Is it just me or have those of us in the Autism community given Jenny McCarthy too much power? I really think we have.
I’m not even going to start with what I believe to be the real issue we should be focusing on, which is her stance on vaccinations, but with her recent categorization of so-called “warrior moms” versus “victim moms.” I’m very happy for her that she had the right to choose the medical route she has chosen for her son and that she is happy with the results. It is not the path my husband and I have chosen for our son, nor would we choose that even if we did have the money and connections she has. We have found no scientific evidence to support these methods are effective, so we will not use them. That doesn’t make us victims. It makes us informed.
In fact, I’ve taken a good long look at my husband and me and at our children and I can safely say there are no victims here. Being a victim implies you have no power over your situation. No, we didn’t choose for Joel to have Autism, but he has it nevertheless. We chose not to wring our hands and worry, but to educate ourselves. We found out what options were available to him and have used them. We enrolled him in our local public school system where a wonderful team of people rallied around him and us and made it their mission to devise and implement a learning plan based on his skills and needs. We have accepted Joel’s Autism as it is a part of who he is. It affects everything that we do, but we are an adaptable group of people. Acceptance does not mean we are doing nothing.
One thing I will not accept, however, is Jenny McCarthy defining me as a mother, or my husband as a father. She may share similar experiences with us, but she doesn’t know the first thing about us. I will not even give her the power over me by letting what she says offend me. She can say I’m a Satan worshipper for all I care. It doesn’t make it true. I’ve read several really good blog posts by other Autism parents who share my sentiments in this regard who are completely infuriated that she said these things and while I cheered them on from my computer, the other part of me said, “Do not give this person that power over you.” She is not an authority figure on any of this. She is not a medical professional, nor a scientific researcher. She is a person who became famous after she posed for Playboy, had a few parts in some movies and t.v. shows and was in a committed relationship with Jim Carrey. No where in her resume does it say she is qualified to judge anyone for making parenting decisions that differ from hers.
If we are going to hold Jenny accountable for anything, it must be for the misinformation she is spreading about vaccinations. There is no scientific evidence to support vaccinations have a link to the emergence of Autism, but we do have tons of evidence to support the fact that vaccines do save lives. Her crusade to vilify vaccinations extends outside of the Autism community and affects everyone. If people are refusing to vaccinate themselves or their children, they are literally putting everyone else at risk.
So, to recap, Jenny is a nuisance to the human race not because she believes she is a superior parent, but because she is using her position in the limelight to spread misinformation that endangers lives. That is my opinion on the matter. Anyone who disagrees is more than welcome to post a comment or send us an email. As long as the discussion is friendly and we all agree to be respectful of differing ideas, I am in favor of some good dialogue on the issue.