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Jenny McCarthy Autism

Jenny McCarthy Speaks Out on Autism with Larry King

Last night Larry King Live helped highlight National Autism Awareness Day by inviting actress and author Jenny McCarthy to a panel about autism with four well–known doctors. As the mother of an autistic son, Jenny has become a spokesperson for the disorder, which affects one in every 150 children. The debate on the cause of autism often becomes deeply personal and heated and last night's show was no exception.

To see snippets of the discussion and more about the panel,


Careful not to point fingers at vaccinations as the sole cause of autism, the blond bombshell emphatically stated that she, along with many others, are anti–toxin and anti–schedule. In 1983, children were given 10 vaccinations by age five. Now, children receive up to 36 by age six.

Dr. Harvey Karp and Dr. David Tayloe (President-elect of the American Academy of Pediatrics) appeared on the panel where they agreed more research is needed to find the causes of the disorder but argued that vaccinations do more good than harm. When Jenny asked Dr. Tayloe why there has been such a dramatic increase in how many shots are given in the past couple decades, he said:

Because we've been able to develop ways to vaccinate children to prevent pain and suffering.

Sitting next to and supporting Jenny, Dr. Jay Gordon said they are not anti–vaccine. They just believe in changing the schedule of vaccinations, removing toxins from the shots, and reducing the number of shots given at such a young age.

In Jenny's newest book, Louder Than Words: A Mother's Journey in Healing Autism, the autism spokeswoman gives parents hope on how she and her son have trekked down the road of recovery to a much happier and healthier place.

On June 4, 2008, Jenny and beau Jim Carrey are organizing a march in Washington, D.C. where they are encouraging anyone and everyone to come out and support awareness for autism.

I don't know how I feel about vaccinations and a link to autism but I do believe growing awareness is key to finding a solution.

Join The Conversation
ErieIndiana ErieIndiana 9 years
I talked to my mother who teaches disabled and mentally handicapped children for a living about Jenny's issues with Autism and her book. JUST from that discussion I don't believe that her son is "cured" via the DSM-IV definition of autism. It is a disorder and cannot be cured. I'm sure that some of the side-effects and associated behaviors of autism can be handled better with dietary/behavior modifications. The same goes for someone suffering from bi-polar disorder. With the proper treatments, people can lead as close to normal lives as they possibly can... but that doesn't mean that they are cured. Have there been any studies on autism rates in children of religious sects/other cultures who do not routinely provide these vaccines? I think we need some comparitive literature to make more informed decisions.
onabanana onabanana 9 years
I don't want to down play the seriousness of autism is the difficulties that families have to go through but I do want to bring attention to two factors which have contributed to the increase in autism rates. 1) more people/children are being diagnosed with autism because the scope of what is now considered autism has widened, kids who used to be either classified as simply slow or odd are now diagnosed as autistic. On the other side of the spectrum some kids who were classified as mentally retarded (not sure the PC term sorry) are also being diagnosed as autistic. 2) (this one I heard recently and can't vouch for) the chance of being autistic increases in premature babies and with the increase in technological advances has increased the number of premature birth survivals. I don't know much about the details about vaccine scheduling etc. but I do know is that these vaccines have saved millions of lives and are able to live the way we do because vaccines have all but eliminated the threat of polio, small pox, etc. I think we need to be less heated in these discussions and keep an open mind as well as a keen eye on this issue.
facin8me facin8me 9 years
The last doses of childhood vaccines that contained mercury expired in January 2003. These vaccines are not still on the shelves. Maybe that information was true from 2000-2002, while vaccine makers were phasing out thimerosal, but it is certainly not true now. (that phase out by the way, was about ensuring the public trust because people freak out about mercury). (I should note, for completeness, that some thimerosal-containing vaccines for children age seven and older expired in late 2005, but these are not the vaccines in question). I think it's fine if people have children that are not at risk for Hep B don't want to get them vaccinated or if people want to have titers done so that they can avoid third jabs. I also think it's fine if people want to delay or space vaccines out (if it doesn't affect the group's immunity). I believe this not because there is any facts or biology to back this up, but because delaying vaccinations seems to increase the public trust in vaccination in the face of a lot of hysteria and misinformation from ambulance chasers and emotionally desperate parents looking for an answer. Delaying vaccinations is essentially a white middle class issue though. For mothers who have to take two trains and a bus with children in tow to get to a clinic with limited hours, you have to get what you need for your children all at once. I don't think anybody here downplays the seriousness of autism and the impact that it has on families. Just because corpses don't line the streets doesn't mean that people are turning a blind eye. It is with this understanding that studies have looked again and again at a connection between vaccines and autism...and again and again there fails to be one. The question becomes what scientist or epidemiologist in their right mind would touch the causation issue with a ten foot pole if they are simply not going to be believed? How does this impact future generations if we keep on recycling the same tired hypothesis?
snowysakurasky snowysakurasky 9 years
:( this is very scary, and its hard to know what to believe. my son just had his first shots at 2 months, two shots and then another two the next week and hes normal as always... but im going to look into this
lickety-split lickety-split 9 years
i'm all for getting all the facts and making an informed decision too. 1) mercury was taken out of NEW vaccines, no more child vaccines are made with mercury. BUT the old vaccines weren't taken off the shelf so children continue to receive vaccines containing mercury. 2) children receive 3 jabs of several vaccines even though 95% are fully immune after 2 jabs. unnecessary poison in 95% of children. lets run a titers to see who NEEDS the additional jab. 3) hepB vaccine is only good for 7 years in 50% of the children who receive it. hepB is contracted how??? unless you have special risks at your home children don't need this vaccine. 4)if children were dying of autism THEN would it get your attention? it's 1 in 95 boys and 1 in 150 children. or is it only worth noting if there's a corpse? and if you want to see "severely disabled" look in the autism class rooms where the low functioning kids are. that's today, that's our children's future. 10 years ago it was 1 in 10,000, what will it be in 10 more?
I admire her so much for her passion and determination! She is bringing alot of attention on the topic of autism and bringing to light alot of issues that are swept under the rug. I don't know about the connection but I do think it needs to at least be acknowledged as a possibility and needs to be further researched.
michelle834 michelle834 9 years
she says in her book that the mercury in the vaccines were partly to blame. mercury was taken out of vaccines in 2001. evan was born in 2002. furthermore, she blames the hepatitis C vaccine for another family's ailments. there is currently no hepatitis C vaccination due to the high viral mutation rates. i'm all for getting all the facts and making an informed decision. but before you go and opt your child out of valuable vaccinations, it wouldn't hurt to look back at a time before vaccinations were available. children were severely disabled and died of diseases we now consider to be virtually nonexistent. the risk that vaccinations carry, in my opinion, are far outweighed by the deaths and pain the diseases caused. it wasn't long ago that children were dying of chicken pox. can you imagine, in this day and age, if your child were to die of this? i think you would be up in arms. vaccinations also help the very young and immunocompromised who are not able to get vaccinations by what's called herd immunity. what's dangerous is when there are clusters of people who are not getting immunized. i commend jenny for her strength. unfortunately, i feel that her star power is blinding some facts.
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
WOW I am so impressed with her. She was poised, knowledgable, and well spoken... Go jenny!
VSug VSug 9 years
1st to LilSugar: Thanks so much for bringing this issue and now this Larry King interview of Jenny McCarthy and a panel of doctors to light! 2nd, my own opinion: It seems to me that this is mom's globally trying to convince conservative docs to at least look at the vaccinations, the dosage, scheduling, and do independent research to find out why this autism epidemic is destroying children's lives. 3rd, on Jenny McCarthy: Who knew that this bawdy-humored, gorgeous, former Playboy model was so articulate, eloquent, thoughtful, and intelligent!!!!??? She is an amazing child advocate. 4th, further info.: My friend has a child with autism. She and her husband spearheaded "Generation Rescue" a non-profit for parents with kids who have autism. You can check their website out: Their documentary that they produced, "Autism Yesterday" premieres in Portland, OR in mid-April. Jenny McCarthy will be speaking. If anyone has any questions, I'd be happy to serve as a conduit of info! Cheers and Blessings to All, especially You Moms!!, VSug
KAEB06 KAEB06 9 years
I loved her book! After changing my sons diet and starting therapies, it is like a whole new child (we also stopped vaccinating at 9 months). I fully support her and her mission to educated others.
DISH DISH 9 years
i watched this last night & thought she rocked! a true champion for autism.
facin8me facin8me 9 years
If the host of "Singled Out" thinks there's a link between vaccines and autism, then it must be true. Who do those doctors think they are, with their "book learnin'", and their "research," and their "biology?" They are clearly part of a huge government conspiracy. Real sources for information:
faerymagick15 faerymagick15 9 years
I think "recover" is a term used loosely here. I have a son with mild autism amongst other problems and I agree with Jenny about vaccines, definitely. But I don't think kids actually fully recover. I think Jenny has worked hard to get Evan the therapies and special diets, etc...and it has worked for him and he is thriving.
lickety-split lickety-split 9 years
okay, i;m a fan now. she has done her research and isn't backing down from her position w/ the "experts". this is great. i love how the doctor's defending the vaccines are so hostile against the suggestion that autism has a vaccine connection. go jenny :woohoo:
kikidawn kikidawn 9 years
wow... really really makes you think. I am definitely going to pick up her book and read it. It is absolutely amazing that Evan has recovered from his being 'hit by a bus' (so to speak). I didn't realize that Autistic children could recover!
karlorene karlorene 9 years
i love how she throws her whole heart into this... i won't comment on whether or not vaccines can be the cause of autism- all i know is there's a debate because no one really knows for sure, so i think it's basically up to each parent how they chose to handle this. i read her book belly laughs and it was hilarious! it was good! i'll have to check out a few more of her books
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