Guest Author - MaryTara Wurmser
Jenny McCarthy’s latest book Mother Warriors: a Nation of Parents Healing Autism Against All Odds was released on 9/23/08 a follow-up to her book Louder Than Words – A Mother’s Journey in Healing Autism. The book release coincided with her second appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show (9/24/08) in which she states that her son Evan “had” autism. He is recovered.
Her first book, Louder Than Words, is largely about her son Evan’s diagnosis and her quest to heal him through biomedical treatments such as the gluten & casein free diet, probiotics and supplements. Jenny believes that Evan and many other children on the Autism spectrum are sick at the hand of toxins in vaccines that are too much for their fragile immune systems. Mother Warriors also includes a DAN! Doctor guide by state, a resource list, and information about Generation Rescue – an Autism charity that will receive a portion of the books proceeds. She has also headed up the Green Our Vaccines movement along with actor & boyfriend Jim Carrey.
Jenny McCarthy is a self-appointed voice spreading a message of hope for families who are affected by Autism. She asserts that recovery is possible. In Mother Warriors, Jenny continues sharing her personal journey and the journey of other “Mother Warriors”.
The book Mother Warriors can easily be divided into two sections.
The beginning recounts Jenny’s time when she on the round in Fall 2007 during the big media blitz. The book opens with Jenny going live on Oprah and what was going through her head during the live show. She goes on to share highs (Oprah) and lows (Barbara Walters on The View) and her extreme frustration trying to engage the AAP and bring them on board with DAN! Treatments.
The second part of the book is dedicated to Mother Warriors.
What is a Mother Warrior?
"A Mother who hears there is no hope for her child and, instead of retreating and mourning, breaks down walls, weaves her way through obstacles, follows her intuition even when people tell her she is crazy. She is a mother who believes in hope…. (cont..p 216, chapter 30)"
These Mother Warriors interviews all hold the commonality – vaccine injury and healing through biomedical options (like the DAN! Protocol). They believe that Autism can be reversed by healing the gut and removing toxins. A few of the mother warriors that are interviewed include Lisa Ackerman (founder of TACA), Katie Wright (daughter of Autism Speaks founders), as well as “Dad Warrior” Stan Kurtz (from DAN! & TACA). Some of the biomedical treatments shared include the gluten & casein free diet, the Specific Carbohydrate diet, probiotics, supplements, Methyl B12, chelation, HBOT, and the drug Valtrex.
The reality is that the special diets, supplements, and other biomedical options are not one size fits all. Biomedical treatments can help some children with Autism recover, but not all. They are also considered experimental, not covered by insurance, very costly, and like any medical course of treatment – they are not without risks. Jenny McCarthy is very candid in Mother Warriors with a “tells it like it is” approach - curse words included.
"It was during this time on tour I started to crack. I was becoming so overwhelmed with everyone’s stories. I felt obligated to listen to all of them because they needed to be heard, too. They needed an outlet and I was the one they wanted to tell their stories too. Listening to their stories, I began to realize how strong these women are. Some of them had four children with autism, and some of them with fifteen year olds still in diapers. But what was so amazing about them all was their strength and determination to never give up."
As in her book Louder than Words, she drives home the reality of what Autism can do to a family – the stress on marriages and financial drain. In Mother Warriors she also touches on a very important group that is impacted by Autism – the siblings.
As a parent of a child with Autism, I found the book Mother Warriors a worthwhile read. My 7 year old son has done well with the gluten and casein free diet – and has made amazing gains on the diet coupled with intensive ABA therapy as well as speech, occupational & physical therapies. I do know many parents who have tried “the diet” and it hasn’t met with as much ‘success’. She does drive home again and again that some children with Autism do not respond to these costly biomedical treatments.
Still, the message in Mother Warriors is to just keep trying. If one treatment doesn’t work, then try another and to keep trying – never give up. In reality, cost is largely prohibitive if not the biggest reason that prevents many families from biomedical options. That and the ‘notion’ that we should trust our Doctors and Pediatricians who know nothing of the DAN! Protocol.
"These children are trying so hard to show us how to live in a cleaner world. I believe these kids are here for a reason: to teach us to eat better, clean up the air, and get rid of toxins because they can’t survive. Everyone, not just mothers who have kids with autism, needs to pay serious attention to their warning. I know this is their main purpose and pray that we all start to wake up and collectively change this world into the new world our kids are working so hard to create. Listen for their “tweet tweet” because these canaries will save the world. "
At fault in Mother Warriors is that Jenny McCarthy puts herself at the center of everything throughout the book. As I read it I kept wishing that Jenny would give up the spotlight and let the children and their parents shine more. Instead, Jenny always has to be at the center and she interjects her own story into their interviews. She is so fast to point out the strength and "light" in others but even faster to bring that (spot)light back to herself.
Mother Warriors is a call to action for the nation of self-appointed Mother Warriors to keep fighting and never give up. She tasks mothers to continue to seek the truth, to stand up for our kids, and to demand Green Vaccines.
I would recommend Mother Warriors to all mothers (and also fathers!) of children with Autism and their caregivers (therapists, teachers, etc). I would also recommend this book to pediatricians, nurses and other healthcare professionals. Consider adding this book to a holiday stocking or for that relative you may visit over the holiday season. Also quite suitable for those who are coming to your household and can gain insights into the autism community including terminology and treatment options.
*For more articles from MaryTara Wurmser you can visit her Blog at www.bonbongazette.com
Here is her YouTube video on Vaccination Choices