After several tense moments on Larry King (mostly Jenny, interrupting the sane members of the panel, yeah, she's a great public speaker), they introduced the Kirton family. They have 6 children who are all on the autism spectrum. Larry seemed disturbed by the fact that this couple continued to have children, he even asked that very question. He even seemed to throw in a little jab at Mormons.
They "keep having children" Larry King, because they LOVE children. They LOVE being parents. They LOVE their autistic children. That may be appalling or confusing to people who feel their autistic child kicked their butts, but indeed, this family actually loves having all of their beautiful, autistic children. Certainly, no one would tell this family to deny their deep-rooted religious beliefs. This, obviously, has been an important aspect for this family. We have freedom of religion in this country, and surely we can all agree that the Kirton family is afforded this freedom like the rest of us. It is cruel for any of us to judge this family.
Mom26children and her family have been subject to similar finger-wagging by those who feel they know better. Both families, by all accounts I have seen, genuinely love their children, acknowledge the challenges, battle through some tough times, and through it all they find happiness in their lives. I think this is why they are the focus of criticism. If the story was presented as these sad families, with multiple children on the spectrum, parents crying and pleading for help, lives out of control, I don't think there would be as much negativity. But when the media shows us a family who is making the best of things, with 5 or 6 autistic children, some groups shudder. It's awfully hard to argue how miserable your life is with your one autistic child, when a prime-time show has just profiled one of these families.
If one's main concern over the fact that either of these families has multiple children with autism is that they are a burden on society, that argument is off base too. Shall we put limits on how many children you may have based on income? Some families would struggle with 3 neurotypical children. Do we force them to be sterilized then, or have abortions should they become pregnant a fourth time? When it comes to families with autism, do we set a cap? Perhaps they can only have one subsequent child? What if that second child ends up not having autism, is this family allowed to have a third? What about families whose children have diseases, genetic disorders, etc? Shall we tell them also if and when they are allowed to get pregnant?
None of us have any right to judge these families or question their decisions. Personally, both are inspirations to me. I'm quick to say I "can't imagine how they do it." Yet at the same time, I know precisely how (some possible answers: love, acceptance, prayer). I applaud the Kirton family for stepping into the spotlight and telling the world their story (or, shall I say their 6 stories?). It was a nice contrast to have their video clips played during Larry King tonight.
The Kirtons are starting a foundation called AutismBites:
We are forming a non-profit, The AutismBites Foundation. We will be raising needed funds and passing them directly into the hands of Autistic parents for basic needs, home renovations to keep their children safe, for treatments and interventions to improve their children’s lives, etc... without a lot of red tape and hoops to jump through.On causes, Mr. Kirton added that he feels there is a spectrum of causes, just as autism itself is a spectrum. Bravo to you!
**edited to add several paragraphs after I accidentally published this before I was finished. Also, I want to say the title for this, was because of how this family presented themselves on Larry King. They RULE because of the love they show their children, and how they move forward every day (doesn't appear to be many pity parties going on there).
Applause to the doctors (Drs. Harvey Karp & David Tayloe ) who are also on the show, trying their best to reiterate that the REAL science, real data, shows not vaccine-autism connection. If I didn't think that Kirby & Jenny could cause real harm to families, this would be comical. Between their lack of understanding for autistic adults, mantra of "you can recover your child/vaccines are horrible" (I loved when the doctor asked Jenny which disease she'd like her son to have!!!), and their abuse of the public forum for what is really needed for autistics (ADULTS services!!!!), they irk me beyond belief.