About Me

I am the proud mother of 6 children. 5 of our children have autism. We do not feel our world has ended, but just begun. We do not chelate, intervene biochemically, give shots of any kind, practice ABA, etc. We treat them as we treat any humanbeing. We treat them with kindness and respect and expect the same from them. They are exceptional children.

Saturday, April 04, 2009


HANDLEY: I want to talk about this issue of autism prevalence. It's going to be shocking for parents to learn that the CDC and the AAP don't actually acknowledge that there's been a real rise in autism cases. Larry, the Department of Education in 1992, 16,000 kids were getting autism services. Today 225,000. That means in 1992, they were missing 93 percent of kids with autism. Where are all the adults with autism? They don't exist.These numbers are real. But if you never acknowledge there's been a real rise, you don't have to find an environmental agent that caused it.

Mr. Handley, if you would like to take some time, I would love to introduce you to some adults with Autism...

In 1971, I had my first job...I was hired to babysit a family with a 3 year old boy and a 7 year old girl. The 3 year old boy had severe autism. He rocked, he flapped and he was non-verbal. He would now be 41 years old.
In 1982, I worked in a residential treatment center. The dorms I worked on had teenage boys and girls, initially diagnosed with Mental Retardation and then later, the Autism diagnosis was added.
These teenagers would now be in their late 30's and early 40's.
When the residential treatment center closed, they were sent home to find other facilities or in group homes....

In my neighborhood alone, there are 4 group homes that house 7 autistic adults in each home..that is 28 adults with Autism in my neighborhood alone...not including my child who is now an adult with Autism.

Mr. Handley, you singlehandedly have discarded a very large community of people living and working in our community. I believe you don't see it because you don't want to.
If you admit there are actually adults out in the world with autism, your little conspiracy will be shot down. All of the propaganda you spew at your sites will be discredited.

A mother writes on AgeOfAutism...
Mr. Handley discredits families of adult children with autism! He stated tonight on the show that there are no adults with autism! Shame of you for spreading your lack of knowledge. My son is 26 years old and has a diagnosis of autism. And shame on you for ignoring the years of hell our family and others like us has endured. When he was diagnosed 22 years ago, the criteria was so narrow that only the most severe could fit that label. Although my son was severe, they would not label his as having autism, but only "characteristics". Many children had autism back then, but were labeled MR! Go to the instituions and you will see the truly autistic adults that were mislabeled MR and mentally ill.22 years ago, I started reading about the MMR link; then the mercury link; now the huge vaccination link since you can no longer blame the MMR. Well, when my son was vaccinated beginning in 1983, there were less than 10 vaccines in the schedule. And guess what??? He is still autistic as are all of his former (now adult) classmates!

This was a response from a parent who is trying to discredit the mother who wrote the above letter to AoA...Nice huh?

Also, to Fonda Watson: If you are indeed a parent to a child 26 years old, I can relate as my child was born before the epidemic numbers, but right when the increase in thimerosal took place and the numbers did start to increase (1993).
How though, did you 22 years ago (1987) start "reading about the MMR link; then the mercury link; now the huge vaccination link since you can no longer blame the MMR." I'm sorry but that is just not accurate. You could not have investigated as no one knew that vaccines or environmental factors (mercury) were the cause of autism in 1987.

Ms. Conrick, if you are indeed a parent of a child with autism, how come it is so easy for
you to discredit a mother who has far more experience than you in living with an autistic

This is the reason my blood is boiling right now....
I am amazed by the hatefulness that is spewed to the parent's who have lived
with a child with autism for over 20 years.
We have so much to learn from these mother's, but instead,
the mother's of younger children with autism want to call them liars.

The comment looks very similar to an Anonymous comment left on my blog
just yesterday...https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=32355297&postID=1998993530597266901
If you do work hard to help them, than that is admirable. If they are, in fact, doing so well in school, then I'm really happy to hear it. I do not for any child to struggle with Autism, regardless of whether or not I agree with their parents methods.

Of course, people who comment anonymously are really not to sure of their own
convictions, are they?

My hope is, since Mr. Handley so callously made this comment on television, that
every parent of an adult child with autism..or an adult with autism..comes forward and
lets him know they are here, they have been here, and they are tired of being ignored.

I will gladly represent those whose voices you are trying to silence...

I recently had a conversation with a 23-year-old male with autism. I asked him
what he would like to do with his life...he has one simple request...
"He wants more services for adults with Autism".."he wants to take college courses,
get a better job than cleaning tables at a local restaurant, and he wants speech therapy
past the age of 22 years old...."

I do not think that is too much to ask....

So, instead of saying the adults with autism do not exist...why don't we acknowledge they
do exist and make their lives accountable?


kathleen said...

Well said-and I couldn't agree more.

Anonymous said...

The MMR link was being discussed online as early as 1995 (see Google Groups.) So it's not 1987, but some years later. I'm guessing that mom just doesn't recall the exact timing. That's also what happens when parents try to recall the timing of vaccination relative to onset of behavior and so on.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I thought I had found news articles prior to 1995, but then I realized they were articles with mistaken dates; so I deleted the comment. I guess 1995 is the earliest it's mentioned.

Mom26children said...

My daughter is 18 years old and I heard of a possible link as early as 1993.
I am sure mother's and father's were trying to figure out the connection long before that.


Maddy said...

It's always anon isn't it.
Best wishes

Unknown said...

Ugh, the ignorance really makes me sick! I wish J.B.Handley and Jenny McCarthy would just crawl back into the holes they crawled out of.

Shana said...

I'm a 28-year-old Aspie, and I had no clue of my place on the Autism spectrum until five years ago. When I lost speech at the age of 3, my mother was told that I was possibly deaf because of the constant ear infections I had (I would eventually regain speech after a couple months). When being evaluated for special education in second grade (1987), someone mentioned that I showed some autistic traits, but I was high-functioning, so that was ruled out (I was still placed in special education under the label "behavior disordered"). Looking back, there were all sorts of times where I should have been diagnosed, but I ended up falling through the cracks for whatever reason.

Whether it's from misdiagnosis, or just the fact that no one knew/understood Asperger's/HFA way back when, I *know* I'm one of the 93% of children missing from the 1992 statistics.

Autistic adults do exist, Mr. Handley.

Fantastic article, Jeanette. :)

Alison said...

My brother is 34 and would have definitely been diagnosed on the spectrum at a much earlier age than 31 (though once we heard about asperger's, we knew it described my brother to a T. My dad probably would have been diagnosed with mild asperger's as well as my grandfather.

Love your blog, it is wonderful!


Anonymous said...

I notice the father of Jenny's son (John Asher) is never on these shows or part of her book writing and tours. Perhaps he doesn't believe in pimping his kid out for money. That's all I see when Jenny rambles on and on. Her kid is one large income to her.

Anonymous said...

Hello, this is the Mom that posted on the AoA site and indeed my son is 26 years old with a dx. of autism. I have many friends with adult children who have autism. One of my best friends have 2 sons with autism who are in their 30's and still living at home with the family. (Although one was just expelled from his day "program" after 17 years!!!) I wish the parents that choose to fight over vaccines and biomedical interventions would put their energy into creating appropriate services for adults with autism (just in case they are not as fortunate as Jenny's son)!

And to Joseph, I did not say that the MMR link was being discussed online in 1987 as there was no internet then. What I said was that literature from the ASA that I received in 1987 mentioned the MMR theory. This Mom does recall the timing and it may have been in '86 because it was during a consult from our state autism resource center.

Love this site!

Mom26children said...

Hello Mom from AoA,
I have no doubt that you have a son with autism and he is 26. It amazes me how
mothers on that site always question the authority of those who disagree with them.
I have contact with several adults with Autism. They are 18 and older. There are 10
group homes in my neighborhood alone....filled to capacity with Autistic adults.

I remember, in 1993, reading materials about the MMR connection with Autism. There was
a book written in 1991 about vaccinations.

Joseph, my family did not have the internet back when Caitlin was first diagnosed 18 years ago,
so it was off to the library to read the books written prior to 1995.

There in lies a lot of the problems with the diagnosis of autism today...to much "google" information.

I find it amazing that parent's with younger children with autism flock to Jenny McCarthy as if she discovered the GFCF diet...
We started Caitlin on the diet in 1994...she stopped quickly there after.

She is now a junior in high school. In less than 2 years she will be attending a local college. Still very autistic, but very capable of learning.

Fonda said...

Hey there! I agree; Jenny said that when her son was diagnosed, there was "nothing out there"...duh...I know folks that tried the GFCF diet way before she came onto the scene. But then, think of how many books she is selling to parents who want to help their children.

I respect parents and their choices they make for their children, but it's sad to see the name calling and lack of respect that comes from the AOA site towards those that don't agree with them.

I visited a school for children with autism when my son was only 3, back in 1986, so anyone that know anything about autism knows it's been around way before Jenny McC and Mr. Handley.

Funny, I took my son to a neurologist last month who is called an "autism expert", although he is just out of residency. He kept telling me that he has treated children with autism. Finally, I told him that they do grow up to be adults with autism!

I guess I could say that my son is living independently, when he actually lives in a small group home with 3 other men who have developmental disabilities. But, that is independency for him, in that he is living away from Mom and Dad!

Take care, all!


Lisa said...

I have two with autism. After their diagnosis in high school, I realized the generations of people in my family showing signs of Autism. I also realized that few recognize the symptoms of high end autism.
Regardless, my beautiful young adults are fabulous. No worries about vaccinating once realized I could jump back 4 generations and locate every symptom.
I have a cousin=in=law, much older than myself, she was originally labeled "Retarded," but in 1990, her designation was changed to "Autism."
I often wonder how many people in the past century were mis=diagnosed.