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.
I watched her promote the book on many shows. I think she is amazing and handled it much better than a lot of parents would have. With any illness or special need a team needs to be established to work together. God knows I cannot handle the problem we have here alone- and it is pretty minor (well, for the most part!). I am glad your mind was settled on your worry with NHL. I think you continue to beat yourself up over things that you really should not. You are an awesome mommy. I think a large part of the emotional part comes from age. You would not believe how FAST this 4 year old girl can go from happy to meltdown in the floor emotional mess- and I mean in nano seconds! And embarrassed so easily, it’s a mess if she falls, gets hurt, or even gets spoken to for something she has done and there is anyone else around. Tears tears tears! But, we gotta love them. That’s why God made them so darned cute!
Sandra: She is an amazing mother and advocate for her child. Her book is wonderful to read to see how a parent knowing their child and making sure to get the right doctors involved can assist in the journey. There have been a lot of days this week where I have wanted to cry and wonder what I did wrong. Why is NHL so emotional, why is he regressing at school again, why didn’t I get him more of something earlier?
I just do not know what happened and how to help my little guy. The last week since he went back after break has been so hard to watch and live through. He is so miserable and I just do not know what to do. Thank goodness he had a wonderful weekend spending lots of time with Nana and Papa. It was nice to hear how he was able to laugh, play and be a kid. This week he was very negative, emotional, and had regressed badly.
Man there I go beating myself up (like you noted), but I can not help myself.
Thanks for being so sweet! I miss you and wish you lived nearby :)