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.

6/4/08

The Whole Green Mess...

I've been busy lately. You can tell, as I've been absent from my blog. I had even forgotten what today was. We were headed to Speech Therapy when the ABC radio reporter issued a brief statement about the rally. I called my husband to see if he had seen any coverage on the T.V. This evening, I searched and searched, but could not find a single morsel. The majority of the coverage was on the presidential race.

This particular clip of the whole "rally" seemed utterly surreal (it's from ET Online, go figure). That's all I'll say, you judge for yourself.

What I heard Jenny say was how 10 vaccines still have mercury in them (in the guise of thimerosal, Big Bad Pharma at it again). She said how it's right there on the FDA website. I had to immediately check it out (TEN vaccines??!!??). Well, this is, I presume, the page she refers to. I'm baffled. It's late, so I could be wrong...but I don't get how it adds up to 10. Well, I take that back. Yes, there are several vaccines that contain trace amounts of thimerosal (which, would then contain trace amounts of mercury, so in the vaccine, you are getting trace amounts of trace amounts of a preservative). However, it's declared as if your child is getting TEN vaccines with mercury. No, that's not the case. If you look at Table I, you will see that of the "vaccines routinely recommended for children 6 years of age and younger," only one particular brand of DTaP (Tripedia) contains trace amounts (≤0.3 µg Hg/0.5mL dose) and that the other vaccine is for influenza (which, has thimerosal-free versions, FluZone thimerosal free and FluMist). Both vaccines are available in thimerosal-free formulations. There is a second table, with a list of additional vaccines, such as Japanese Encephalitis (containing 0.007%), that our children do not typically receive. On that table, the highest percentage of thimerosal content was 0.01%. Startling. I thank Jenny for sharing such a valuable resource with all of us.

There was also this picture, courtesy of the Chicago Tribune. Now, I'm all for showing affection for your sweetheart. And, I love my husband very much. But I can state with 99.9% certainty that if we were ever at a rally (say for funding for programs aimed toward autistic teens and adults), we would not be making out. Sure, we may hug, but a passionate kiss? Leave it at the hotel room people. This seem to be a theme for Jenny, being less than professional (ex. shouting bulls**t on Larry King Live) while on this "crusade." You are celebrities, people are taking your picture, act accordingly--if you want your message to get out. I wouldn't want an image like this to be one of the first few listings on Google (c'mon, Jenny, you have your Google degree, don't you?) for a rally that was of the utmost importance to me. Just my two cents, a little advice for Jim and Jenny.

It also appears that the turmoil is bubbling over with regard to Jenny's public messages on vaccines (that she is NOT anti-vaccine at all, just for safer, more spaced out, yada, yada, yada). The anti-vaxers are angry with her, and upset that the rally today was apparently not open to those preaching a total anti-vaccine message.

To be honest, the ABC link I mentioned previously is the only substantial mention or article I have found. For the most part, the media is clinging onto the celebrity factor (and even more, the celeb-couple factor). This may have been a big, fun story for ET and Extra!, but as for making a real impact and being treated as a serious issue, it seems to have missed its mark.

Apparently 8,000 people showed up today. I'm not sure if that is more or less than what anyone anticipated. I for one was a bit appalled at the message to parents about how to do whatever they can to get to D.C. Borrow from family, do fund raisers, etc. Here's the thing, the majority of us "autism families," don't have bundles of extra cash stowed away to fly to a rally (or for anything else!). I could never, would never, ask anyone for money so that I could attend a march (of any sort). My family would surely think I had gone over the edge entirely. Please give me money so I can fly to D.C. for a rally. Yes, I know I have medical bills. Yes, I know my child has therapy. Yes, I know we may need to hire an advocate to get better school services. But, this is really important! WHAT??? Outrageous! Again, I see a disconnect from celebrities and the rest of us. Flying or driving anywhere these days is awfully expensive, I can think of a hundred ways that money may be better spent for a family like ours (and, like many "autism families," I suspect).

Edited to add: From reports, it appears that 8,000 figure may have been rather inflated. It seems the numbers were more like 500-1,000 people in attendance (and, apparently, half of those were children).

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

My first take on the kiss picture is ... How Staged. As if the kiss were actually going to do something to Help anybody autistic. I think whoever scripted that definitely has some cliche's hanging around in their head.

On the travel issue, I agree, why borrow money or put oneself further in debt. These people were cheesy enough to suggest that one could appeal to college students to attend the event by proxy for them. Don't the college students have better things to do on a Wednesday? Of course, if their not in session then they are probably back home or on vacation (unless still living in the dorm) enjoying a break, and their friends and family.

And making fun of another medical condition? Somewhat Trashy, even if meant for comic relief.

Patrick

PS, Hope things went well while you were busy, and glad to see you back!

S.L. said...

Thanks Patrick! I hadn't heard of the college kid stand-ins. Wow! We can only sit and wait for what comes next from this group...