Wednesday, April 15, 2009

McCarthy-ism

Whenever I hear Jenny McCarthy (and now Jim Carrey) cheer, "Autism is Preventable and Reversible!" I feel ill. I've seen the celeb-duo on TV, but become so nauseated & angry that I refuse to read the books. Why? Because these treatments are far more costly than the average family can afford, leaving parents with additional guilt & stress -- and that's if the treatments did work. But they don't.

Primarily, what the "prevent & reverse" Autism folks present is inconclusive. While McCarthy's son may have been helped by such things as diet & other alternative treatments, these results have not been consistently replicated with other children (or adults). After years of determinedly jumping through such hoops of hope, I was just that much more exhausted -- emotionally & financially.

In fact, those are the typically replicated result of attempts to follow claims of "reversing" Autism. Such guilt & stress produces not only even more exhausted parents, but children who are, due to changes in schedules, even more upset -- and, feeling they have failed again, children with even more damaged self-esteem.

And don't get me started on the anti-vaccines cry. Aside from the fact that there is no proof of a connection between vaccines and autism, McCarthy herself has been quoted as saying, "When it comes to vaccines we are operating as if our kids have a universal tolerance for them. We are acting like ONE SIZE FITS ALL. That is, at the very least, a huge improbability."

I'm not sure if that "no one-size-fits-all mentality" is irony coming from a woman talking about her child; or if that's in defense of the inability to replicate results from McCarthy's touted treatments.
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