I've been seeing the trailers on Discovery Health for the upcoming shoe about the Kirton family, who have SIX - yes, SIX - children ranging in ages from 14 to 3, all of whom have autism to some degree or another.
From the look of the trailer, the show portrays them in a sympathetic light, a 'look at these poor, poor people who have been terribly affilcted with this horrible disorder. Let's all feel sad for them'.
I don't feel sad for them. I'm more mad than anything else. See, I believe (from reading their website at http://www.autismbites.com/) that they either knew their children were affected by this disorder before they were all born, or they exaggerated in order to get a diagnosis for ALL six kids. I think that they knew that at least 3 or 4 of them were autistic, but they carried right on having kids. THEY say that they didn't know, that they didn't have an official diagnosis until the end of 2006, but I have a VERY hard time believing that. Kids with autism, especially the 'classic' kind they claim some of their offspring have, typically demonstrate that something is amiss before the age of three (DSMMD source). Their children are 14, 10, 9, 6 4 and 3. Ergo, if things are as bad as they claim, they MUST have had a very good idea that something was amiss, yet they kept on getting pregnant because they believed that 'When each baby came we felt there was still one more little child waiting in Heaven to be a part of our family. After Mary that feeling was gone and we felt complete as a family.'
One kid with autism? Sad. Two kids in the same family with it? Terrible tragedy. Three? Woah....wait a second, there's something going on here. This isn't a coincidence anymore. Four? Okay, no more kids. But five, and then SIX?? That's either selfish and wrong, or it's a total overdiagnosis on the part of medical professionals.
Would they be viewed with pity if they had six children with Cri du chat? Tay-Sachs? Downs? I somehow think not.
The thing that REALLY pissed me off was the fact that the dad quit working outside the home in order to stay home and help the mom with the kids. Where are they getting their income from? I have a good idea....obviously I can't say with any certainty, but I think there's a good degree of probability that it's coming in the form of disability and welfare checks. If that's the case.....well, words fail me.
There's one other thing that really pissed me off, and I'm quoting it directly from their website:
"In February 2007 we watched an episode of “Extreme Makeover Home Edition”, we enjoy it as a family to see if the family's story is as tough as our own. The show said that the family, they helped build a new home for, had the most documented Autistic children, five, for one family in the United States. My wife and I looked at each other, we have SIX documented Autistic children. It looks like WE have the most in the country, who knows maybe the world, isn't THAT special?!"
WOW. Just WOW.
NO, dude, it's NOT special. It's sad and pathetic. You think it's something to be fucking proud of, something to describe as 'special'???
If things were as bad as you said they were, then you MUST have had some idea BEFORE you publicly claim you did. I don't believe for a second that your littlest was a year old before you finally got a fucking clue that ALL of them were affected, not for a second. Were you not taking them for well baby checks? Did they not see a doctor at ALL? IF their behaviours were as terrible as you claim, any medical professional would have picked up on them sometime during the 11 years you and your wife were popping out kids. So, that leads me to one of two conclusions: either you DID know and you had kids nonetheless, or you decided to exaggerate after the fact. Which is it?
I don't feel sorry for you at all. I feel sorry for you children, but not for you.
Oh, and mom claims she has fibromyalgia. Snark. Why does that NOT surprise me.....