Terry's Reviews > Louder Than Words: A Mother's Journey in Healing Autism

Louder Than Words by Jenny McCarthy
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Aug 05, 08

bookshelves: non-fiction

Okay. When I saw Jenny McCarthy on Oprah's show (don't judge!) about autism I was enraged by her insistence that autism can be cured. (I was curious that she mentions "healing autism" in the book's subtitle but she really doesn't push the whole "I cured my son's autism" that much...well, until the end. I still find that stance unethical at best.) It can't. It can be managed, and the symptoms/effects can be drastically reduced through aggressive, consistent therapies and diet, but it cannot be cured. Period. Anyway. But I hate people who rail against books without actually reading them, so I read the book. And I actually liked it. I would recommend this to a family with a newly diagnosed child because I think it would offer a lot of guidance and comfort. Any family who has had a child with any kind of medical crisis or diagnosis would probably find comfort in her journey to getting her son properly diagnosed. It does point out the problems parents face in getting medical professionals to TAKE THEM SERIOUSLY which is mind-boggling but through her stories and those of other parents, all too common. Actually probably most people find it difficult to get their doctors to take them seriously, but maybe it all depends on your doctor and/or health insurance. Another quibble (in addition to her insistence that autism can be cured or healed) is that she is utterly blind to the role finances play in this situation--hers and others'. It's great that she can work just three days a month and spend the rest of the time working on helping her child without giving money a second thought, but most families simply can't do that.(Don't tell me about refinancing her house--I'm sure refinancing HER house is a little different than refinancing the houses of "ordinary" people.) It's nice that she can afford a full-time nanny even when she's not working, but most families can't do that. It's nice that through her money and her connections she can get an appointment to see "the nation's top neurologist" but most families can't do that. I was upset when she complained about the "depressed" mothers at one of her son's programs who seemed to "feel sorry for themselves". Well, maybe they're depressed because they waited months to get into the program and you sailed in within days! Maybe they're depressed because once this program ends, they can't afford to start another one! Maybe they're depressed because they're living in their car because their child's medical bills have left them homeless! It's nice that she can afford multiple doctors, including one in another state entirely, but most families can barely afford one. She marvels at the expense of the diet and therapy requirements, but it's never really an issue for her, and it angers me she doesn't ever mention that it's an issue for most families. Those annoyances aside, and with a big dose of AUTISM. CANNOT. BE. CURED., the book is still worth consideration.
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message 1: by Silk (new) - added it

Silk Well if autism can be cured, no one has done it yet, that's for sure. And I'm sure her book is a comfort for a lot of parents, and I'm sure it had to be hard to swallow for you that she's a better writer than you were expecting, so I'm proud of you for recommending it. But I think you're right, even with absolute super human efforts, you can only really say that autism can be improved upon greatly, and even super human efforts aren't effective for some, and those people that can't make the effort or afford it shouldn't be made to feel like crap. And I'm one of those people who think that almost anything can be cured.

As sort of a post script, here's something that boggles MY mind: conventional medical doctors don't want to acknowledge that there is a connection for some children between vaccines and their subsequent descent into autism. They like to say it's all congenital, it couldn't possibly be the drugs we push on you at the urging of both the pharmaceutical industries and the government. So under that theory, WHO should they be looking at VERY closely to make sure they don't miss a case? Probably siblings and children of other individuals with autism, right? Stand to reason? Any yet who still did not get a diagnosis even though he's had the same doctor's office his entire life? Try my second son who I now know has asperger's like his big brother and father before him. When did I find out? After his SIXTH birthday. Gotta love all those medical establishment types that constantly preach early intervention is KEY.

Off my soap box now.

message 2: by Mark (new)

Mark Amen Sister!

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