Get ready for some serious stupid, folks, stupid that threatens to engulf all reason, as a black hole engulfs all nearby matter that falls into its gravitational field.
Although I knew that Jenny McCarthy was soon to release another book promoting autism quackery, I had thought it wasn’t coming out for a month or two. The book is entitled Healing and Preventing Autism: A Complete Guide, written by Jenny and her partner in autism quackery Dr. Jerry Kartzinel. Dr. Kartzinel, some may recall, wrote the foreword to Jenny McCarthy’s very first paean to autism quackery back in 2007 and was properly lambasted by Autism Diva and Kevin Leitch for saying things like:
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..”
Unfortunately, accompanying the release of Jenny’s latest antivaccine screed is a rather extensive media appearance schedule, as announced by Generation Rescue. I suggest that you get out the barf bag before you read it. The usual suspects are there, of course. Credulous, doddering enabler of the antivaccine movement, Larry King, will be having Jenny and Jim on Larry King Live this Friday night, and, depressingly, she’s going to be on Good Morning America tomorrow. Finally, if you want any more evidence than what I’ve presented that The Doctors is a horrible, horrible show promoting false health scares that vaccines cause autism and even autism quackery falsely “balanced” as co-equal with scientific medicine and all the studies that have failed to find even a hint of a link between vaccines and autism, look no further than the fact that on April 17 and episode of The Doctors featuring Jenny McCarthy, Dr. Kartzinel, J. B. Handley, and Stan Kurtz, and a “recovered family” will be taped for viewing later. My guess is that it’ll air in May, just in time for sweeps.
Oh joy. These “Doctors” should have their medical licenses revoked.
It looks like it’s going to be a painful spring for practitioners and supporters of science-based medicine and those of us who detest pseudoscience and quackery. Indeed, the propaganda pace is accelerating; Jenny used to release just one book a year, usually in September, but this time it’s only been about six or seven months since her last book. I should have seen it coming. April is Autism Awareness month, and since I first discovered the issue I noticed that the antivaccine movement always cranks up the crazy in April. Always.
In any case, it looks to me as though the antivaccine movement won’t be content with its current low body count. It wants to spread its poison throughout the U.S. As it was in the U.K., it will be aided and abetted in this task by credulous media that either loves controversy or thrives on the mantra of “balance.”
89 replies on “Springtime for Stupid, or: Beware, a wave of stupid is about to fall upon the nation. Again.”
So Jenny and Jim will be on “Good Morning America” on April Fools’ Day? How nice for them.
Unfortunately, the irony will be lost on them.
Well now you’ve ruined my day.
Vomits on keyboard.
That quote more than anything else sickens me. The total dehumanization of a child with autism that it implies is disturbing. They aren’t “normal” therefore they have no soul and are destroyers of family. Wonderful loving message there.
What an expensive and useless way to produce toilet paper, given that each page has the excrement pre-applied.
You know, her stance on vaccination aside, that quote just makes me angry enough to swear up a blue streak. I have an ASD and my little brother has high functioning autism. Very likely the traits run in the family.
Screw you, Jenny McCarthy, for calling my little brother soulless.
As the parent of a child with ASD, I cringe every time I see Jenny McCarthy on TV or in print. I have a happy child with a fantastic sense of humour. He has a well adjusted older brother and two parents who have yet to have the life sucked out of them. Just a relatively “normal” family – go figure.
If the traditional vaccine schedule is “too much too soon” and causes autism, why hasn’t anyone in the military gotten it? I have been told by friends in frequently deployed units, it’s not uncommon for people to lose their shot records and that the military SOP in that situation is to give them every shot possible all at once, both to ensure immunity and as informal punishment for being ‘irresponsible.”
Matt, it’s a similar deal with internationally adopted children. Thanks to immigration laws and the Hague treaty, many children are vaccinated repeatedly so that all sides are absolutely sure they’ve gotten a complete set. To complicate things even more, orphanage children have a high frequency of something often called ‘acquired autism’, which they grow out of after settling into a healthy home environment. Yet the autism (true autism, that is) rate among adopted children is not sky-high. It’s not even slightly remarkable.
I’d like to find out what’s happening with the Somali immigrants’ children, because it is definitely not affecting Asian-born adoptees.
Indeed. When I entered Basic Training for the Army Reserves at age 17 (sans childhood shot record) I queued up to receive every vaccine on the list, administered simultaneously in both arms with shiny, steel, auto-loading syringes.
Suffering through scabby, weltering reactions (is that from the smallpox vaccine?) in the Alabama summer heat while wearing our stiff and cumbersome new uniforms was chastening indeed, but not one of us suffered any kind of neurological regression. Of course the anti-vaxers will counter that this is an unfair comparison because, you know, we weren’t babies at the time. Sigh.
Orac, this has been a damn depressing series of posts. Time for more puppy pictures.
So I have no soul, huh? I was wondering why I can’t dance that well.
Adoptive mom of Chinese daughter here and brother with autism. Yeah, come to think of it, she WAS vaccinated twice. GP looked her, looked at the records from the PRC, scratched his head and said let’s do it over again. She was one year, two weeks.
This isn’t a pre-April Fool’s Day joke, is it?
Not again. Must brace myself for the stupid that is about to hit the fan.
I’m not prone to expletives on the Netz (well sometimes, but not that often). But holy fucking shit. Please tell me this is a joke. She should appear nude on the cover that way everyone will know how seriously to take her.
Actually, it is an unfair comparison – autism is a developmental issue in process (it may be/is likely genetic in origin), and by 17 there’s not much left undeveloped. So, they could make the (naively) legitimate claim that the vaccines cause developmental problems and bypass that argument. The orphan argument is great, though.
As for the ‘no soul’ comment – stuff like that seems rather prevalent with the ‘cure autism’ brigade – dehumanization of those with an ASD because they’re different or more difficult than ordinary children. Kinda like a new alchemy turn the ‘lead’ children into ‘gold’ children. One notable instance is a video by Lauren Thierry called Autism Every Day. Via an article at wiretapmag.org:
And apparently the child was present during this scene. Even if on the surface that looks OK, think about it: she didn’t stop because of the autistic child, but because of what the effect would be on the normal child – i.e., autistics don’t have as much a right to life as neurotypicals.
Since I’ve been diagnosed with (apparently mild) Asperger’s Syndrome, I’ve begun to wonder what these people think about the adults, who would presumably be beyond such a cure? Are they to be considered permanently defective? And what about those suffering from NT syndrome?
Fuck, fuck, fuck. For a minute I thought you had me with a well pulled April Fools joke, Photoshopping like Dr. Isis. But a little looking showed the title is available for pre-sale on amazon and barnes&noble. Looks like people will have to write reviews.
“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..”
Jeebus cripes, they’re autistic, not the walking undead!
Spirit catches you and you fall down?
Ranting to the choir, people.
In very particular, I’m speaking to those of you who either are autistic or are closely related to autistics. There is true PR power in HOW DARE YOU! — and that power is not being used.
Isn’t it about time for someone to very publicly call them on “How DARE you call me/my child/my brother/etc. soulless?”
Alas, my comment’s in moderation.
Ugh. She is just frightening. I have a child with autism who has a beautiful soul, and I have yet to have the marrow sucked from my bones.
Can they suck the fat off instead. . .in just the right places? I’m rather attached to my marrow.
Danimal, the reviews have started. Another crapload of stoopid.
I rather think Jenny McCarthy is soulless and is sucking the marrow of life out of me and my family.
It burns me up that she is making money off of creating a public health crisis!
“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..”
Somebody really should get around to informing Herr Doktor Quack-Quack that brandishing the terms “soul” and “life’s marrow” in that fashion smacks of either demagoguery, a lack of a decent editor or taking your cues from far too many bad horror novels he’s read.
(Kudos to Orac for pointing out that my brief channel-surfs past The Doctors were completely justified in not staying on that channel for longer than half a minute.)
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..”
This is bullshit.
I have a six year old brother with autism. He is in special ed because he does have some significant delay (a year or two, last evaluation), but despite his difficulties he is one of the most affectionate people I have ever met.
He will go up to random people in the supermarket, take their hand out of their pocket, shake and say “Hi! My name is Andrew, and I’m six years old!”
Now, this certainly is concerning social behavior, but not because he’s a “soulless” child with no ability to show compassion– quite the opposite! If anyone’s a danger to anyone, it’d be the weirdo he could be shaking hands with.
This makes me sick. D:<
Well, admittedly, I don’t believe in the concept of souls, but last I checked, all of my family members still possessed marrow.
…Oh, sorry, LIFE’S marrow. Life’s marrow, life’s marrow… nope, no life’s marrow here. MY GOD, SHE MUST BE RIGHT.
“Now, this certainly is concerning social behavior, but not because he’s a “soulless” child with no ability to show compassion– quite the opposite! If anyone’s a danger to anyone, it’d be the weirdo he could be shaking hands with.”
Well put and exactly right.
“There is something about autism that to me gave meaning to the phrase âdeath in lifeâ. Autism is an impossible condition of being there and not being there; a person without a self; a life without a soul.”
Not from the vaccines-cause-autism camp, but from Catherine Maurice’s famous and very influential book, “Let Me Hear Your Voice.” Dr Maurice was the driving force behind ASAT (Association for Science in Autism Treatment).
Homestly, as a medical student, I find this very depressing. I feel like a globe manufacturer during a Flat Earth Society revolution. Except this is deadlier.
Hopefully, McCarthy will become bored with her brand of stupid and go away. Unfortunately, she will have done incredible harm in the interim.
My “soulless” child is having a Mad Science birthday party this weekend for his eighth birthday. I must say, I am rather enjoying his obsession for all things NASA, and I am tickled pink that he has expressed a desire to be a scientist, maybe an astronaut, or a doctor of some sort.
The only thing that makes our lives more difficult is the attitude that autistics are “less” than NTs, the curabies and biomedical wackaloons, and of course the constant struggle to obtain services my son is entitled to. It most certainly isn’t my son that makes life difficult.
I wonder what kind of claims to healing they make in the book. Maybe they were stupid enough to make an actual treatment claim and the FDA or FTC can come down on them, like they did with Trudeau.
It doesn’t work that way. Writing a book is how Kevin Trudeau got around the FDA/FTC ban. When he was making infomercials, the FTC could stop him. Writing a book is protected by the First Amendment.
No, there will be no legal repercussions.
I was recently offered the chance to order (in advance) a copy of this book by a very large on-line book seller, probably because I had previously bought books written by folks with Asperger’s (I have a son with screaming AS, and it is such a treat to read these wonderful books). This seller must have neglected to look at the scathing reviews that I have written for JMcC’s past books on their site.
Yes, my son was vaccinated. But due to the fact that AS is running rampant through my immediate family, and many others are ‘odd’ (to say the least), plenty of musicians and engineers (!) I’m not blaming the vaccines!
This is from a Q & A with Jenny Mccarthy that is on Time Magazine’s website. Her response to a question about possible outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases resulting from selectively vaccinating or refusing to vaccinate: “I do believe sadly it’s going to take some diseases coming back to realize that we need to change and develop vaccines that are safe. If the vaccine companies are not listening to us, it’s their f—ing fault that the diseases are coming back. They’re making a product that’s s—. If you give us a safe vaccine, we’ll use it. It shouldn’t be polio versus autism.” This woman is insane and she must be stopped.
Thanks for clearing that up, Orac. Vigilante justice it is, then.
After DebinOz post, I read up on Asperger’s. I wasn’t a clumsy, socially awkward kid who spoke too loud and had an odd obsession with Lego, I was a victim of an ASD! No wonder I became an engineer, let me go count my screws again, there was as 10/28 in the 10/20 last time I checked.
Any chance I can collect benefits retroactively?
Well, hopefully this book will sell even more poorly than its predecessors. “Louder Than Words” did OK when it first came out. The second Jenny McCarthy book “Mother Warriors” didn’t sell very well.
At present on Amazon.com
“Louder Than Words” (paperback): #8,456 in Books
“Louder Than Words” (hardcover): #24,152 in Books
“Mother Warriors” (paperback): #9,247 in Books
“Mother Warriors” (hardcover): #6,268 in Books
“Autism’s False Prophets”: #3,056 in Books
At least on Amazon.com you don’t have anti-vaxers running around the bookstores trying to hide the copies of Autism’s False Prophets. Several local bookstores had copies of it in stock but for some “mystery” reason they didn’t seem to be in the section where they were supposed to be. I would imagine in a few years when they rearrange the bookshelves they will find them shoved underneath or something similar.
I had an opportunity to get a free copy of this in exchange for a review. Hell, I kind of figured I could write a review for it without ever actually opening the book. I feel sort of guilty I didn’t take it though, as now the free copy I could have grabbed might fall into the hands of a believer, rather than into the trash where it belongs.
Michelle, you’re right that this kind of thinking about autism doesn’t originate with antivaccinationists. I recall your blog post about the origins of autism ABA and Ivar Lovaas’ statement:
“You see, you start pretty much from scratch when you work with an autistic child. You have a person in the physical senseâthey have hair, a nose and a mouthâbut they are not people in the psychological sense. One way to look at the job of helping autistic kids is to see it as a matter of constructing a person. You have the raw materials, but you have to build the person.” (from an interview with Chance, 1974)
I’m gratified to see the autism research establishment shifting away from the autistics as non-persons view, but it’s certainly nothing new.
Orac, thanks for pointing out that Dr. Kartzinel is perpetuating this demeaning and harmful stereotype. It’s the last thing I want to see from a pediatrician who has autistic kids in his care.
D.C. Sessions, Dr. Kartzinel was roundly criticized by autistic people and their allies when his comment about stolen souls was published in McCarthy’s book. Unfortunately, this way of thinking is so ingrained in the Big Autism community that it doesn’t provoke the outrage that you think it would. I think that viewing autistic people as non-persons is the root of autism woo. It’s insidious. But to see autistic people trying to counter this view, check out the No Myths public service announcement from the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network and the Dan Marino Foundation.
There are two very disturbing ideas encapsulated in this single sentence.
 Autistic people are not actually “people”, they are the shells of people. As such, they have no intrinsic worth except to the extent which the original person (the “lost child”) can be “recovered”.
As such, there is no “treatment” which is too drastic, too dangerous or too painful or too unethical to be used on an autistic person. Anything that might “recover” the real person that was “lost” is reasonable and justified, even if it hurts the “shell” that is left behind.
In Dr. Kartzinel’s world, it is better to be dead than autistic. As he sees it, the autistic “shell” is not really a person and, as a result, has no rights or expectations of humane treatment.
 Autistic people cause damage to the “real” people in their environment. They don’t just increase the burden on parents and society, they suck the life out of anyone they come in contact with.
By this “logic”, autistic people should not be allowed to attend regular schools and should probably not even be allowed out of the house. In Dr. Kartzinel’s view, they are “toxic waste” and need to be “recovered” or…..or what?.
What does Dr. Kartzinel propose we do with autistic children who cannot be “recovered”, since we obviously can’t leave them with their families to “…suck life’s marrow…” out of them?
This is a chilling view into Dr. Kartzinel’s worldview as it pertains to autism.
I’m not a psychologist, but it appears that Dr. Kartzinel has a lot of guilt about his child’s autism. Since he blames vaccinations (probably because he is a scientific ignoramus), and since he administered his child’s vaccinations, he – by his own warped logic – is responsible for his child’s autism.
Perhaps it is Dr. Kartzinel who is “…sucking life’s marrow…” from his family members because of his inability to realize that he is not responsible for his child’s autism. And perhaps it is Dr. Kartzinel’s unresolved anger that leads him to see autistic people in such a grim light.
To be sure, it is a tremendous burden to raise a disabled child – as I know all too well. However, needlessly blaming yourself and catastrophizing the situation do not make it any easier. Dr. Kartzinel needs to stop trying to increase the burden and guilt of parents with autistic children and get himself some professional psychological help.
I just watched the Jenny GMA interview… what Jenny and her new maverick doctor friend said made little to no sense. Of course they KNOW the cause of autism is toxins, and if you decrease your exposure to toxins, you can avoid autism!
Jenny’s prescription for no autism:
1) moms-to-be get your silver fillings pulled
2) don’t paint your baby’s nursery (unless it’s with anti-VOC paint)
3) don’t carpet your house
4) don’t put a mattress in your baby’s crib
5) don’t use Scot’s on your lawn and let your baby crawl around on it
6) don’t use toxins to grow bugs in your house (the doc said this, and it made me laugh)
Of course, Jenny also mentions that if you have a family history of psychiatric illness or autoimmune disease, you are at-risk for autism. BUT in the next breath, Jenny’s doc friend says that there is no genetic cause for autism, it’s all about the toxins. But if there are risk factors to be seen in your family tree, then doesn’t that suggest genetics? You can’t have it both ways!
Well don’t forget prayer.
“Less than one percent … can be attributed to genetic causes, so if you’re not born with it, it must be something in our environment,” Kartzinel said on “Good Morning America.”
Mein Gott im Himmel!
She pisses me off so much. Not only does the stupid poor out of her mouth, but she tries to make it out that she speaks for all parents. I sincerely hope she doesn’t even speak for most parents.
I really think that her ‘rejection’ and ‘saving’ of her child is such a reflection of her personality and lifestyle.
Imagine if she had given birth to my child! He was born without eyes, a bilateral cleft lip and palate, and has since been diagnosed with Asperger’s and epilepsy. I bet she would have thrown him in the bin.
What she would have missed out on: a very clever and articulate young man, who is musically gifted, getting an advanced education, is in a band that has toured overseas (check out: http://www.rudelyinterrupted.com), etc.
A shell? Nope! Sucking the life out of his family? Nope! A pain in the arse? Yep! Lots of work? Yep! Worth it? Yep!!!!
@DebinOz: thanks for the link to your son’s band. Sounds very cool, and I will listen to it when I get home from work tonight. (And aren’t ALL kids, “normal” or not, pains? I love mine to death but sometimes….!)
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
Stealing sole? What’s next? Pilfering pickerel? Hoarding haddock? If you ask me, the whole thing seems rather fishy.
Maybe not — some of them, alas, aren’t up to being much trouble.
On the other hand  I think you’ll find that there’s a very strong correlation between parental pain and parental satisfaction. YMMV. HTH. HAND.
 Speaking as the father of (now adult) twin ADHD boys, mind.
JenniMonster update: I caught a brief snippet of her singing her usual song on some infotainment show (Access Hollywood?) yesterday. The usual sense of impending nausea passed over me quickly and I moved on, fully aware of the fact that she looks more and more like a typical celebrity Quack Medicine of the Week shill and less like a real human being with each passing second.
I am amazed at the strength of the above reactions to Jenny McCarthy. It sounds as if many of you only have experience with mild forms of autism. There are still plenty of children who will grow up to be adults that need to be institutionalized or at least supervised full time. I don’t think she was referring to high functioning levels of autism when she made that comment about autism stealing a soul from a child. Why are so many people attacking her? Whether or not she knows anything about curing autism, she is one of many authors that have written about treating autism. What is it about her that angers so many people?
Another thing that amazes me is that why does everyone blindly accept this is a genetic disease? Most genetic diseases are found in limited ancestry groups. For example, sickle cell anemia is found mainly in those of African descent. Autism is linked with industrialized countries, not any particular ancestry. While there is evidence that supports autism running in families, why does everyone assume its a genetic diesease and not an epigenetic disease? That would make more sense and it would explain both why certain people seem to inherit this disease and also why you find it in varying ancestries. By giving autism the genetically inherited label, it seems like everyone is off the hook for trying to find out why there is such a dramatic increase. Its almost as if most people would rather debate mundane details than actually try to figure out the causes.
It can only be genetic among the same racial group? Please help me here, do you somehow believe that humans descended from the same line at some point in our history? Do you truly believe that you do not share some genes with Africans or Jewish people or others? I would tread carefully on this ground else you might imply something you did not intend to imply. All it means is the genetic link may run further back than that.
Have you actually listened to Jenny? Outside of the fact she drops the F-bomb every other word in an interview, she provides some very wrong information about vaccines. Apparently you haven’t had this discussion with your parents or grandparents, but these diseases are bad. Horrible. Watch the movie Parenthood sometime, the part toward the end where Jason Robards tells his son (Steve Martin) about the time when he and his wife thought he had Polio, and how that experience has affect his whole life since. Families had to go through things like that.
Polio has been beaten, but thanks to Jenny and her ilk, she believes that Polio (and other diseases) might have to make a comeback according to a recent interview. All to fix problems that have been repeatedly been proven invalid.
Scientists would love to find the cause of Autism. Talk to Jenny about why they have to continue to research the vaccine link over and over and over and over and over again. Despite the fact that no real research has ever found a link and the people who claim they found one (like Wakefield and the Geiers) have direct conflicts of interest and have accepted large amounts of cash from lawyers. Ask her why Generation Rescue has spent exactly ZERO dollars of their donation money on research into the cause of Autism. Ask her why they continue to push “treatments” from people that are just looking to turn a quick buck at the expense of desperate parents. There is no thimerisol (mercury!!!) in vaccines for the last 8 years and there was never any in the MMR – so why in the hell are they still recommending chelation (which can and has killed a child)?
Researchers would love to move on to more promising research – but Jenny and her supporters won’t let it happen. They won’t be happy until vaccines are gone and childhood disease becomes commonplace again – then they might let us move on to find the real cause.
Ah, I see Judy. Only low functioning autistic children (like my son) are soul-less. Screw you.
Saying autism is primarily genetic does not mean that it’s inherited. There are no doubt unknown de novo mutations that account for many cases of autism, as evidence by the paternal age correlation.
Second, saying autism is genetic does not mean that it’s 100% genetic. Basically no human characteristic shows 100% concordance in identical twins. Most if not all disorders considered genetic do not have a demonstrated 100% concordance.
Third, trying to find why there’s a dramatic increase in autism diagnoses does not only involve trying to find what it is that the government or the pharmaceutical companies did. There are a number of other possibilities. Looking at artifacts like diagnostic substitution and awareness is one way to look at the question, and probably the most plausible and supported way.
Oh and by the way Judy, are you aware that Jenny is spreading “information” about vaccines due to her own experience with her son? You know, the one that she claimed was an “Indigo Child” because of his “special” characteristics – then after he gets the MMR he is autistic because of his “special” characteristics? Yeah, the vaccine changed him. Right. It definitely couldn’t have anything to do with the fact that she smoked and drank while pregnant – a known cause of birth defects. It’s definitely the vaccine.
You didn’t know that? Maybe that’s because she tried to do a quick history revision. Why would she want to hide that? Oh yeah, that might put a dent in the sales of her books. All the evidence you need of that is readily available on Internet caching sites.
She is making quite a pretty penny off of her “experience” preaching about the “dangers” of vaccines. Someone with no medical training, a history of questionable judgement and a blatant attempt to revise her own past – and you aren’t upset she is trying to guide public opinion?!?
Wrong. The “low-functioning” autistic children that I have daily contact with do not appear to missing their “souls”. Care to try again?
So, it’s OK to write about “treating” autism even if you don’t know anything about it? Jenny McCarthy writing about autism “cures” or “treatment” is as relevant as me (a distinctly non-mechanically-inclined person) writing about auto repair. After all, I drive a car, so that makes me an expert on what’s wrong with it and how to fix it, right?
Right? Or did I miss something?
Wrong again. Most genetic diseases are spontaneous mutations or are widely distributed in the population.
Wrong yet again. Autism occurs in every country. However, only those with modern medical systems have the facilities to gather medical information – like the prevalence of autism.
Actually, it was the fact that there were families with heritable autism that made it apparent that autism is a genetic disease. More powerful genetic tools are making it apparent that the more common “non-familial” autism is due to both de novo mutations and “epigenetics” like DNA methylation and maternal effects. Judy’s use of “epigenetics” appears to be in the more limited sense of “caused by external environmental factors”.
As far as I know, nobody is saying that autism is inherited in a simple Mendelian fashion – that’s just the straw man that people like Jenny McCarthy like to use. It is only the minority of human traits that follow simple Mendelian dominant/recessive patterns – most have some epigenetic (in the broader molecular genetics sense) influences.
After tossing Judy’s straw man to the side, the real issue is that the “epigenetic” (environmental) factors that Jenny McCarthy is stridently blaming for autism (vaccines) have, in fact, been tested and found to not correlate with autism.
If we are to find external environmental factors that “cause” or “trigger” autism (assuming that they exist), we need to stop looking at factors that have been tested and shown to be unrelated to autism and start looking at other factors. Jenny McCarthy is standing in the way of looking at those other factors.
Perhaps that’s what makes people angry at Jenny – her selfish “I’m right and nothing you say will ever convince me I’m wrong!” whining about vaccines and autism. She’s standing in the way of real autism research and she’s convincing people to put their children (and other people’s children) at a very real risk from infectious diseases.
“Perhaps that’s what makes people angry at Jenny – her selfish “I’m right and nothing you say will ever convince me I’m wrong!” whining about vaccines and autism.
Point of note, she has only one child? Her developmental experience (comparison of developmental stages) with children of autism is singular. She can not compare developmental stages with that to a sibling that did not have autism or even another child that had autism to a greater or lesser degree. I believe she is likely to be a bit ADHD in her own right after watching her manner in a few interviews.
What was the father (sperm contributor) like. What is Jennies history with drug usage or the child’s fathers history. Is there someone in the family on either or both sides that was a bit unusual?
Frankly, watching her and her boyfriend Jim Carey holding hands on “Larry King Live” last night gushing over the “clear as the nose on your face” obvious correlation = causation link and why isn’t something done is really more than I can bare much longer.
Prometheus is correct, her desperate attempt to “seek the the limelight” and attention not only risks public health perspectives but diverts attention from real autism research. She believes that she can “Like, change the world” with little knowledge of any kind within the subject matter that she has chosen. She has been further stimulated in her ADHD rage much like you get a child rev’d up before bedtime by support of Doctors such as Kartzinel and J.B.Handley.
Well then what do we make of the parents of ASD kids that noted significant changes is the children (loss of eye contact, loss of language skills, etc.)?
What do we make of all the ASD kids that bad GI problems that were not helped with conventional medicine, but were with alternative?
What do we make of the ASD kids that progressed with social and communication skills following using alternative means?
What do make of kids that have elevated levels of heavy metals in their bodies?
Do we discredit these people? Is it only coincidence?
Do we tell them, “Well there is no research to show that X-Y-Z works?”
Perhaps the research does not give us any indication as to what “causes” ASD or how to “fix” it. But does that mean that there is no “cause” or “fix”?
Spend 1 day in my shoes and you will have the same questions?
Enough of this “one days in my shoes” bollocks. We’ve already been through this. We have parents of ASD kids as well as autistic commentors on this blog, so this card doesn’t play. btw, a lot of them think your opinions are bunk because they have looked at actual scientific evidence.
I do infectious disease research. Is none of my work valid until I contract cholera, yellow fever, malaria, syphilis, et al?
You didn’t address my questions. These things infact have occured with my son.
What of the notion that the “research” for the casue of ASD has not been created yet?
Should I just sit on the sidelines and patiently wait?
Neurobiologists, psychologists, psychiatrists, neurologists and hosts of other researchers *ARE* looking at etiologies of autism, and they have repeatedly found that the ones your ilk have hypothesized are not linked to autism. They took thimerosol out of MMR and in CA have continued to see rising rates of autism diagnoses.
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2008 Jan;65(1):15-6.
Continuing increases in autism reported to California’s developmental services system: mercury in retrograde.
As for high Hg, if you went to these guys for results, I’d be dubious of the results. Did he present with ACTUAL symptoms of heavy metal poisoning? If you look at the actual case definitions, they’re not consistent with presentations of autism, unless they suddenly included blindess in their definition of ASD.
Given that there is high rates of concordance of ASD among twins and within families, the research is pointing towards genetic factors and predispositions towards ASD.
You’ve been in an echo chamber surrounded by other parents for so long, that there’s biasing about your experiences and how you retell them.
Honestly, I’m waiting for this birth cohort to grow up and be able to respond to the way they were treated and perceived by their parents. Jenny’s favorite doctor doesn’t think autistic kids have souls, and Jenny herself thinks it’d be better to let some kids die of infectious diseases because the collateral damage is a better payoff than having kids live with autism. The sick thing is it’s NOT a choice between the two — some kids will die without vaccines, and others will still continue to turn up with autism.
I’ve spent about 5900 days “in your shoes”, by my calculation. Maybe I might be qualified to answer your questions.
Regressive autism is a well-known type of autism. I don’t know of anyone who denies that it exists. Your point?
What about them? Have you a citation for a study about these children with “bad GI problems” that were treated unsuccessfully with “mainstream” medical therapies and then successfully treated with “alternative” therapies? I haven’t seen such a study or even a case report. I have, however, heard lots of stories about it. Then again, I’ve heard stories about Bigfoot, too.
If you give anyone a chelating agent (like DMSA, DMPS, etc.), their excretion of “heavy metals” will be “off the chart” for the simple reason that the “chart” (i.e. the “normal range”) is for people who are not being chelated.
Soden et al showed that autistic children have no more “heavy metal” excretion after chelation than non-autistic children. The people claiming the opposite have not shown their data. The thing speaks for itself.
On this, you are at least partially correct. “The research” hasn’t told us exactly what causes autism, but it has shown us a number of things that don’t cause autism: mercury and vaccines are two of those things.
“The research” has also shown us that there are a number of genetic mutations that are associated with autism. That and the numerous cases of familial autism make it pretty clear that autism is genetically determined.
“The research” has also not shown us how to “fix” autism – although it has shown us a lot of things that help. It has also shown us a lot of things that don’t “fix” autism.
It really is the job of the people who claim to have found a “cure” for autism to “prove” that their “cure” works. It’s not my job and it’s not your job to “prove” that they are right or wrong. If someone claims that chelation “fixes” autism, let them show us their data – show us why they think chelation “cures” autism.
So far, the people claiming that chelation “cures” or “fixes” autism haven’t been willing to show us their data. They want us to simply believe them – after all, they know they’re right; why should they have to prove it to us?
It never ceases to amaze me that the same people who are so very skeptical of scientists and doctors can completely switch off their skepticism when someone claims to have found “the cure” for autism that “mainstream science” overlooked.
Doesn’t it stretch credulity a bit that some suburban general practitioner who never managed to complete a residency program somehow comes up with a “miraculous cure” for autism in the form of a cream you rub on the skin? And that’s not the most outrageous of the “autism cure” stories.
Still walking in those shoes, one day at a time.
Should I just sit on the sidelines and patiently wait?>>>>
No you shouldn’t. You should do biomedical because it works, and you should do it before your kid is big enough to drag you across the room by your hair, or worse, kill you, like Trudy Steuernagel’s son did.
Mainstream medicine will never acknowledge that their ridiculous and reckless quackery did this to our kids. Trying to discuss this issue with them is a complete waste of time.
Who are your “guys”. Your link didn’t work.
“You’ve been in an echo chamber surrounded by other parents for so long, that there’s biasing about your experiences and how you retell them”
Don’t make assumptions about me. Have some data to back it up. These thing happened to my kid that was “hitting his milestones”
Bottom line is that you don’t live with this problem. I will make an assumption about you now. If your normally progressing (according to his pediatrician) presented with several months of “viruses” that required hospitalization for pancreatitis you would look for any answer … of which his pediatrican, Gastroenterologist, and mitochondrial specialist – had none.
Jen, I appreciate your words.
Perhaps, I am not as well versed in the research as these guys, but I will have a voice.
What I do know is that my son was “normal” – according to his MD. After several illnesses and several weeks of endless screaming from a 2 year old we had no “research” that could help us. So we found a DAN Doc and things are better.
Doctor’s Data http://www.doctorsdata.com They suck.
My other references worked, so you can’t criticize me for those.
And I’m going to assume plenty about you since you sound like every other foot-stomping mother who comes in here and parrots the same thing about metal levels and gastrointestinal distresses. Orac’s already covered the topic at length and included plenty of evidence.
But go ahead and keep telling us you’re not like the rest of them.
Someone said it here a while ago that autism used to be considered a form of childhood schizophrenia, and I think there’s a bit of truth to that. Schizophrenics present normal until they reach a point in their 20s when they have onset of symptoms. What’s not to say that autism isn’t similar? You have an otherwise normal kid who makes his milestones, then reaches a point around 18 months when symptoms have onset.
So, when’s AoA going to start funding research studies to locate autism’s etiologies? Seems most of their money goes into adverts and attacking vaccines, despite the link having been debunked many times over.
Oh jen and joalgo, I hear echoes in your chambers.
Go ahead and mutually masturbate each other with the advice you have already deemed appropriate. You can have voice, but if you’re singing the wrong lyrics, then wtf is the point?
Rogue, Don’t be so defensive. Your link didn’t work. But I didn’t use them. I used Laboratoire Philippe Auguste
Sorry I don’t fully trust the CDC. Foxes guarding the hen house.
I don’t know who I’m like, I guess I’m like a regular foot stomping father.
I won’t disagree with your Schizo analogy. There has to be a trigger, though.
Prove that DAN! doesn’t work
Until then I’ll go with what has.
It’s impossible to prove a negative. One must prove it works.
And improvement does not without controls. Lots of kids who attend very competitive colleges ski, but that’s not necessarily the reason they got in in the first place.
dedicated luker, I agree.
But, there have been a great number of people that have used DAN! with good results.
Do we ignore them?
“Do we ignore them?”
Of course not, but it’s not anyone else’s responsibility to prove that DAN works or doesn’t work.
It’s up to the people that think DAN works to prove it, to the same standard of evidence that is required of everyone and anyone else.
Laboratoire Philippe Auguste? How are they better than DDI? What does trust in the CDC have to do with anything?
I’m familiar with many of the prominent parents who use DAN! approaches. I see no reason to believe the improvements they see are greater than they would normally be. I know many parents who don’t use biomed at all, and they also report improvements on a regular basis. I don’t see any unusual recovery rate from the parents I’ve followed for years.
Whenever a parent shows up with a “recovered” child, it’s usually a parent I’ve never heard of. It’s not surprising they would exist, considering the sheer number of autistic children.
If that’s true, then DAN! should have had plenty of opportunity to gather hard data to prove their efficacy. If they’re unable to present such data, then one of two things is true. Either they have no such data because their ‘good results’ are actually no better than chance (autistic children do often improve over time, even without quackery). Or they’re unwilling to do the work that would actually prove to the world that they have something which works.
Prove that it does.
I know of a large number of people who have “used DAN!” with no improvement at all AND I know a lot of people who didn’t “use DAN!” and saw good improvement – do we ignore them?
That’s why we do science, Joalgo, so that we don’t fool ourselves.
So here’s what DAN! should do if they want us in the scientific community to accept their methods: cohort study, measuring DAN! patients against gold-standard ABA patients and look at the outcomes. Stratify for age, race, socioeconomic status, history of familial ASD.
Here’s the difficulty (for DAN! parents, anyway): the kids still need their shots, and chelation should not be used to treat autism as it has already been established as dangerous.
“…chelation should not be used to treat autism as it has already been established as dangerous.”
I’m sure you’re referring to the 5 year old boy who died after a *medication* error (not the therapy itself) a few years back. (He was given disodium EDTA instead of calcium disodium EDTA). Would you like to have a discussion about the *thousands* of medication errors that kill and/or disable in *mainstream* medicine each and every year? I can cite plenty of tragic examples, if you like.
Frankly, I’m not convinced that chelation is as “dangerous” as some of you would like us to believe, as long as it’s done by someone who knows what they’re doing.
The difference is that with “mainstream” medical therapies there is usually decent evidence to suggest that they work. It’s all about patients making informed decisions based on balancing risk and reward. Chelation treatment for autism is based on a discredited, crank hypothesis. There is no evidence that it significantly alters the course of autism. Thus, chelation treatment for autism has an awful risk to reward ratio.
Any amount of risk for no proven benefit is too much.
Chelation is dangerous if used when not clinically indicated, whether the ‘wrong’ agent was given or no.
At the moment, there appears to be very scant evidence that chelation is clinically indicated in autism, except in cases of comorbid disorders.
Saying chelation isn’t dangerous if the person knows what they’re doing is like saying slicing someone open with a scalpel blade isn’t dangerous if you know what you’re doing. In both cases you would only do it if you thought it was clinically indicated and there was an evidence base for your decision, as there is in the mainstream uses for chelation.
To do either without a proper evidence base for your clinical reasoning can constitute both a breach of professional ethics and standards, a physical assault, and fraud.
Since thimerasol was removed almost ten years ago, then why in the hell are they chelating children for “vaccine damage” that are way younger than that? Why do anti-vaxers like to point to the MMR and thimerasol as causing autism when the MMR never had it in it in the first place?
I’ve seen local parents that don’t vaccinate go to a local DAN! doctor and test for heavy metals. Guess what? They always find them. Every single time. Vaccines or no vaccines. The anti-vaxers are always shocked by the results! Imagine that, they always find something they can then sell you a snappy expensive treatment to cure.
Anti-vaxers are horrified at Big Pharma because they believe they are only in it for the money, but blindly accept a DAN! doctor’s words like a freaking bobble head.
Wake up. It’s called telling you what you want to hear. Con artists have been doing that for years. You would figure being “educated” about vaccines would include being educated about con games involving them preying on parental fears. All they have to do is say the word “cure” and people will believe anything they pull out of their ass.
Maybe that’s the key to all this. Some con artist needs to start selling a “cure” that is nothing more than staying up to date on the CDC vaccine schedule. At least then when parents get relieved of their hard earned money the children get something useful out of the deal.
Since thimerasol was removed almost ten years ago, then why in the hell are they chelating children for “vaccine damage” that are way younger than that? Why do anti-vaxers like to point to the MMR and thimerasol as causing autism when the MMR never had it in it in the first place?>>>>>>>>
Yeah, this was an issue that always bothered me with the vaccine/autism hypotheses…First it was thimerosal, then the MMR,(which I am well aware never contained thimerosal) now it seems to be aluminum. Antimony, cadmium, and lead levels seem to be elevated in these kids too. Those things aren’t present in vaccines, and I’m no more likely to think that mercury in vaccines causes autism than mercury from dental fillings. I think it’s more a question of why these kids can’t excrete, and I have my own theories about that, which I have been vocal about in the past here.
Actually, they’ve never been shown to have problems excreting heavy metals (or even light metals). Holmes et al found that the autistic children in their study had a little less than the national average for hair mercury, while their “control” (non-autistic) group had several times the national average. This doesn’t sound like poor excretion – more like poor study design or poor lab analysis.
Other studies have shown low hair mercury, but have failed to show that this is due to “poor excretion” as opposed to reduced intake. Maybe autistic children are better at excreting mercury, which would explain why less ends up in their hair. People who actually have poor mercury excretion have been shown to have elevated hair mercury.
When someone actually does a study that shows poor excretion (as opposed to low hair mercury), then I’ll believe it.
We want a study!!
Holmes et al found that the autistic children in their study had a little less than the national average for hair mercury, while their “control” (non-autistic) group had several times the national average. This doesn’t sound like poor excretion – more like poor study design or poor lab analysis.>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Right. The control group was excreting mercury and the hair results reflected that, whereas the autistic group had lower hair levels because they *weren’t* excreting. The results were surprising to the authors of this study at first until they realized this.
BTW, Prometheus, something has been bothering me since our last discussion. You had said that Tylenol depletes glutathione “in the liver, the organ that metabolizes it.” You seemed to imply that glutathione wouldn’t be depleted elsewhere. The following studies seem to suggest otherwise:
“…Studies of patients with asthma suggest that acetaminophen challenge can precipitate a decline in FEV(1) > 15% among sensitive individuals. Plausible mechanisms to explain this association include depletion of pulmonary glutathione and oxidative stress.”
“… A time- and concentration-dependent decrease of intracellular GSH occurred after acetaminophen (0.05-1 mM) exposure (1-4 h) in pulmonary macrophages (up to 53%) and type II pneumocytes (up to 34%).”
“…Acetaminophen decreases glutathione levels in the lung, which may predispose to oxidative injury and bronchospasm. Acetaminophen use has been associated with asthma in cross-sectional studies and a birth cohort.”
“…Detoxification of paracetamol may deplete stores of glutathione, which is one of the major antioxidants present in the lung. A reduced source of glutathione in the lung may lead to increased oxidative damage to the epithelium and hence increased frequency and severity of asthma attacks in susceptible individuals.”
Care to elaborate further?
Anyone who claims a child with Autism is “soulless” needs to be forcibly incarcerated. I’ve KNOWN people with autistic children.
As for those who are Anti-vaccine, I have one thing to say about that. If you’re going to be stupid at LEAST be stupid in a way that doesn’t promote reckless endangerment of others. Try getting a bad tattoo, or skydiving with no parachute. At least THOSE aren’t harming others. Just you, and there’s really no loss on anyone else’s part if YOU leave the genetic pool.
Dude, even though I agree with you… what is with posting on an over two year old thread? Have you even looked at the most recent pages of this blog?
Through the haze I see you 😉