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« NYT: Do Toxins Cause Autism? | Main | HuffPo Reports on Time's Jenny McCarthy Story »

Karl Taro Greenfeld in Time "The Autism Debate: Who's Afraid of Jenny McCarthy?"

Jenny Time Head over to TIME HERE to leave a comment telling story of how Jenny has helped you, and how your autism journey mirrored hers in terms of lack of medical guidance and frustration of trying to find the right treatments for your child. The author of the article is Karl Taro Greenfeld, who wrote 2009's Boy Alone about growing up with a profoundly autistic brother in the 1970s. Pay attention to the last line of the Time article. It's imporant. Click over to TIME HERE and leave a comment, please. Thanks. KIM

The Autism Debate: Who's Afraid of Jenny McCarthy? (Photograph by Jeff Minton for Time.)

...In 2005, McCarthy's son Evan, then 2, began having seizures so severe he required repeated emergency hospitalization. McCarthy had noticed that Evan had some developmental delays, compared with his peers in a playgroup they attended, and he exhibited some atypical behaviors: arm flapping, repetitive actions and fixation on strange objects. She describes her panic at Evan's diagnosis in her memoir Louder than Words: "I wished to God the doctor had handed me a pamphlet that said, 'Hey, sorry about the autism, but here's a step-by-step list on what to do next.' But doctors don't do that. They say 'sorry' and move you along." McCarthy began to try almost every treatment that turned up on Google. Evan went through conventional, intensive Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) therapy as well as a host of alternative approaches, including a gluten-free and casein-free (GFCF) diet, hyperbaric oxygen chambers, chelation, aromatherapies, electromagnetics, spoons rubbed on his body, multivitamin therapy, B-12 shots and a range of prescription drugs. McCarthy says she made a deal with God. "Help me fix my boy," she prayed, "and I'll teach the world how I did it."

She believes she did fix her boy. A psychological evaluation from UCLA's neuropsychiatric hospital, dated May 10, 2005, was "conclusive for a diagnosis of Autistic Disorder," and yet here, running toward us on a warm California afternoon, is Evan, shouting out, "Are you here to play with me? When are we going to play?" McCarthy's boy is a vivacious, articulate and communicative child who seems to have beaten the condition. He is an inspiration, the fact of him as incontrovertible as any study done in any laboratory in the world...

Read more: HERE.

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To A.F. So nice to read your positive and sincere post, with thanks to Jenny. Its hard for me to even ponder what it must be like not to see improvement in ones child. I would like to ask you one question- Have you, as part of your child's treatment, tried very hard to eliminate all sources of mercury and other metals such as lead, Cadmium and aluminum.? It is my belief that an effort in this direction should be the first step in autism treatment and will pay dividends over a long time. For example-Have you and other parents stopped fish for your kids? Im not part of the biomed scene in the U.S. - Thats why I am asking you. Hoping for your child's improvement, Cherry Misra

Finally got a chance to read the article. I don't think it is just by chance that the article focused on MMR vaccine and made zero mention of the concerns about thimerosal or mercury. Word count for both those terms: 0. The "experts" are on shaky grounds in many areas, but I think the thimerosal/mercury connection is one that is very tough for them to obfuscate. More and more people are becoming aware of the dangers of mercury --in fish, from coal-fired power plants, compact fluorescent bulbs, broken thermometers, etc. And there is the Burbacher paper that clearly refutes the "safe" mercury in vaccines defense.

Hence, imo, the focus on MMR and withdrawn papers, researchers with "unethical" behavior, and the threat of epidemic measles without the sacred vaccines. That likely leaves uninformed readers with the desired impression that all concerns about vaccines have been settled.

Given that the author visited Generation Rescue, and no doubt their website, this failure to mention other aspects of the concerns about vaccines can not be due to ignorance of that portion of the controversy. Of course, it may just be editors who clipped out anything the author wrote about the topic. But either way, this was a significant, and I suspect, deliberate, omission from this article.

To Ana Saenz, Your comment is logical on the face of it, but fails to take into account the many variables that affect a child being vaccinated. The variables are so many that I will list just a few. One child is a girl with estrogen protecting against mercury in vaccines and another child is a boy. One child has high glutathione levels that enable him to excrete mercury in vaccines easily and another child does not. One baby is born to a mom who got dental work done in pregnancy . One mom is given mercury laden Rhogam injections during pregnancy and another is not. One baby is given a vaccine at a clinic where the mercury-laden vaccine is left in the sun. Now its far more toxic. One toddler gets a tetanus toxoid because he stepped on a rusty object (more mercury for him). Another toddler is born to an older mother who has been eating fish all her life. The mercury moves from the mom's tissues into the fetus before birth. One child is given flu vaccines with mercury and another without. One HMO uses lots of mercury vaccines and another does not.The last 2-3 doses of vaccine from a multidose vial may contain more mercury than the first doses. A family lives near a crematorium before the birth of one child and then moves to the country before the birth of another. This list could be many pages long. Every child that is born is a new case, a new set of risk factors.

For all the dogmas and horrors that this article exposes - "science has spoken", "kill-your-hope-there-is nothing-that-can-be-done message" just think how many children will be saved by their parents (or future parents) stumbling across this article.

Go Jenny!!

To Mr. Greenfield, Not all mainstream doctors would agree with you. Quite a few years back one of the leading pediatricians in California in the field of autism, said this to my daughter (AFTER the lecture, of course) : " If you know someone who has an autistic child, tell them to try the alternative therapies- Some of them have done miracles"

Autism deserves to be researched and studied. It deserves full attention from all. But don't be fooled by people like Jenny. why millions of children who get vaccinations do not get autism? Why there are 2 or 3 autistic children in the SAME FAMILY while other familes with 3, 5, or 8 children receiving vaccinations ARE NOT AUTISTIC?? Wake up people...Jenny is not the answer. You are the answer.

By the way, time does not accept more comments, it looks the only ones are from people ignorant on the topic and against us

Garbo, you nailed it. Exactly.

It's interesting...when you don't want someone to be right, like those who are afraid of Jenny McCarthy, they will use every piece of evidence (no matter how contrived or old it is)to prove why she is wrong. They will brush us all off as whachos who need a false hero in our lives. They will never admit that our children are getting better. Who's afraid of Jenny McCarthy? Anyone who cannot open their minds to see that we have a real problem going on. Who's afraid of Jenny McCarthy? People who would rather prove their own agenda is right rather than see our kids get better. I know it's harsh to say, but I don't think they want our kids to get better. They hate Jenny McCarthy more than they care about our kids.

I replied to Karl, author of the Time article, as follows:

Karl, thanks for this article. I've thought of you and your brother many times since reading your heartbreaking book, Boy Alone. My son, Ben was severely autistic, much like Noah, for twenty years before biomedical therapies came along in the new century. I know that you and your family have been disappointed many times, and so have I. But Ben is doing better now, and we have reason to hope for his future. We've come a long ways in the past five years. See my story at www.SavingBenBook.com. If Jenny has something to offer, I hope you'll give it a try. We walk different paths, but all families of autistic children and adults are in this together.

Boy Alone is a fine book, by the way, and I recommend it in my lectures.

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1967796-4,00.html#ixzz0gbs031MW

Jake, thanks for the perspective. The media bar on this subject is so low, that its easy to miss any bump in honesty or the kind of journalism we once thought existed in this country.

THIS WAS MY COMMENT FOR TIME. I HAD TO CUT IT DOWN CONSIDERABLY ABOUT OF CHARACTER LIMIT. AT LEAST ON AOA I CAN TELL THE WHOLE TRUTH!

Karl Taro Greenfield has a lot to say about Jenny McCarthy. She seems to be getting the blame for stirring up the controversy linking vaccines and autism. Greenfield claims that the science is settled on vaccines and autism: There is no link.

"The problem is that every study has shown there is no correlation between vaccines and autism and that the risk of injury from vaccination is far lower than the risk of disease from being unvaccinated."

Paul Offit, noted opponent of the autism community is included, yet nothing is said about his millions made off the rota virus vaccine.

Nothing is new here. Autism is some mysterious affliction scientists still haven't quite figured out. Parents are desperate and gullible. All the studies show no link, still the controversy rages on.

This kind of reporting is scripted denial and everyone who is really involved in this issue knows it.

Greenfield most likely has never looked at a single study that he champions as proof that there is no connection to autism. People that have like realize that they are so tied to the vaccine industry that they can hardly be seen as independent proof of anything. See the work of Julie Obradovic who has researched each of the fourteen studies:
http://www.fourteenstudies.org/studies.html

I notice Greenfield takes on Jenny McCarthy and slams her for being just a mom. Greenfield hasn't written an article called, The Autism Debate: Who's Afraid of Dr. Bernadine Healy?
Healy was on CBS News saying that the research hasn't been done that would clear vaccines of a link to autism.
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/05/12/cbsnews_investigates/main4086809.shtml

Greenfield didn't give us a piece titled, The Autism Debate: Who's Afraid of Dr. Peter Fletcher? Fletcher is the former Chief Scientific Officer in the UK. He's said that he's seen a steady accumulation of evidence linking the MMR to autism and bowel disease but that powerful forces will do anything to cover it up.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-376203/Former-science-chief-MMR-fears-coming-true.html

It's easy to go after Jenny McCarthy and misrepresent the whole controversy, but it's not the truth.

Anne Dachel
Media editor: Age of Autism http://www.ageofautism.com/

What is so crazy is that when our kids start to recover and continue to recover every Dev. Delay Dr and Pediatrician thinks it has nothing to do with biomedical efforts. Even worse they try to pin what our children and families experienced on some other cause (terrible 2's, or some other rare disorder.. maybe your child never had autism). What a joke ... when will the wake up and offer the reality and the option of recovery to all. It's just not fair and every child deserves to at least have a shot at recovery. The pain of autism is really the hope of recovery is real. It doesn't happen overnight and it doesn't happen with the great effort of the childs family.

I think the author buried the lede. I think the fact that the author has a 42 year old autistic brother, and that his parents still have hope for treatment, is really what this article is all about. The powers that be want to kill all hope because it would be easier (for them) if we just shut up and take our medicine and go away. We are not going away. We are never going away. We are never giving up. It perches in the soul, and never stops at all. KTG can scoff at his parents all he wants, he only makes himself look petty. And he will be proved wrong.

Time's website is not allowing me to connect/login, ugh. I fell into this backwards - food allergies first, googled gfcf diet, Jenny's book kept popping up so I ordered it. It opened my eyes to what was really going on with my insomniac, toe-walking, spinning, stimming toddler. I went straight to a DAN doctor, was reluctant with some things at first (MB-12 shots? really?), but today, I'm proud to be a Warrior Mom to a recovered 5 year old. Team Biomed Deb in IL.

Thank you Jenny for standing so tall for truth and for sparking hope in SO many who've had hopes dashed by and medical system devoid of hope.

The world need conscious leaders and speakers of truth. HOW FORTUNATE we are that Jenny speaks these truths to the masses and that Time readers and beyond are exposed to her integrity and imperative message.

Having the belief (hope) that by doing something, positive change can occur, is a most fundamental and instinctive human drive.

And, and the efficacy of hope is scientifically unquestionable. Hope, in and of itself, ALWAYS leads to something better and is ALWAYS worth it.

Everything is always possible - there is no such thing as "false hope," there's only choosing not to believe, and hence not trying.

The recent media attack on the efficacy of Autism Diets is an embarrassment to humanity, as its a War against Hope. It's appalling because the scientific and practical rationale for improved diet is truly unquestionable.

HOPE leads to shifts (intentions/thoughts/actions) and TRYING - which, interestingly, is the beginning of EVERYTHING wonderful that's ever happened.

Go Jenny, Go Time for sharing this story without the "edge."

It's actually a surprisingly good article for something that ran in TIME Magazine.

Here's my comment:

Kim Stagliano
Thank you, Karl. We live in a world where a 58 year old woman can have the hope of pregnancy via in vitro and an 80 year old man with heart disease can get an erection via the miracle of modern drugs, yet parents are given an autism diagnosis for a toddler and told, "There is no hope."

Go ahead and eat yourself into diabetes, insurance will cover all your treatments. Get an autism diagnosis and you're left out in the cold. Little has changed from mainstream medicine since Karl's brother was diagnosed 40 years ago, or my oldest child 12 years ago.

When Patrick Swayze fought a cancer that anyone with an IQ over 5 knew was deadly, he was hailed as a hero for his fight. Yet Jenny and countless other parents are derided for fighting for their children with autism. Aren't we entitled to want a cure? Hope is an American concept. Where current medicine doesn't offer any, families will band together and seek their own. And kids are getting better because of it. And because of Jenny McCarthy.

Kim, Mom to 3 beautiful girls w/ autism, Managing Editor www.Ageofautism.com and author "All I Can Handle. I'm No Mother Teresa." Skyhorse Fall 2010

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1967796-4,00.html#ixzz0gaHrboy9

Thank you Jenny for staying with the cause even though Evan is recovered.
The misinformation given by the media is truly staggering, even though this particular writer did add in some correct information. Hopefully, one day, the government and pharma will have to listen to our stories, which are amazingly similar in many instances. My son is now 14, and the last decade of "hope" has flown by, and to tell you the truth I'm discouraged we haven't come further. In fact, seeing that Dr. Wakefield has new info to publish and it so far, apparently, is being rejected due to his trashing in the UK, is really discouraging. However, as Jenny says, we must hope and pray for that better day where justice will be done and other families will not be basically destroyed by this needless tragedy.

The question has been asked an answered:

The CDC, MErck, AAP, Paul Offit, Amanda Peet, and most pediatricians.

Whose afraid of Jenny McCarthy? All the Amanda Peets in my life.

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