In the September issue of Cookie magazine, Jenny McCarthy makes it clear that there will neither be marriage nor a baby carriage for she and boyfriend Jim Carrey!
“It’s wacky-weird that not only does he not want to get married, which I love,” the 36-year-old actress says, “but he also doesn’t want to have more kids, which I love.”
For now, the couple of more than three years are content to focus on Jenny’s son Evan Joseph, 7, who continues to thrive following his “recovery” from autism.
“I have him in every sport you can imagine for socialization, but he is [already] one of the most social kids you will ever meet,” she boasts.
Things have of course not always gone so well for mother and son.
In the interview, Jenny details an event she calls her “second rock bottom,” the first being when Evan went into cardiac arrest in 2004.
Following a seizure Evan was given a medication that caused him to stay awake for four days straight, suffering hallucinations and banging his head against a bed until he bled. Jenny recalls,
“I ran out of my house and into my driveway and screamed at the top of my lungs to God to just take him away, because I loved him so much and he was in so much pain.”
Going on “blind faith,” Jenny switched her son to a gluten-free, casein-free diet and the results were dramatic; Within two weeks, Evan’s vocabulary doubled, she says.
As a result of her experience, the biomedical approach to treating autism has become so important to Jenny she now serves on the board of Generation Rescue, an advocacy and research group that calls for — among other things — the elimination of toxins in vaccines and a delayed vaccine schedule.
“In addressing physical ailments like epilepsy, leaky gut, candida [a yeast infection], bowel disease, and food allergies, as well as behavioral disorders, like ADHD and OCD, that are associated with autism, we [parents at Generation Rescue] find that, along with those problems, the autism either gets better or goes away,” Jenny says.
Click below for Jenny’s theory on why Evan developed autism and her hopes for his future.
It was another Cookie interview last year with actress and celebrity mom Amanda Peet which drew Jenny back into the vaccine debate, and Jenny touched on Amanda’s comments in the magazine’s latest issue. “I think vaccines are one of the greatest things ever invented,” Jenny says. “I used to be [Amanda] before I had a kid with autism.” She sums up Generation Rescue’s stance on vaccines as,
“Vaccinations are safe — dot, dot, dot — for some kids. Vaccinations are not safe — dot, dot, dot — for other kids. Let’s protect the ones who are weak. We are pro–safe vaccine. Vaccines are just not one size fits all. If you gave everyone in the world penicillin, there would be some adverse effects for some people, and possibly deaths.”
Evan’s demeanor changed after he received an MMR shot at 14 months, and Jenny says she also sees a correlation between a series of ear infections, a severe case of eczema, and a hepatitis-B booster shot which all coincided for her son.
“Looking back, I’d say, ‘God, if a kid is having more than seven ear infections in a year and he’s got eczema, there are some issues here — his immune system is obviously under attack, and we need to put him in the sensitive category,” she explains. “Let’s just delay some of his shots. Not eliminate, delay.”
Jenny — who lists watching Evan pee on a fake tree in a waiting room as her most humbling mom moment — says it’s normal for parents to occasionally think, “I can’t stand my kid right now.” What’s more, she feels that anyone who says otherwise “is not living in today’s world of busy moms.”
The stress of Evan’s condition eventually took a toll on Jenny herself, and she admits she suffered a “breakdown” two years after receiving the autism diagnosis. “When your kid is psychotic or crazy, you go into this place of shock so you can remain calm,” she says.
“A problem a lot of moms [of autistic children] have is that they need to get out all [their emotions] later. I kept mine bottled up for two years, and then I finally released all this pent up fear, sadness, and anger. I just cried and cried and cried and cried and cried.”
Next up for the busy mom is 15-part series of instructional DVDs for children called Teach2Talk, which launches this fall. Developed in conjunction with Evan’s behavioral therapist and a speech-language pathologist at UCLA, the series uses video modeling as a form of therapy for all children — those with autism, and those without.
Jenny also recently launched a school for children with autism in Los Angeles, with another slated to open in Chicago in 2010. Eventually, she says she’d like to start 20 schools in all.
Her hopes for Evan are equally high, and Jenny — who has written several books about her journey — says she would even be happy to see those tables someday turned. She jokes,
“I want to … eventually watch him write a book about me: How to Care for Mom in Her Old Age.”
Evan is Jenny’s son with ex-husband John Asher.