Thursday, October 25, 2007

Copycat Jenny

One of the things that bugged me the most about the whole buzz about Jenny McCarthy's recent mediastorm, was the fact that, while people insist that she is bringing a "new message" of hope and autism treatments, her book is talking exactly about the GF/CF and antifungal therapies already described on Karyn Seroussi's book "Unravelling the Mistery of Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorder: A Mother's Story of Research and Recovery", published SEVEN YEARS AGO.

Of course Jenny has an interesting personal story to talk about and she is entitled to write a book whenever she wants. But please, don't come and tell us that you're doing something no one else has done before. The main difference is that Jenny is a celebrity. I just don't think it is fair for her to take credit for the work that had already been done by Seroussi and other people who'd done original research and previously published about GF/CF diets and antifungal treatments as a possible treatment for autism.

And it seems this is not the first time that Jenny copies somebody else's book idea and uses her celebrity status to try and make money by writing a similar story. That happened when she wrote "Belly Laughs" (2004), which was supposed to show the real, funny and goofy side of pregnancy - something already achieved by Vicki Iovine's bestseller "The Girlfriend's Guide to Pregnancy" (1996).

If I were one of those two original writers, I'd be pissed to see some celebrity taking credit for my ideas. In any case, I don't recommend the original books either. Seroussi still talks about the MMR and opioids effect as if they were true (by now these theories have been disproved by real scientists), and she's a GF/CF fundamentalist. And Vicki's book, although funny, is out-dated and irrelevant.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Farrell proud of his beautiful boy

Sometimes beautiful things come from where you don't expect... In this case it was bad boy actor Colin Farrell, who seems to be a wonderful Dad to his 4-year-old son James, who has a form of cerebral palsy, Angelman Syndrome. Here's what Colin has to say about raising a child with special needs (from The Independent):

Colin – who has starred in such movies as Miami Vice and Phone Booth – said that James has “enriched” his life “incredibly.”

And he said that he is dedicated to helping his son reach his own “individual potential” and to be “as happy as he can be.”

”With my son the only time I'm reminded that there is something different about him – that he has some deviation of what is perceived to be normal – is when I see him with other four-year-olds.

“Then I go “oh yeah” and it comes back to me. But from day one I felt that he's the way he's meant to be.”

The actor spoke with pride about the barriers his son has overcome in the first four years of his life – and paid tribute to his exgirlfriend Kim for being proactive in getting James the early intervention he needs.

“He took his first steps about six weeks ago and it was four years in the making. All the work is his, he worked his arse off for four years.”

“And when he took the first steps it was incredibly emotional, there wasn't a dry eye in the house.”

He's broken that barrier and its all about building on that now.

Although Colin has been juggling a career in Hollywood since he first burst onto the scene in 2003, he is dedicated to spending as much time as possible with his son.

Little James has already met with his extended family in Dublin and even Colin's new girlfriend, Irish student Muireann McDonnell.

The irony of having a child with special needs – months after becoming involved in the Special Olympics and being faced with the same challenges – is not lost on the actor.

But, he is adamant that anyone who has a disability can still contribute to society and have a full and happy life.

“Its mad the way the world works. It's bizarre. I experienced the overwhelming effect of being around those athletes pretty much just before my son was born with special needs.

“I have never thought of my son as being someone with a disability. It goes back to special needs and what is a disability and what isn't”.