Kelly Preston and John Travolta lost their son Jett, then 16, in January, 2009 when he suffered a seizure and hit his head on the bathtub in the family’s home in the Bahamas. Prior to Jett’s death, neither Kelly nor John acknowledged publicly that Jett had autism. The family of course are members of the Scientology cult, which tends to blame people for their own medical conditions along with denying that certain disorders, including autism, exist. So it’s noteworthy that they’re stating publicly that Jett had autism, where they wouldn’t acknowledge that during his life.
While her son was alive, Kelly insisted that Jett had Kawasaki syndrome, which she blamed back then on carpet chemicals Jett was exposed to as a baby. In his 2009 testimony in an extortion case in the Bahamas following Jett’s death, John Travolta stated on the record that Jett had autism and suffered seizures. It was the first time that he had done so. In a new interview on The Doctors, Kelly confirms that Jett had autism and she blamed in on “contributing factors” including chemical exposure, a “hard labor” and the antibiotics that Kelly took while breastfeeding. People Magazine has the details:
Jett Travolta – who died in 2009 after suffering a seizure and hitting his head in a bathtub at the family’s vacation home at the Old Bahama Bay Hotel on Grand Bahama Island – suffered from autism, which Preston attributes to a series of contributing factors.
“[Jett] was autistic. He had seizures and when he was very young, he had Kawasaki Syndrome,” she says on the Nov. 21 episode of The Doctors (check local listings).
“I strongly believe as a mother, as does my husband, that there are certain contributing factors that lead to autism and some of it is very much the chemicals in our environment and in our food,” she adds.
Preston, 50, says she holds a number of things responsible for Jett’s autism, specifically Kawasaki Syndrome – which usually affects children from ages 2 to 5 and can cause inflammation of the arteries – her “fast and hard” labor and the use of antibiotics while breastfeeding, which gave Jett thrush, an infection of Candida yeast which some studies have linked to the symptoms of autism.
The episode also includes a behind-the-scenes look at Alternative Laboratories to show viewers how organic products are made. Preston hopes to empower parents with information about living an organic lifestyle and being surrounded by less chemicals.
Since Jett’s passing, Preston and husband John Travolta – who are also parents to Ella, 12 – have welcomed another child, Benjamin, who is now 2-years-old.
It is course controversial as to whether environmental factors can cause autism, whether it’s genetic, or whether it’s a combination of genetics plus environment. I don’t feel qualified or knowledgeable enough to get into that. What I do want to talk about is how Kelly sounds like she’s blaming herself for her son’s condition, which ultimately led to his death. She’s saying it’s her fault in a way, because she somehow had a hard labor or because she took antibiotics while breast feeding. I’ve never heard of those things being connected to childhood autism and many doctors say it’s safe to take antibiotics while breastfeeding. It makes me sad to hear her continue to blame herself. Many people did point fingers at the Travoltas for perhaps not treating their son’s condition to prevent seizures. The Travoltas claimed that they did medicate Jett for his condition but that anti-convulsant medication stopped working for him. Whatever happened, this poor family lost their child and it’s still very much weighing on them.
John and Kelly are shown out with their son Benjamin in Paris on 9-12-12. Credit: FameFlynet They’re shown with Jett in family photos.
No matter what my (admittedly negative) opinion is, I feel terrible for them for losing a child. That isn’t someone I would wish on my worst enemy; no parent should have to bury their child.
Whatever the specific cause in individual cases of autism, I hate it when people “admit” their kid has it, as if it’s something shameful. My son has Aspergers, a form of high-functioning autism, and I refuse to feel guilty for it. Kind of like mental health; it’s quietly swept under the rug. There should be no pointing fingers, blaming, and shaming those who deal with it. It’s difficult enough without people asking what you did to cause it. My son may not fit in the box, but he’s just as beautiful as anyone else. Okay, I’ll get off my soapbox now.
My doughter has autism too and we have nothing to feel ashamed of.Im teaching her to feel the same way.I did blame “the world” at first but then its just working a little more harder than the others parents ;).
The shame is that “the cult” dont let you.
Kelly, that’s what my brother has as well. My mom blamed herself so much for this because of some medication she took, and come to find out, the study that linked them was falsified. My brother is the sweetest guy you’ll ever meet. He’s hilarious. He has a problem with socializing- he loves people but doesn’t interact ‘properly’ for his age- and some trouble with thought processing, but he did well all throughout school, and is just a great guy. It drives me nuts when people look down on something such as autism as something to be ashamed of.
My nephew has Asperger’s as well. Smart as hell, funny, but has social difficulties and tends to focus on one thing above all others at a time. He’s at university studying to be a doctor, with research as his ultimate goal.
Erinn, thanks. He sounds just like my boy – he’s hilarious, too, and everyone loves him because he’s so open and sweet. And extremely intelligent, esp. in math…doesn’t even need a calculator, etc.c it’s the social things we work on and he goes to therapy every month (I’m trying to get him to play a wise man in the Christmas play, but he won’t! And I don’t push him. I wouldn’t trade him in for the world and I’m sure you wouldn’t trade in your brother , either. It’s a LOT of hard work, sometimes frustration, tiring, exasperating at times, but I still feel it’s a privelege to be his mom. For all you out their with similar situations, I commend you and wish you the best!
My 30 year old brother is autistic. I know that after he way diagnosed, my mother second guessed everything she had done while pregnant. I also agree with everyone who says there is no shame in it, people with autism/Aspergers are wonderful people with a lot to teach us. I do wonder, however, if there is some link to chemicals or something that causes it. I just know growing up that my brother was the only one in our whole school who was autistic but when I became a pre-K teacher, I encountered quite a few children on the Autism spectrum. It seems to be diagnosed a lot more lately, but it could just be my perception of things.
I agree with you a 1000%. I have two kids who are Autistic, and we refuse to feel ashamed, or embarrassed. To lie about your sons condition, then pass it off as chemicals it carpet is telling me and the rest of the world that you’re ashamed. That’s hugely offensive to me. I know that their whack job cult told them that there is no such thing as Autism, surprise!!! I don’t know why we had Autistic kids, there are theories. But we don’t hide them away, we don’t lie about it, we have good days and bad days. But that’s true when you have kids.
My friend’s sister has Kawasaki heart syndrome and her parents feel very strongly that it is linked to the tephlon particles released by the carpet while vacuuming and carpet cleaning chemicals. My friend, who is a molecular biologist claims that tephlon particles are terrible for the lungs and, most likely, the heart.
I watched a fascinating show last night about the work they have done to determine how a person with asperger’s brain has a different electrical neuronal pattern than someone without and that they are using transcranial stimulation to reawaken or rewire those areas that don’t function as normally. The man profiled was a highly intelligent, seemingly great guy who honestly talked about how he had been unable to read social cues or socialize very well. While his intelligence in the area of electronics was off the charts he had a very hard time keeping a job because of his social difficulties. This therapy made a huge difference to him and those around him.
The how might have been “inside Our Minds” or something like that. It’s a series shown on Discovery or a channel like that.
You could google ‘transcranial magnetic stimulation asperger’s ‘ to learn more about it.
I saw this – it’s Ingenious Minds on Science Channel and it’s really good. That guy you saw – John Elder Robison has written a couple of books and he designed guitars for KISS. His book ‘Look Me in the Eye’ is fascinating, hilarious, and heartbreaking. I highly recommend it. I also love Temple Grandin’s stuff. She does a great job of explaining how her thinking works.
Anyway, autistic brains are wonderful and fascinating and we need them. Many of our great innovators are/were autistic. But it’s not an easy life. Sensory sensitivies are rough, and quite often, there are mood disorders that accompany the autism. What concerns me is what happens when these kind, intelligent, and sensitive people grow up. I know too many geniuses who cannot tie their shoes who are dependant on social security because they cannot find work. Their interests are often very specific and it makes it a challenge. I do hope that, as the current boom of autistic kids come of age, more employers will understand. It seems like more and more people do get it, but we still have a long way to go. Kelly Preston’s “admission” is a step. I agree – I don’t like the way things were handled before. It seems like they knew all along and were embarassed, but what matters is that they are evolving and that’s something. The more this is out there, the better it is for all of us.
agreed! wonderful statement!
I am with the bimbelieve God chooses exceptionally pure and benevolent souls to live the life of a psyhically and/ormentally special.
so, think of it that way, if only some of us “cough cough….lindsay choke” to be blessed with that kind of a spirit.
kudos to you n your child
My son has Asperger’s and ADD. He is smart (loves math & technology), funny, and everywhere I go with him people tell me how much they love to talk to him. They say it’s like speaking with an adult, not a child.
I don’t blame myself (though I’d love to know why there is such a rise of children on the spectrum). And I think about how amazing these kids really are. Anyone who has a child with Asperger’s, or knows someone who does, understands what I mean by that. They all seem to excel and have incredible intelligence. These are our future scientists, mathematicians, doctors and inventors.
Finally. Maybe scientology hasn’t got as strong a hold on her as I originally thought. Good for her for being so honest.
I think the thing that hits me the most is that sadly, they believed in Scientology and they believed their way of life was correct. As such they didn’t want to admit to what their son had because of the rules which dictated the religion. I’m sure they did the best they could by him, but with the confines of the religion and treatment…
Now their son has died, I believe more than chemicals or antibiotics she’s probably re-evaluating her entire belief system. Whether she was a terrible parent, whether he’d still be alive, whether she’s learned anything at all in her entire life.
I don’t believe in Scientology, think its utter crap, but I feel pity for the parent who had faith in something and thought they were helping their child only to get such a harsh wake up call. Faith is usually what pulls you through a tragedy, to lose that with a child can destroy someone.
Autism is painful enough to understand without tying personal faith and a child’s death into it.
Whatever their beliefs about autism and its causes, they lost their son in a pretty horrific way and that is tragic.
I seem to remember that they actually had a full-time aide with Jett, to monitor and help him through the seizures and probably to help him navigate with his autism. I think the aide (who was male) was the one who gave Jett CPR and tried to revive him…or was it John? I can’t remember the details anymore. Anyway, I bring it up to show that while they may have “denied” the diagnosis of autism or seizure disorder while he was alive, they took precautions to keep him safe.
Earlier this year there was a breakthrough in Autism research, linking gene mutations to autism.
Which is great to help ease guilt & self blame a lot of us parents feel. Yet it saddens me that with this research there is always talk of prevention. Would I have chosen to prevent my amazing special child from being born with Aspergers? I’m not so sure. There certainly are hard days that I would say, hell yeah. But then the rest of the time, I’m in wonder of her, & I’d say never. In my family, we celebrate neuro-diversity, and there is no shame, or reason for denials.
well i have 2 sons with autism. there was no diffcult labour, i did not take anitbotics while pg or bfing and they were not exposed to chemicals like carpet cleaners. But the list is endless as to things that i thought i did to cause this. I’m lucky enough to be surrounded by people who tell me its not my fault, and to just love my kids and do what’s right for them. The travoltas didn’t have that. Its damn hard parenting a special needs child. You need a lot of support. I can’t imagine throwing shame and guilt on top of that.
Lori – It’s not your fault, and thank goodness you know that. I think that people like Preston do a great disservice to parents everywhere by suggesting that a few simple changes would have made a difference. They are not scientists, and there is absolutely no proof that any of those things she mentioned cause autism. Despite her grief, I think she is terribly irresponsible in suggesting that she has information about the “cause” of autism. Autism should be treated as a difference, not a disease.
I agree. Having an autistic brother, when I hear things like that, it makes me sad for my mother. I do wonder if certain things cause autism, but honestly as of now, there is no definitive proof as to what does. I also get upset about people (for example Jacqueline from the RHONJ) who preach different diets and don’t use certain products with their autistic children and act as if they have some sort of cure. I don’t know, I looked at Jacqueline’s twitter account once and she seems to be saying everyone should feed their autistic children a gluten free diet like it is some sort of cure. I think whatever works for your own child is fine, my mother didn’t feed my brother a special diet and I don’t think she should feel guilty about it. Don’t even get me started on Jenny McCarthy!
“Despite her grief, I think she is terribly irresponsible in suggesting that she has information about the “cause” of autism.”
Agreed. She makes it seem so simple and it’s not. Lotos of kids are exposed to the same things her son was exposed to and they don’t have autism. It seems pretty clear that autism is triggered by a combination of environmental and genetic factors and until we have more specific info I refuse to listen to self-proclaimed experts claim to have it all figured it out (hello Jenny McCarthy!).
My son has Aspergers and it’s been a rough journey but he is doing extremely well. I agree with others who say society needs their unique minds. Although most parents of kids who are not as high functioning would probably disagree and wish we could find a cure asap.
In any case, unlike many suspect “treatments,” a diet that’s less processed and more organic isn’t a magic bullet, but it certainly can’t hurt.
Esmom: Excellent comment. I agree with you. Fellow Mum to a 5 yr old with HF ASD here.
Right on! It’s such a complex disorder, and the causes are so complex! Anyone who says they cured their child’s autism just thinks they did. I’m sure there were improved symptoms, but you cannot completely re-wire a brain. Not yet, anyway. I love my son’s talents, so would I want to? Although I’d like to rid him of the sensory and emotional struggles.
How horrifying would it be to wake up and realize that you lost your precious baby because of a misguided belief? Similar to religions that deny people access to blood transfusions, organ transplants, and higher medicine, all under the guise of faith, how much guilt do you carry that your child has died because of a belief structure you imposed on him? I’ve heard people justify their decision not to seek medical relief as God’s Will, and I find that just as disturbing as the Thetan-Killer Crusade.
From what I’ve read, they DID treat Jett’s autism. They’re really under no obligation to discuss their family’s medical conditions in public, you know. Jett was medicated, and he had an aide, trained to care for him full-time. I’ll bet many parents of autistic children dream they could provide that! I don’t understand what they *didn’t* do and should feel guilty about.
Totally agree, fabgrrl.
I agree with you. That kid’s death is highly suspect. Kelly Preston is no great Mother. The way she tossed aside her first born child before Jett. Doubt they medicated Jett as their religion forbids it.
My son is autistic, so I read non-stop about it, and I’ve taken some graduate level coursework on the topic, so while I’m no doctor, I am well-versed on the subject. What they know at this point is that autism is genetic, with an environmental trigger. It is my opinion that the trigger differs from person to person, and the type of trigger, along with when the trigger occurs influences how the person is effected.
I have two kids. One has Asperger’s Syndrome, and the other does not, but definitely has his quirks. So, I see the genes shining through, but my second child was fortunate enough to have not been exposed to something he was sensitive to.
And yes, I do feel that immunizations (the schedule, the virus, the preservatives) are ONE of the possible triggers. In the case of my son, based on the specific type of brain damage he has, I believe he was “triggered” during my second trimester. Recent studies point to antibiotics taken during pregnancy, or a bout of influenza during pregnancy. Both of these things happened in our case. I’ll never know for sure, but that’s my guess. If I could have done something differently, I would have, and for this reason, I cannot beat myself up about it. So, I kind of get Kelly Preston (for once). We all want to know the cause, so we can prevent it in the future, and also because it’s human nature. I don’t think she’s blaming herself or implying that its a mother’s fault. But if we are armed with information, we can prevent some of this. I know so many autistic families, and I would never in a million years blame a parent – but all of us agree there was something our babies were exposed to while in our care. If we knew what it was, then we would have prevented it as best as we could. And that’s what I took from Kelly Preston. I am glad she is finally acknowledging the reality of her son’s situation.
Sorry for my rant, it’s been a rough day with my autistic son, and I had just been thinking about how I wish things were different for him. I am not one of those mothers who wouldn’t change my child for the world. I’d prefer he not have to go through all of this.
Thank you for the good information re: autism possible triggers. I am sorry you are having a bad day. I hope you have some support or at least a Happy Hour in your near future. I know you may not feel this way at the moment but you are very strong!
aw thanks dj. You are very sweet. It’s a roller coaster, and we will have good days too. I will be drinking and watching the Cracken/Liz Taylor movie this Sunday and am looking forward to it.
I’m reading comments from the other moms here and I hope you get your kids to bed early that night and join me in spirit!
Or any one of you for that matter…
I understand completely when you say you wish things were different for your son. The parents who say they love their child just the way they are, wouldn’t change a thing—well, that sounds good, but in reality who wouldn’t want an easier road for their child while still loving them with all their heart?
My heart goes out to you for your difficulties, but if your son must bear this at least it sounds like he has a big advantage in having you for a mother.
My brother is a 30 year old man with autism. He is special and quirky and funny in his own way but the older children with special needs get, there are a new unique set of challenges. My brother can no longer go to school and he is too high functioning for a day program and he doesn’t want to participate in the activities at the ARC. He works a few days a week but he gets very lonely. So I can totally understand what you mean, if there was a way to take back the autism, I think most people would.
Jaxx – you’re awesome. Thanks so much for the kind words. They mean a lot.
May I ask what makes an autistic child a special needs child? I am asking a real question and not implying that an autistic child isn’t hard to deal with. I really want to hear the perspective of parents with autistic children and their struggle(s). Thank you in advance for your answer.
There can be many issues depending on where your child falls on the autism scale… mine for example is mostly SPD (sensory processing dissorder) so she is either in a constant state of UNDER or OVER stimulation… which of course leads to many many meltdowns. Then you can have learning dificulties, social dificulties (not being able to “pick up” on other peoples signals). There are just so many things depending on the child, Hope that helped a little I can only speak from my personal experience but some days can be ROUGH depending on the triggers that have gotten my girl all our of whack. Some days are better of course and man she’s just the sweetest most caring little girl overall!!! But yeah life with a special needs child is just that, special. ;D
Well, from my standpoint: constant supervision and vigilance. Making sure he gets to sleep on a consistent schedule because he gets more melt-downs when he’s tired. Making sure he eats on schedule because I think low blood sugar can contribute to the mood swings. Keeping weekly schedules predictable because, characteristically for Asperger’s, change does bother him. Constantly “prepping” him for the things that are coming up.
Definitely puts a damper on spontaneity. Coaxing, one-on-one supervision for daily tasks to get done. I sometimes think of autism spectrum as a Parkinson’s of the planning part of your brain. Parkinson’s patients have a hard time initiating movement. My son has a hard time anticipating and initiating a plan for what he needs to do. He is in many ways very bright and I am still scratching my head about what level he will be functioning at in 10 years. I had him later in life so that contemplation is a little daunting.
Wow, a lot of posters with autism spectrum in the family here—
Often, austistic people – even those with large verbal vocabularies – suffer from language processing disorders. They struggle to follow simple instructions. They are known to have great knowledge about one or two areas of interest, but it’s not always physics or zoology. Sometimes it’s Pokeman. At the same time, the autistic person could struggle with fine motor (printing, tying shoes, even typing), and may not be able to master driving. Spontaneous conversation can be hard, as well as unexpected things (like the doorbell ringing). When these kids are younger, their energy lever is pretty off the charts as they are always seeking new input/stimulation.
I’m being broad, but in the case of my son, he’s pretty genius in the life sciences, and fortunately, he can synthesize information and isn’t just repeating things. However, he cannot yet write out last name (he’s 14, and it’s a short name). He cannot do math beyond adding or subtracting 2 numbers – even basic algebra that they do in third grade is out of the question. He struggles to read chapter books, although he was an early reader. He CANNOT spell. He cannot follow multiple instructions (“Please feed your gecko and then brush your teeth”). He is completely naive, and always in a state of heightened anxiety. HE is frequently overwhelmed by loud or sudden noises (it’s always fun when a baby cries in a restaurant). When he walks into a room, he sees everything, and each object and person is of equal importance – his brain is unable to distinguish that the teacher in the front of the room talking is what he needs to focus on until he gets used the the classroom. If a teacher moves things or changes things, he has to start that over. Advantage: we never ever ever lose anything at home.
So, educationally, he is sort of a mess outside of his area of interest, and living alone is in question. He maybe could, provided everything goes exactly as planned and he only has simple chores to do.
Hope that helps.
Have you ever heard anything about extreme emotional stress being a trigger for Autism or Aspergers?
I was under extreme stress during my last pregnancy, and I wonder if that could have something to do with my sons condition.
I’ve wondered that also… about the stress. My oldest is ADHD which is a direct result of her father being ADHD so that didn’t surprise me too much. But my youngest when diagnosed on the autism spectrum (Sensory Processing Disorder) did take me by surprise. The first 6 weeks of my pregnancy I cried and I mean like couldn’t stop crying, for six weeks because my dear Nana that had raised me passed just days after I found out about my pregnancy. Also in my second trimester I had a bad infection which resulted in surgery (yup while pregnant!) for an appendicitis which actually turned out to be diverticulitis and developed into an abscess and infection… yeah that was fun. But I do believe (like I’m Supposed to be working mentioned above) that environmental factors while pregnant contributed to her SPD. Specifically the extreme stress/crying and then later surgery/infection.
There was that old wives’ tale about avoiding funerals when you are pregnant so that the baby doesn’t have depression. Obviously that’s silly, but I do personally believe hormones play a big factor in all this and if you are severely depressed/stressed, hormones are produced that could effect development. That’s my uneducated theory, but I am excited to see that they are starting to look into this. Hormones play a big role in how the brain is shaped in utero.
I was in an abusive relationship during my first pregnancy (like, my husband would scream at me all night long during the last month or two of the pregnancy, after pressuring me to have an abortion at the beginning of the pregnancy) and my son is on the high functioning side of the spectrum. I have never heard the emotional distress theory before.
Thank you for posting this. The notion of genetics AND environment both playing a role in illness is also being discussed, and in some cases research.
When I was suffering from severe clinical depression – I mean to the point where I had planned my own death – I was ashamed to admit any kind of problem, so instead I put on an Oscar-worthy performance of “all is good.”
Finally, I had to reach out for help, I was at the point of no return. Though I was glad I did at the time, the shame remained for a long time after that. Only after a few years of treatment did I come to realize that nature – severe depression runs on both sides of my family, and environment – graduate school and two very sick parents, combined to start a cascade reaction in my brain. Now that I understand it, I don’t feel ashamed.
I do feel sorry for the Travoltas – losing a child must be unbearable – and I wish they had wanted to speak up sooner about the true nature of Jett’s condition. They never had anything to be ashamed of. The only shame here is the Church of $cientology’s, which taught them that they SHOULD feel ashamed.
I’m so glad you’re better Izzy!
ISTBW, sorry to hear you’re having a rough day. My son has Aspergers, too, so I’ve been there. FWIW, he’s in 7th grade now and the scale has tipped so that we have far more good days than bad.
Anyway, I’m replying because of your mention of the flu you had in your second trimester. I did, too, the worst of my life. But interestingly the exact same thing happened in my second pregnancy, and my younger son is neurotypical. I’ve also wondered if the false positive AFP test I had in my first trimester was a red flag of some sort. But again it happened with both pregnancies and only one of my kids is on the spectrum.
One pediatric neurologist we saw years ago told me that maybe in another century or so we will have more definitive answers, lol.
@esmom @imsuppose, just wondering how you both feel about pregnant women receiving the flu vaccine? I declined during both of my pregnancies, but I’m now wondering if the benefits would outweigh the risks.
I think it’s a good idea. I’m a recent convert to the flu vaccine after resisting for years. Although I’m sure I would have declined it when I’d been pregnant back then. Anyway, I’d think the flu vaccine would equal a healthier mother, which in turn should equal a healthier baby.
Thanks for the answer. I’d like to have one more baby and I’ll seriously consider the vaccine this time around (or plan my pregnancy around flu season, if at all possible).
Esmom – weird – I had a false positive AFP test too! Hmmmmmm.
My son is in 8th grade, and it IS better. But puberty has reared it’s ugly head and he is on an extreme emotional rollercoaster right now. When he was diagnosed at 3, the clinician said the middle school ages would be horrid as he realized he was a bit different and tried to fit in, but the high school ages would be better as he found his “geek” crew to hang with. And I have found that to be true. Finally – we have some friends! He had them over and it was like watching a Big Bang Theory episode. I couldn’t have been happier for him.
Forgot to say – I think the flu vaccine is ok. It did it with both my kids – even after knowing there was autism in our family.
What does Kelly Preston say about her first born son? The one she didn’t choose to raise, the one with her ex-husband she had scrubbed from the internet?
Her son with ex, Kevin Gage.
That was exactly what I was thinking. The one she decided she didn’t want. 🙁
Yes I was about to post the same thing this woman’s life is built on lie upon lie upon lie.
Wait…WHAT? Details, please!
I never knew about this, that was a shock to me. Damn.
THIS! She tossed him aside and never looked back. He has disabilities as well. She may be a carrier of Fragile X, knew this and still chose to procreate, knowing full well the dangers to the child(ren). She’s a heartless, cold person who puts on a shy sweet act.
I came here to post about that. Even a quick internet search only mentions Ella, Jett and Benjamin.
Apparently info about her first son was at one point on her wikipedia bio, but isn’t there now. What is there, and what I find interesting and quite frankly, humorous given her $cilon beliefs, is that Preston’s mother was the administrator of a mental health facility!
That picture of John, gazing lovingly at his son just breaks my heart.
it’s so sweet isn’t it?.
Yes…yes, it is.
This is my take:
I believe John Travolta is gay. No doubt.
I also believe that John and Kelly deeply love each other as partners, parents and friends (not as “lovers”).
This arrangement that they have once had, is now “real” or as real as they believe it. They are a team.
And finally, It is SO heartbreaking about their son Jett. Because regardless of their relationship quirks, they LOVED their son and he is now gone. I can’t imagine losing a child. My sympathies go out to them as PARENTS.
I agree with your post, Kate. I also believe that Jett was not denied appropriate medical care while he was alive, in spite of his parents’ possible beliefs. Just like many Catholics choose to ignore the Church’s teachings and use birth control/have sex outside of marriage, I think John and Kelly did pursue a traditional Western medicine path for Jett.
Just my opinion but she went into this marraige with her eyes open and she’s gained alot of power both in Hollywood and within Scientology because of it. I remember there were rumors after Jett died that Jon was willing come out and all of the sudden Kelly turns up with a miracle baby. She’s a well compensated beard.
Gmo’s cause endocrine imblance and abnormal cell growth which is why countries all over the world are banning it. Consuming poisoned food for nine months may very well alter the development of the fetuses brain while in utero.
However, it wouldn’t have mattered because they chose the “church” over qualified medical doctors when it came to caring for their son.
They need to admit to themselves that their religious choices killed their kid. Then they need to start helping other parents by telling them that God created doctors for a reason and sometimes they should seek the care of one instead of running to a religious higher up.
Um, vaccines, people. Autism didn’t exist decades ago, and now people are posting here that have TWO autistic children? The “research” that showed that vaccines weren’t responsible was flawed. The child died because of Scientology. Now they’re admitting they lied? Oh my, what a paragon of virtue.
But it DID exist 2 decades ago. I do get your point though, Stuart. There’s so much more of it. GMO’s and vaccines and many other things contribute. Disabilities overall are on the rise. Our children are telling us something about our environment.
The incidence rate of autism is exploding and is correlated with the increasing vaccine schedule. This graph shows the exponential increase in autism: http://bit.ly/UGCqSJ
And this – http://bit.ly/ScpUvY
Correlation Between Increases in Autism Prevalence and Introduction of New Vaccines
78 percent increase in childhood autism rates over past decade coincides with sharp uptick in vaccination schedules
Pretty simple to see where this is going and it should scare us all. Who will help these parents look after the more severely autistic kids as our economy implodes and the social contract unravels?
Study after study have not proven that vaccines are a trigger. I know with my son the signs were there before his MMR vaccine, which is the one most people blame.
I do think there is a subset of kids who have been adversely affected by vaccines. However I do think it’s simplistic to say they are the one and only cause. And choosing not to vaccinate opens us back up to the diseases those vaccines were designed to eradicate.
Autism did exist decades ago. Since 1944 and Leo Kanner, in fact. Asperger noted the difference in 1944 as well, but it didn’t become a recognised separate diagnosis until 1981. And for a long time, autism was seen as a subset of schizophrenia, too, with no separate diagnosis. Subsets of ASD are being created (or observed, I should say) to this day. Diagnosis was not as common, and kids who are now diagnosed (correctly) as high functioning but with ASD would not have been diagnosed with anything at all 30 years ago. Furthermore there were generic diagnoses attached to people with developmental problems (“mental retardation” “language impairment” etc), which no longer exist – the unbrella terms were phased out, and more precise categorisations are now made.
There has been a huge volume of research on vaccination and autism. A link has been debunked over and over and over again. The problem is the opposition is now faith-based, not science. Autism Speaks actually reversed their view on the potential danger of the MMR after most of the research was in, after their own head of communications resigned saying the science was in: “”There isn’t an unlimited pot of money, and every dollar spent looking where we know the answer isn’t is one less dollar we have to spend where we might find new answers,” said Singer, who has an 11-year-old daughter with autism. “The fact is that vaccines save lives; they don’t cause autism.”” http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2009/jan/25/autism-mmr-vaccine, and Autism Speaks, from being hugely opposed, now encourage parents concerned about ASD to vaccinate. I’m happy to link those studies if anyone is interested – one is a huge cohort study of kids in Denmark, which found non-vaccinated kids were MORE likely than vaccinated to be on the spectrum. (Rather than claim this meant vaccination protects, the researchers said that genetics mean siblings of kids with ASD were less likely to be vaccinated due to the scare, but more likely to be on the spectrum, thus skewing those figures.) There was also no change in rates of ASD diagnosis in Japan after the MMR was removed over a (later disproven – in fact more kids died of the exact fear, encephalitis, as complications of the diseases after the vaccination was pulled. There had been no deaths from the encephalitis linked to the mumps component of the vaccine) scare.
There’s also another question: why, if vaccination is the cause, have diagnosis rates of ASD continued to jump, even in places where vaccination levels collapsed? Surely that in itself is evidence against a link?
One of the very few known triggers of autism is for the mother to contract rubella in pregnancy. So the fact is, there will be autistic kids alive today who would not have been autistic had the rates of rubella been lower. Which means some may only be autistic because someone refused an MMR vaccination.
Autism runs in my family. I made it my business to get informed. I vaccinate with confidence now, though I think that’s easier if you’re British. I mean, money is less of a factor in our healthcare than yours is because treatments are determined as worthwhile centrally, and the chicken pox vaccination not given unless someone is hugely vulnerable to infection. It’s felt risks outweigh benefits. That is not a system ruled by Big Pharma.
The research is listed below.
For vaccination to be behind the ASD increase, at this point there would need to be the most colossal conspiracy between almost all the world’s paediatricians, as well as epidemiologists and immunologists. Most research scientists don’t go into it for the money, and a lot of the studies have been done at universities by post-doctoral researchers who have a passion for their field. It just isn’t plausible that none have come forward to whistleblow in all that time. The vaccine controversy is an internet conspiracists one at this point. In the past, there were serious questions being asked and very worrying possibilities, but at this point, with the evidence so profuse, if you can’t find a link it’s just not there.
1) “The combined measles, mumps, and rubella vaccines and the total number of vaccines are not associated with development of autism spectrum disorder: the first case-control study in Asia.” Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine, Nagoya, Japan 2012
2) “Lack of association between measles-mumps-rubella vaccination and autism in children: a case-control study.” Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Jagiellonian University, Collegium Medicum, Krakow, Poland 2010
3) “Lack of association between measles virus vaccine and autism with enteropathy: a case-control study.”
Center for Infection and Immunity, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York 2008
4) “No effect of MMR withdrawal on the incidence of autism: a total population study.” Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 2008
5) “A population-based study of measles, mumps, and rubella vaccination and autism.” Danish Epidemiology Science Center, Department of Epidemiology and Social Medicine, Arhus, Denmark 2002
6) “MMR-vaccine and regression in autism spectrum disorders: negative results presented from Japan.” Department of Human Welfare, Otsuma Women’s University 2007
You may also want to google “CDC – Concerns About Autism – Vaccine Safety”, then scroll down to “more information”. The third link down is a CDC assessment of some of the research on the thimerosol/mercury issue as well as the MMR/autism one. I’ve covered the MMR ones; mercury is belt and braces (though there has never been any mercury in the MMR in this country, just as we have never had the specific strain of mumps in our vaccines that so alarmed the Japanese. Incidentally, measles rates increased when they pulled the MMR and some children died from measles-related encephalitis. None died of the mumps-vaccine-linked encephalitis, which nobody ever knew for sure was caused by anything but coincidental meningitis. It was a precaution, not a result of proven harm.)
Taylor et al., 1999 (United Kingdom)
Farrington et al., 2001 (United Kingdom)
Kaye et al., 2001 (United Kingdom)
Dales et al., 2001 (United States)
Fombonne et al., 2006 (Canada) Fombonne and Chakrabarti, 2001 (United Kingdom)
Taylor et al., 2002 (United Kingdom)
DeWilde et al., 2001 (United Kingdom)
Makela et al., 2002 (Finland)
DeStefano et al., 2004 (United States) Peltola et al., 1998 (Finland)
Patja et al., 2000 (Finland)
A lot of the research on the MMR being safe in terms of ASD comes from Japanese universities, because it’s the only 1st world country to pull the jab and replace it with singles. ASD diagnoses continued to rise, and their researchers have no incentive to lie to get vaccination rates in their populations to climb, either. They still unanimously agree that there’s no link.
Without getting into the debate on vaccines, I would like to chime in about the length of time autism has “existed.”
Modern science has made diagnostics much more sensitive, while giving medical professionals a more robust view of diseases and their spectrums (such as the autism spectrum, as it’s now referred to).
Cystic fibrosis is a good example. Only two decades ago, it was widely believed that nearly all born with CF did not survive to adulthood. Meanwhile, my stepmom has had lifelong lung problems and has twice contracted a very serious infection; on this second round, her strain is incurable.
But when scientists finished mapping the human genome, they identified several mutations that could cause CF. Ten years ago they tested my stepmom’s DNA; lo and behold, she carries two CF mutations. Turns out that the severity of CF depends greatly on the mutations carried by the patients. So my stepmom has been lucky enough to live well into adulthood, long enough even to get Medicare!
All this is just to illustrate that many diseases we call new are, in fact, just better understood and diagnosed now. Autism seems to be another case in point.
*ends scientific gobbledegook, goes off to prepare green bean casserole for holiday meal*
They took their child to neurologists and he had taken quite a few medicines over the course of his life, especially for his seizures, most not working eventually.
John is a selfish bastard. He wants the married lifestyle while sleeping with men and Kelly is too brainwashed to realize that she isn’t in a real marriage. She’s in a joint financial partnership with a friend.
It’s fine if she doesn’t ever want to really be in love with anyone, male or female, to keep John “happy” but
she needs to accept the inevitable. John will ultimately leave her for a man, his real love, and she is going to be humiliated.
My heart goes out to those here who posted so eloquently about their experiences. And yes, autism has been confirmed to be genetic with environmental triggers. I respect Kelly as a loving mom and Travolta as a loving Father. But he needs to stop screwing around on her.
But he’s not screwing around on her! Don’t you understand that she had a wildly out of control drug habit, to the point of getting shot while high, with Charlie Sheen? Her rep and very middling talent were getting her to Lohanville, or more like Mischa Bartonville, as she wasn’t ever an A lister. She joined Co$ Narcanon to kick the habit, was selected as a primo beard who follows rules well, for JT. He’s the one who has wanted out, not her. She knows what little career, high profile, she has is gone, if that happens.
Huh? He’s married to her Einstein. No amount of dirt bombs lobbed at Kelly changes that fact.
At any rate, after finding out about her first son, I take back everything I said about her being a good mom. In fact at this point, I think she’s just as crazy as Tom Cruise.
As a mother to a 4 year asberbers child it’s easy to wonder if you did something that caused it, or if you could have prevented it. However I have learned you cannot dwell on that and the what if’s. One thing is certain I have a amazing beautiful son and wouldn’t change a thing about him
Great comment, I agree.
I have a 5 year old son with high functioning ASD (along with a few other conditions), and I couldn’t imagine my life without him.
My brother has Aspergers, as does an uncle, and various other more distant relatives are on the spectrum. I thought a lot about having kids, and then came to the conclusion that there is now a lot of help available with the social issues my brother had to struggle through alone… and when he was a small boy he was the sweetest, happiest, most loving little guy in the world. Having one of him would be just fine. You could have a NT kid who was a rapist or axe murderer or wife beater or just narcissistic pig. There were, I figured, so many worse things for a person to be than on the spectrum, unless they were on the extreme end of it (and even then, the people who suffer are the child and their parents, not anyone else).
My son is NT, as it happens. But we decided to go for a baby knowing there was an elevated possibility, because the fear about autism is IMO disproportionate. It’s about ignorance and not the vast majority of people on the spectrum. And it’s with that belief that we are trying (have been awhile now) for a second child, too.
She’s an idiot. But I do feel awful for them. I can’t even imagine the pain of losing a child.
I don’t have any children, so there is no way I can understand what they’re feeling. The pain must be horrible, I feel awful for them.
My son has Aspergers and I’ve been through the self-blaming period, and I’m not really sure if I’m completly through it yet. I just wish the world would be more understanding. There is nothing wrong with people with Aspergers, they just functions a little bit diffrent but still has so much to give.
Lotta – it makes me sad to think you are blaming yourself. If you knew what caused your son’s Asperger’s, you would have moved mountains to prevent it. The truth of the matter is, there’s nothing you could have done to prevent it.
I myself go through cycles of – I don’t know – grief? For the most part, it is what it is and we have a good life. But then sometimes, something will happen (or sometimes nothing will happen) and I will feel so awful about it. It’s a lifelong condition, so I suppose it’s natural to have lifelong emotions tied to it. But please don’t blame yourself ok?
Thank you for your answer. I think I’m still in a phase of mourning after having gotten the diagnoze, even though I suspected it long before. The reason I blame myself is as I have learned more and given it a lot of thought I realize that it comes from my part of the family, so he got it from me. But I’m trying to move on. As he has got more help and understanding in school and from family, life has became much better for him.
Well, don’t be too hard on yourself – we all pass things on to our kids, the good and the bad. Counseling helps when things get rough, and I hope you have a great system of support behind you (and not just your son).
This woman is deluded!
Just because doctors say something is safe doesn’t mean it is. Medicine is about 50 years behind real time. We all knew trans fats were bad for you 30 years ago, but medicine only got around to it in the last 5 or so. Same with omega 3s and 6s. Taking acidophilus when taking antibiotics has been a given for people in the health food community for over 40 years, and doctors are just now starting to recommend it.
My eldest son is autistic (just turned 4), and my one year old is, at least by my judgment, totally neurotypical. Looking back, it’s obvious that my oldest was autistic from the day he was born. I know some people talk about their child changing, becoming more withdrawn or what have you, but my son was always this way. My youngest, it’s like night and day. So I know whatever happened, it had to be in utero. And because of that, it’s hard not to want to blame myself.
At any rate, my son is an amazing kid! He’s so loving and sweet and imaginative; he just has problems communicating socially. Autism, it’s nothing to be ashamed of. There are more people out there with it than you probably realize, you know?
Rachel…you have 2 wonderful sons and they have an amazing Mom!
I do not have an autistic child, but I have a friend who does…she has four and her eldest son is autistic. Her feelings, 17 years down the road, mirrors yours…”I know some people talk about their child changing, becoming more withdrawn or what have you, but my son was always this way.” She says there is too much living to do to look to blame, and that until definitive scientific proof by the experts explains it, she is the expert of enjoying all 4 of her “gifts” and not get caught up in blaming anything, anybody or herself or hubby…she said the weight of the blame is far more burdensome then any day in the life of a Mom with 4 kids. 🙂
I also noticed that my son was diffrent very early. At first nobody took me seriously, but I knew something was up even before he got his vaccines.
First I was just so concerned with getting an diagnosis, but when he did I understood it was just step one. It’s been a fight, especially with getting help for his special needs in school. Sometimes I’m tired of fighting but ofcourse he is worth it.
A study is out right now that a woman who suffered from the flu or high fever while pregnant has a higher incidence of a child with autism. I am paraphrasing.
I remember a movie about a mother whose son had severe seizures and the medicines were not helping anymore and her child was literally she felt being harmed. She stopped the seizure medicines and was taken on by the hospital for doing so while looked elsewhere. Lorenzo’s Oil
is the name of the movie.
It must be heartbreaking to see your child suffer so much. I do believe they tried everything suggested by doctors. I can’t judge them. John was an extraordinary father the way he took him with him everywhere, especially flying because Jett loved it.
Oops. Not Lorenzo’s Oil The movie was First Do No Harm, starring Meryl Streep, based on a true story about a child suffering from severe seizures.
As someone who has intractable epilepsy (for over 24 of my almost 37 years) & has a daughter who was just diagnosed w/epilepsy, it’s common knowledge in the neurology community that when you “fail” 2 anticonvulsants, your doctor should be looking into other treatment methods: adjunctive therapies (taking more than one med), supplements, specialized diet (ketogenic or modified Atkins), or surgery. I’ve done all of the above, and still have the occasional seizure, but I’m in a MUCH better place than I was a few years ago!! If a doctor isn’t willing to change things for the better, it’s time for a new doctor.
I truly believe that the chemicals in our food and the products that we use are responsible for Autism. The government does not want the general public to know this.
My daughter had Kawasaki’s disease, I had a very difficult labor with, she ended up with thrush when I was breastfeeding…and she is not autistic. SOMETHING causes autism but it’s not the things Kelly listed & it makes me angry that she is espousing these lies. I’m sorry she lost her son but what she’s talking about just isn’t true.
Thank you. Kawaksaki’s in infrequent, but a huge proportion of the population has had thrush or carry candida as normal flora on their bodies. Ask any statistician and they will remind you: correlation does not equal causation (which means 2 things happening to occur together does not mean that one causes the other).
I don’t know what to say to people who think that autism is developed after a baby is born, like chemicals in the environment are the ’cause’ and so on. This is not reflected in any research, and there is no conspiracy theory about it. Celebrities are just in denial and avoid scientific research. Hollywood is notorious for new age healing and so forth, with no scientific merit. This is the place for things like the blood group diet and so on. People need real research, not the new age pseudo science that celebrities write about to explain away autism. Those books don’t help parents.
Anyone interested, should read the work by Simon Baron Cohen (yes, Sasha’s cousin). He is considered a world authority on autism.
Okay whatever. The point is not what caused his autism it’s the fact that you tried to say it was Kawasaki Syndrome (and yes, I know that’s not the right way to spell it), like you were ashamed to admit it was autism.
I understand wanting to keep things private, but they didn’t keep the fact that he had some issue private therefore lying about what it was when you could have been using your name as a platform this (disorder?) that is starting to affect many children.
Are the “chemicals” responsible for John’s failure to stop groping massage parlor dudes too?
Not only that, but look how far Kelly went in claiming Kawasaki’s! It just found this old article that outs Kelly. This is unbelievable. They caught the wedding date on here as well.
a great resource for parents of autistic children is Ocean Robbins, John Robbins’ son (John wrote the book on vegan diets, and is the son and nephew of the founders of Baskin Robbins. John walked away from the family fortune. while i have mixed feelings about a vegan diet, it sure is HELPING ME with my pain level, dramatically so). i am not recommending any diet. but Ocean Robbins is a beautiful soul who has found a way to connect with his twin sons with autism, and he has some interesting things to say.
i think the toxic soup of chemicals-in our diets, in the water, in the land, in the air, in the animal fat we sometimes consume, and yes, the gluten/grain connection and the other toxins we absorb-may have something to do with the skyrocketing illnesses we are facing. when i stopped eating processed foods, like TWO MONTHS AGO, i experienced a dramatic drop in my joint pain and brain fog. i had tried every diet in the world, but hadn’t considered just eliminating canned, packaged, processed foods. wow. a week later, i was pretty much completely off of pain meds. the gluten/grain connection is also high on my list. and switching to a nutrient dense vegan diet really helped me as well. all of these together, and within a month or so, i am functioning at undreamed of levels, following a collision in 1999 when i suffered traumatic brain injury and its lovely co-passengers depression, anxiety, and fibromyalgia symptoms. just wanted to pass my own personal experience along, just in case this might be of some assistance.
i am having a bad week-i MUST have eaten something that didn’t agree with me. the only thing i ate was a package of cheese-flavored popcorn at the ER (my hubby had a huge increase in his BP, and we were there for five hours). i ate the simplest and best thing they had, and i am suffering. hmmmm.
After reading that this woman has no contact with her oldest child, with actor Kevin Gage, I think she is truly evil. Her parents are raising the child because she couldn’t have anything to do with a child with severe disabilities.
She is a sick, sick human being.
Can I just say I saw her on Entertainment Tonight just now, and she is so naturally gorgeous for 50. She is so nonplastic-surgeried-looking. She has smile lines. Her lips aren’t massively blown up. Her softer brownish hair is flattering compared to her blonde when she was younger. Not heavily made up. Her voice has a young lilt to it. Whatever things she has done, it is very minor, more like a refreshening of her natural looks. Even her long hair parted in the middle looks good on her.
I just want to hug her. I don’t care what is said in the media about their marriage, etc., her and John lost a child. It wasn’t her fault or anyone’s, things happen that we wish we could prevent. Their son is watching over them now.
Also wanted to say, thoughts, prayers, & best wishes to the moms & families of the Autistic children. You are doing the work of many, every day, & should be held in admiration.
It’s basically genetic and a higher incidence could mean people with the gene are finding each other and upping their odds of having spectrum children. All of the cases I know of, there’s always someone in the extended family who has it and many were never diagnosed until late adulthood. It isn’t that Aspergers is just a different way of perceiving the world. Most Aspies have the inability to feel empathy for other beings. This makes parenting a child a really rough road for Aspies. The NT parent (if there is one) gets stuck compensating for everything. Take a look at some of the support groups online for NT spouses of those on the spectrum. Then there’s the faulty social perceptions of the AS that makes it next to impossible to not feel awkward in social settings. A diagnosis of the spectrum is devastating. John Travolta’s brother is an Aspie and you can find his support of the cause on the Aspie website “Wrong Planet”. They always KNEW Jet was autistic but somehow thought we were to believe Travolta is so superior that he couldn’t be passing on less than stellar genes. Please. Also, Kelly and John got married because she was already pregnant with Jet. Look it up.
I didn’t know that about Travolta’s brother. My own little nephew has been diagnosed with Sensory Processing disorder and we’ve always thought one of my uncle’s has a lot of autistic traits. So does one of his sons come to think of it.
Well, whether we agree with Kelly Preston and her weird family dynamic and kooky religion or not, she DID get us talking! This is one of the better autism discussions I’ve been involved in. I love this site!
One comforting thought for parents might be that most likely there are many different triggers if there is a genetic susceptibility toward autism. So even if you managed to go back in time and eliminate the trigger you suspect – it could have happened anyway. We just don’t know enough to be sure- speaking as a scientist myself, studies are often contradictory because they are limited and are dealing with an incredibly complex situation. Think “six blind men and the elephant”. But the key thing is to help people on the spectrum to deal as best they can with the difficulties. (So experimenting with dietary changes, for instance, is worth a shot.) This is actually a more general thing – everybody’s brain is wired differently and everybody has varying resilience in response to different stresses as well as different abilities and disabilities. There actually is no one-size-fits-all approach to raising and educating children. And along with the difficulties, there are also good things in the same genetic mix that should stay in the gene pool, as others have noted in their own children. My uncle had a serious genetic disorder which caused increasingly difficult neurological problems, but once in reference to abortion he said that too many people forget that a life with disabilities is still worth living. I myself have various physical problems inherited from both sides and which kicked in earlier in each generation (I said decades ago that old age should be a breeze since I was already creaky in my teens…), but that’s never prevented me from being happy.
Yes, it is sad that their son passed so young. That said, there are medications out there for those suffering from frequent severe seizures, but because they fall under the psychotropic drug class, the Travoltas (being Scientologists and opposed to such drugs) decided not to medicate their son, which would have saved his life. I have sympathy for the boy who was born to parents who had the means to provide him with something better and did not, due to their cultish beliefs. Jett deserved better.