23 Oct 2007

A tale of two blondes

There was actually a pleasant autism story in some of the newspapers yesterday. Emma Noble, talks in the Daily Mail, about her autistic 7 year old son Harry, with love and respect. (Harry is the grandson of former UK PM, John Major.)

Emma is a beautiful, blonde haired, former model. There end the comparisons to Jenny McCarthy, who has done the round of USA talk shows plugging her book about her 'recovered' autistic child.

McCarthy blames vaccines for her sons autism and uses her celebrity status to spread her misinformed inanities. Here are a few choice quotes from her interview with Larry King. When he asked for a definition of autism, she answered,
Wow! Well, it differs for a lot of people. But -- or opinions. But I believe that's -- it's an infection and/or toxins and/or funguses on top of vaccines that push children into this neurological downslide which we call autism.
She was asked if she'd have more children, and said,
I got my butt kicked. You know, it was really hard those years. Pulling Evan out of the window, I call it. I suffered a lot. I cried a lot. I'm just ready to move forward. I'm ready to help out. I'm ready to spread the word. I'm ready to make this world a safer, cleaner place.

You get the picture.

McCarthy is the new face of quackery pushing autism organisation, TACA. As an example of their ethos, here's their sample 'To-do check list' for parents of autistic children. Among the many non-evidence based services mentioned (for the 1st year), are secretin, glutathione and chelation.

Emma Noble has not taken this self-serving route, and just gave a really sweet interview. The fee for the interview was donated to the NAS, a decent autism support charity, and one I'm happy to be a member of. The NAS does a lot of work to improve the lives of autistic people, both children and adults, and parents or carers of autistic people. Here are some highlights from the Mail article;

"My life would be empty without my son and the experience we have been through together. His autism makes him who and what he is and I love him.

"He makes it easy for me to accept because he makes me proud every day, proud of his achievements and of how hard he tries.

"There is no part of me that mourns the mother I could have been to a son without his condition. I simply don't know that person."


Emma reveals: "Harry needs to know what is going to happen and in what precise order. There can be no surprises and definitely no dramas.

"For example, he needs me to tell him what is going to be inside a wrapped present before he opens it.

"He pictures it to be something that he wants and then, if it's not what he had in his mind, he can't understand what went wrong.

"When he goes to bed he might have to touch the curtain a specific number of times and then similarly flick the light switch, climb the stairs in a particular way, ask if the cats are in their room, check the hall light is on and that the door is open at precisely the angle he wants. And he might make these checks 20 times.

"If he's worried he's done them wrongly, he'll have to get up and start again. And he's very literal.


She refuses to ask "Why Harry?", saying: "I could tear my hair out every night wondering why. There is no autism in either family and Harry did not have the MMR jab because I knew there was controversy over potential links to autism, which is ironic, really, given that he has it anyway.

"What I do know is that the number of children with it are creeping up every year. Whether that's because the incidence is rising or because we have better diagnostic tools I don't know. But I do know we have to deal with it and I hope I am now sufficiently informed to help.

"I don't want to betray Harry but it's only a matter of time before someone asks about my connection to autism and I have to tell them I have been gifted an autistic son and that I feel blessed to be his mum."


"I want people to understand that autism doesn't mean a lesser life, just a different one.

"I want people to know just how wonderful these very special children are and how much joy and love they bring to the lives of those lucky enough to know them."

(My emphasis.)

How lovely is that! Emma Noble, thank you for your beautiful words.


dinah said...

I wish I'd seen the original of this
Do we have a way of contacting this lovely mum I wonder?

Sharon McDaid said...

Hi Dinah.
Perhaps the NAS would pass on a message. It was mentioned in the article that she will be fronting their 'thinking differently about autism' campaign.