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Mother Warriors: A Nation of Parents Healing Autism Against All Odds Hardcover – September 23, 2008

145 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Comedic actress turned autism activist, McCarthy returns with another emotional and personal book that details other parents' struggles to heal their children with autism. McCarthy explains to doubters that no two children heal the same way and offers plenty of evidence to prove her point. Tavia Gilbert gives an inspired reading that brings a human face to the amazing recovery stories. Never editorializing or overly emotional, Gilbert relates these stories without sounding manufactured. The stories speak for themselves, and Gilbert is the perfect conduit to relate the complex medical language that pops up throughout. A Dutton hardcover. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Jenny McCarthy is the New York Times bestselling author of four previous books, including Louder Than Words: A Mother’s Journey in Healing Autism. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Adult; First Edition edition (September 23, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525950699
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525950691
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (145 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #228,218 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jenny McCarthy is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Belly Laughs, Baby Laughs, and Louder Than Words, among others. The former host of MTV's hugely popular dating show Singled Out, McCarthy began her career as a Playboy model, before launching a high-profile comedic television and film career. She has been featured everywhere, from Time magazine to the cover of Rolling Stone; has appeared on virtually every television talk show, from Larry King Live to Howard Stern; and is a frequent guest on the Oprah Winfrey Show. She has also served as a spokesperson for Weight Watchers.

In addition to her work in the world of healing and preventing autism, she is the co-creator, with practicing speech/language pathologist Sarah Clifford Scheflen, of Teach2Talk, a series of DVDs for children.

Born in Chicago, McCarthy currently resides in Los Angeles, California, with her son, Evan. You can follow her on Twitter @JennyMcCarthy.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

287 of 396 people found the following review helpful By Common Sense Mom on October 1, 2008
Format: Hardcover
As I began reading Mother Warriors, the beginning of the book was initially harrowing and inspiring - it was moving to see her talk more extensively about parents' personal experiences with seeing their children regress in their developmental milestones after immunization and slip away into the autism spectrum. However, as I read on, it became apparent that it is a thinly disguised infomercial and that she has now carved out a new lucrative career as an autism spokesperson.

Jenny McCarthy does not disclose in her book that she is a paid spokesperson for Kirkman Laboratories, a supplement manufacturer, that has financial ties to the autism organization Defeat Autism Now (DAN). She was quoted on Kirkman's web site as saying the Kirkman products are the best supplements for autism. She frequently mentions Kirkman products and exclusively promotes Defeat Autism Now organization. She flat out says that every parent with an autistic child must go to a DAN conference. There was also a public announcement in September that she is launching a celebrity brand of autism products.

McCarthy, who has brought Hollywood glamor and marketing tactics to a health issue, has been known to shove people out of the way at autism conferences when pictures are being taken, McCarthy's thin bibliography does not mention other organizations or products, which are often more helpful than the protocols she publicizes.

McCarthy also paints a black and white picture of the Defeat Autism Now organization as being totally helpful, while giving a black eye to the Autism Speaks organization because they primarily fund genetic research into autism instead of the vaccine connection. There is value in determining the genetic links to autism as well as researching the direct impact of the vaccines.
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67 of 96 people found the following review helpful By Rachel on September 23, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I am one of the thousands of Mother Warriors who Ms. McCarthy spoke with during her tour. In fact, it was one year ago that my son was diagnosed with autism. At that time, I had no knowledge of autism or the possibility of treament. Fortunately for my son, Jenny went on Oprah shortly after he was diagnosed and gave us hope and the information we needed to start the healing process for my son. Our story of autism began when my son went for his 12 month well check. It was December in the NW and he had a bad flu and a high fever. I called to cancel his appointment but the nurse assured me that it was more important to keep his vaccines on schedule and it would be perfectly safe. They told me to give him tylenol and bring him in. He recieved his vaccines including the live virus MMR vaccine along with a flu vaccine containing mercury. That was the beginning of my son's demise into autism. I do not believe one single influence caused my son's autism, however I do believe my son was genetically predisposed (we had some strange markers in his ultrasounds.) I believe his immune system was compromised at the time he recieved the MMR. (His blood work shows he carries abnormally high level of Measles titers.)I know what Jenny talks about is controversial and not all cases of autism are the same, however many of us, a large majority share very similar stories. I wish I could vaccinate my children but it is just not safe for me to do so. I wish they would develop tests to see if a child is more likely to react to a vaccine. I wish there was more funding going towards research and programs for autism.Read more ›
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23 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Mom on November 13, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I was let down by this book. For the first half of the book, I enjoyed the stories Jenny shares about herself and other mothers of autistic children. It was informative and touched my heart by the challenges these parents were facing. I never knew about the degree of immune system issues autistic kids tend to battle and hearing some of the methods to treat those issues was great. Jenny refers to it as healing autism, but it isn't healing autism. The methods simply treat those issues and some heal the health concerns, but not the autism. Having their health improve allowed for fewer regressions and more skill advances, but the autism is still there. But after these first few stories, the book's appeal and common sense started deteriorating.

It is not a secret that Jenny does not like vaccinations, but she eventually starts blaming them for autism. There were no facts for this accusation. While she mentions many pediatricians ignorings autistic kids' physical health issues, she goes on to ignore their factor in the immunization process. Most of her stories include kids who had compromised immune systems and were getting vaccinated at the same rate as a healthy child. She also denies the potential genetic links in families that can lead to autism, but she does include comments from other family members about how they have those recessive health issues. The fact that she denounces other scientists but is infuriated by them doing the same to her beliefs is frustrating. Both have valid points, but you wouldn't know that from this book.

I was disheartened by the way many of these people spoke about mourning their children. Many of them talk about how they had to mourn their child once he/she was diagnosed with autism.
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