Sunday, September 30, 2007

Jenny McCarthy Knocks Over Neurodiversity Hornet's Nest

As expected, Jenny McCarthy’s appearance on Oprah has stirred up the Internet’s Neurodiversity bloggers. During the past week they buzzed about in a paroxysm of sarcastic rage over Ms McCarthy's audacity in speaking out about autism. Some of the Neurodiversity commentary has been mean and snide. Some of it has been outright offensive.

Following is a list of Neurodiversity Hub bloggers who fell over themselves taking cheap shots at Ms. McCarthy and her views on the nature of autism, autism causes and cures. Some, like Mike Stanton, Educator, and Kristina Chew, Educator, Ph.D., felt compelled to belittle her more than once. Ms Chew in fact featured Ms McCarthy in no less than 7 of her commentaries over the past week. What will the Neurodiversity Hub bloggers ever do with themselves until the next autism appearance by Ms McCarthy?

Mike Stanton
Respectful Insolence
Autism Street
Left Brain/Right Brain (Kevin Leitch)
Natural Variation (Joseph)
Autism Diva
One Dad’s Opinion
Autism Vox

Although I do not share her views on autism cause and cure, I respect Ms. McCarthy for speaking up. As noted previously she may yet be proven right, and I may be proven wrong on our differing autism opinions. I have not subscribed to the dietary interventions for autism. But yesterday the Autism Canada conference focused on biomedical interventions with Dr. Derrick MacFabe of the UWO team that reported a gut-brain autism link, and Dr. Martha Herbert of Harvard Medical School. The conference also featured Dr. Wendy Edwards, a paediatrician and mother of an autistic child, who advocates the use of various biomedical treatments including dietary interventions. The Neurodiversity ideologues will have to come up with different ad hominem attacks to use against Dr. Edwards.


J said...

While I appreciate being mentioned along with some of the other Hub bloggers, I don't think I belong on this list.
If you re-read the two posts (this time, without the bias you apparently applied the last time) that I did on the Jenny McCarthy media appearances, you will note that I did not take "cheap shots at Ms. McCarthy and her views on the nature of autism" as you state.
Instead, I asked readers to consider conflicting evidence and viewpoints and decide which sources (for example, the CDC) they should believe.
I am not making judgment calls about Jenny M's character or intentions, though you certainly are doing so towards me.
You accuse me, among others, of making an ad hominem attack, and I would therefore offer the same criticism in return.

Unknown said...

steve d

Your post is nothing BUT an ad hominem attack on Ms McCarthy. There was nothing else to your post. You even resorted to criticizing her by posting reports of a bizarre statement by a purported supporter of Ms McCarthy.

I will acknowledge that yours was one of the least offensive, but still just another sarcastic, ad hominem, attack of the kind regularly featured on ND blog pages.

Maya M said...

Why would it be so bad if somebody attacks Dr. Edwards?
Being MD doesn't mean being infallible. And I wish to know which medical textbook contains the very term "whole-body illness".
On the other hand, it is true that it is easier to criticize a person giving bizarre medical advice if she is as far from being a doctor as Ms. McCarthy is.

Unknown said...

Nobody should be attacking Dr Edwards or Ms McCarthy.

What we should all be doing is assessing what the person has to say on its merits. That can include looking objectively, and politely, at their credentials or expertise.

Both Ms McCarthy and Dr Edwards are parents of autistic children. As such can offer observations and experience about their children, and their children's autism manifestation and the results of any approaches they have tried in working with their children. Yes it is anecdotal evidence but it is still evidence.

Dr. Edwards also has her education and experience as a pediatrician to offer in assessing what she has to say making it more difficult again to simply dismiss her observations.

Neurodiversity commentary on this subject has been disappointing. It added little of value to the discussion and really only diminished the credibility of those who were in such a tizzy over Ms McCarthy speaking up that they took cheap and in some cases mean shots at her.

Anonymous said...

Autism Reality NB,
Thanks for being a voice of reason. Know that some of us appreciate it.

Anonymous said...

"What we should all be doing is assessing what the person has to say on its merits."

Like you do, right Harold?

Unknown said...

anonymous 6:49 pm

Thank you.

Unknown said...

I try joseph, I try. What I don't do is ignore the challenges confronting severely autistic autistic people like my son, or like the middle aged non-communicative lady who was assaulted in the NY residential care facility, to conform to "Neurodiversity" ideology.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Mr.Doherty for providing an objective look at all of the new information and research available on autism. As a parent of a child with autism,I am able to keep up to date on what is happening from checking in on your website. I hope it continues to serve this purpose and that those who feel the need to challenge the facts or your opinions, will put their time to better use and realize that we are all on the same team for the sake of our children

Anonymous said...

I'n regard to Ms Mccarthy, if she has found something that works for her God bless her,She is right on the matter that vaccines do cause autism.

As far as the docs stating that its a genetic disorder, to that i must say "nay shame on you doctors. As to the pharmacuetical companies that say they dont put mercury in vaccines anymore, I say fine and dandy, but also take the stock pile that you still have that has mercury in it and destroy those vials.

Prents protect your children, ask that they use vaccines that have no mercury in them and if they say ohh this doesnt, ask to look at the packaging and vial it came out of.

Vaccines do cause autism, I should know i have been through every genetic test know to man with our 2 boys and they came out clear, ie normal.
besides all the ""normal"" tests i have it on dated vhs and dvd, my boys after they had their vaccines. We have 2, both with autism and both with vaccines given. I beg you on behalf of your kids dont give these vaccines, if you do your no better then robert latimer.