On May 26, Jenny McCarthy, Playboy model and president of Generation Rescue, was the keynote speaker at the AutismOne conference — a role she has filled for the past five years. During her address, she found it necessary to state the following about moms who have children with autism but reject her own methods that supposedly helped her child “recover.”
“They fall into this victim role and they like it. It’s almost as if they didn’t get attention in their lives … and now this incredible door opens where all of these people come over and say, ‘Suzy, oh, Suzy, I’m so sorry, is there anything I can do for you?’ There’s all this attention. And they’re looooving it. They’re loving having people feel sorry for them. They get extra, you know, home-cooked meals from their neighbors. Ya know, oh … So to me, I can’t stand that. Like when people do that I’m like shut the [expletive] up and get away from me. I don’t want your sympathy. I’m over here. On this train. This warrior train.”
What moms must realize is that McCarthy offers no specific data on the ways her son has recovered. Perhaps he improved as he matured? She can’t know this for sure.
Do you think Jenny owes me and other moms rearing kids with autism an apology? Is she out of touch with reality? Are you enjoying being a victim of autism because it gets you attention?
So, is the tide turning on the ridiculous “warrior Mom” rallying flag? I hope so. This is a typically blog rant with ranty comments that follow but I do wonder if it means her days of being a spokesperson for autism are numbered. One can only wish the public is starting to realize that taking health advice, especially about your children, from celebrity spokespersons who are unsupported by real experts is not a wise idea.
Addition: Here is a Slate article that mentions Ms. McCarthy and her “legacy”. My son has cancer…
Ordinarily I wouldn’t question others’ parenting choices. But the problem is literally one of live or don’t live. While that parent chose not to vaccinate her child for what she likely considers well-founded reasons, she is putting other children at risk. In this instance, the child at risk was my son. He has leukemia.