Cross posted at Say Anything: Reader Blogs.
The other day while I was at the dentist's office I had the misfortune to catch Jenny McCarthy and Holly Robinson Pete's interview with Larry King. They also had a so called autism doctor, one Jerry Kartzinel, join them.
After seeing most of the interview I understand now why everyone is so irate over Jenny McCarthy's recent surfacing as an autism mom. I'm still contemplating a longer post about Jenny McCarthy's opinions on autism but there are two things that really stuck for me in the Larry King interview.
By far the best question that Larry King asked Pete and McCarthy was if they knew any autistic adults. Both said that they didn't know any. Here are two women purporting to know so much about autism, more than your average pediatrician who they repeatedly claimed didn't know how to help autistic children, who have never met any autistic adults. They are claiming to know how to "heal" autism and "recover" children from autism. They are even claiming to know what causes autism, but they don't know ANY autistic adults. Pete, despite confessing that she didn't know any autistic adults, claimed that there as nothing for autistic adults in the way of housing and jobs. How on earth would she know if she doesn't know any autistic adults?
Larry King mentioned a survey of CNN viewers asking if they knew anyone with autism. Apparently 74% of the respondents said that they knew someone with autism. He then made a comment about how tragically common autism has become. How tragically common it is to find scare mongering so often in what the media reports about autism. Autism is only "tragically common" if you chose to believe what DAN! (Defeat Autism Now) "doctors" and others of their ilk tell you about autism.
When will media types start talking to autistic people about autism or at least some reliable medical experts or people familiar with autism who don't think it is a soul sucking tragedy? We do exist you know.
Autism Vox on Jenny McCarthy
Left Brian/Right Brain on Jenny McCarthy
Natural Variation-Autism Blog on Jenny McCarthy
MommyHood on Jenny McCarthy
Autism Diva on Jenny McCarthy
Me on life with autism in general
Pubmed.gov has a boatload of research articles about autism so that you won't have to take you chances with Google.