Sunday, September 09, 2007

Jenny McCarthy, Indigo Children and Other Gobbledygook

Over at the Rescue Post, that bastion of critical thinking and deep understanding of everything autism, they are falling over themselves because Jenny McCarthy (1994 Playboy Playmate of the Year) will be appearing in the Oprah Show. You see, McCarthy is TACA's spokeperson, an autism mom, and has written a book titled Louder Than Words: A Mother's Journey in Healing Autism.

This was known as early as May, when Kev wrote a post about it.

Here's someone who could use her celebrity power to really help the autistic community, but instead will apparently use it to peddle various sorts of unproven biomed quackery and, perhaps worse, ridiculous notions of what autistics are. I have no illusion that Oprah will prevent her from peddling even something as irresponsible as anti-vaccination junk.

Reviews of the book say that she found treatments that are the "key to saving Evan from autism." I don't entirely discount the possibility that ABA helped her son be trained into particular skills, but the other stuff is no doubt worthless hooey.

I've read some email messages that say McCarthy's son is "recovered". I'm pretty sure we're looking at one of those claims about children who are "recovering", you know, still very much autistic, but apparently developing. If anything, it's likely to be a Holmes/Bradstreet type of recovery, if you know what I'm referring to.

There's no mention of an official loss of label anywhere, but I should note that diagnoses at age 2 are often inaccurate (Charman et al. 2005, Gillberg et al. 1990). The child's autism was discovered at age 2 after a seizure.

Some news stories say her son is "battling autism". Really? Is that like battling cancer? What happens if he loses? Other stories say her son "has come a long way."

Confusing as all that might be, let me get to the crux of the matter.

Jenny, who runs IndigoMoms.com, is of the belief that Evan is a 'crystal child,' and she herself is an 'adult indigo.' This belief suggests that 'indigo/crystal phenomenon is the next step in our evolution as a human species.' Proponents also suggest that many indigo and crystal children are wrongly diagnosed with ADD, ADHD, and autism. Starchild has more information, for those interested.
(source)

I've critiqued all sorts of claptrap before, but this one takes the cake. Typical of new-agey mythology, they throw in scientific terms like "evolution" to give it some credibility, without even having a basic understanding of the term. That's just the beginning of what could be said about this nonsense.

I honestly don't know which is worse, the belief that the New World Order is conspiring to control the world's population by giving kids autism, or this one.

But wait, if the child is a highly evolved Indigo, why does he need biomed treatment? What's with the anti-vaccination posture? Has Jenny McCarthy experienced a shift in belief systems from one set of hogwash right into another? That wouldn't be a surprise. Note that IndigoMoms.com appears to have closed down for good.

My sense is that Jenny McCarthy is going through a time of confusion in her life. To be fair, that's normal when you have a disabled child. Let's hope she eventually leaves the illusory promises of quackery and new-ageism behind and learns to accept and advocate for her autistic son as he is, mostly for his sake. This is not far fetched. Even someone such as Amy Holmes has gotten to such a place, or close to it, even if she hasn't come out publicly and admitted it.

67 comments:

  1. Using Autism Diva as a source for anything voids your argument.

    I'll bet you'd like to trade Amanda Baggs and have Jenny McCarthy as Neuroinsanity's spokesmodel. Or, maybe you think Kassiane will look just as good in a bunny costume?

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  2. Jenny Inidgo9/09/2007 7:58 PM

    Fore sam, aka Abe Lincoln, aka John Best, is now passing himself off as a spectrum adult calling himself "c. darwin" on the Autism Speaks board. He's trolling and trying to start fights so he can get kicked off and then claim that it's not just him that got kicked off the AS board, but one of the neurodiverse is as big a trouble maker as him and get kicked off, too. Creativity is not one of John's strengths.
    I didn't see a link to Autism Diva's blog in Joseph's blog. Did I miss it?

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  3. I sense much anger in you, young padawan... also, much sarcasm... and defensiveness...

    I've encountered the "indigo child" theory myself, and honestly, when you look at the criteria, it doesn't match autism very well. Also, it's vague enough that it could apply to just about anyone--kind of like a horoscope.

    People like to think that they might be better than other people somehow; and I guess this sort of thing is just one more example of that.

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  4. indigo/crystal phenomenon is the next step in our evolution as a human species

    This reminds me of a parent support group meeting in which a practitioner (of some kind) passed around a bunch of vials with colored liquids and explained how they "can change your genes".

    Some things are just so far 'out there' that I don't even know what to say.

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  5. "Creativity is not one of John's strengths."

    Duh.

    He's one of the world's biggest frauds going. Why the hell he gets into this autism stuff is beyond me: his son isn't even autistic... he's mercury-poisoned (JBJr said so himself, and is treating the lad as such; and we know from science that autism and mercury poisoning are not the same, so therefore the lad isn't even autistic... ergo, JBJr is a bloody fraud).

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  6. John has been trying to bait Amanda and David for several posts, and now Autism Diva and Kassiane; without success. Better luck with the trolling next time, John. Do drop by again (NOT).

    The Autism Diva link he refers to is the one about Amy Holmes. The original article is no longer available for free apparently, but the abstract can be found here.

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  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  8. I saw the business about Indigo children a while back. It seemed innocent enough granola head stuff, but from what you write, now I'm not so sure.
    Best wishes

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  9. "John has been trying to bait Amanda and David for several posts, and now Autism Diva and Kassiane; without success."

    Indeed.

    And of course, not being suffiently possessed of intellectual ability, he never learns.

    Sad, really.

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  10. If I was trolling, I'd be like the neuroinsane and post anonymously. I am not posting on the AS board at all. It's a waste of time. No ND will ever get kicked off that board since the moderators are ND's.

    David,
    Autism = Mercury Poisoning. They should have taught you thst at Uulu U.. How come you're always brave enough to criticize but can't defend yourself when your fraudulent activity is brought to light?

    I'm not trying to bait anyone. It would be nice if Amanda explained how she was normal before she scrambled her brain with LSD and suddenly went from being schizophrenic to autistic while taking time out to become an elf. As for the Diva, does anyone take what she says seriously?

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  11. According to Wiki...

    "Today, she (Nancy Ann Tappe) estimates that 97 percent of children under ten and 70 percent of those age 15 to 25 are "Indigo.""

    As well
    "The Indigo child movement believes that the children in question are born with an empathic connection to Earth and others' thoughts. However, due to natural limits in infant communication, Indigo children's supposed abilities (empathy, telepathy, extra-sensory perception and extra-normal perception) are suppressed by negative parental or societal influence. The Indigo child movement therefore encourages parents to support those children in whom can be seen traits which are often labeled as negative by mainstream authorities but as positive by the Indigo child.

    Adherents believe that this new type of child has come forward for a reason; most often suggested is that they will improve the world in some way. The changes generally discussed involve bringing peace, toppling corrupt institutions, and a shift from conventional medicine to a greater understanding of alternative treatment. Indigo children are said by proponents to be more in touch with something called the "Universal Truth," and do not tolerate or understand behaviors or systems that are not in harmony with it.

    Characteristics

    The following characteristics are said to identify Indigo children:
    They come into the world with a feeling of entitlement, which is often reflected by their behavior.
    Self-esteem is not a big issue; they often tell the parents "who they are."
    They have difficulty with authority and no explanation or choice.
    Waiting in line is difficult for them.
    They get frustrated with systems that are ritually oriented and do not require creative thought.
    They often see better ways of doing things, and tend to be non-conforming.
    They seem antisocial unless they are with their own kind.
    They will not respond to such disciplines as appeal to guilt.
    They are not shy in letting it be known what they need."

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  12. It's amazing how some people just make stuff up, and have many followers who don't even think to question "Excuse me, what was the basis of all this again?"

    Psychiatry could be criticized in a similar manner, but at least they do a lot of research to validate their constructs and make predictions.

    The stuff about non-conformity could be an autistic claim, though.

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  13. Wow, a porn star as a spokesperson. That TACA is all class.

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  14. "Let's ignore the troll."

    Wondered what the smell was....

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  15. It looks like some of the pages from indigomoms.com have been totally expunged from the wayback machine records. They were there and I linked to them from Kev's blog, but now they are totally gone, but other pages from the site are available by the wayback machine.

    There's still a page on there that is really funny, a woman offering angel therapy (somehow performed with the help of real "archangels") for 10% off if they mention the indigomoms.com website.

    Is it possible for people to ask for certain things to be removed from the Internet archive just because they might be harmful to a new career move as an author and spokesmodel for a developmental difference or disability?

    I found the Amy Holmes baby haircuts study on the NAA website: it's a pdf.

    Thanks for linking to my blog, Joseph. :-)

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  16. "Wow, a porn star as a spokesperson. That TACA is all class."

    They aren't the only ones - She's pushing Weight Watchers too.

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  17. Some of the Indigomoms.com webpages are still archived. I suggest interested parties take copies of them as it looks like they're disappearing fast.

    http://web.archive.org/web/*/65.175.14.46/*

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  18. Hi,
    I read the book on Saturday...it took me about 5 hours to read cover-to-cover.
    Ms. McCarthy sees Dr. Kartzinel at The Thoughtful House. She also mentions Dr. Michael Goldberg of NIDS fame. She mentions GFCF diet, ThreeLac, yeast die-off, epileptic drug her son is on (she just says the little white pill), ABA and a special program at UCLA. She touches on Hbot, chelation and IVIG, but I do not think she implemented these procedures on her son.
    She mentions her marriage and divorce...she does not speak highly of her ex-husband.
    She talks about her "shattered dreams" with her son being diagnosed autistic.
    Personally, I find the book very depressing and it has given me the incentive to write my own book....
    I will be finished in about 6 weeks.
    Jeanette

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  19. Jeanette: That's great news. I'm sure it will be a popular one. Not that many parents have your kind of experience, to say the least.

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  20. Jeanette,
    Will you be including a chapter on how sane people have cured their children?

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  21. No Mr. Best,
    But, I wil add a chapter on how insane people will do unspeakable things in order to "cure" their children.
    Jeanette

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  23. Since the Oprah show has decided to do another "Autism is horrible" poor, poor, parents show. My mom has been sympathetic towards Jenny McCarthy.

    I'm glad I finally found something that proves I was right about her. Only a curbie would parade her Autistic son on TV as a tragedy.

    I removed my first posting of this, because I forgot to tell you that you should go over to oprah.com, and post on her boards about how damaging this is towards neurodiversity rights. I don't know if it really will make any difference, but it's better than staying silent.

    http://www.oprah.com/community/thread/1542

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  24. Do you people think the world is flat too?

    Or perhaps there were weapons of mass destruction...???

    Is it easier for you to judge people that are trying to make a difference in the world because you are too afraid to do it yourself?

    When...where...why do you think that parents feel their autistic children are a burden????

    They are trying to show/prove/point out how this country is NOT able to be financially take care of these children/adults. Schools are burdened by the enormity of this situation. It is time to take some action...Not smile, smile grin, grin like there is not a problem.

    Not all of us have huge trust funds for our children. Or wealthy/willing family members.

    I suggest all of you to take your heads out of the (sand) and realize that there is a bigger problem at hand...and it is not parents disliking their children.

    Tomorrow is going to be too late.

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  25. Johnbestfan... (that says it all, doesn't it?)

    I couldn't really make sense of your argument. But the WMD reference is a good analogy.

    When people believe in absurdities and are unable to back them up with convincing evidence, they are invariably wrong. They will generally just offer appeals to emotion.

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  26. I just would like to counter and I doubt this site will leave this simple statement.

    several biomed treatments have specifically enabled our son to improve

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  27. Thanks Ralph. It's good you bring that up because this is only the 78th time someone has made that same unsupported statement here.

    BTW, as the blog description says, I only delete messages that violate Blogger's TOS.

    The particular argument you bring up has been addressed in My Anecdotal Evidence is Better Than Everyone Else's. Also see my recent posts.

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  28. I work with pregnant families and have 2 children so I try to stay on top of all things related to babies and children. This includes vaccines and vaccine injury.
    It seems to be that there are people who are ND's and those with Aspergers syndrome and then there are vaccine injured/induced autistics. The vaccine injured kids may be helped with diet modification and other treatments where others on the spectrum may or may not.

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  29. layla: While vaccine injury exists (it's very rare) there is no evidence that vaccines can cause the specific outcome "autism". Not Asperger's or PDD-NOS or autistic disorder or any other condition from the DSM-IV for that matter.

    Any such connection is not only speculative, but it has been studied extensively and not found to be there.

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  30. Jeanette, I am glad you are working on a book to show the more positive side of autistic kids.

    I've also been working on a book as an autistic person and my experiences growing up in the "dark ages" of the sixties in novel form.

    The awfulizing of certain groups has been a big conversation for me and my friends. I don't know why some folks get so worked up except that they can't accept such a diagnosis in their child or relative. I worked in advocacy for the mentally ill, the terminally ill, and for homeless people, and I have heard and seen stories that would make a person's hair stand on end. Fighting the diagnosis eats up so much time and life, and makes one bitter.

    Finding ways to deal with any problems in a positive and effective way is so much more life affirming than chasing woo.

    It always cracks me up when people bring up the diets. There is a population of people with problems with those items, but I don't think there's a higher incidence in the ASD population than in the general population. Of course, a person who has those sensitivities will feel better--and act better.

    A good diet, even if it is to deal with sensitivities, is always a good idea. The poster who said the diet helped--it probably did. But I think it helped a problem separate from your child's autism.

    Any parent reading this--please don't forget the other things that children have problems with. I had an aquaintance who thought her child was regressing in his development--and it turned out her little boy had an ear infection. Sometimes those "regressions" are really the only way a kid has to communicate something's wrong.

    Danke.

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  31. I couldn't wait to get to the end of all the slam comments against Ms. McCarthy so that I could finally say this... First do any of you have autistic children? You may say no, but I have umpteen papers or studies on them.. Well you are not educated in autism until you have a child with it and you live with it 24hrs./day, EVERY DAY.....I have 2 children battling autism.. Yes I said battling.. Just like my husband battled to survive CANCER AT M.D. ANDERSON CANCER HOSPITAL... I myself thank Ms. McCarthy for at least bringing this out and opening this countries eyes to this epidemic.. It is the fault of chemicals in our food, air, water, medicines etc. that is not only harming our children SEVERLY, but KILLING them.. I may not see eye to eye on all her beliefs, but I can say if I had only tried the GFCF diet and looked into vaccinations 6 years ago I may not have an 8yr. old BEAUTIFUL, CREATIVE, STONG WILLED daughter suffering from (EEG CONFIRMED) EPILEPTIC SEIZURES, ASBERGERS SYNDROME AND BI-POLAR.. BELIEVE ME MY HUSBAND AND I ARE HIGHLY EDUCATED AND NOW I HAVE ANOTHER UNRECOGNIZED DEGREE IN AUTISM,ASPBERGERS,EPILEPSY,BI-POLAR,NERONS,THE BRAIN,GFCF DIET,VACCINATIONS,OPIATE LIKE AFFECT FOODS,RECEPTORS,SYNAPTIC OCCURENCES,TRIGGERS,DOPAMINE,ABA (APPLIED BEHAVIORAL ANAYLYSIS, RDI, PLAY THERAPY, MUSIC THERAPY, HANDLE APPROACH AND SOOOOOOOOO MUCH MORE THAT I DIDN'T LIST... SEE I NOT ONLY TAKE CARE OF MY HUSBAND, 13 YEAR OLD (GIFTED AND TALENTED STRAIGHT A STUDENT, 8 YR. OLD AUTISTIC, EPILEPTIC, BIPOLAR, 4 YR. OLD AUTISTIC SON. DO THE LAUNDRY, COOKING, SHOPPING, ALL HOUSEHOLD DUTIES, SPEND 4 YRS./DAY WORKING WITH MY SON (FLASH CARDS,MATCHING GAMES ETC.)MY DAUGHTER HOMEWORK ETC.. TAKING CARE OF EVERYONES DR. AND OTHER APPTS. BUT, I SPEND ALL HOURS OF THE NIGHT RESEARCHING AND TRYING TO FIND A WAY TO HELP MAYBE CURE MY CHILDREN... CAN YOU FAULT ME FOR TRYING ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING TO SAVE MY CHILDREN/FAMILY.........
    THEM HOW CAN YOU FAULT MS. MCCARTHY.. SEE WE HAVE CHOICES IN AMERICA. WE DON'T HAVE TO BUY HER BOOK OR SOLUTIONS. BUT AT LEAST SHE'S LETTING OTHERS LIKE ME KNOW THERE ARE ALTERNITIVES WE CAN LOOK INTO... WHO KNOWS MAYBE YOUR ALL JUST JEALOUS OF NOT ONLY HER LOOKS, BUT THE FACT THAT SHE IS VOICEING HER OPINION. WHICH IF YOU HAVN'T CHECKED THE CONSTITUTION LATELY IS SOMETHING SHE HAS THE RIGHT TO DO.... KUDOS TO JENNY MCCARTHY AND HOLLY ROBINSON PETE FOR GIVING ALL OF US OTHER MOTHERS A VOICE...

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  32. First do any of you have autistic children?

    OMG. Like I haven't heard that one a million times. I do have an autistic child. Let me direct you to Kev's Canards page, which answers all these types of irrelevant and nonsensical arguments.

    The rest is hard to read. Please don't use all-caps. It's rude.

    I just hope your kids, who I don't doubt are brilliant as you say, are not hurt by your curebie-ism.

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  33. HEY JOSEPH,
    IT'S O.K. WITH ME (AND PROBABLY ALOT OF OTHERS) THAT YOU GO ON LIVING IN MEDIOCRE WORLD, WITH A DEFEATEST ATTITUDE.. BUT TO JUST ACCEPT THINGS AS IS AND NOT TRY TO BETTER YOUR SONS WORLD BORDERS ON PARENTAL ABUSE..YOUR RIGHT ALL MY CHILDREN ARE VERY INTELLIGENT AND NOT ONLY BECAUSE OF THEIR ABILITIES, BUT AS PARENTS WE OPEN EVERY DOOR AND TURN OVER EVERY STONE. OH BY THE WAY DID I MENTION THAT MY CHILDREN HAVE BEEN ON THE GFCF DIET FOR ONLY 1 MONTH AND MY SON HAS GONE FROM NOT ASKING OR SAYING ANYTHING OF HIS OWN TO 5 WORD SENTENCES WITH NO PROMPTING.. MY DAUGHTER DOSN'T HAVE AS MANY SEIZURES EITHER... I'M SURE YOU HAVE AN ANSWER FOR THOSE RESULTS ALSO AS YOU HAVE A NEGATIVE ANSWER FOR EVERYTHING... I FEEL SORRY AND WILL PRAY FOR YOUR SON... AS FOR YOU, WELL I'M WONDERING IF YOU JUST DON'T HAVE A BRAIN DISORDER OF YOUR OWN... THANKS FOR A DAY OF STRESS RELIEVING DISCUSSIONS.. HOWEVER I DON'T PLAN ON BEING BACK, SEE I'VE GOT TO SPEND MY TIME ON CURING AUTISM........

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  34. Perhaps when I stop living in a mediocre world, I'll start writing in all-caps and everything.

    You presume a lot, don't you, anon?

    I will do all I can to ensure my son has a good outcome, but experimenting on him with quackery ain't the way to go. I could easily ruin his odds if I did that. I also happen to believe acceptance will benefit him. You'll find some other suggestions in the links on the right of the page.

    If you want to learn about reality, science is the way to go. Believing in the word of quacks and charlatans, know-nothing celebrities and such; that's real mediocrity.

    Not knowing basic things about autism, such as what is normal developmental progress of autistic people, what can be expected as far as outcome, whether placebo effects and self-deception exist in autism, not being aware of the lessons of Secretin; that's real mediocrity.

    As for anecdotes that your children did this or that after so and so, I've heard them all. Kids get cured with Secretin, MonaVie, Michael Menkin's thought screen helmet (he even showed up in this blog calling me closed-minded for not believing his helmet worked), removal of TV, foot detox, and on and on.

    You see, that's not sufficient. Give me replicated double-blind studies and I'll start believing.

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  35. O.K. I LIED. I'M GOING TO RESPOND...AND AS FOR ALL CAPS, WELL FORGIVE ME BUT I WAS TAUGHT THAT WHEN YOUR TRYING TO SPEAK TO A SIMPLE-MINDED, EGOTISTICAL, STUBBORN PERSON WHO ISN'T LISTENING, YOU MIGHT HAVE TO SCREAM.... AS FOR ALL YOUR PRESUMPTIONS.. YOU SEE I'VE HAD 7 YEARS TO LEARN, RESEARCH AND STUDY AUTISM AND I HAVE LOOKED AT THE SCIENCE AND THE SO CALLED QUACKS... YOU PRESUME I DON'T ACCEPT MY CHILDREN'S DIAGNOSIS... WELL I'LL LET YOU IN ON A SECRET.. I MYSELF, LIKE YOU, HAVE A BRAIN DISORDER.. MINE, BI-POLAR AND I DID FIGHT THE DIAGNOSIS FOR 6 LONG HOSPITAL STAYS IN ONE YEAR.. I'VE ACCEPTED THE DIAGNOSIS BUT NOT THE CRUTCH IN WHICH YOU AND YOUR FOLLOWERS CHOOSE TO LIVE BY... I FOLLOW MY FAITH AND HOPE THAT IF THERE IS EXPERIMENTAL DRUGS (VERY VERY LITTLE SCIENTIFIC TESTING DONE) THAT CAN SAVE MY HUSBAND FROM ACUTE MYLOGENOUS LEUKEMIA. (OH BYE THE WAY WOULD YOU LIKE ME TO SEND YOU ALL OF MY HUSBAND'S MEDICAL RECORDS OR SO CALLED SCIENTIFIC FACTS.. OH WAIT I CAN'T, BECAUSE YOU SEE, THERE WASN'T ALOT OF SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH/DATA ON THESE DRUGS THAT HIS WORLD RENOWNED CANCER DOCTOR'S WERE USING ON HIM, AT A WORLD RENOWNED CANCER HOSPITAL KNOWN FOR TREATING AND CURING (DID I SAY CURING) CANCER, MAYBE THERE ARE OTHER SOLUTIONS (POSSIBLY NOT TESTED THOROUGHLY) THAT MIGHT HELP MY CHILDREN AND MYSELF LIVE A FULLER, RICHER LIFE. SO IF YOU HAVN'T HEARD ME YET, I DO ACCEPT MY DIAGNOSES AND MY CHILDREN'S... I GUESS YOUR WAY OF ACCEPTING IS STICKING YOUR HEAD IN THE SAND AND THROWING IN THE TOWEL.. NOT MINE....AND AS FOR THESE SCIENTIST THAT YOU BELIEVE ARE SO RIGHTEOUS, ARN'T THEY THE ONE'S WHO DECIDE WHO'S "NORMAL" AND WHO'S NOT OR IS THAT UP TO SOCIETY.. AND ANOTHER THING ARN'T THESE SCIENTIST HUMAN BEINGS THAT ARE ALSO INFALIBLE.. ARE THEY SO GOD LIKE THAT THEY DON'T MAKE MISTAKES, MIS-INTERPRET FINDINGS OR CHANGE THE OUTCOMES AS TO NOT HINDER THEIR FUNDING OR NOBEL PRIZE WIN...SO BRING ON ALL THE QUACKS AND CHARLATANS WITH THEIR KOOKY REMEDIES AND IDEA'S.. AT LEAST THEN I HAVE A CHOICE TO LOOK AT BOTH.. IF NOT I WOULD BE FORCED TO LIVE IN A WORLD IN WHICH PEOPLE LIKE YOU TELL ME HOW I HAVE TO LIVE... OH ONE MORE.... DO YOU BELIEVE IN GOD...

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  36. If you want me to take you seriously, you have to provide rational arguments, real data, etc. I am not closed to changing my views if reality shows me I'm wrong. My views on autism have evolved with time, and just as an FYI, studies show that parental views evolve in the direction of having a more positive view of disability and so forth. Parents on my side are quite rational and flexible in their thinking. For example, Kev at one time thought his daughter had developed autism due to vaccines. He changed his views in light of scientific data. Not Mercury didn't vaccinate his second child. The child became autistic, and then changed his views accordingly.

    What I'm confronted with here instead is anecdotes, testimonials, people thinking that truth is determined by how loud you scream or how much of a celebrity you are, etc.

    You see, anon, you are the closed minded person here. You cannot accept others disagreeing with your views, so much so that you have to scream. You cannot conceive of the fact that you could very well be wrong.

    I, on the other hand, am well aware that I could be wrong. Like I said, show me some replicated double-blind studies and you'll witness my views change.

    Others are the stubborn ones, e.g. Bernie Rimland could not get himself to accept that Secretin was useless after multiple double-blind studies demonstrating its ineffectiveness. Or Kim Stagliano, whose 3rd autistic child is completely unvaccinated, but still believes autism is caused by vaccines.

    There's no equivalence in both sides of the debate here. One side believes in science, rationality, is open-minded and respects autistic people. The other side believes in child experimentation, anecdotes, sides with quacks, is closed-minded and is composed of people who have been known to disparage autistic adults and disabled persons in general.

    Our way of thinking about autism is pretty new. But I can give you an example of an autistic child who is now grown up who was raised under such a model from the start: Alex. He is classically autistic, non-verbal until the age of 6. Is his mom, jypsy, in your opinion a child abuser for not being a curebie?

    And what do my religious views have to do with anything anyway?

    If you think you can engage us in debate, go to the Autism Hub and start posting.

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  37. Last night I thought alot about these exchanges and relized that as a Christian I should not engage in such a negative conversation..Nor should I have treated you as I did.. You see we (you and I) are in the same place, trying to do what we feel is best for our children. The whole point in which I was trying to make was never heard or accepted by you as you still call me curebie.. This is the land of the free and people are given the right to say and believe what they want, but the whole problem I had was that If we allow you to feel and believe as you do, why do you feel the need to slam and persecue those of us who choose to not just accept the diagnose, but try to find ways to help lessen the symptoms or by some miracle cure our children..
    Just for your information again we have accepted autism, WE DON'T SLAM OR BELITTLE THOSE LIKE US..My daughter and myself are on scientifically tested medicines for bi-polar only, which everyone knows where these scientist get their grant money from (need I say more). We are all falible, we do the best we can.. We do our own research based on all sides. We choose to work with our children and feed them healthier foods (Not man made, processed foods with artificial everything) and love them lots, does that make them labratory rats.. With all that said I leave you with a little story. See my husband battle a very aggressive Leukemia for 2 years.. The experimental drugs saved his life but scientific tests showed that he was sterile. (We had set sperm aside because we had wanted to try for a third child (A BOY we prayed)... During his treatments he also ate foods that I researched would be best for him and might help... Only 4 months after they stopped all drugs on him as they felt he was cured (in remisssion long enough) we found out by some miracle we were 2 months pregnant, AND WITH OUR SON...We call him a miracle and so did the doctors at M.D. Anderson as scientifically they had no explanation as to how it could have happened.. We didn't need to use the sperm afterall.. Guess what we did?? We donated it to science... We accept our son and our daughter just as they are.. But when they are in danger of hurting themselves our others, we choose to see if anything can help.. If they stay they way they are now or get better, My husband and I and our extended families will love and support them just as they are.. They were a gift from GOD to us. You may not agree with anything I've said, and that's O.K. with me as I no longer wish to play along anymore.. As for you and all your friends, I only wish you the very best.. And I mean that from the bottom of my heart... Just maybe, I hope, the next time you will not be so quick to slam and persecue those who also have a right to at least consider other alternatives.. But as they say "YOU CAN'T TEACH AN OLD DOG NEW TRICKS" this might be the only way you can cope with yours and your son's diagnoses', by slamming others.. Good luck and God Bless..

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  38. I'm glad you decided to stop using all-caps, anon.

    I should point out that a big part of this blog has to do with critically and sceptically examining autism research and claims. Sometimes claims are so terrible in their magical thinking, and so potentially harmful, that they have to be slamed.

    Jenny McCarthy is someone who uses magical thinking to guide her beliefs. She has demonstrated that with the Indigo/Crystal stuff. She can believe whatever she wants, but to go on TV and say she knows what autism is, how to biomedically treat it and such, is simply something that cannot be given a pass. That plus what Karzinel has said about autistic people cannot be tolerated.

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  39. Somehow I have wondered onto this site and feel that I have to leave a message.

    It is clear that everyone on this site loves their children and want them to get better. I do not claim to be an expert in anything, except my child. What works for some, does not work for everyone. This is true in life and in everything that we experience.

    My son was born autistic. Looking back now, there were obvious disconnects in his behavior compared to my daughter. I had everyone one of his vaccinations researched and he never recieved any thimerisol. But do I discount it as a possibility, no, I do not. Am I on the bandwagon of blame, no I am not. I want to do anything I can to make my son an independent citizen.

    As for Jenny McCarthy...I am currently reading her book. I am nearly finished. I must say, I felt as though I was reading my own story. My son and her son Evan sound very similar as far as where they are on the spectrum.

    There is nothing like having to do CPR on a four year in the floor of his bedroom awaiting an ambulance to arrive. I believe that I did in fact, lose several years off my own life that day.

    As for the GFCF diet...I have always rejected it, thinking it was too difficult, not feasible for a child that is bounced around between special education pre-school, daycare and home. I have heard good things about it and bad things. But after reading Jenny's book, I decided, what the hell, it won't hurt him, why not give it a shot. I will beginning it in November.

    I figure that each and everyone one of us want to do the right thing for our child with autism. I will not be the one to point fingers and say that one thing works and there is something wrong with you if you don't do it. It's up to you...you're the parent. All I know is that if I don't do everything I feel (and research) to help my son, then I have failed him. I am not trying to "cure" autism. I am trying to give my son every opportunity to experience life to it's fullest. Make friends, fall in love, drive a car, have a job. Live.

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  40. Anon: One problem is that we don't even have data that "it works for some." This is not entirely implausible, but there just isn't science that can tell us this is the case. The only way to tell is via double-blind trials. They would also need to identify a subgroup of autistic children, if any, that benefits from the treatment.

    Some improvement that was observed at the same time that a supplement or diet was tried is prove of exactly nothing, and in fact is misleading.

    What we need is science, not testimonials. If you want a good outcome for your child, see what the science says will help an autistic person have a good outcome. Briefly (and I plan a post on this), no institutionalization, integration, presuming competence.

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  41. I also have read Jenny's book and even tho I have my own thought about the women itself and what she believes works for her child I have called one of the program who she mentions she did. A mapping program, she mentions it at the end of her book and in a few other locations actually.

    I did some research, and being very scientific as far as treatments are concerned, in her book that program seems to be the only thing that is rational.

    I gave them a call, very promising. I encourage others to do the same just to get more information.

    Cheers

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  42. Nice blog... interesting.

    terry
    apple diet patch
    http://www.getthedietpatch.com

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  43. www.childnparent.com is a national web site dedicated to helping parents with autistic kids. There is a new experimental treatment on the forefront of autism that could actually prove to be a serious weapon in this battle. It's called hyperbaric oxygen therapy. An informative article explaining the hypothesis behind this exciting new treatment is soon to be published on www.childnparent.com. Check out this great web site today!

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  44. Are we going to focus on contration or expansion?
    Why can't there be space for what Einstein said "imagination is more powerful than knowledge." Science is a powerful tool however it exists because we do not have all the answers. Why should this be the only premise for justifying things that are remote from the linear mind?

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  45. I have been reading all of your posts and having also read Jenny's book I have to add my thoughts as well. I have a 7 (soon to be 8) year old autistic son. He is moderately autistic, some speech but needs constant supervision. We tried the gfcf diet when he was 4 but had not improvement so we stopped after 3 months. We have all the usual therapists and have put him in a very small special needs school where he is much happier. We have tried everything from the diet, vitamins, b-12 shots, etc. Every time I think that this is the last time I'm putting him through all of this and then someone tells my about a new book or treatment or school, etc. Well I read her book and decided that maybe I wasn't strict enough with the diet last time so we will try it again. My son never had "gut" issues to begin but I tried it anyway. After 4 very stressful months on this diet (and very strict) there WAS NO DIFFERENCE AGAIN! I decided then and there that we are no longer going to listen to these crazy people who think they know what will fix your child. My son is sooooooooo happy to have his favorite foods back. He is not a junk food eater anyway. The thing that does help these kids is accepting them the way they are and giving them love. I also learned that he does not need to fit in to a certain "grade level" at school. He goes to a place where people love him and know how to talk to him. I don't care what "grade" he's in - as long as he's happy (and so are we!) Jenny can take her book and her diet......

    mom to Jonathan

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  46. So I must say, those who have not accepted the indigo/crystal child idea ARE behind...not only am I one, myself and not jus saying this to you as a skeptic of your barbaric views, I am warning you...don't accept it then fall behind...and die. BTW, in the comments above anyone still using the word 'quackery' lives in a 3-dimensional, cookie-cutter, 1950's world...a world where 'normal' is; heart attacks, cancer, war, gossip, dis-ease, etc. I am, like many others growing out ther, part of the same belief system as Jenny and we all need to open our eyes more, put down the remote & throw away the pills....and go out'n live a little rather than sit'n church & gossip about everyone afterwards.

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  47. As for Indigo/ Crystal people they believe anyone born after 1970 is an Indigo I read up on it. I had a recent disagreement with an Indigo adult and she is so arrogant about her place on this earth which is above mine becasue I of course insulted her beliefs more or less said I dont believe in New Age Crap and she came back in full-force with weapons on so to speak so I already dont like these people..

    Raemay

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  49. You really need to do some more research on the whole indigo/crystal thing before you pretend to know what you are talking about. The idea is not that there is some kind of magical person who is better than everyone else. It is simply a way to classify those who posess certain qualities that are becoming more common as time goes on. It is not necessarily based on you birth date- some indigos were born early, and some non-indigos are still being born. But more and more are being born every day because they will someday become the norm. The belief is that blind acceptance of rules that don't make sense, apathy, and lack of empathy are traits that are becoming less and less common in children, and sensitivity, creativity, and a desire to help others are becoming more common. I don't necessarily believe in the aura color crap, but I do believe my earlier statements to be true. The idea of many autistic children being crystals also makes sense to me, and not because I think that parents want to ignore a disorder and call their child "special." The idea of a crystal is someone who is so sensitive that life is difficult for them. They are, essentually, a step beyond those who could be classified as "indigo." The world can be overwhelming because they have such a huge sensitivity to every aspect of it. Life is difficult for them because the majority of people in the world today are incapable of relating to them due to a lack of the kind of intuition and empathy that is necessary to understand them. They simply write them off as "disabled" and assume that a lack of communication skills equals a lack of intelligence. As a parent of someone with autism, I'm sure you know this already, but people with autism are not stupid- the fact that some people treat them like they are is infuriating. They are simply wired differently. The truth is, until the world is populated with more people who are empathetic an sensitive, life will always be very difficult for "crystals." This is all that the crystal/indigo theory is saying. It is just a way of classifying a new generation that will be more capable of caring for and understanding one another. As this new generation becomes the norm, people will become more willing and able to understand people who are so highly sensitive that life is hard for them. I don't think that these children are wrongly diagnosed, or that they should be "cured." There is, in fact, nothing wrong with them. Rather than "curing" them, we should be encouraging them to accept themselves as they are; it is possible that they may be our future.

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  50. Fear. What are you afraid of? That there are people that were born different in a way that you cannot understand..this makes you afraid? Relax. The indigos are here to help. If you feel threatened by someone sharing their experience with you..you might want to look at THAT. That sounds like a bigger problem for you than someone writing a book about indigo people.
    Take a deep breath and know that just becasue you cannot understand it does not mean it does not exist.
    Love and Light

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  51. There are many GOOD ways to bring attention to autism. Midnight In Chicago does it with their Autism Spectrum Podcasts at www.mic.mypodcast.com, and then they have the "Countdown to Midnight" CD that sends proceeds to reputable autism charities.

    Loads of people are listening to the CD, and they think it's great and they learn a little about autism as well with info on the inside insert.

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  52. As I read through these comments I notice a common devide between people's framework of ideas / belief systems. That is: New Age vs. Science, Spirituality vs. the concrete evidence). What if it's ALL true , though? Nobody's better or worse than anybody else and arrogance is self-defeating no matter what angle your coming from. It seems to me that humans want to believe in something and each person just finds the best way to do it, using whatever ideas and tools make sense. If there is really some ultimate truth that people are looking for, collectively, we're not going to find it by bashing each other's belief systems and isolating each other. I've been told I have a blue aura from numerous individuals who claim they can see auras. I've also been researching information on autism and - from what I've read, so far - I think I could be diagnosed with it. Ultimately, though, I don't know because people's system of beliefs are so subjective. That's the truth....

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  53. Sorry for the grammatical error in the word, "divide". I also would like to add that what everybody will hopefully be able to agree on is that there are many things we must face about ourselves as humans and we can't do it unless we all accept that some of us do it differently than others. ..and with respect for those differences as long as they are not forced with violence and pain unto others.

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  54. I'm the mom of an indigo child who is also slightly autistic. Since he was kicked out of kindergarten for being too vocal, I've taken on his education as well as his spiritual guide. Sometimes it would be nice to listen inside his head as he does in mine! Vikki www.thorntonwilliamsfamily.blogspot.com AND www.kidwhispers.net

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  55. how many of us does there need to be , how come no one has put that we know we just know sometimes . and we cry differently and we really feel others pain not just there dam aura

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  56. Who has the guts to read "Autism's False Prophets" by Paul Offit - I dare anyone! Let's start to focus on the real issues so we can impact all children with autism. Remember that right now - there is not a cure for every child - there is a child for every cure!!!

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  57. I have aspergers. I was diagnosed at 15 and I'm in my early 40's now. I am not ill and I don't need to be fixed or cured in any way. I am quite happy being me.

    I had no vaccines as a child although I do believe vaccines can trigger, if not autism then something that mimics it, in some people.

    I honestly am not sure what I think of the Indigo Child thing, sure it would be nice to think I'm somehow evolved but in the end I think I'm just odd :)

    One thing I do know for certain is that I have no right to make fun of anyone elses theories or beliefs or hopes, no matter how naive or strange they may seem to me.

    Maybe that's because one of the great lessons I have learned living life with aspergers is what it feels like to be labeled, judged, mocked, laughed at, made fun of .... There are just so many more important things in life for all of us :)

    Blessings :)

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  58. Hello. My name is Indigo Montoya. You killed my father.... prepare to die......

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  59. As the mother of a child with celiac disease, I hope Jenny McCarthy continues to bring awareness to the fact that gluten intolerance inhibits nutrient absorption which can lead to many neurological complications - I could go on and on about it but you all should do some research and please do not ask a mom to "accept" what her child has been diagnosed with when her gut tells her to there's more that can be done

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  60. Chance, EMT-P Student4/02/2009 5:52 PM

    Jenny McCarthy is a plague on humanity, and her New Age Indigo Child Bullshit is just a way to excuse the attitude of the "entitlement" generation of today.

    Shame on her for condemning hundreds of children to debilitaing and horrible, BUT PREVENTABLE, illnesses. When you have to crich a child because their Haemophilis vaccines have not been given, and they have developed upper airway obstruction from epiglottitis, you'll understand this.

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  61. all of you guys talkin shit about jenny are blind. she is doing the best thing for her child as well as others. just because you dont understand done not mean you have to bash it! what she and millions more believes in IS REAL! WAKE UP PEOPLE! DO RESEARCH THE INFO IS THERE.

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  62. Sadly, most people have opinions about things that they have little knowledge about and are quick to ignore information and ideas that challenge their existing belief system. There are some valid aspects to nearly all these theories but no one is putting it all together - instead people seem to want things to conform to a single theory or idea rather than looking at things multidimensionally and seeing how views from multiple perspectives can apply. I have looked at varieties of research and testimonials related to autism and various etiology theories and treatment approaches - phinsights.com/autism.html is the site where I've collected much of this information and reference sources and presented my own continually expanding conclusions. I encourage everyone to listen to what people share and thoroughly investigate the ideas presented rather than being hostile to others whose views happen to challenge your own.

    - Jed S.

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  63. I found a lot of info about autism in your blog. You're doing a great job.

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  64. Jenny McCarthy sucks. She is the biggest fraud ever! How dare her use her son to make herself some money! Disgusting! And she isn't funny. Or pretty. She's a pathetic person who grabs the moment of opportunity like so many of these cheap, in the now living freaks of nature in Hollywood. She has HURT the autism community. Nobody should give her the time of day. And shame on the media for covering her bull stories.

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  65. Jenny McCarthy and the NEW age INFILTRATION OF AUTISM COMMUNITY:
    Where does Mccarthy get her inspiration and core belief system that influences her book writings and claims of curing her autistic child?
    She gets them through people like: Esther Hicks an American inspirational speaker and best-selling author. Ester and husband Jerry Hicks, present workshops on the Law of Attraction and appeared in the first release of the film The Secret. The Hickses' books, including the best-selling series The Law of Attraction, are — according to Esther Hicks — Channelled from a group of non-physical entities called Abraham (Hicks describes what she is doing as tapping into "infinite intelligence")

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