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Recovering from Autism? An Open Letter to Jenny McCarthy

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Dear Jenny McCarthy,

You start a recent HuffPo post by stating:

Parents of recovered children, and I’ve met hundreds, all share the same experience of doubters and deniers telling us our child must have never even had autism or that the recovery was simply nature’s course. We all know better, and frankly we’re too busy helping other parents to really care.

I simply don’t believe you. Let me explain why.

Firstly and least importantly is your track record as a celebrity parent. You used to claim that you were an indigo mum and your son a crystal child. Indeed you used to participate heavily in the online Indigo community but most of those web pages have disappeared from the web over the last few years. Who’s afraid of the truth there Ms McCarthy? Were you worried those beliefs were just too kooky?

Secondly and much more importantly is your track record as a health advocate. You and your boyfriend have lied about the makeup of vaccines, claiming that they contain antifreeze for example, in order to scaremonger.

Regarding these hundreds of recovered children I have one simple question…where are they? According to Generation Rescue there should be hundreds of recovered children (someone from GR once claimed thousands) and yet I have never seen one – and that includes your own child Ms McCarthy. Your own child that has a very strong doubt over his own autism diagnosis.

It’s easy Ms McCarthy, all you have to do is get onoe of these hundreds of children and do a proper science led case study on them. Have it published in a decent journal and then the scientific community will listen to you. The leadership of GR have known this for years – why has it never been done?

How do you establish that these hundreds of autistic children have not recovered via non biomed means? Helt et al report that autistic children have a recovery rate of between 3 and 25%. And guess what, when I asked her, Helt told me:

The recovered children studied by us and others, and described above, however, have generally not received any biomedical intervention.


Complete medical histories were taken, including vaccination status, and had it turned out that our optimal outcome sample hadn’t been vaccinated or had by and large received chelation, we certainly would have reported that

You go on to say:

Corner one of the hundreds of doctors who specialize in autism recovery, and they’ll tell you stories of dozens of kids in their practice who no longer have autism. Ask them to speak to the press and they’ll run for the door.

I bet they will. They have no answers to the serious scientific issues surrounding autism and instead peddle items like foot detox or urine injection therapy.

You then say:

Who’s afraid of autism recovery? Perhaps it’s the diagnosticians and pediatricians who have made a career out of telling parents autism is a hopeless condition.

I donlt think anyone is afraid of autism recovery Ms McCarthy but I’ll tell you what some of us are afraid of and thats someone with a big mouth and not a lot of science behind her relating horror stories about vaccines and singing the praises of doctors who have no idea what they’re doing.

You then ask about the MMR, which I believe you blamed for your sons autism:

Even with the MMR, studies only compare kids who have otherwise been fully vaccinated. Is that really an honest way to evaluate the issue?

You are wrong Ms McCarthy, clinical studies have looked at the MMR belief and found it wanting. During the Autism Omnibus, Stephen Bustin spent over 1500 hours looking at the only work that alleged an MMR connection autism and found it seriously wanting. Get someone who knows about science to explain it to you.

You say:

How do you say vaccines don’t injure kids, when a government website shows more than 1,000 claims of death and over $1.9 billion paid out in damages for vaccine injury, mostly to children?

I say: who says that? I don’t know anyone who claims vaccines are 100% safe. You’re creating a strawman of enormous proportions to deflect from the reality of your crackpot ideas about autism. Like all medical proceedures, vaccination carries some risk. Nobody claims they don’t.

You then say:

In the recent case of Dr. Andrew Wakefield, why did the press constantly report that his 1998 study said the MMR caused autism when anyone could read the study and know that it didn’t?

Quite possibly because during a press conference given about the paper in question Andrew Wakefield needlessly made claims that linked MMR to autism causation.

...the work certainly raises a question mark over MMR vaccine, but it is, there is no proven link as such and we are seeking to establish whether there is a genuine causal association between the MMR and this syndrome or not. It is our suspicion that there may well be…

is just one amongst many.

Ms McCarthy I find it deeply amusing that directly underneath your closing line:

Who’s afraid of the truth? Usually the people it would hurt the most.

is a lovely graphical link to all of your turgid books. It seems to this autism parent that you have as much to lose in terms of finance as well as credibility as those you name.

The absolute truth is that you don’t understand the science Ms McCarthy. You have well and truly missed the boat on the MMR vaccine, you have no science that establishes any aspect of autism to any aspect of vaccination. All you have is a big mouth and lots of money to spend getting it out there in front of people. I absolutely assure you, you do not speak for the autism community. You speak for the anti-vaccine community and them alone.


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