los Angeles, CA 90049


Lastly, here is TACA's contact information:

TACA
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.

4 comments:

Autism Reality NB said...

Maybe you can organize a petition to suppress her freedom of speech?

S.L. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
S.L. said...

Hmm...didn't even think of that! I'll get right on it!

Seriously, I am not about censorship, and I am all about protecting our freedoms. After reading your comment, I went back and re-read my entry. I added to my last paragraph, as I realized it did sound like I was wanting to suppress her (my passion got the best of me). Thank you for pointing that out to me. However, I also feel strongly that when it comes to the topic of autism, and "recovery", one should go forward with the utmost amount of caution.

On many of her television interviews, Ms. McCarthy showed very little restraint. She also informed us she'd never once met an adult autistic, seemed unsure if they even existed. For someone being interviewed by seemingly every media outlet, on a topic she claims to be quite an expert on, you would at least think she'd know more about autism and autistics. That's my 2 cents...more to come in some new blog entries.

kristina said...

vJust think of the research she must be doing.............. I think we know someone who may be sending in a photo. McCarthy has quite an industry going with all of her books.....