Jenny McCarthy's Book On Autism

Louder Than Words: A Mother's Journey In Healing Autism

Real Women Magazine Jan/Feb 07
Optimism in the Face of Autism

by Wanda Lynne Young

You may be familiar with the name Jenny McCarthy but I must admit that I haven’t been following her career too closely. McCarthy is a comedic actress, television personality, Playboy playmate and a best-selling author. She’s written about pregnancy, motherhood and marriage in her books, Belly Laughs, Baby Laughs and Life Laughs. I never thought she and I would have anything in common other than our mutual appreciation for Jim Carrey movies. As it turns out, we both have sons with autism. In her recent book, Louder Than Words: A Mother’s Journey In Healing Autism, McCarthy takes a departure from her usual humourous tone. In the book, she gives readers a brutally frank and honest account of her struggles in dealing with her son’s condition, a failing marriage and a spotty career. The book starts with the harrowing tale of when McCarthy finds her two-year-old son Evan laying in his crib having a life-threatening seizure. McCarthy later reflects on this incident as being a giant wake-up call. Dealing with the wrong diagnosis of epilepsy, Evan then goes through a terrible ordeal of trying different medications and dealing with the wildly varying side-effects; at one point McCarthy wonders if she’ll have to choose between having a psycho kid or a zombie kid. Readers go on a very bumpy ride along McCarthy’s journey to the world of autism. After her son’s delayed diagnosis, the author gains insight through another celebrity, Holly Robinson Peete, who has an older son with autism. Robinson Peete tells McCarthy to imagine her son is stuck behind a window that she needs to pull him through. This image works well if you consider the common belief that there’s a limited window of opportunity to get through to autistic children.McCarthy jokes that she deserves a degree from the “University of Google” after all the Internet researching she did in her quest for answers and treatments to help her son. One thing the author swears by is her son’s gluten and casein-free diet which limits wheat and dairy products. Evan, who is now five, still maintains this diet. McCarthy also credits her son’s continued improvement to Intensive Behavioral Intervention, or IBI therapy. McCarthy gives her opinion on a variety of treatments, therapies and sounds off about the long wait lists and inordinate costs to treating autism. She strives to keep a level head throughout her ordeal but continues to question why or how her son developed autism in the first place. As far as the controversial vaccine theory, she weighs in on this topic, too, her wish being there was a test available to assess a child’s vulnerability before getting a vaccine.McCarthy credits her tenacious drive to her strong maternal instinct and deep connection to her son and sees herself as a messenger of hope and help for other “autistic moms” to find faith that their child can get better. McCarthy isn’t wearing a pair of rose-colored designer shades here either. She notes that there are children who never seem to improve or advance in therapy and warns that early intervention is crucial. McCarthy insists that all parents and pediatricians need to be aware of the signs or red flags that could be characteristics of autism; she reflects on missing her son’s signs such as his excited hand flapping, tip toe walking, lack of eye contact, spinning objects and fixating on moving parts, just to name a few. McCarthy wanted to share her story not to evoke sympathy but to raise awareness and encourage parents to become strong advocates for their children. As for my personal experience, I’ll save my son’s story for another time, but my advice to parents is to hold on to hope and harness every bit of help you can. Come to think of it, maybe it’s time I write my own book. Something to think about...


Anonymous said...

Jenny McCarthy is one of the most manipulative con artists who have infiltrated the autism community. She is no doubt, some kind of sociopath. With no regard for facts, she ignores the fact her son had seizures. He was never autistic. His seizures, God bless him, sadly made him regress. They caused havoc within his system. He was ill. He got seizure medication. He got better. End of story. Gluten free diets don't cure autism, unless the kid wasn't autistic. This madness. This deception must end. McCarthy is an evil person. She does not care if her lies deceive or mislead others. She, and the greedy cronies that jumped on her "i'm an autistic mom" bandwagon are pathetic, weak chumps. They should be arrested for fraud. Or being too stupid to hold a professional position. These are dangerously dumb people. McCarthy knows how to work it. She mixes truth with lies. She does research. Just enough to regurgitate into her fanatsy world of being a mom of an autistic child. She's quite an actress. It would be amusing if it weren't so perncious. She's got bad karma coming for her role as a mom with an autistic child, when in fact, she never was one, nor is. And for all those involved in her false portrayal, karma is not good.

Anonymous said...

Jenny McCarthy's son was never autistic. Period. End of story.