Mama Slob-san's

Leftist Blogger wants to practice writing and exorcising her gaseous build up.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Y2K McCarthyism or Why I don't like Celebrity Moms

As my friends know, I have an autistic son who is 7 years old. To summarize and highlight our lifestory, he receives special ed services while fully mainstreamed in 2nd grade. He gets sensory breaks-if he needs them, he uses mechanical pencils to help his writing, he gets coaching on social skills as needed and we maintain a communication log with his teachers. On "paper"his IEP is quite involved and far reaching. In practice it's really a way to keep him out of the autism clinic and with his peers as much as possible. He thrives on socializing and thus, really learns from peer-modelling (as in hanging with his kids is age). Sometimes I feel we over-medicalize his lifestyle to justify specia-treatment.

Ironically, "special treatment" is just accepting him as he is and not asking or forcing him to change. His regular teachers are the most effective with him when they tolerate him.

What sucks this month is that celebrity mom, Jenny McCarthy, has been given air time to promote her latest book about her "fight" with autism. I could just ignore her, another mom, another theory, another perspective. However, others don't. I get calls from well-wishers to watch her, read her book. She cured her son, he's not autistic anymore, only he is. There is no cure, he's fully recovered. She's not anti-vaccine but she is. I read the fallout from her appearances on blogs. For every 4 or 5 complaints (my mom called and said Jenny cured her son!) there is a Jenny-defender. These people come in and say in their spam-like way, "she's just a mother who wants to share her story, what's wrong with that? She's not claiming her way is the only way!"

Well, then why are viewers walking away with the idea that vaccines cause autism? That autism is curable? That Jenny is a real Blonde?

Jenny has the right to free speech and she's using it. Those of us who disagree with and resent her message have that same freedom. She casts a catastrophic shadow over autism, parenting and disabled kids. When we wring our hands over vaccines, diets and alternative medicine, we are ignoring education and social services. We are ignoring, "celebrate diversity".

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