Skip to comments.Radio Host Michael Savage Says Autistic Kids Aren't Sick..."Just Brats"
Posted on 07/20/2008 6:50:43 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
A Savage Betrayal Of Humanity Radio Host Michael Savage Says Autistic Kids Aren't Sick..."Just Brats"
One Parent Begs To Differ
by Steve and Ryan Young
Ive written for years about the problems Ive had with talk radio, and did so, for the most part with tongue tucked firmly in cheek. Ive even had my own show in L.A. so In some way, Ive been a part of the problem I write about. I do get ticked off, but rarely does anything said on talk radio ever cause me to lose my sense of humor. Until this past Wednesday.
On his syndicated talk radio show, The Savage Nation, Michael Savage (real name: Michael Weiner), the third most listened to talk show host behind Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, and a bomb thrower like no other, called the disorder known as Autism, a fraud and a racket.
He went further.
"Ill tell you what autism is. In 99 percent of the cases, its a brat who hasnt been told to cut the act out. Thats what autism is. What do you mean they scream and theyre silent? They dont have a father around to tell them, Dont act like a moron. Youll get nowhere in life. Stop acting like a putz. Straighten up. Act like a man. Dont sit there crying and screaming, idiot. (Full audio at:
Theres so much I wanted to say, not only to pound some actual knowledge into whatever Savage uses for a brain, but also to defend those families who have been besieged by the heartbreak and hardship of living with someone, especially their children, with Autism.
I wondered how Savage might feel it were his child who was constantly being met with disapproving stares from strangers who recommend that if your child cant behave maybe you shouldnt take him out in public. And how he might feel if the knew that it is going to happen every single day.
But as I began to write a note to Savage, I realized that it would be more appropriate to have someone who knows full well the devastation felt of not only hearing the diagnosis of your child as autistic, but having to live through the day to day sadness, frustration and pain you feel when it hits you that your child may never have what most would consider a typical life. For that I turned to my son Ryan
My eight year old daughter Rebecca has a diagnosis of Autism.
Autism is a brain development disorder that impairs social interaction and communication, and causes restricted and repetitive behavior. That diagnosis in itself may help define a set of Rebeccas symptoms, but it far from defines who she is any more than insensitive or mean-spirited totally describes you.
Rebecca can be sweet, funny, happy, sad, angry, silly, frustrating, irritating, gentle, kind or any number of other adjectives youd use to describe a typical eight year old, though brat is not one that her doctors have used to describe her. That usually only comes from those ignorant of her condition.
When Rebecca is having a meltdown or dealing with any other upsetting moment in a public place, we are almost always met with judgmental glares from onlookers who are thinking, boy, if that was my child or who might even say, If you cant control that child, keep her home! G-d forbid these people ask if there anything they can do to help you. Its something every parent of an autistic child has had to deal with most every day.
If you dont understand Autism, its very easy to say or think such things. I probably did too before my wife and I had Rebecca, but I never went on a radio show, where millions of people believe I am some sort of authority, to label innocent children as a moron or idiot. That you supposedly hold masters degrees in medical botany and medical anthropology makes your actions even more shameful.
Imagine, Mr Savage, if you lacked the ability to express your feelings, thoughts or needs. Imagine if this were your child. Would you want your child smeared for something they had no control over? Many children with autism lack the capacity to verbalize their feelings instead act them out. This is not how they act like a putz. This is how they communicate.
Being her father, I see Rebeccas many challenges, stressors and unexpected events that challenge her ability to get through each and every day. As parents, her stressful and frustrating moments become OUR stressful and frustrating moments. What loving parent doesnt cheer when their child succeeds or aches when their child is hurt, frustrated or upset?
Because the world challenges Rebecca so incessantly it would be easy to want to keep her home, insulated from the world, protecting her against the whirlwind of circumstances that at once can delight her one moment or upset and anger her the next. But ours is a life built on that which does not kill you, can only make you stronger. With each challenge Rebecca meets head on, she can learn and grow, hopefully adapting to the world, one step at a time. With each fall that she rises from she learns to walk a little stronger; gains confidence, and actually learns to become the best Rebecca she can be.
What no parent of a special needs child wants is to be pre-judged or isolated and kept in the shadows so that people like you dont have to look at a child with a disability. We want and need support of those around us and hope upon hope that our child be treated with compassion and understanding.
This week, you Mr. Savage, have made that a little harder.
Rebeccas Proud Dad, Ryan Young
For more information on Autism, go to: Autism Speaks at www.autismspeaks.org
Ryan Young is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in New York. His dad is author of Great Failures of the Extremely Successful
Mistakes, Adversity, Failure and Other Steppingstones to Success.
Since the original source of the news is Media Matters, I would take this news with extreme caution as this group has been angling to get talks shows hosts like Rush Limbaugh off the air.
I agree that this should be taken with a huge grain of salt and while I agree that some fact checking is in order, this guy has been known to say some things that would lead one to believe that he “could have” said it.
He probably said something to the effect that autism is like ADD, way over diagnosed. Certainly there are kids with serious problems, but it should not be to the point 1 out of three kids need to be on medication.
I agree...I listen on a regular basis and don’t recall this. But I do know for a fact that Media Matters is an unreliable source at best and down right liars at worst.
The kids now categorized as "severely autistic" used to be diagnosed as "severely retarded" and were institutionalized.
That's why you didn't see the kids.
If true that Savage said that, then he is mistaken and should correct himself. As Rosie O'Donnell famously said to Bill O'Reilly many years ago, "if you are on the air for many years, you are bound to say something stupid"
Fake epidemics deserve conservative scrutiny and scorn, because they have become a favorite left-wing social engineering tactic over the last generation.
They are claiming this is a direct quote and that there's audio. So if they are lying, they are doing so with great chutzpah (as is often typical of their side).
Autism is over-diagnosed.
It used to be that only the profoundly autistic children were diagnosed as such -- the kids who're nonverbal, don't interact with others, and spend their days in repetitive actions such as rocking or banging their heads against the wall. Some friends of mine have a son who is profoundly autistic, and believe me there is no mistaking it, and no question that he will never be able to function on his own in any way. He will have to be institutionalized when his parents are no longer able to care for him.
Now they have "autistic spectrum disorder" and "Asperger's Syndrome" and so forth -- not children that you would immediately pick up as "autistic" in the usual sense. In fact, I would describe a lot of them as just "geeky kids".
As to why this is going on -- follow the money. Federal money for treatment, schooling, etc. = more diagnoses.
They didn’t have a name for it or diagnose it except in very extreme cases.
I went to school with someone who was later diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, which is a mild form of autism, but nobody ever knew anything about it then. He was just a geeky kid who didn’t get along with everyone else and did math and was crazy for puzzles. I actually always admired these qualities and never had any idea they were symptoms of a syndrome.
Of course, he’s rich and famous now because he invented Bit Torrent, so these diseases do have a positive side, especially in their milder forms.
Many are diagnosed with “mild” autism, like my cousin, who just need to step away from the video games.
Writing a “script” is more PC and less trouble than challenging parents to get the job done.
if he said this, he’s partly right, but very wrong.
he’s partly right that it’s being over-diagnosed. the professionals recently even expanded the umbrella of what they call autism.
but he’s very wrong. i have a friend who has a grand daughter who is autistic, fortunately for her she’s not the extreme case of a child you see on tv huddled in the corner with outbursts.
one of the key issues with her and of autism:
is the inability to make eye contact with others. many mothers notice this very early, 18 mos etc.
and the inability to feel that others are experiencing pain, pleasure, etc.
i’ve spent a lot of time around this kid and i notice a lot of improvement. she’s had professional training and benefited from it.
it will be interesting to see what she’s like in ten years.
Paraphrasing here, he was talking about the boom in diagnosis of ADD, ADHD, and Autism, for purposes of getting on the government gravy train.
He was not talking about the truly autistic, or mentally disabled.
Remember, he had a brother who died, that was severely mentally disabled.
MM is on a jihad against free speech, and talk radio in particular.
I don’t want to disparage kids with real issues but I would agree with you. The drug co. and the “educators” and quick to create a spectrum diagnosis to cover damned near every kid. More victims to save!
This reminds me of the time many years ago when some offended woman, the caretaker of a mentally ill person, phoned Rush Limbaugh to complain about his use of the word “straightjacket” to describe a device used for restraining the mentally ill.
I agree with Savage that the vast majority of children diagnosed with autism and/or ADHD are simply suffering from what I call bad child syndrome.
Now if he had called them nappy-headed ho’s... Actually I have heard Savage lividly accuse Howard Stern of making jokes about retarded people on his show. If that were true, you’d think Media Matters would go after Howard as well... well maybe not.
By no means am I a fan of Savage, but I agree with you. If Media matters is the "source", I would write this off as BS.
Of course it's not what he said, he didn't say any of that. I'm a regular listener, so I should know.
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