Tag Archives: asperger syndrome

Denis Leary or Schmenis Schmeary

Dear Schmenis,

Why so angry, chum?

In your new book Why We Suck: A Feel Good Guide to Staying Fat, Loud, Lazy and Stupid  you’ve directed your ire at the autism community. Word is out that you’ve titled a chapter “Autism Schmautism.” In it you state

“There is a huge boom in autism right now because inattentive mothers and competitive dads want an explanation for why their dumb-ass kids can’t compete academically, so they throw money into the happy laps of shrinks . . . to get back diagnoses that help explain away the deficiencies of their junior morons. I don’t give a [bleep] what these crackerjack whack jobs tell you — yer kid is NOT autistic. He’s just stupid. Or lazy. Or both.”

Hmmm. Methinks someone has employed the Michael Savage publicity firm in an attempt to sell some books. Perhaps the book couldn’t sell on its own merits because it’s…well…not funny? Far be it from me to critique your writing – I haven’t read the book. I have enjoyed your humor – it is yours, right? – on numerous occasions & think you’re a clever guy. Who doesn’t love Two if by Sea?

If you must take the Savage route and bash a group of parents, why not choose parents of children with another disability? Don’t you think that picking on parents of children with Aicardi syndrome or Cystic Fibrosis would yield the same amount of chuckles? Oh right. You have issues with originality.

Okay. I see where you’re quoted as saying that you’d like Jenny McCarthy to picket your book tour. I’m more a Melissa McCarthy fan (& Amy Sherman-Palladino)  , myself. Sounds like you think that if Jenny went after you it would help you sell a lot of books. Is that why the autism parents are your target? Because we have a celebrimom spokesperson who is hot ? Or was this a calculated decision based on the sheer number of families affected by autism? The greater the outrage, the greater the number of media outlets – is that the plan?

One could make the argument that you’ve actually done the autism community a great service by bringing the disorder back into the headlines. There’s no such thing as bad publicity, right? Maybe going after the autism community isn’t a publicity stunt, maybe it’s a keen social commentary couched in biting humor. Maybe you’re going to make a very generous donation to the autism charity of your choice –  hopefully not based on a percentage of the sales of this book. Or maybe you’re just….this.

Denis, my parting words to you are this: remember, the Affleck kids will always have better seats than you at the Sox games -even before they’re potty-trained. That must hurt.

-the cheese says WTF Gus? If I boycott your movies I’ve got to find a new holiday flick.



It’s not a problem for me….but you might want to get a clue.

Geez. I’m really starting to loathe homework – which is weird since I’m not taking any classes currently. I’m talking about my son’s elementary school homework. We’re spending HOURS at the table each night trying to complete homework that my kid doesn’t know how to do.  I need to clarify – he understands the concepts covered in school, he just can’t seem to recall the directions for how to complete the homework. Then I read the directions and take my best guess. And 90% of the time, I’m wrong. I’m spending so much  time trying to prompt him to recall directions that I don’t have any time to get anything else done.

 I <gasp> didn’t get to see “The Biggest Loser” last night (nor the presidential debate, but I’m in saturation mode when it comes to politics. I’m still plodding my way through policy & couldn’t take another night watching them try to establish dominance. From the clips I’ve seen this a.m. it appears the candidates did everything except pee on the floor to mark their territory. ) I TiVo’d, only to find that my youngest has set up new priority recordings which overwhelmed poor TiVo until TiVo cannibalized my recorded shows to make space for dozens of episodes of “Total Drama Island” and the like. For those of you not hip to the DVR, it’s the same end result as when I recorded over the Bears’ 1985 SuperBowl victory – it’s gone, gone, gone.

The TiVo is a petty concern. The homework isn’t. BTW, I’ve been told that I’m overwhelming the staff (school, not TiVo – though if TiVo could talk….)with my questions. Even if I hadn’t been chastised for asking questions, I still couldn’t get them answered prior to the assignments’ due dates –  which are typically the next day.

We’re in a quandry. My kid can understand the work & needs to do all of the work just like the rest of the kids – but it takes him more time & he has additional work outside of school. So they send home more homework- which I’ve encouraged but not without adequately explaining to him how to do the work.

Writing this down has helped me form a new question: Is he in the room when the directions for homework are being given? Oh crud. I thought I was past advocating for him to be in the room.

Well, it’s so nice to have this time together. I hope that if you’ve devoted time to reading this entry that you weren’t under the misguided assumption that it was anything but a cathartic exercise. I’ll try to make sure that my next entry is more resource-oriented. Some days, I’ve just got to complain. I hope that’s not a problem.

– the cheese on a soapbox in the conservatory with a lead pipe…

resource for the day great site for finding obscure board games

The prettiest smackdown ever – Jenny McCarthy & Amanda Peet

I’ve been in the world of autism for around 12 years. I wouldn’t consider myself complacent citizen of the autism world. I’d say I’m more a jovial but sarcastic hostage of the world of autism with a slight case of Stockholm syndrome. In all these years, I’ve never been prepared to be the resident spokesmodel for parents of children autism. I’ve always thought that eventually & unfortunately, a child  that would bring autism into the collective consciousness of the average people (to Mr & Mrs Joe six-pack, in Palin terminology).

Over the years, I’ve heard of some celebrity connections to autism. Some of the people I’ve seen listed as having kids on the spectrum are:

  Can you identify all of these folks? This is a pop quiz, people!

While I’m sure that some of the issues that we, as parents of children with autism, all face are universal. There is no amount of fame or fortune that can insulate you from the panic that a child’s diagnosis of autism brings. And I don’t fault them at all if they’ve jumped to the top of the list for services because of their stardom. Wouldn’t you if you could?

Before Jenny McCarthy , I used to think that if Julia Roberts or Matt Lauer or one of those High School Musical kids had a  child with autism that more attention would be paid to the unmet needs of our kids. Not that I’d wish any ill fortune on any of those people or their kids, just that it would definitely put the issue more in the public eye. Of course, I don’t mean to categorize any of the celebrities who already havekids with autism as slackers. I’m sure that they were all contributing to autism awareness (and more importantly, dealing with their child’s autism) but no one’s efforts were creating what you’d call a  publicity frenzy .

Then came Jenny. Jenny McCarthy has a bullhorn and she’s not afraid to use it, folks. She’s talked to Oprah & Larry King about autism. She’s written book. She’s on ET & Access Hollywood (please don’t ask how I know this!), she’s on the cover of magazines with her incredible bob (just the one o, people!) and self-proclaimed big mouth.  She’s everywhere & she’s not afraid to speak up.

Even if you don’t agree with all of her beliefs, you must admit that Jenny McC is drawing the public’s attention to the issue of autism.  Granted, this is not something that Jenny’s trained for (unless her stint as hostess of the MTV show “Singled Out” counts) but how much have any of us trained to be in this situation? I’m frightened of what I would have said if I’d had a public platform to share my opinions in the years immediately following my son’s dx. I haven’t read Jenny’s book (it’s moved to the interesting-but-not-vital portion of my book list) & I’ve missed most of her appearances, so I can’t comment on anything but to say that she’s definitely mixing it up.

And now, with this. Amanda Peet, who has been a mother for all of ten minutes, has proclaimed that …”parents who don’t vaccinate their kids are parasites.” For those of you who don’t know her, Amanda Peet is an actor (whose next movie is titled “What Doesn’t Kill You” – interesting timing, eh?)Did I mention that she doesn’t have a child with the diagnosis of autism?

 or should I say?

While it would seem that Amanda Peet is referencing herd immunity in her “parasite” comment. It sounds as though she did research – talking to Dr. Paul Offitt, who created a vaccine of his own – the rotavirus vaccine.  I wonder if she researched what families of children with autism go through. When my oldest was an infant, healthcare seemed pretty straightforward. Your baby’s sick, you take him to the dr. and find out what’s wrong and how to fix it.

That’s not how it works with autism. Nowadays,  dr’s are better at diagnosing autism but no one can give you a treatment plan that will provide any guaranteed results. When my doctor got the report back from the developmental pediatrician, she said “Unfortunately, we’re right. It’s autism.”  When I asked her what to do she said “Pray.”

Jenny McCarthy to the rescue! She has taken exception with Amanda Peet’s comments.

Who’s right? Who knows? Let me know your opinion!!


-the cheese does not take financial planning advice from Miley Cyrus

i’m going where there’s no depression

Awhile ago, somebody told me how lucky I am. “Yep, that’s me. I’m lucky. A veritable lottery winner… OF A REALLY MESSED UP LOTTERY!” Okay, so on that particular day I was clearly not in a space to hear how amazingly good someone else thinks I have it.

No matter how good or how bad you think your situation is, everyone should be allowed pity party days. The dress code for PP days is of course Jammie’s (maternity, if you’ve got ’em – though the “baby” is ten yrs old). On these days you should spoon marshmallow fluff into your face for sustenance and make origami swans from the piles of parental safeguards that you have stashed ’round the house. Laminate random objects – no, not the cat.* Test to see how much Velcro it would take to suspend yourself from the wall. Crank call your insurance company.

On my PP days, I invent policies against doing anything I don’t want to do & cite the fictional policies often. I listen to my favorite album, “No Depression” (irony noted) on a continuous loop. I read those obnoxiously upbeat Christmas letters from distant relatives with over-achieving children. I pick at the grout around the boys’ bathtub in an attempt to find the fulfillment that my youngest seems to find from picking it bare at any possible moment. So far, no transcendental experience for me.

I’d love to hear what other people do – not out of idle curiosity, but as inspiration for possible activities for future pity parties of my own. Please share. I’ve worn out two previous “No Depression” cd’s & I’m out of marshmallow fluff.

BTW, as of today a “No Depression” website exists. I’m not kidding. www.nodepression.com This news, along with the VP debate, makes it seem like Christmas in October for me!

Tonight is not the night for pity parties, depression or even continuing this post, for that matter. Gov. Palin just called Obama’s running mate “Senator O’Biden.” I remind myself while it’s not always good to be me, it’s better not to be her tonight. I’m going back to the debate.

the cheese says hoodies are sometimes reversible, jenny mac!

* don’t call Bob Barker – it’s  a reference that only six alt-country fans would get  an obscure reference to a song “Laminated Cat” by Loose Fur. No actual cats were harmed in the typing of this post nor was any actual lipstick applied to pigs.