Snarkista is gonna take off her snarkhat for just a moment, and get out her can of whoop-ass. And she’s gonna open that sucker UP on Michael Savage. For the past 9 years, my daughter and I have worked as volunteers with the disabled. We have watched with alarm and shock at the DRASTIC rise in the number of autistic children we see every year.

On July 16th, controversial radio host Michael Savage characterized nearly every child with autism as “a brat who hasn’t been told to cut the act out”. Savage also called autism “a fraud and a racket” during his syndicated show, and went on to label children with the disorder as “idiots” and “morons.”

Savage said in a telephone interview today that he stood by his remarks and had no intention of apologizing to those advocates and parents who have called for his firing over the matter.

My main point remains true. It is an overdiagnosed medical condition. In my readings, there is no definitive medical diagnosis for autism.

On his show, which is broadcast every weekday, Mr. Savage suggested that “99 percent of the cases” of autism were a result of lax parenting. He told his audience: “They don’t have a father around to tell them, ‘Don’t act like a moron. You’ll get nowhere in life.” Among the other admonitions he felt children with autism should be hearing, he said, were: “ ‘Straighten up. Act like a man. Don’t sit there crying and screaming, idiot.’ ” Yeah. Tell that to Jenny McCarthy.

But he said he was proud to have prodded discussion on the subject, and planned to give over his entire show on Monday — broadcast live from Northern California from 3 to 6 p.m., Pacific time — to parents and other callers who wished to disagree with him and to educate him.

Many people aren’t waiting until today’s edition of Mr. Savage’s show, “The Savage Nation,” to register their outrage. In New York City, Autism United, a coalition of organizations that advocate on behalf of children with autism and provide services to them, staged a protest Monday outside the studios of WOR (710 AM), which carries Mr. Savage’s program weeknights from 6 to 9 p.m., Eastern time.
UPDATE Sign The Petition To Have Michael Savage Fired

“He characterizes children with autism who are very, very ill — disabled children — as essentially bad kids; the only thing wrong with them is they have parents who don’t discipline them,” said John Gilmore, executive director of Autism United and the father of an 8-year-old with a diagnosis of autism. “That completely misrepresents what is going on with children with autism. Basically, what he’s doing is parroting what used to be said about autism 40 years ago, back in the heyday of Freudian analysis,” It was blamed on bad parenting. There wasn’t a shred of evidence to support that.”

Paul Siebold, a spokesman for WOR, said in an e-mail statement: “The views expressed by Michael Savage are his views and are not those of WOR Radio. We regret any consternation that his remarks may have caused to our listeners.” Mark Masters, the chief executive of Talk Radio Network, which syndicates Mr. Savage’s program and which extended his contract in February, did not respond to several messages left at his office Monday morning. Snarkista imagines they are in full damage control mode right now, as a majority of Americans know SOMEONE whose family is affected by autism.

Autism doesn’t discriminate between race, color or gender. The kids we have come to know and love are trapped in their own bodies, unable to filter out stimulus and are often terrified. Their acting-out behavior is the manifestation of their trying to deal with an outside world without the ability to feel in control of anything.

Some who have made great strides through intensive therapy are able to tell people things like “I didn’t know where my feet were”. We know kids who self-abuse, run (for hours), bite, rock, or stay extremely quiet. We’ve also been privileged to learn ways to help and comfort them, and get them to a place where they can move forward. We’ve witnessed some truly amazing changes in kids that many would have given up on.

A family with an autistic member is a family in constant crisis. To tell them that their kid’s behavior is because of POOR PARENTING is the most idiotic and, frankly, cruel statement anyone could make. These parents (and siblings) work their asses off, often 24/7, trying to help their kid- while attempting to hold the rest of their family together. The divorce rate is huge, because of the enormous strain and utter exhaustion.

We don’t know what causes autism. But we definitely know it when we see it, and we are just people volunteering to help. Michael Savage needs to spend a week with a camp full of autistic kids and their moms, dads, brothers and sisters. Savage holds himself out as an intellectual, but he has a HELL of a lot to learn. Snarkista would love to see him go AWAY.



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