"...step into a subject that is the source of heated debate among some parents — the relationship between autism and childhood vaccines — and seemingly coming down on the side that has been all but dismissed by prominent scientific organizations."
The blogosphere is buzzing and the various autism camps are reacting as expected. Those who believe strongly in the link are applauding the episode as powerful television. Those who don’t (the American Academy of Pediatrics for starters) are asking that the episode not run due to potential public health implications.
I fully expect the episode to run, even though the AAP sent a letter to ABC asking them to pull it. There’s a writers’ strike going on right now, so fresh television is a hot commodity.
Will I be watching?
As you already know, I am the devoted mom of a little boy who struggles with the challenges of autism every day. I have no idea what caused it. Vaccines? Cheetohs? Advanced maternal age? My cell phone? The power lines I drove under?
I just don’t know.
No one else knows for sure either.
There are many interesting theories out there. And even though "Eli Stone" thinks otherwise, the jury is still out.
So when I see this type of media on the horizon, honestly I cringe a bit. Unfortunately, I've been there/done that. I would rather not have the Playboy Playmate of the Year from 1994 quoted to me by well-meaning friends and family. I would rather not hear how some fictional mother defeated evil pharma in a cheesy courtroom drama. On the flip side, I also don’t want to hear how my son’s wiring is just different and I should just accept him as he is. If only I wasn’t such a Type-A, Americanized mom, I wouldn’t feel the need to selfishly push for a cure.
Enough of the don’ts you say …
What do I want to hear?
I want to hear how science that has been peer-reviewed and replicated has discovered what autism really is. I would like to know what causes my son’s communication system to be paralyzed, his skin to be pale and his heart to be damaged.
I want to hear that children and adults with autism are able to access treatment and education, no matter what their bank balance or their zip code is.
I want to hear corporations stepping up and saying that they will comply with the recommendations of the AAP, and provide insurance coverage for evidence-based autism treatments.
Spare me the B.S. (bad science) upon B.S. (bad scripts) upon B.S. (blogosphere squabbling.)
There’s no such thing as a shortcut to anyplace worth going. Unfortunately, that sort of script just isn’t quite sexy enough for Hollywood.
Then again, maybe I could pitch an autism reality show …
Now that would make for some captivating television.
Those are simply this mom's thoughts. What do you think? Will you watch?
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