What has always impressed me is that, in other venues, parents raise concerns about everything but a cure. They seem to be always looking for better education opportunities, for strategies to help them wend their way through the special education minefield, and, for help paying for their child's special needs and the extra-ordinary costs they have because they have a special child.
During the Obama transition, I read several blogs where people were encouraged to raise their issues, and, the autism parents did. They mentioned how health insurance refuses to pay for science based treatments because Autism is considered to be a pre-existing condition. They mentioned how hard it is to get respite care, for themselves and their child. They mentioned so many things, except, finding a "cure" or a cause of Autism. These are the parents who are truly hurting for their kids. Read more...
What continually amazes me is that these parents are uniformly ignored by the likes of JB Handley, Jenny McCarthy, Dan Olmsted, David Kirby, Katie Wright, and the other pied pipers of the AoA/Anti-Vaccination collective. How often is there a blog article about these issues?
What we do know is that Mr. Handley is rich and wrong about just about everything. I've been wondering how much rich plays into this. Handley, the Wrights, Jenny McCarthy--none of them have to think about whether their child will attend a good school, get good therapies and, most of all, whether they will be cared for after their parents are gone. These families are wealthy, and they have taken care of these issues.
To the best of my knowledge, Olmsted and Kirby (who is now pursuing BigFarma) do not have children or family affected by Autism.
Clearly, they are all out of touch with the rank and file of parents, and seem to have zero incentive to advocate for anything really worthwhile for autistic kids or adults.
Does anyone think that they could care less if public schools had better special education classes or if there were programs for autistic (and other disabled) adults to help them live at something above the poverty level? This will not impact their children (unless they lose their fortune in the next collapse) and they seem to be just too narcissistic to care about anyone else.
I wonder what they will do when their child who will still be autistic reaches adulthood. I strongly suspect that they will be quietly placed in an institution or "home" somewhere out of sight.
What seems to aggravate people like Handley, et al, the most is that their child being autistic is - for many of them - is the first problem they've ever encountered that couldn't be solved by money. I would wager that they have hired help at home. Someone to help provide for day-to-day services for their children.
That is not to say that all wealthy people are like this. I personally know one family, who was wealthy before George (Washington, not Bush) was president. They give, and they advocate in more ways than one.
In addition, some of them (JB, for instance) seem equate wealth with high intelligence precisely BECAUSE they are so rich. Has he actually said this? No. However, reading between the lines, and observing his actions, have led me to believe this.
Some of them, notably JB, have repeatedly denigrated real scientists - ALL of whom know more about autism, mercury, vaccines, medicine, biology, chemistry, etc. - than he does (or ever will). They calls them "stupid", pharmashill, or worse. When pressed, their arguments always devolves into some form of "I'm filthy rich and they aren't, so I MUST be smarter than they are."
Of course, it never occurs to these rich people that they GOT that way largely by chance - by birth (the ultimate random event) or by making the right bet in business, stocks, etc. Years ago, I heard a comment about some spoiled rich kid. The person mentioned that the kid was lucky because his father was born before him. When his father died, he took over the business, and ran it into bankruptcy in short order.
With this mindset, all they have left is to want a cure to rid themselves of the inconvenience of having a special needs child.
One other point. The vitriol aimed at some of the scientists and physicians is intense. However, if you, as they say, "follow the money" you will see that the level of bile that these people spill out is directly proportional to the money these scientists have made. This explains why JB, et al, have always made Dr. Paul Offit their number one target. To them, Dr. Offit had the unmitigated nerve of making a lot of money, and then still caring about all children, even autistic ones.
When they will finally "get it" perhaps some of the families who are truly under an onerous task of raising a special child will get help. Until then, the cloud is as dark as the ash cloud from the volcano no one can type or pronounce.