...or so Jenny McCarthy claims in her book Louder Than Words.
The back cover of the book states that if someone you love is diagnosed with Autism, this is the first book you should read.
If someone you love is newly diagnosed, this book will scare the SHIT out of you! Do not read it until you are fairly comfortable with the diagnosis!
Louder Than Words irritated me for a number of reasons. I got the first bad taste in my mouth from the book's introduction by Dr. Jerry Kartzinel, where he states:
"Autism, as I see it, steals the soul from a child; then, if allowed, relentlessly sucks life's marrow out of the family members, one by one. It relegates every other "normal" think to utter insignificance."
For sure something I'd want my child's pediatrician to tell me.
So, Jenny goes on doing everything in her power to "fix" her son, Evan,- as all of us moms would...right moms? Moms? You do want to fix your broken baby... right? Why are you all looking at me like that?
See, Jenny seems to think that there are categories for moms. You either fall into the category of the "I'll try anything if it will help my kid recover"mom, or the category of the "woe is me" mom, who doesn't believe in alternative treatments, doesn't want to hope, and may actually like being in the "victim role". Hmmm...I wonder which one I fall into?
Moving along...Jenny is so badly wanting to write this book as a typical mom, to other typical moms. However-she is not a typical mom...she is a celebrity.
She buys a heart monitor for $5,000 so she can have peace of mind while Evan sleeps.
When she had to take a plane to get to Evan in the hospital, she paid $7,000 for a ride in a private jet.
She enrolls Evan in exclusive programs and bypasses waiting lists because of her status.
She hires an in-home ABA therapist.
She hires a nanny.
She spends $4,000 a week in private therapies such as PT, Music, and Play.
She hires the top neurologist in the nation.
She has the best DAN! doctor in the world in Texas.
She has the best immunologist in the world in San Diego.
She gets funding through Autism charities due to the Autism expense.
The list goes on...
Wow! Sounds just like me! Except I'm broke, and can't provide that kind of "healing" for my son. Oh yeah, and I don't have connections to get me into the "top docs" or bypass the waiting lists out there. And I don't have the convenience of a nanny or in-home therapists. And that I've tried to get "assistance" and funding, but I'm told all too often that I "make too much" (at $29,000 a year). Funny...I didn't know I made more than Jenny McCarthy.
I'm not saying Jenny is a bad mom, I think she's a great mom actually. I'm just saying she's not exactly what you would call typical. She also claimed to have no resources. Right.
All the talk about treatments, broken children, drugs, and the time frame for recovery, is scary stuff- especially for a parent who has just received a diagnosis. It probably was best, the things Jenny and Evan went through. She admits that she didn't accept her son until he was considered recovered. Once she did though, she felt as if a weight had been lifted.
Some people have difficulty accepting a disability. If it's not typical, it must be broken-we have to fix it because it's not good enough like this. If a parent cannot accept their child as is, sees the child as inferior, incomplete, or in need of repair, the child will know that. That child senses that they are deemed something is wrong with them. Again, I'm not faulting people for feeling this way, but here's my point- In these families, I think it is best to seek out any sort of "recovery" you can. The bottom line is that a child has to feel a full part of the family, like a complete person, and have a healthy attitude toward life. If people need "recovery" to be able to accept their child, go for it.
I accept my son. He is a gift. Autism is a part of that gift, and not a part that got damaged. It's a part of him- and I love who he is, Autism and all. Is it an easy road for me? Hell no. Is it a journey worth making for him? Hell yes.