In 2008, Jenny McCarthy claimed to have cured her son of autism through a gluten and dairy free diet and vitamin regimen. She published a book called Mother Warriors: A Nation of Parents Healing Autism Against All Odds and later went on to lead a “Green Our Vaccine” campaign. Jenny called for less additives and chemicals in vaccinations and a more relaxed shot schedule. To be fair to Jenny, she wasn’t advocating for a total elimination of childhood vaccinations, although she did claim that vaccinations were responsible for the increase in childhood autism.
In 2010, Time Magazine published a profile of Jenny in which they speculated that her son might never have suffered from autism at all, but possibly had another milder disorder called Landau-Kleffner syndrome. Here’s the relevant part of the Time article on Jenny:
There are dark murmurings from scientists and doctors asking, Was her son ever really autistic? Evan’s symptoms – heavy seizures, followed by marked improvement once the seizures were brought under control – are similar to those of Landau-Kleffner syndrome, a rare childhood neurological disorder that can also result in speech impairment and possible long-term neurological damage. Or, as other pediatricians have suggested, perhaps the miracle I have beheld is the quotidian miracle of childhood development: a delayed 2-year-old catching up by the time he is 7, a commonplace, routine occurrence, nothing more surprising than a short boy growing tall. It is enraging to the mother to hear that nothing was wrong with her boy – she held him during his seizures, saw his eyes roll up after he received his vaccines – and how can you say that she doesn’t know what she knows?
[Time, February 2010 via igloogroups.com]
For some reason this nearly four year-old article is getting new play online, and Jenny is hopping mad. She posted a response on twitlonger in which she refuted these claims and again asserted that her son had autism.
Stories circulating online, claiming that I said my son Evan may not have autism after all, are blatantly inaccurate and completely ridiculous. Evan was diagnosed with autism by the Autism Evaluation Clinic at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Hospital and was confirmed by the State of California (through their Regional Center). The implication that I have changed my position, that my child was not initially diagnosed with autism (and instead may suffer from Landau-Kleffner Syndrome), is both irresponsible and inaccurate. These stories cite a “new” Time Magazine interview with me, which was actually published in 2010, that never contained any such statements by me. Continued misrepresentations, such as these, only serve to open wounds of the many families who are courageously dealing with this disorder. Please know that I am taking every legal measure necessary to set this straight.
I don’t get how Jenny is claiming that she’s “taking every legal measure necessary” when these claims are based on a four year-old article. The statute of limitations to sue for libel in California is just one year. It’s possible she’ll sue overseas, but the longest time she would have to sue in the US would be three years, and that has long since passed. This is just a hollow threat from Jenny and at most she’ll have her lawyer send out some cease and desists.
Jenny does make the point that her son was diagnosed by top hospitals, and I get that she wants to defend herself and stand up for her son. Many people think that Jenny’s position on this issue has done more harm than good, however, and she would do well to stop reminding the public about it. From what we’ve heard, she’s not very well liked by fans of The View, and she’s a polarizing figure at best.
Jenny McCarthy is shown on Jan 1 at a New Year’s Eve event and on December 12 at a holiday food drive. She’s shown with Evan in April, 2012. Credit: WENN.com and FameFlynet