UPDATE: Apparently it was all a bizarre misunderstanding. Jenny took to Twitter early on January 4 to clear up the situation.
Here's what she wrote in an extended tweet:
"Stories circulating online, claiming that I said my son Evan may not have autism after all, are blatantly inaccurate and completely ridiculous. Evan was diagnosed with autism by the Autism Evaluation Clinic at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Hospital and was confirmed by the State of California (through their Regional Center). The implication that I have changed my position, that my child was not initially diagnosed with autism (and instead may suffer from Landau-Kleffner Syndrome), is both irresponsible and inaccurate. These stories cite a 'new' Time Magazine interview with me, which was actually published in 2010, that never contained any such statements by me. Continued misrepresentations, such as these, only serve to open wounds of the many families who are courageously dealing with this disorder. Please know that I am taking every legal measure necessary to set this straight."
It’s like Miley and Beyonce all over again … and yet different.
In 2005, Jenny McCarthy’s son, Evan, was diagnosed with autism. The actress has been an active spokesperson ever since, working tirelessly to raise awareness about the disease. But she never believed her son was born with the disorder. Instead, Jenny says the symptoms only begun to develop after Evan was vaccinated.
Now, Time magazine is reporting that Evan might not even be autistic at all. Via Hollywood Life, it now seems that Jenny’s son, age 7, is likely suffering instead from Landau-Kleffner syndrome, “a rare childhood neurological disorder that can also result in speech impairment and possible long-term neurological damage.”
Since Landau-Kleffner syndrome is so rare, it is very often misdiagnosed as autism. “Evan couldn’t talk — now he talks. Evan couldn’t make eye contact — now he makes eye contact. Evan was anti-social — now he makes friends. It was amazing to watch,” she told the magazine.”
Over the years, many people have praised Jenny for her tireless advocacy. But statements she made in the past about immunizations have been very controversial, with the Center of Disease Control, saying her criticism of this widespread medical practice makes her “a menace to public health.”
In the Time article, Jenny says she’s been re-examining her stance on immunizations. She’s still wary, and hopes the MMR shot will be researched more thoroughly in the future, but as she told Wetpaint in anexclusive interview this past September, Jenny is not opposed to vaccinations.
Even if Evan might not suffer from autism, Jenny isn’t giving up the cause. Plenty of other kids do struggle with the disorder, and she says she’ll continue to be a “voice” for them.