Meet The Contributors

Mandy ~ I am a stay at home mom who has been on a medical roller coaster ride going from doctor to doctor trying to figure out what is wrong with me. All of the doctors agreed that there is something medically wrong with me, they just don't know what... Basically, just about every time that I go to the doctor, I wind up with a new diagnosis. It is very frustrating. I hope that some of these links will maybe help you or lead you in the right direction.

Ferd ~ I have had the honor and pleasure of practicing Internal Medicine for over 25 years. I am now enjoying sharing my thoughts and experience in the blogosphere in a number of ways. I am grateful to Mandy for including me on her excellent blog, Texas Medical Freak!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A Mothers View On Autism And Michael Savage

Last night, I had trouble sleeping so I came down to watch some TV. While flipping through 500+ channels of nothing, I came across the Larry King show. Midway through the show, the topic was on Michael Savage on Autism Fraud. I had never heard of Michael Savage, he is a conservative talk radio host. On his July edition of his show he claimed that autism is “a fraud, a racket.” Well, being a mother of an autistic child, this did not help my sleep issue one bit! Here is a clip from the show.

Clearly, he does not have a child or close family member with autism. Here is one of his quotes that I found on among other sources. Autism is “a fraud, a racket. …I’ll tell you what autism is. In 99 percent of the cases, it’s a brat who hasn’t been told to cut the act out. That’s what autism is. What do you mean that they scream and they’re silent? They don’t have a father around to tell them, ‘Don’t act like a moron. You’ll get nowhere in life. Stop acting like a putz. Straighten up. Act like a man. Don’t sit there crying and screaming, idiot.’” This reminds me of a time when I was pregnant with my youngest and I was the grocery store with my daughter and my autistic son. I had been working all day (I was still working full-time then) and the kids had been at the sitters. I avoided taking my son to the grocery store whenever possible, he did not like going and almost always had a meltdown of some sort. My husband was working on a project; otherwise he would have been watching him. Looking back, I think that it was either the lights or the humming of the refrigerator cases that set him off? Anyway, back to the grocery store. Almost as soon as we got in the store, he started throwing a fit. Since we had to get some groceries, we tried to ignore it and just get done what needed to be done. When we were just about finished shopping we were stopped by a man (a redneck in every since of the word), he looked at me and said “It looks like someone needs their britches busted!” I was completely taken off guard. Completely irritated with the entire situation and not to mention pregnant and hormonal, I did something that I shouldn’t have but…I did. I looked at him, pointed my finger directly in his redneck face and said “You…need to mind your own damn business!!!” His first reaction was just a dumb shocked look on his face, like lady I know you just didn’t tell me off. Then, he looks at my daughter and says “no wonder he acts like that.” I had never done that before and I haven’t done it since. But it seems to me that this redneck and Michael Savage are cut from the same cloth… Below is a clip of his show.

This one is from a later show.

In one of the clips he says that this is some kind of racket for funding for social services (such as Medicaid) and extra services in school. As long as our son was living with us, he never got any extra services our private medical insurance and our money paid for everything. As far as school goes…that debate is still up in the air since Texas school are one of the worst as far as Special Education goes. Then he goes on about how now autism is not just autism any more that it is now called “autism spectrum disorders.” Well, here is the definition of ASD’s from the National Institute of Mental Health.

Now, do I think that there are children over diagnosed with autism and other disorders? Yes, I do but I also believe that there are just as many if not more under diagnosed with autism. It wasn’t until my son was 7-years-old before he was diagnosed with autism. It is not that he wasn’t autistic before that; he just wasn’t the typical non-verbal autistic that is the “Kanner autistic.” He has always been autistic. “Normal” babies do not need to be tightly wrapped in a blanket (like they do in the hospital), put in a swing (without the swing being turned on) and then a vacuum cleaner be turned on for him to go to sleep. That is not something that a non-autistic parent would ever have to do. Most babies would rather be cuddled and rocked to sleep. My view is that people like the redneck in the grocery store, Michael Savage and others like them just, need to shut up about things that they know nothing about!


My Autism Insights said...

I certainly agree with you that people need to stop criticizing parents when they have no idea what that parent's circumstances are. There are some bad parents out there, but there are just as many, if not more, parents who are doing the best they can and could just use a bit of compassion if not assistance. But what can ya do? There's always going to be a jerk shooting off his mouth for attention.

Mandy said...

My Autism Insights ~ Yes, we do deserve a little bit of compassion and a up to $300 for some of our sons prescriptions. At one point we were paying $1100 per month for his meds. I don't regret it one bit but, it was really hard and we had to do without some things. Even better public education for these children would go a long long way.

Angelika said...

He's an effing idiot.

I am currently trying to get rid of a migraine or I'd have much more to say about this!

Mandy said...

Angelika ~ Sorry to hear that you have a migraine =( Try some Excedrine Migraine and an ice pack on you neck. Those usually work for me.
You are welcome to come back and have your say about this idiot any time =)
Hope that you get rid of your migraine soon.

Connie said...

I saw a mention of this on Twitter but I didn't know how bad it was. This guy is unbelievable. He should be fired! I'm incensed! I'm livid! I'm pissed! I'll be sure to blog about this issue.

And God bless you for being a good mom. (((HUGS))) to you!

Mandy said...

Connie ~ I am all for free speech but, I am with you on him being fired. Thanks and (((HUGS))) back to you.

My Autism Insights said...

I read today that 7 radio stations in Mississippi dropped his show!

Mandy said...

My Autism Insights ~ WOW! That is great. After you posted this I looked and there is a petition to get him fired, you can find it here

Connie said...

I wrote a blog post about advertisers dropping from his show and how we can write to advertisers that still are with him. Please visit my other blog for more info.


Mandy said...

Connie ~ I will stop by your blog. I have seen a rash of posting on him this past week. Normally, I wouldn't have given him the time of day but...this really hit home for me.

The Healthy Mom said...

I had know idea that Michael Savage felt that way about autism. Of course I disagree with him. I think you did the right thing in the grocery store. Don't let people like Michael Savage bother you.

Cascia @ Healthy Moms

Mandy said...

The Healthy Mom ~ Apparently he feels this way about some other groups as well. Thanks about the grocery store.

Ferd said...

The guy's an idiot himself! It is funny how some people just can't fathom the fact that other people might not have the same capacity for thinking and feeling that they do. They can't imagine the world through someone else's eyes. I've seen that even with depression, which is so common. I've heard people say, "Oh, just smile and get over it!" It is beyond insensitive and cruel, it is ignorant and egocentric.

Mandy said...

Ferd ~ Yes he is an idiot! Much like so many other radio talk show host that open their mouths and spout off about things that they know nothing about. He seems like a very pompous and condescending type of person.