For the past two days my newsfeed has been going crazy with stories, articles, status updates and comments about Jenny McCarthy. I do not know Jenny McCarthy. We’ve never met. Quite frankly, I have no desire to meet her. We have nothing in common. I’m not famous for ridiculous reasons, or any reason really. I’m just a mama of three boys, one of whom has Autism. Asperger’s, to be exact.
I’m not going to get into any debates with anyone over vaccines, or causes of Autism. I’m just not. I’ve been researching Autism ever since our school psychologist uttered the words that ultimately changed our lives, a little over two years ago. We think your son has Asperger’s. It’s a form of Autism. It’s still painful to see those words in black and white, on my screen. It’s painful to say them. Being given a possible diagnosis of Autism is difficult. And so very overwhelming. There are forms upon forms. Tests. More forms. And so much information to process. It’s dizzying. Having a circle of friends who had already been through the process really helped.
What does NOT help? Jenny McCarthy and her foolishness. Nub has Autism. He will not “grow out of it”. He does not need to be “cured”. He is not “broken”. He does not need to be “fixed”. He needs to be loved and accepted for exactly who he is. Nub. My sweet, funny, quirky boy. A boy who wants to be your child’s friend. A boy who doesn’t want to be bullied just because he is different. Different, not less. Never less.
I don’t enjoy hearing about Jenny McCarthy. Nor do I much enjoy talking about her. So this will most likely be the last time I ever mention her. The damage she has done to the Autism community is palpable. Not to mention the fear she instilled into the hearts and minds of parents the world over. I’m sorry, but fear doesn’t equal awareness. Fear is fear. And that I cannot get behind.
Being an Autism parent is hard enough without us turning on each other. And it’s harder still when you read comments from people who still believe what she said. Even though her son never had Autism to begin with. Please, do your own research. Form your own opinions based on that research. Figure out what works best for your kid. Because you know your child best. Not some “celebrity” who clearly has no idea what she is talking about. Learn everything you can. And don’t ever stop.
I am his voice, and he is my heart. Period. I will never stop fighting for him.