Jenny McCarthy says her son has recovered from autism

Jenny McCarthy has declared her son, Evan, recovered from autism due to the special diet and techniques she’s used since she says he started exhibiting the symptoms, at age 2, after an MMR vaccination. The American Academy of Pediatrics has come out in criticism of McCarthy’s claim that a wheat and dairy free diet has cured McCarthy’s son.

When Evan was 2 years old he was diagnosed with autism. At that time, Jenny started researching the condition and says she prayed. She says she made a deal with God: “You fix my boy, you show me the way and I’ll teach the world how I did it.” Jenny tells the world more of how she did it in the latest issue of Us Magazine.

The actress – who believes the MMR vaccine was to blame for her son’s diagnosis – says a strict no wheat-and-dairy-free diet has changed her son from a quiet little boy who used to flail his arms around to a loving six-year-old.

“Before the vaccination, he was huggy, lovey, snuggly,” she says in the newest issue of Us Weekly. “Then it was like someone came down and stole him.”

McCarthy, 36, remembers when Evan began to come out of his shell while watching a SpongeBob episode. “I heard Evan laugh…I jumped on the bed and started screaming.”

She adds, “When he finally hugged me, I prayed, ‘Please God don’t let this be the only time.’”

[From UsMagazine]

Jenny says Evan is now a happy, loving child that no longer exhibits any signs of autism. He sure is adorable, too, he always has such a winning smile. She’s got to be doing something right, although I think it’s a little presumptuous to think it’s the answer for everyone. McCarthy admits that there are parents who have been doing much more for much longer and haven’t had the significant results that she has with Evan. She goes into detail in her newest book, Mother Warriors: A Nation of Parents Healing Autism Against All Odds.

Jenny McCarthy and Evan are shown at the Horton Hears a Who premiere on 3/8/08. They are also shown out together on 9/30/07. Credit: Bauergriffinonline. Jenny McCarthy is shown below on 10/6/08 at Elle’s Women in Hollywood event and on 10/1/08 with boyfriend Jim Carrey at Target Presents AFI’s Night At The Movies. Credit: WENN and Fame

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31 Responses to “Jenny McCarthy says her son has recovered from autism”

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  1. RAN says:

    Careful Jenny… you’re starting to sound a little like Tom Cruise.

    While I believe that ALL things are possible and non medical people have discovered cures, this whole story just seems a little ‘pat’. I sincerely hope she has her little boy “back” and that he’s happy and healthy for the rest of his life but I guess I’m a little cynical just yet.

  2. MSat says:

    I’m glad her son is doing better, but I’m highly skeptical of this so-called cure. If it were that easy, wouldn’t doctors be telling everyone to do it? Perhaps her son was misdiagnosed. I just hope this doesn’t start a wave of parents putting their autistic kids on this wheat free diet, only to be sorely disappointed.

    As for the vaccination argument, has anyone seen that documentary on TLC about the family with three autistic children? The last two kids were not vaccinated and still exhibited signs of autism anyway. The researchers in this documentary strongly felt that this family was the key to unlocking the genetics behind the disease. I hope they’re right.

  3. photo jojo says:

    There are a huge range of behaviors which can be considered autistic. I’m sure she worked really hard with her son to make sure he got all the advantages of early intervention, etc. I have no doubt his behavior has improved dramatically. However, autism cannot be cured and she does a huge disservice to the community she is attempting to serve by saying her son was cured.

  4. CiCi says:

    Jenny McCarthy is doing a Gluten/Casein Free diet for her son and MANY parents of kids with Autism try it to see if it will help their autistic children. I know I did.

    Her son may have had autistic SYMPTOMS that were related to an intolerance of Gluten/Casein, but this is NOT the case for every child.

    You cannot cure Autism, Jenny. You may be able to eliminate symtpoms related to another issue that MIMIC autism. And since Autism is still a mystery, every parent should at least TRY it to see if that is the case with their child.

    But it’s just abject irresponsibility to say there is a “cure for autism” and I hope this doesn’t just add fuel to the Denis Leary fire. :(

  5. rules says:

    If there were a cure for this, surely a professional org such as the ama would be coming out with a statement that there is a cure…..I really think her son was misdiagonsed….
    And as a Christian, I know first hand that you dont make “deals with God” by ordering Him to do something for you, that’s ridiculous. You believe in Him or you dont. God’s not in the bargaining business!
    She comes off as so full of herself! She can tell God what to do! She can cure diseases! Wow!

  6. Gee says:

    Is it just me, or I am misunderstanding the distinction between the word cure and recovery. When I hear her speak during interviews, I think she comes across as extremely well informed and passionate. She never seems to advocate for abolishment of vaccinations,and does not claim to have come up with a cure for autism. Her message appears well thought out, and helpful. As I interpreted it, if the medical community gets behind her in any way, there will be a lot of people with a lot of liability on their hands. Since they are FDA approved, at this point physicians don’t have any financial liability if they shoot up someone who was predisposed to having a bad reaction. And the physicians don’t have to care or implore methods to check and see if the vaccines are safe or not.
    I feel quite sad when I read comments lambasting a message that says she “cured” autism.
    Maybe like finding the right amount of insulin for a diabetic, who becomes stabilized, recovered to a point where they can function, but not cured. So far I have not read or seen anything out of Jenny’s mouth that says she CURED autism. There is quite a distinction in the words healing, recovery and CURE. What is so dangerous and deplorable about finding the specific recovery methods that worked for her specific child and sharing them with others, really where is the harm when she says, this worked for her son and her son’s particular spectrum needs.

  7. alisha says:

    That is such BS,SCIENTOLOGY BS to be exact! I’m glad your son’s feeling better but,if he were truly autistic,he’s not “cured” it’s impossible.

  8. CiCi says:

    Gee, I agree with you in that she seems to have found what works for her son’s symptoms of autism. I truly believe people can be on the spectrum for a variety of reasons and if you can determine why your child is exhibiting symptoms of autism and can eliminate them, more power to you. We should all try various approaches just in case our child is exhibiting the symptoms for the same reasons. I also believe some people have very classic Autism – where there aren’t environmental factors you can just manipulate and it will just go away.

    What I take issue with is Jenny’s broad statement that her son has “recovered from autism.” I’d much more appreciate it if she said her son had the symptoms of autism and she found out why. What Jenny should be advocating is that people should TRY her approach because their child may have a gluten/casein sensitivity as well.

    I’m very happy for Jenny and it would be nice if all our kids’ issues were related to wheat and dairy. I just don’t believe that her blanket statement applies to the masses.

  9. Baholicious says:

    There’s a really excellent book I read years ago called ‘This Stranger My Son’ by Louise Wilson. The book chronicles her family’s life with a son who, in addition to being severely autistic, was paranoid schizophrenic as well. Wonderful book. It really tears at your heart and is a difficult read but worth it.

    As far as McCarthy goes, whatever. Maybe her son was misdiagnosed to begin with. As far as I know, autism is something a child is born with, it cannot be acquired and it is incurable.

  10. jennifer says:

    Hmm, I don’t know. There are a lot of things people said were “incurable” and there are a lot of things people said were “impossible” but we’ve found cures, we’ve found the possible. I’m not saying Ms. McCarthy has found the “cure”, but I AM willing to believe that it’s possible there IS a cure. You just never know. That’s why we have science, that’s why we spend so much on research. Because you just never know.

    All I know for sure is wouldn’t it be wonderful? :)

  11. Heidi says:

    B: I read that book awhile back (its an oldie)! Indeed it does tear your heart.

    As for Jenny’s son being cured… I think he was misdiagnosed. On my senior year I volunteered @ our hospital & they mostly had me in the pediatric floor & I encountered autistic children & I remember thinking that they acted robotic & somewhat emotionally dead. That sounds horrible but that’s the best way I can put it & I honestly find it hard to believe that a child could snap out of it.
    If you were ever against stem cell research, do yourself a favor & think of these children w/these diseases!

  12. lalala land says:

    Autism cannot be cured. When you have autism, your brain is wired differently. I am happy her son is doing better. She is irresponsible to say he is “cured”, it gives people false hope. I am sure he still has some traits, as you cannot completely rewire a brain. I wish her and Evan the best.

  13. dovesgate says:

    I think CiCi is right – Jenny just found the reason why her kid was showing signs of autism. That’s great if there are other kids out there that will be helped the same way.

    You know, its entirely possible that Dennis Leary was talking about this exact situation when he said what he did. If Jenny hadn’t been so hands on in figuring out how to help her son, she never would have figured out he’s allergic to gluten and dairy. How many parents have children that are gluten/dairy intolerant but diagnosed with autism and just accepted the diagnosis without trying to treat it?

  14. ak says:

    Doctors already know that certain dietary items can exacerbate behaviorial symptoms. If a child with autism doesn’t feel well and can’t say why, it could make behaviorial issues worse–the same way it would for any other young child.

    But no scientific studies support either the MMR theory or the gluten-related “gut-leaking” theory.

    I don’t blame parents for trying to help their children as much as possible. But Jenny McCarthy’s statements seems more harmful than helpful.

  15. Lariss says:

    Gee: theres no cure neither recover from austism, it´s not a flu!

  16. Gee says:

    Lariss- how would you then define autism spectrum disorder? Isn’t it a spectrum disorder meaning many different presentations of a variety of symptoms? What I have gathered is that she is saying recovery from having nuero inhibiting behaviours such as not being able to communicate, not knowing how to play with toys correctly etc… caused from an injury which affected his brain. It would make sense, alleviate the exacerbating symptoms, then recover from the inhibitor. Not cure mind you, recovery from the injury. Gosh darn, I tell you. She says she treated him for a vaccine injury and recovered him in part from that injury so that he is living a better life than when he was hurting more. What’s wrong with that? So yes, I stand by the distinction between recovery and cure. HEY EVERYONE, Doctors say there is No cure for diabetes, so why offer insulin, and why advertise and educate that kids with diabetes can live more manageable lives and become recovered from hyperglycemic states…
    The flu– come on laris. You are insulting yourself with such a dig. I hope you don’t work in special ed or medicine because when you say no cure, it suggests hopelessness. There is a cure for everything, we may just not have found it yet! So what the heck is wrong with shouting to the world the helpful things a person has done to help alleviate their particular kids suffering. I think its the media and nervous doctors who have said she is spouting off about finding a cure, and intentionally twistings someone’s words to fit an agenda is the dangerous part. So, I looked around the web albeit a brief search, but in my skimming of articles she is quoted in, I could not find anything that suggested she was saying she found the cure for autism, more that she found a way to recover her son from a huge aspect of his injuries. She still says he suffers from seizures and poor immune system. I could be wrong since it was a brief search, but her message seems reasonable to me, as well as helpful.

  17. ak says:

    “behaviorial”?? Not once but twice. What is wrong with me? Behavioral.

  18. Aquarius says:

    In line with what Gee said, here is a quote from a piece published on last week. Jenny makes a distinction between “recovery” and “cure.”

    I don’t know that I completely agree with her definitions–obviously the public at large doesn’t–but it puts her comments in a different context.

    I just looked at the Us article, and nowhere in it does she say that Evan is “cured” of autism. The article’s headline is misleading.

    There are some who wonder what we mean when we say “recovering” from autism. They confuse the word recover with cure. While you may not be able to cure an injury caused in a terrible car accident, you can recover; you can regain many skills that you once lost. In the case of autism, we think there are treatments that often bring about such healing, so that the observable symptoms of the condition no longer exist. Even though we may no longer see any symptoms of autism, we can’t say a child is “cured” because we do not know what they would have been like had they never been injured.

    The full article is here:

  19. JMC says:

    I’m skeptical too, but if her son seems to be doing better, I;m happy for them both. Good luck, Jenny and Evan!

  20. mark says:

    Jenny, start throwing large sums of money into a psychotherapy fund for your son. Trust me, he’s going to need it.

    P.S. And I really do hope and pray that he never had autism to begin with.

  21. Anne says:

    Saying you’ve ‘recovered’ from autism is like saying you had the flu or some other disease or sickness that you recovered from, no difference at all.

    McCarthy’s message is dangerous. The diet has nothing to do with her son’s progress. Nor did the chelation. He didn’t develop like his peers (we are all so concerned with developmental milestones) so he was diagnosed with autism and according to the medical community, this is indeed autism.

    Then, he starts talking and acting ‘normal’ so wow, he’s cured! All kids develop skills at different times, for most it’s subtle but for some it’s very obvious. It’s not always this simple but sometimes it just is.

  22. Elaine says:

    You fix my boy, you show me the way and I’ll teach the world how I did it.” Jenny tells the world more of how she did it in the latest issue of Us Magazine.

    Wow, is all I have to say. I am once again stunned with Hollywood celebs self-importance. I am a mother of an autistic child. I know the heartbreak. Wanting to “fix” it, take it away. I have cried out to God. But she is rather arrogant, misguided and off base to say she made a bargain or deal with God which God is not in the bargaining business. You don’t make deals with God… And then, that “she” will teach the world. That is a pretty self-righteous statment. There are thousands of parents, doctors, researchers and people praying and working with and for autistic people but it is SHE who will find the cure and show the world.

    The GF/CF diet is NOT new. I have tried it and there are many who swear by it and and have good results. But there are those who have tried it and had little results. It is very individual on the child’s reaction. Also there is a chance her child was misdiagnosed.

    While I do think her heart is the right place – I think she does a disservice by claiminig it a “cure” No, no, no Jenny its an INTERVENTION. Like behavioral therapy such as ABA or PLAY or supplements or chelation… GF/CF diet which is only one intervention which helps to reduce some of te symmptoms of autism and in some kids. But it does NOT cure autism. If you took the child off that diet he would likely regress back to familiar old autistic behaviors as before.

    I don’t mean to chastise her too hard. But she does come off as another self-absorbed celeb who thinks her child is somehow more blessed and that she will lead the way.. Jenny, you can help raise awareness, talk about the things you have done that have helped your son, and raise money for autism reseach, encourage others, but don’t say you make deals with God and have the autistic cure… It’s really not true.

  23. Jinxy says:

    There have been over 50 studies about childhood vaccinations and autism and none of them found a link between the two events.

    I am glad she sees an improvement in her son, but he’s home schooled because Jenny says Evan needs teachers who understand his problems. That his situation is so bad that he can’t attend a regular class, for even one period a day, says he is far from cured and while following many behavioral training systems she sees an improvement – What I see is a woman shilling a book for financial gain that has no basis in reality, and that is a shame to use your son’s illness to make money.

  24. anon says:

    There have been studies that have found that a large number of autistic children also have inflamed digestive systems. So the diet road is not new.

    I have also heard of a lady who treats autistic children in an almost completely opposite way that most doctors recommend with fantastic results.

    For any parent with an autistic child I think it is important to explore your options and find what works best for your childs individual needs.

  25. maureen says:

    It’s so sad to see so many parents putting another parent down.As parents with children with autism ,we know how it feels when people are judgeing you.I know not everyone believes what Jenny is saying ,But at least she’s speading the word of Autism.How many parents take there child to a dan doctor to see if these doctors can help our children .my son goes to dan doctor also 5 other children in his class.My son is flying through the program at school.His teachers tell me everyday they don’t understand. My answer is God and the help on his dan doctor . God bless all the parents that are affected bye autism.We are our childs voice! :D

  26. bailey says:

    Hello? Did anyone actually listen to Jenny? Or read her books? She NEVER said her child was cured.. she said RECOVERED. Jenny is COMPLETELY RIGHT! Autism is a Gut/ Brain connection. If you treat it as such RESULTS HAPPEN. But no one in the medical community wants you to treat it because you will be treating toxic overload caused by aluminium, formaldehyde, and other toxic chemicals that are found in ALL vaccines! Yes, they took the mercury out. But aluminium is still in. aluminium is PROVEN to be toxic.. the amounts giving when getting more than one shot is PROVEN to be toxic. Yet we still do it. We still give our children shots full of stuff that makes them sick. Do you know there are animal parts in some vaccines? Monkeys, cows and pigs? Is that safe? Where is the evidence that it is SAFE? There have been NO STUDIES on this schedule and it’s safety. Jenny is a champion! And I applaud her.

  27. jessica says:

    hey! as a parent of a child with autism, just want to say that in my limited experience, the higher functioning kids tend to see improvements with the gf/cf diets and with supplements. her son is higher functioning. mine is lower, and we didn’t see any results with it. my question is: if he’s doing so well, why dont we ever see documented footage of him before and after? all i see are 2 minute clips, if that.

  28. vdantev says:

    Sorry, I’ll trust the medical profession in this instance. There is no cure for autism, just better therapies and a butt-load of parental denial.