Friday, July 18, 2008

Michael Savage Autism

Jiminy Crickets:

And, what about all those cancer patients! "Wah-wah...I'm dying a slow and painful death. I have no hair." Would you like some cheese with your whine?

Okay, seriously now. Can Michael Savage actually believe what he says? At this point he must just be trying to make headlines (and since my blog is #7 in Google for "Michael Savage Autism," I can safely say that he has failed).

Does he honestly think that he, with his zero hours of research on the matter, can hope to know more than the experts at WebMD, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and the Center for Disease Control?

Mr. Savage, congratulations. In your quest to offend, you have outed yourself as a true victim of mental retardation.


Anonymous said...

Since the raido stations have decided to block their e-mail and phones on this issue, I have decided to contact him via his family owned business "Rockstar Energy Drink" ROCKSTAR, Inc.

PO Box 27740
Las Vegas, NV 89126
(702) 939-5535 phone
(702) 221-0904 fax

Jonathan said...

To clarify the anonymous comment: Rockstar Energy Drink was created by Russell Weiner, son of Michael Savage. I'm not sure you need to hound them with phone calls to voice your protest. I would, however, urge you not to buy the product because it sucks.

Anonymous said...

Please help support autistic children and the parents who raise them. This is an outrage! He needs to be off the air. How low do you have to be to insult a disabled child. I am going to call the people who own the station and give them a piece of my mind! I encourage others to do the same. I located this information on the website…

Name: Buckley Broadcasting Corp.-WDRC, 102.9
Phone: (860) 243-1115
Fax: (860) 286-8257
Address: 869 Blue Hills Ave

Bloomfield, CT 06002-3710
Original Business Start Date: February 1942
Principal: Mr. Eric Fahnoe, General Manager
Customer Contact: Mr. Eric Fahnoe, General Manager - (860) 243-1115

Anonymous said...

he is confusing with ADD but he gets one point right. parents wont tolerate raising kids anymore. everything is wrong with them. especially if they aren't baby geniuses. parents drop their kids in zoo like day care and wonder why they are rotten. no one has kids early so they haven't the energy to handle it!

actually I think Mike Savage has it half right. One needs to differentiate between autism and ASD. I think ASD is a load of crap. Mildly autistic?thats a load of crap. right now a zillion parents are pulling their hair out needlessly turning their kids over to the state, overpaid early intervention teachers (who are paid through our insurance and taxes, this is why health insurance is bankrupt) theres scissor therapy, feeding therapy, walking therapy you name it. and its free, mandated through health insurance. and are we smarter? better eaters? more motor? what a fraud. scam! It used to be autism was diagnosed as severe emotional withdrawal and obsessive behavior. now everyone has autism "spectrum disorder." and moms are not vaccinating their kids, mainly bc they have a low chance of catching disease because most people still do it (this is really fair) Mike Savage is a big mouth who doesnt know what is really going on but ASD is mostly a scam. ANd the teachers and bueracrats involved in it are living high off the hog, the FEAR INDUSTRY.

Brillig said...

Hey... new here. Found you while I was searching for blogs talking about this very subject. I'm a mom with four kids, one of whom happens to be autistic, so obviously this hits close to home. INFURIATING!

Anonymous said...

"He should be fired..."

"He should be forced off the air..."

"It is a hate crime..."

"There should be laws against this type of speech..."

"They should pass a law..."

At whose door should the 'laws' and 'firings' for selected speech, stop?

Your door?

My door?

As long as it's 'your' brand of speech, it's Ok, right?

See, Freedom cuts both ways. Gore somebody else' Ox - that's cool by you, right - because the wind of the 'majority' is at your back.

But what happens when the wind of the majority isn't at your back? Who will stand in for your rights then?

The bottom line is, do you have the stomach for freedom, or do you not? If not, there are countries that will give you all the freedom of suppression you desire. All you have to do is pack up and move there.

Nicole said...

For the person who claims that ASD is a fraud and that early intervention teachers are living high off the hog, I would hope that you have had interactions with the children who are diagnosed as having an autism spectrum disorder or a pervasive developmental disorder. For to downplay serious developmental disorders such as these is ludicrous. I work as a teacher for students with multiple disabilities, the teacher down the hall has a class of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders, and the teacher next door works with preschool disabled children who require early intervention. We most certainly do NOT live high off the hog and many of our children do not receive services through their health insurance. Many of the experimental techniques "scissor therapy" as you cited, are not covered or implemented because they are not backed by research. These children work very hard in conjunction with their parents and teachers and yet still struggle with aspects of typical, daily life. No one goes into teaching for the money, because there certainly isn't much in comparison to the administrative level of public education. And those of us in special education certainly do not go into it for the summer vacation, which we don't get as we work year round to assist these children who are afflicted with these developmental disabilities. If anything is a fraud, I would venture to say it lies somewhere behind the reason for the overabundance of cases of disorders such as autism these days, because I have a feeling more is known than is being let on.

I have never wanted to respond to someone's comment to a blog before, but WOW are you off the mark!

Wayne Adair said...

Mike Savage is a man who gets paid to say things that make people mad. Most of the time I dont care what he says, its just noise. But on this issue I was shocked at how absolutly uninformed he is on this issue.

I am the father of 6 children ranging in age from 19 years old to 7 months. I am well aware of the difficulty of raising children and the need for parental supervision and discipline. My 4 year old son has been diagnosed with autism, the diagnosis was made by a neurolgist and a psychologist woring together. I am a stay at home dad, my son is not missing a father figure and yet he is autistic which flys in the face of Mikes comments.

My wife and I decided to have a little fun with this. I own an aerial advertising company in Reno NV and my wife and I put together a banner that I pulled behind my plane that read "MY SON HAS AUTISM MIKE SAVAGE IS AN IDIOT" I towed this sign over Reno and the story was picked up by the local paper as well as the NBC station here in town. We were able to parlay this into some great exposure for autism in our local area. The silver lining is this whole flap is that the people who actually know what they are talking about have had a chance to educate the public on autism and tell how it is effecting our families and our community.

Anonymous said...

Drive By media strikes again... Although a TOTALY stoopid thing to say, it was taken out of context. This Rant was about the over diagnosing of kids of various "illnesses". Rants are typical for Savage who often lets his emotions speak over reason in order to get apoint across. Still it was clumsy and stupid, but his emotion was no doubt true.

Try the open mind approch and look at his more reasoned response here.

Contains an interview by him with Wendy Fournier, President of the National Autism Association.

I applaud them both , for expressing there opinion .. free speach Rocks!

Dadof6Autistickids said...

My wife and I are the parents of six children diagnosed with the Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD). We KNOW Autism, Michael Savage does not.

This is the part of what he said that got my blood boiling. More specifically, he said:

"... They don't have a father around to tell them, Don't act like a moron. You'll get nowhere in life. Stop acting like a putz. Straighten up. Act like a man. Don't sit there crying and screaming, idiot."

Moron, putz, idiot... he is using those words as to what a Autism Dad should be saying. I never say these words to my children! These are HIS words attacking and demeaning MY children.

Yes he CAN say what he wants, but the next interview we have (likely this Nov when our documentary airs) I'll say what I want about him and some of these other ignorant people that have it all figured out somehow with obviously NO personal knowledge.

In fact, we have come up with three t-shirts ( that tell Michael Savage exactly what we think.

Greg Reich said...

We need to go after all of his sponsors.

For the person who said ASD is a fraud: you don't know what you're talking about. There is no distinction between autism and ASD; what is thought of as "classic" autism is simply part of the spectrum. There is a certain set of behaviors common to children with autism, but they're as individually different outside of those things they have in common as neurotypical children.

Futhermore, the person who thinks coverage is mandated and paid for with your tax dollars can start paying the bills for my daughter's therapy, because the government and my health insurance provider certainly didn't get that memo. The school provides some therapy, but they're underfunded and short on resources.

For the person who talked about free speech: don't buy into the spin. Savage can say anything he wants as a private citizen; nobody can take away that right. Also, you put up straw man arguments, because I didn't seen anyone here commenting that there ought to be a law against saying what he said.

Savage's show is paid for through advertising. Some of us patronize the companies who advertise during Savage's show. Why should we help support someone who spews nonsense and hatred?

For the person who thinks that Savage's hate was part of a context regarding misdiagnoses, WRONG!! I posted the audio with the preceding context on my blog. Please listen to it or read the transcript. He was talking about how angry he was that Bush signed a funding bill to help AIDS victims in Africa. He said he would rather fight cancer and diabetes in the United States, then launched into a tirade about autism and why he wasn't talking about it was something he would want to fund.

Several people have gotten together to create a comprehensive and accurate list of companies who sponsor Michael Savage's show through advertising. I have that list and some of the responses on my blog. Please help us contact them all and get Michael Savage fired. Let him rant on the street corner. THAT is his First Amendment right. He doesn't have a Constitutional right to have advertising.

Anonymous said...

IF YOU DO NOT LIKE IT DO NOT LISTEN! No one is forcing you to listen to this Dr. Savages comments. He should not be fired because it is not a crime to voice you oppinion in this country. Suck it up and turn the dial.

Greg Reich said...

Actually, if it was just Michael Savage making the comments, I wouldn't care, but he has ten million listeners who are being made more ignorant by his words, and my daughter is the one who suffers.

People are fired for hurting a company's image. In the case of entertainment, hurting the image of those who back you financially is grounds for dismissal. Nobody is charging Michael Savage with a crime, and if the advertisers want to stay with him, there's not a lot we can do, except continue to educate people about autism.

What I find ironic is that while we're using free market forces in our attempt to oust him from the air, he is attempting to use the courts against CAIR and the IRS against Media Matters.

I'm going to continue doing what I'm doing because I don't think Savage should be making a ton of money making me and other parents of children with autism look as though we're bad parents. He says he isn't talking about "real" autism, but what he says casts suspicion on every parent and child who deals with an autism diagnosis. He deserves to lose his job.

Wouldn't you do what you thought was right to defend your child?

Casdok said...

I think he does think he knows more than the experts!

He has a lot to learn.

Brad said...

not long ago a man lost his job for making a racial comment about three women everyone attacked him and got him fired im not saying it wasnt necessary but my point is if everyone can run to the defense of three grown women then what is wrong with this country when noone has gotten this jerk fired for making fun of children with disabilities.everyone from disabled support groups and childrens rights groups should be demanding this guy loose his for freedom of speech why should a guy lose his job for making a racial comment and this guy hasent who is standing up for the son has pdd and i am a hunter,was a missile gunner in the army and fish and if this jerk thinks my son is a fraud then he should see what i worry about missing out on sharing with him in life that i enjoy because of this disability.and if this jerk ever wants to attack children verbally in my presence the i would gladly show him how not disabled i am because it will finally give me a place to put all my frustration.and the fine i would have to pay for assault afterward would be worth it.

Anonymous said...

There are many GOOD ways to inform people and bring attention to autism.

Midnight In Chicago does it with their Autism Spectrum Podcasts at where people can hear the "Autism and Vaccines: Parts I & II" podcasts.

The podcasts quote sources which may be much more accurate than Ms. McCarthy's opinion and Ms.Spears' suppositions. They are much more positive than Mr. Savage's comments.

MIC also has the "Countdown to Midnight" CD that sends proceeds to reputable autism charities.

Spread the word. It is important we get the FACTS out on autism.

Brandon said...

Jenny Mcarthy had a response to Savage's comments:

Jenny, alongside the many others who have had their lives impacted by autism, was appalled by the statement. What would she like to happen? “I think a great way for an apology is to be sat down and educated about it,” Jenny said. “I’d love to just quietly [sit down with him and] educate him on the facts. It was clear he doesn’t know anything about autism”

To read more go to

Anonymous said...

I am siding with the mother who pointed out that ASD and the "early interventions" are a fraud. I agree wholeheartedly.

In the first six weeks of public school, my daughter, a first grader who had received private school training prior thereto, was "identified" as a child who could "benefit" from a "friendship group" in order to help her with her "social skills." I didn't realize it until months later, but the permission slip explained that the purpose of the "friendship group" was to work on skills such as making eye contact, meeting and greeting people, taking turns - all things that are considered deficiencies for those diagnosed with High Functioning Autism, or Aspergers, or POD-NOS. I was puzzled (pardon the Autism Speaks pun) because I had not received any communication of any problems prior thereto from the school. I was also puzzled because I never had any reason to suspect that "social skills" was an issue with my daughter. She had attended pre-school since she was six weeks old, and was very friendly and sociable. I initially said yes, but after the first session I revoked consent. It was becoming apparent to me that there was a lot of "identifying" going on at her school. In this school with an enrollment of 400 students I noticed that there was a meeting occuring every morning in the conference room next to the principal's office. By meeting I mean the principal, one of the two school counselors, the school psychologist, a teacher, a parent or two and one or two other miscellaneous players. I also learned from other parents that such meetings often occurred in the afternoon as well. Did I forget to mention that the school employed thirteen special education para-professionals? Additionally, I wasn't pleased when my daughter came home and said the "friendship group" counselor asked them to be honest about their feelings and to stand under happy, sad, angry and sick signs (this sounded more like "identifying" to me than "social skills training"). I also wasn't pleased when I googled "friendship group" and found research stating that such an intervention is often utilized as a "fast track" program to identify emotional and behavioral disorders. I also wasn't pleased when my daughter informed that her "friendship group" buddies were all the kids that were in the school's before and after care program in a school where less than 10% of the kids are enrolled in same. You see my daughter attended a white affluent school in an Ozzie and Harriet Midwest environment where apparently children of working Moms are deemed to be "at risk," and I suppose my child who is from a single parent household was most likely deemed to be "seriously at risk." Despite the revocation, which I gave purposely with no explanation, the rest of my daughter's first grade experience was uneventful. All As and Bs (mostly As), and no "needs improvement" scores in conduct.

Then over the summer between first and second grade, the principal must have realized that some kid fell between the cracks and/or that he actually had a parent who figured out what was going on, and a parent who had the audacity to revoke consent! (Imaginge that!) Second grade was a whole different story!! Suddenly, she needed a reading intervention; that is until I had her independently assessed by a certified reading specialist who exclaimed "I don't know what they are talking about - she's right on grade level." The second grade teacher was sending her home with at home reading assignments that were entry level second grade, and sending her to a reading intervention where she was provided entry level first grade materials. So I revoked consent for the reading intervention too! Then came the report card - eight out of ten needs improvement in conduct. Then came the second request for a "friendship group" intervention, and I said "no."

The "dumbing down" of my child continued as after the reading intervention revocation they placed her in the lower reading group within her class. Furthermore, immediately after issuance of the first quarter report card, I had made a request for some form of communication if there were any behavior issues - yet I got none except for a second grade report card with six out of ten "needs improvement" in conduct. Then came the she hit somebody phone call, she defied me and the student teacher phone call, and the report from my own child that her teacher told her she was a "terrible reader." Then the late February phone call came stating that she just hadn't made the progress they'd like her to make in reading (even though the night before the certified reading specialist whom I hired to tutor her so that she could stay on grade level said she was doing fine). And oh yes they were making one more request to put her into a reading intervention, and a third request for a "friendship group" intervention because she was REALLY bossy with the other kids.

I also learned through research that the school district she was in had very few kids on IEPs, and huge numbers of kids on 504 plans. 504 plans require that the school seek permission and consent, but it isn't required that they obtain same in order for the school to proceed with a plan. Of course, we all know that such plans often include testing accomodations such as extra time to take the test, and/or fewer choices in multiple choice exams. Ironically her old school district's superintendant boasted that the district was one of only a handful of school districts their size in the country that had made AYP in every school, in every subgroup, each and every year since the "No Child Left Behind Act" had been enacted -Gee I wonder how they did that?. I knew that my daughter was going to be on a 504 plan if I left her in that school. I don't take lightly a plan where the federal law defines the eligibility for same as a) a child with a disability b) that impacts a child's ability to learn and c) in a substantial way. I was determined that my child wasn't going to become a victim of over-identification, and I wasn't bashful about telling the school that was the case.

After the second grade teacher's request in late February for a meeting to discuss their proposals for more interventions, I spent the weekend signing a lease for an apartment in a neighboring school district, putting my house up for sale, and enrolling my child in a Title I school (a Title I school is one with high numbers of economically disadvantaged children as determined by the numbers on free and reduced lunch; such schools are entitled to certain federal funds and programs such as Title I Reading and Math) I delibertaely placed my child in a Title I school because I knew that my child who may come from a single parent household, but not from a free and reduced lunch household, wouldn't get pegged there. (Fortunately, the Title I school I enrolled my daughter in has some of the highest proficiency scores amongst Title I schools in the State). And guess what - it worked! She was assessed in reading the second day she was in her new school and surprise, surprise - she was right on grade level!! Furthermore, she only brought home one out of ten "needs improvement" scores in conduct on her third quarter report card, and no "needs improvement" scores in her fourth quarter/end of year report card. She is now in third grade, and there have been no intervention requests at her new school. No arm twisting either!

Her old school has an Autism pre-school, and a friend of mine has a son whom she agreed to enroll in the pre-school as a "peer model" (and note that her son was never tested prior to enrollment which my friend even commented she found a little bit strange). My friend recently volunteered for an all day field trip with that class. She couldn't figure out who was Autistic, and who wasn't!!!! Now if a grown adult can't figure it out - how are the so called disabled kids supposed to figure out which ones are supposed to be their "peer models" and which ones are "Autistic" just like them????

Consider these numbers that I learned about my daughter's old school district, and old school. 20,000 students in the district with 30 Autistic pre-school classrooms, and five Autism administrators (and consider the fact that the majority of kids on the autism spectrum disorder are placed not in special classrooms, but in the general classroom environment). Her second grade teacher in an effort to persuade me that I needed to re-consider placing my daughter in a "friendship group" revealed that the school had four kids diagnosed (or better put educationally assessed) with Aspergers Syndrome (that would be 1/100 with Aspergers alone which is just one of several Autism Spectrum Disorders). That's a ridiculously high number when you consider that the Centers for Disease Control says that current national numbers (which many people, myself included,find unbelievable) for all autism spectrum disorders is 1 in 150.

It was pretty obvious that there was some serious over-identifying going on in my daughter's old school, and old school district, even more serious than what is occuring nationally. I even came across in my google search an article by a parent from my daughter's old school district who's son was diagnosed with POD-NOS who likewise commented that there were three kids in a three block area within her neighborhood all diagnosed with some autism disorder by the district and that the numbers coming out of the district seemed ridiculously high.

And why is that? Perhaps it's because we live in an area close to a National Autism center, near a University that gives several Masters degrees and several Doctorate degrees each semester in Autism. One such degree from that University was recently awarded to my kid's private figure skating coach, who just became employed by my daughter's old school district. She informed me in passing that there is a lot of research sponsored by that Univeristy occuring in my daughter's old school district (note that I never mentioned to my daughter's figure skating coach that her employer tryed to label my daughter with the disorder that she has spent the past year studying and I note that my daughter's figure skating coach never told me that she suspected any such disability - not even clumsiness which is supposedly a common trait for Asperger kids and a trait that you would think would be pretty noticeable in a sport such as figure skating!) Just google Autism and the County and State that I reside in and you'll find pages of private mental health practitioners and clinics claiming to specialize in same. Just listen to the school wide voice mail messages in my daughter's old school district and you are bombarded with announcements about the Special Education Advisory Council's sponsored seminars given by various clinicians addressing autism related topics. They recently announced a seminar to be given by a Certified Financial Planner that will help you finance all this crap!

Michael Savage got it partially wrong. Yes, my child is fatherless, but she isn't a brat (at least her previous and subsequent schools and her mother doesn't think so). But I can see why Michael Savage would think that. Why were all the children of working Moms identified in my child's old school? Perhaps in Harlem it's children where both parents are convicted felons who land in the "friendship group." Perhaps in Buffalo it's children where one parent is a convicted felon that land in the "friendship group." Perhaps where Michael Savage lives it's fatherless children that land in the friendsip group.

But the main gist of what Michael Savage was attempting to convey; that is that autism is over-identified, to the extent that it is not far-fetched to say that 99% of the time it's a fraud, a racket, I totally agree with. The exponential increase in Autism diagnosis is no more legitimate that the exponential increase in ADHD, bipolar, and other mental health diagnosis that we have seen in the past twenty years.

God Bless all the over-identified children in this country, and God Bless their broke parents! Thank God my child, and my pocket book (except for the moving expenses and realtor fees) were both spared!

Greg Reich said...

I don't know what state the last person who posted is in, but where I am, the parents of children with autism must identify their children as such and fight to get the extra help they need. It doesn't sound like a diagnosis of autism was ever reached in the case described, nor can the school make such a diagnosis on its own. I had to bring my child in for an evaluation involving an occupational therapist, a speech pathologist, a physical therapist, and a psychiatrist AFTER her pediatrician suggested she had autism, just so she would get the help she needed. "Friendship groups" and remedial reading programs have absolutely nothing to do with autism and special education, and it really pisses me off when people equate things like this to autism.

You know what? I scored in the 99th percentile on the SATs on the verbal portion (98th on the math), and I benefited from a reading comprehension program the school recommended I take in the ninth grade. Do you think they're trying to harm your child? Then, by all means, defend your child. Otherwise, keep an open mind and see if your child benefits from the programs available. But please, please, please don't try to equate what the schools are doing with your child with what children with autism and their parents go through. Savage has it so wrong, and his 99% hyperbole was insulting.