Jenny McCarthy, louder than words

I was on vacation last week and during some long flights, I had time to think over some of the things I’d heard about Jenny McCarthy’s September 18 appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show. McCarthy was on tour promoting Louder Than Words: A Mother’s Journey in Healing Autism.

During her Oprah appearance, McCarthy mentioned how her son Evan’s autism diagnosis had a negative affect on her marriage. The divorce rate among parents of children with disabilities is something I’ve blogged about in a previous post — “Divorce and disability: is it all a lie?” But one thing McCarthy said regarding her feelings after divorcing Evan’s father really stuck in my head.

When I got home from vacation, I looked the quote up.

“After the divorce, even though it felt good and the right thing to do, I felt, as I’m sure many mothers with children who have autism feel, ‘Who in the heck is going to love me with my child who has autism?’ I don’t care how big your boobs are or blonde your hair is — you’re going to feel that way.”

Now, that’s the sort of quote that sticks with you. Truth is – it’s sad.

What’s even sadder, though, is the fact most single moms with children who have autism or other disabilities don’t even think about being loved. They don’t have time. They’re too busy raising their children.

Easter Seals programs across the country provide a wide variety of interventions that help individuals of all abilities, including those with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Our Web site lists the Easter Seals affiliates that provide services near you — give it a look.

Single moms – and all parents and caregivers – need all the support and services they can get when it comes to raising children with autism and other disabilities.


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  1. Hopeing sustainability isn’t a fad. « Ubiquitously Says:

    […] that the problem must have been solved.  It happens all the time; causes of the moment like Autism, the Congo, Sharks, and whatever else the Today Show may buzz about.  Its unfortunate that people […]

  2. Patricia Wright Says:

    Tami – I think your last word conveys volumes – Tragic. The fact that a parent would use the word tragic to describe the lack of services for their child is so disconcerting. Easter Seals is well aware that services are lacking. We are working to build capacity throughout the country so that individuals with autism and their families can access the proper supports.

    Advocacy is a large component of making sure these services are available. Our Office of Public Affairs works dilligently with policy makers to encourage adequate funding for programs for individuals with disabilities( If you would like to directly advocate with your legislators you can use our Action Alerts ( which will provide you with a direct connection to your local Senator and Representative.

    Easter Seals does have an affiliate in Washington State ( We are interested in working with families and indviduals with autism to increase the services and supports available in communities. It is my hope that through our work together no one will have to use the word TRAGIC to describe the service and supports available to individuals with autism.

  3. Tami Says:

    Sadly, there is no Easter seals help here in my state. There was also no early intervention for my son, nor is there a decent public school education for our kids. There’s no state help either- no waiver programs, no family support dollars, and no autism organizations who are doing any advocacy that translates into real (financial) help for our families. I am frustrated at the sheer number of paid autism staff in this state who have achieved nothing in the last 10 years to help our children.

    My son is 9 yrs old. I have been single 8 of those years. I’ve dated quite a few men, but they run away as soon as they figure out my son has a VERY expensive disability. It’s really degrading on a person’s self esteem. Thank goodness Jenny found a man who looked beyond the autism label.

    I once had a career and even bought my own home- no small feat as a single parent. I had savings, a retirement account, and money for vacations. I was employee of the year for my employer- one of the largest in WA state.

    Year by year, because of no services and support here, no paid ABA, no insurance coverage for my son’s medically necessary diet (no gluten, casein, soy, corn, food dyes, preservatives, and more), no insurance payments for most of my son’s medical care and laboratory tests, and no family able or willing to donate to the cause, my earnings and savings have gone down, down down. My employer harassed me for taking my son to “so many appointments” until I finally had to walk away. With no resources for our kids in my state (unless you have Microsoft insurance) you are on your own.

    What made it worse- in order to leave the state- to greener pastures- I must go thru a lengthy court battle to relocate- because divorce laws are written to favor the non-custodial parent’s involvement with the child- even when they have never bothered to be involved in any other way.

    So- what’s a single mom to do? I refinanced my house, then sold part of my yard, then finally sold my house to pay for my son’s treatments. Living in a rental has been a very humbling experience. I fear for our future.

    I’ve worked hard trying to enact change in this state and have accomplished a heck of alot- for a single and now -low income mom without any services or help. I often think of what I might have (or still could) been able to accomplish if I would have had the support services and funding to cover my son’s most basic needs- a decent education, some ABA, social skills help, funds for supplements and diet needs, a way to pay for his medical visits.

    If Easter Seals comes to my area, I will be the first person to apply for assistance- and a job. I’ve got a firm finger on the pulse here in my state. Does Easter Seals help families get ABA or financial help covering uninsured treatments? Can Easter seals help support advocacy or awareness efforts? We’ve got to educate the lawmakers in this state- it’s foolish to leave so many kids with no services that can help them be independant- yet this is what they have done. Tragic.

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