If you watched any talk or news shows this summer then you probably heard about the book Louder Than Words by Jenny McCarthy. As I sat nursing my infant son and worrying about my just 4 year old son with special needs, I listened over and over again to McCarthy explain about her experience with her son Evan’s Autism. The book details from the start her battle trying to find out what was wrong with her son as he had constant seizures, was always ill, would not verbalize, did not socialize with other children and had other "strange" behaviors (arm flapping, watching things go in circles to calm). This book shows how she along with medical professionals (this is key) helped Evan to come out of his shell and heal with his diagnosis of Autism.
I will admit when this hoopla was out in the media, I sat there wondering is my son autistic? Is this why he is having such a hard time with things at school?
Was I freaking out for no reason?
The answer to the last question is YES, but mommies do that from time to time. I even blogged in my hysteria about this in a strange cryptic way. I will definitely credit my fear with finally making an appointment to take NHL to see a developmental pediatrician. If anything at least I would have peace of mind and know what made my child tick the way he did. When we went to our doctor we figured out how NHL is wired. He is a very emotional little guy that often does things his own way (just like his daddy). Thankfully he is not autistic.
So you may be wondering, why did I read the book?
As a mother and educator, the huge increase in autism in our country alarms me. I have met, taught and personally known several autistic children (and parents with children that have this). I wanted to read what McCarthy had to say in her book after hearing so much about it in the media.
Here is the key in reading this book – McCarthy is not a medical expert , this is her story about the journey she went on with her son Evan. Every child is different and what she did that is the most important is to be not on the biggest advocate for her son, but she educated herself and found the best medical professionals to help them. She and the medical professional watched her son and figured out how to treat him. She did not try much on her own without supervision and lab tests.
The scary part with this book (Laura and I have talked about this for a long time) is that MANY people are using Louder Than Words as some sort of Autism bible. That is dangerous to do and should NOT be done. Medical professionals are still unsure as to what is the cause of autism and why the numbers are drastically climbing in recent years. Hopefully with time and money to do further research we will some day know the answer and not have to wonder.