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!