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Friday, October 10, 2008

Magical thinking

I was reading this study, and it went a long way to explain the Jenny McCarthy branch of autism parenting. Basically the theory is that the more out of control your life is, the more likely you are to see patterns when none are there and believe irrational things.

Our brain doesn't like situations that leave us out of control, so we're more likely to jump to conclusions without evidence and engage in ineffective rituals to create order where none exists. When your child is diagnosed with an incurable condition, and this is the sort of thing you see? Oh yeah, you need some magic.

I remember seeing that video before Mr K got his diagnosis, and it scared the bejeezus out of me. I remember thinking how glad I was that all he had was a little speech delay. Um, oops. While there's a lot of truth in the emotions and the feelings those mothers have, I don't think it's the whole story. I still have hope that at the end of this parenting thing, I'll have an adult who manages to make his own way in the world.

At any rate, I've tried my best to substantiate any suggestions before I go off and try some crazy Jenny McCarthy "cure." It's not that I don't think she believes she cured him, it's just that there seems to be a simpler explanation to what he had in the first place.

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