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In an interview bound to open many heated discussions, actress and author Jenny McCarthy has told Time magazine that her 7-year-old son Evan, has been all but cured of his autism. Time reports that McCarthy believes her son "was healed through a range of experimental and unproved biomedical treatments."
McCarthy, 37, who stated she thinks the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine gave her son autism, also said she felt immediately sure as her role as a crusader for the often misunderstood disorder. "I knew I was going to be the voice of the families when this happened," she said. McCarthy's boyfriend, actor Jim Carrey, 48, said of her outlook, "She's a mom," adding, "That's what she is. That's her truth."
McCarthy, who turned her old house into "a state-of-the-art school for very young autistic kids, an intensive early-intervention program called the Teach2Talk Academy," which she co-founded, also says in the piece that she "prayed to fix" Evan and that it has, in fact, worked.
"Evan couldn't talk -- now he talks. Evan couldn't make eye contact -- now he makes eye contact. Evan was antisocial -- now he makes friends. It was amazing to watch, over the course of doing this, how certain therapies work for certain kids and they completely don't work for others ... When something didn't work for Evan, I didn't stop. I stopped that treatment, but I didn't stop," she says.
McCarthy's motto to parents living with an autistic child is: "Try everything. Hope is the only thing that will get us up in the morning." But some of her critics fear her message. In the article Paul Offit, chief of infectious diseases at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, responds. "It's not fair to these parents," he says. "I think false hope is worse than no hope."
But, not all feel the same way about McCarthy. Kim Stagliano, a mother of three autistic girls and a founder of the blog Age of Autism, said, "Jenny gave us a face. I feel like Jenny going public was pretty brave."
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