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CNN Larry King Live

Interview with Jenny McCarthy

Aired September 26, 2007 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, Jenny McCarthy trying to save her son after his devastating diagnosis of autism -- the mysterious disorder that locks kids in a world of their own. The stress of dealing with it broke up her marriage. But now the new man in her life, actor Jim Carrey, is such a help, she calls him the autism whisperer.
Plus, meet the woman Jenny calls her angel -- actress Holly Robinson Peete. Her son's autism diagnosis nearly shattered her family.

Two stars battling the fastest growing developmental disability in America and inspiring emotional hours, next on LARRY KING LIVE.

Good evening.

Our entire program is devoted to a look at autism and hopefully a program that will help you.

Later in the show we'll be joined by one of the more prominent pediatricians in the field.

We begin with Jenny McCarthy, the actress and entertainment personality, the "New York Times" best-selling author. Her deeply honest and powerfully emotional new book is "Louder Than Words" -- there you see its title -- its cover, rather -- "A Mother's Journey in Healing and Autism."

Why write about such a personal thing?

JENNY MCCARTHY, SON WAS DIAGNOSED WITH AUTISM AFTER LIFE- THREATENING SEIZURES: You know, I knew it would help so many people. I knew also that my story, surprisingly, resembled so many mothers that didn't have a chance to say -- or will ever have a chance to say -- what I can do now. And when I started to do my own research, I couldn't believe how many women agreed with my opinions on how Evan got or became autistic, but also on how to heal.

So I wrote a book about it.

KING: All right, before we get into the whole story, let's introduce everyone to your son Evan.

We've got some videotape of you and him together.

Let's watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MCCARTHY: No, no, no, no, no.

(INAUDIBLE) got you.

No, no, no, no, no.


EVAN: Don't get me.

MCCARTHY: Don't get me.

Don't get me.

EVAN: One, two, three.


EVAN: Would it open the door.

MCCARTHY: It sounded kind of crazy.

EVAN: Look at all the horses.

MCCARTHY: This is a beautiful horse barn, sir.

Giddyap, horsy.

Let's go.

EVAN: Ride like the wind.

MCCARTHY: Oh, you're going to be an attack man kid, aren't you.


KING: Now, he looks like a perfectly normal child.

MCCARTHY: Thank you.

KING: What is autism?

MCCARTHY: Wow! Well, it differs for a lot of people. But -- or opinions. But I believe that's -- it's an infection and/or toxins and/or funguses on top of vaccines that push children into this neurological downslide which we call autism.

KING: Which causes what?

What happens to the autistic child?

MCCARTHY: Basically what I noticed when I back track at about 18 months or so, Evan started to have loss of eye contact, loss of speech, hand flapping -- a lot of hand flapping. Social -- his social communication, he just didn't -- he didn't even notice his friends when they would come over and play. Those were the little tiny signs, when I look back, I saw developing.

KING: When was it diagnosed?

MCCARTHY: He was diagnosed at almost three. But what really woke me up was the first seizure he had -- actually, the second seizure he had.

KING: They get seizures.

MCCARTHY: Almost 30 percent of children with autism suffer from seizures. So on top of autism, we have seizures. And it is debilitating. I mean -- it still brings me to my knees thinking about what Evan had to go through with the seizures. In one of the seizures, he went into cardiac arrest in front of me. His heart stopped.

KING: Are there treatments?

MCCARTHY: For autism?

KING: Mm hmm.

MCCARTHY: I am so glad you asked me that. That is a wonderful question. Yes, yes and yes. You know, when Evan became diagnosed, I didn't get the pamphlet that said, sorry, your son has autism. You know, here's what to do next and there's hope.

There is so much treatment available. And no one told me, which is why I wrote the book, you know?

I went online, researched, I typed in Google and then autism. And what came up is autism is reversible and treatable.

Now, I thought to myself when I first saw that. Why isn't that on the news?

How come people don't know about this?

Yes, we know about ABA and speech therapy and that all works, let me tell you. But what gets these kids recovered from autism is biomedical intervention. And it's, you know, it's as simple as starting with a diet. Hello! I know that sounds crazy and so simple, yet so true. I talk about it in the book.

Evan started on a gluten-free, casein-free diet, which is pretty close to a wheat-free and dairy-free. And in two weeks he doubled his language and his eye contact came back on.

Now, if my story was alone, you might go well, Jenny, you got lucky. I have thousands and thousands of women and moms that taught me this, to try this. It works. But no one is...

KING: Is this some sort of secret?

MCCARTHY: You know, it's a damn shame that it has been for this long. It really has. There's something called the DAN! Conference every year, DAN -- Defeat Autism Now. And these are doctors, 600 doctors that treat these kids all over the country. But for some reason the pediatricians do not know how to treat these kids. And they're fixing them. I mean my best kind of scenario or example was, you know, you can't really become cured from it. It's like getting hit by a bus. You don't become cured, but you can recover. And you're still going to have boo- boos.

But the help, it is available out there. People need to know that it is real. And it doesn't help all. You know, I actually kind of started crying in the bathtub last night thinking about all the moms that are going to try all these things that I'm talking about and it's not going to help all these kids. But chemotherapy doesn't help every cancer victim.

KING: Yes.

MCCARTHY: But it's worth the try.

KING: Your book tells you -- tells the reader what you did?

MCCARTHY: It tells -- it's not only what I did, my journey, my heartache. I'm bleeding. But it gives you hope that wasn't there before.

KING: What happens to the autistic child when he or she grows up?

MCCARTHY: That's a good question. I mean I don't know. Evan...

KING: The adult autistic?

What are they like?

MCCARTHY: You know, to tell you the truth, I haven't really met any.

I'm hoping...

KING: They don't die young, do they?

MCCARTHY: No. No, no.

KING: So they've got to be around.

MCCARTHY: Of course. Yes, absolutely. But from the thousands that are becoming recovered, can you imagine if every parent had information about the treatment that is actually out there, how many of them would become recovered at such an early, early age.

You know, I called the American Academy of Pediatrics this week, because I've been complaining about why isn't the medical community behind this treatment so they can teach it to every pediatrician across the country, so parents don't have to go looking for a specific DAN! doctor. They can go right to their doctor and go these are my son's symptoms. They resemble Jenny's son's symptoms.

Can you help me?

They don't know how to treat these kids. That's a fact.

KING: Well, other than diet, what are the other treatments?

MCCARTHY: A lot of these kids have Candida, which is yeast -- overgrowth of yeast. By giving them anti-fungals, like Diflucan. After I cleaned out Evan's Candida -- and I'm going to say this very clearly -- he became typical. He started speaking completely. His social development was back on. He's now in a typical school. He got that much better. And my story is not alone. I have --, by the way, has pictures and stories.

KING: Are you saying he's not autistic anymore?

MCCARTHY: That's right.

KING: You're saying that...

MCCARTHY: I'm not. And I am not the only one.

KING: Your son is cured is what

You're saying...

MCCARTHY: They're -- I'm not saying cured. It's like getting hit by a bus. But you can recover and there will be some bruises. But he's no longer autistic. And I'm not the only one to say that. There are many. Larry, there's thousands. And I'm just the first one coming out to say, guess what, they taught me and now I'm here to teach you guys.

KING: The book is "Louder Than Words," Jenny McCarthy.

When we come back, I'll ask Jenny about the man she's referred to as the autism whisperer. He's somebody you have seen at the movies and on TV.

She'll reveal who he is after the break.


EVAN: OK, I need to take a walk.



MCCARTHY: Oh, it is?

Oh, no. Oh, no.

Everybody watch out, here comes a scary monster.



KING: We're back with Jenny McCarthy. By the way, the quick vote tonight on our Web site, The question was, do you know someone with autism?

Currently, 74 percent say they do -- a number indicating how tragically common this has become.

Does that surprise you?

MCCARTHY: No, it doesn't.

KING: Seventy-four percent knows someone?

MCCARTHY: You know why?

Because -- I'm going to get a little bit into the vaccines for a moment. But in 1983, the vaccine schedule was 10. Ten vaccines given. Now, today, there are 36, and a lot of people don't know that.

KING: Meaning what?

Ten vaccines given cause?

MCCARTHY: Ten vaccines for your schedule, you know, back in the day, 1983.



MCCARTHY: Uh-huh. And now the schedule of saying, hey, welcome to the world, child, here's your schedule, it's now 36 shots.

KING: There's 36 inoculations?


KING: And you're saying they're the cause?

MCCARTHY: I'm glad you brought that up. No, I do not believe that vaccines are the sole cause for autism. I do believe they are a trigger. They are a trigger and the dumbest way to explain it, though, for me is, if you become overweight, you might trigger diabetes.

KING: But you don't...

MCCARTHY: So there's something in the immune system that is weakened in these kids, they maybe can't process the vaccines. I don't think it's solely the vaccines. I think there's toxins in the environment, pesticides, (INAUDIBLE) women.

It's kind of like a pile up. If you can fill up a bucket of all this stuff going on with these kids, if they have a weak immune system, all that crap is going to overflow.

KING: What are you going to do, ban vaccinations?

MCCARTHY: Heck, no. I am completely for them.


So what do you do?

MCCARTHY: I would like the CDC to get a better schedule. Thirty- six -- I would like to see them clean up the ingredients. I would like for parents to feel safer by offering the families the test for their baby to see if their immune system is strong enough to handle these. I would love the CDC to give a piece of paper before they gave my a Hep B shot in the hospital saying here are the possible side effects for each shot. I think parents would feel a lot safer and they're not right now.

KING: Who's the father of your child?

MCCARTHY: John Asher.

KING: Is he a good dad?

MCCARTHY: He is. Now that Evan is really speaking and just being a typical boy, it's a lot easier for him to communicate and do boy things with him.

KING: And Jim Carrey is another man in your life, right?


KING: Are you going to get married?


KING: I just asked.

MCCARTHY: No. No. We're both very happy the way it is. And I couldn't have asked for a better person in my life. And the relationship with him and Evan goes beyond anything I could ever have dreamed. They were -- it's truly a blessing to him.

KING: You're saying you call will him the whisperer. He's (INAUDIBLE)...

MCCARTHY: I know. Really, he's -- he's got the gift, I say. He can -- he can, you know, help Evan through some difficult things when therapists couldn't even do it. Jim is able to do it.

KING: The gift of laughter, too?

MCCARTHY: Yes, absolutely. I've seen the claw come out a few times (LAUGHTER) (INAUDIBLE).

KING: So do you think we've joined the -- we've skipped the road now in autism, we're on the upside?


KING: The light's at the end of the tunnel?

MCCARTHY: The light at the end of the tunnel is offering hope to parents that we can help make these kids, if not recover -- I'm not offering recovery for everyone -- but get better or feel better. In terms of schedules and the CDC kind of stepping up and helping out and changing things, I think you're going to see me in front of Congress next. I think that's where you're going to see me trying to really change things.

We're scared. I mean moms and pregnant women are coming up to me on the street going, I don't know what to do. I don't know what to do. And I don't know what to tell them, because I am surely not going to tell anyone to vaccinate. But if I had another child, there's no way in hell.

KING: Really?


KING: Huh.

MCCARTHY: But I'm not telling anyone to do that. But, in my opinion, for my next kid -- which I'm never going to have -- there's no way.

KING: Never going to have, why?

MCCARTHY: I got my butt kicked. You know, it was really hard those years. Pulling Evan out of the window, I call it. I suffered a lot. I cried a lot. I'm just ready to move forward. I'm ready to help out. I'm ready to spread the word. I'm ready to make this world a safer, cleaner place. That is my mission right now. It really is.

KING: You're a hell of a girl.

Jenny McCarthy.

The book is "Louder Than Words".

When we come back, we'll be joined by Mrs. Peete, a hell of a lady herself. Holly Robinson Peete. She's the wife of the Rodney Peete, the great former football star at USC and in the pros. And they, too, have an autistic child.

Don't go away.


MCCARTHY: Who's that?

That's Evan. That's Evan. Mommy loves you. Mommy loves you.

I like my hand. I like my hand. Yummy. It's yummy.



KING: Jenny McCarthy remains. She'll be with us through the entire program.

We're now joined by Holly Robinson Peete, the actress. Her oldest son, RJ, diagnosed with autism in 2000. He was age three. She and her husband, you know, the former NFL quarterback Rodney Peete, went public with their son's story this summer.

Why so late?

HOLLY ROBINSON PEETE, SON HAS AUTISM: Oh, because we were in the trenches working to get this kid out of this window. We knew we had a very tiny amount of time to get him through this and we weren't ready to talk about it, Larry. We didn't know enough about it. We didn't have enough victories under our belt. We needed a journey.

KING: Is there any shame?

PEETE: No. We didn't have any shame at all. But we wanted to talk about it at the time when we felt we could help the most people and we knew what we were talking about.

KING: RJ Peete is a twin. He's almost 10-years-old.

Let's meet him on videotape.


PEETE: She's like, you know what I call her, Larry?

She's like his nervous Jewish mother.


KING: That's his twin sister?

PEETE: Yes, his twin sister, because she's constantly protecting him.

KING: How did you hook up with Jenny?

PEETE: Well, Jenny and I knew each other around Hollywood things, two actresses. But her sister and my makeup artist are friends.

And when Jenny's son diagnosed, we connected. We stayed on the phone from sunup to sundown. And I told her about this little window of time that she needed to get busy, roll up her sleeves and start fighting for her son.

MCCARTHY: She was the first one to give me hope.

PEETE: I didn't know I was going to create this, though.

KING: No. A fireball. PEETE: But I have to tell you, I'm so proud of her, because what she's doing is so brave. I didn't know as much as Jenny knew at the time, you know, back then, a whole long seven years ago. I didn't know what Jenny knows. So I've learned a lot from her.

But what I really, really also know is -- you asked earlier about adults with autism. I mean there's really nothing for them. There's nowhere for them to live. There are not very many homes or any kind of programs to help these people as they grow up and become teenagers and then go on in to matriculate into the world that we live in. It's a very difficult, difficult road for them.

So I like just to say that these children are extremely valuable, amazing kids and are extremely smart. But we need to learn how to teach them and learn how to help them become one with our social life.

KING: So Jenny did a lot for you.


KING: What did she do for you?

MCCARTHY: Oh, my gosh. She was the woman in the book that I called my Hollywood -- my Hollywood friend that gave me that first phone call. I was crying on the phone and she said, "Girl, you pick yourself up and you move forward. There is light at the end of the tunnel. There is this window. You can pull him out. There are so many things that you can do. You research. You dig in. You learn. You study. You keep going."

And I heard that and went, all right. And I went to the bookstore and grabbed every book. I went online and researched and did the work and just found this huge autism community of moms helping moms, because pediatricians at the time aren't helping.

KING: How's your boy doing?

PEETE: My boy is doing very well. I mean, you know, it's weird with this thing...

KING: As well as hers?

PEETE: No, actually. No. I have learned a lot of information from her that I'm going to actually try for my son. But for what we did and for that window of time, how we fought for him, he's doing extremely well. There was a time he was not verbal. Now he's verbal. He's mainstreaming with a shadow at school that's been a wonderful partner with him.

KING: Explain that, with a shadow.

PEETE: Mainstreaming -- mainstreaming means you go to a typical -- a neurotypical school and you have a shadow teacher that is actually with him, to help him, sort of guide him through, navigate him through fourth grade, which is really rough.

KING: Do you have to pay that teacher?

PEETE: You have to pay that teacher and let me tell you...

KING: So the poor family can't afford it.

PEETE: No, the -- no.

And good guess what?

You know, even us families with a little bit of, you know, something in the bank, we feel it.


PEETE: So I can't imagine what it must be like. And I wish there were more resources for families in this country to deal with autism.

KING: How does your son deal with it emotionally?

PEETE: Well, he's at that age now where, you know, he's nine and he keeps saying -- he talks to me a lot. But most of his best, amazing feelings come out of e-mailing me. A lot of kids on the spectrum are not able to really verbally express themselves. And what he says is, I am not autism. Now, what he means is I'm not autistic. He hates when people call him autistic. He thinks it's a label and it's really uncomfortable for him.

So, but what I found with him -- and I'm so proud of him, because he really grasped that, you know, and we've done all this B roll. People come to the house -- they know, he knows why they're there. And his neurotypical twin sister, she knows why. Everybody knows they're here because of this autism thing.

And he says, "I'm helping people, right? Like that guy who hit all the three pointers" -- talking about Jason McElwain, who single- handedly, with those three pointers, just, you know, gave a whole new face to the autism.

And that's my son's hero, because of what he did. And it's hopeful to him that he's going to do something cool in his life, as well.

KING: Is every mother involved like the two of you?


PEETE: You know what I...

MCCARTHY: Well, there's some moms that I call black belt moms, that will chop through the system. When they can't get an appointment, they're going to get one the next day.

PEETE: Yes, you've got...


MCCARTHY: Yes, I know.

PEETE: You got a kid (INAUDIBLE)...

MCCARTHY: You've got to push.

PEETE: She is a warrior mom, for sure. But what I like to tell my fellow moms who are dealing with this that don't feel like they can pick themselves up is there is hope, there's information, there are resources, there are things you can do. And you've got to do whatever it takes, because you have a little tiny window of time from the time they're diagnosed to the time they're -- the window doesn't ever close, I want to make that clear.


PEETE: But there's a time when it's easier for you to sort of get in there and try to help pull this child out of this world.

MCCARTHY: The best results, you know, for these kids is, you know, if -- this window between two and six, primarily.

PEETE: Mm hmm.

MCCARTHY: To kind of clean these kids out and Make them better.

KING: Yes.

We're going to take a break.

When we come back, one of the most foremost pediatricians dealing with this will join us -- so foremost, he wrote the foreword to Jenny McCarthy's book, "Louder Than Words: A Mother's Journey in Healing Autism."

Our guests are Jenny McCarthy and Holly Robinson Peete.

You're watching LARRY KING LIVE.

We'll be right back.


KING: Our full panel is assembled. Jenny McCarthy, the author of "Louder Than Words: A Mother's Journey in Healing Autism," Holly Robinson Peete, whose oldest son R.J. was diagnosed with autism in the year 2000.

Now joined by Dr. Jerry Kartzinel, board certified pediatrician from Jacksonville, his practice is devoted to the research and treatment of autism and other neurodegenerative disorders. He's the father of an 11-year-old son with autism, and wrote the introduction to "Louder Than Words." Did you kind of specialize in this because of your son? What happen before the other?

DR. JERRY KARTZINEL, PEDIATRICIAN DEVOTED TO AUTISM RESEARCH: Oh Absolutely. I had four boys. It was my fourth boy who developed autism shortly after I gave him the MMR. My wife says, you broke him, now you go and fix him. I went what? I didn't even have a clue yet what happened.

KING: So what do you make of this theory we've been kicking around here with Jerry and the like with vaccines?

KARTZINEL: Well, we have to think about a population. You can't do the same thing to an entire population and not expect something to happen. For example, if you were to give every child in the United States a kitty cat to go home with, you know the majority would do well. But there's a small group that would not do well with the cats.

The first thing we think about are allergies, they could get bit by the cats the cats can run away. If we give every cat and a dog, we've got interactions, with the cats, the dogs, and between them, and you add the hedgehog and all of a sudden we're stacking things up and we can cause problems with the animals. We know we can't give every child in the United States a shot of penicillin. The majority will do well, but there will be a distinct group who won't. Why do we think we can bring in anything and expect the entire population to take it without a problem?

KING: What do you do when you need the vaccine?

KARTZINEL: I think what we have to first do is realized there may be a problem. And we have to ask honestly, if we see a child who falls apart, and that's something new, that's not in pediatric medicine, that you have a child who's normally developing the first year, year and a half, with today's video cams and digital cameras, we can document that, and all of a sudden they fall apart, they lose eye contact, they're screaming all night, they're losing language, they are constipated, they have diarrhea, biting, screaming, running, what do we have in the textbooks to describe that. And there's nothing. We have to say, what happened in this child's life during this time? Is it viruses, is it bacteria, is it vaccines?

KING: But do you not give vaccines? What do you do with the vaccine -- if the vaccine is the problem, but not every child is affected by it, what do you do?

KARTZINEL: Well I think we have to ask, first of all, is the vaccine a problem. I keep hearing from parents it is.

KING: Jenny says it is.

KARTZINEL: Certainly. If you tell me that your child woke up with ear pain and 102 fevers and I look in the ear and see an ear infection and prescribe an antibiotic, you're right. If you tell me that your little guy had tummy aches and in the right quadrant and he can't walk, and he ends up having appendicitis your right. Now you come in and tell me that my son has lost eye contact and language and is screaming all night and this happened a week ago right after a vaccine, all of a sudden you're wrong?

KING: What is the answer? You wouldn't have known not to vaccinate him. KARTZINEL: Right, I think the first thing we have to understand as a medical community is we have to listen to the parents tell us what's going on.

MCCARTHY: Please, listen to the parents.

KING: But then what?

KARTZINEL: And then we treat the kids. That's the thing. There are things we can do to help these kids. If you have a child who's not sleeping, we can help that child.

KING: We asked the Center for Disease Control for a statement on autism, and a possible link to vaccinations. This is part of what they told us. "Every day we hear the heart-wrenching stories like the ones shared tonight by Miss McCarthy. She and other loving parents want and deserve answers about the cause of autism. Hopefully additional research will someday provide answers. The nation's foremost scientists agree that research done so far simply does not support an association between thimerosal in vaccines and autism.

As scientists searching for answers, parents need to know there is hope. There are effective therapies that can help. It's critical that parents see their pediatrician if they sense their child is not developing properly, because early intervention is critical. But they're saying there's no proof of this."

KARTZINEL: I think we have to understand that they're looking at forests. And we have trees. They're not seeing the trees. And if they start counting these broken children, which they have not really acknowledged that there is an epidemic of autism out there, and if you look at what Webster's says an epidemic is, it says there's a disproportionate amount something affecting the population that you wouldn't expect to be there, we know juvenile diabetes is 1 in 150 children. Autism has reached that. And it's even growing faster. So we have to be very careful about what we do. Actually, diabetes 1 in 500. Autism is 1 in 150.

KING: More autism than diabetes.

KARTZINEL: A lot more.

PEETE: And all childhood diseases combined. When my son was diagnosed in '99 and 2000, 1 in 3,000 were diagnosed as being on the autistic spectrum. Today it's 1 in every 94 boys will be diagnosed as having autism. If that ain't an epidemic, those numbers are frightening.

MCCARTHY: But the important that we still want to get out, the three of us, is hope and treatment. Which is this is the doctor, by the way, that treated Evan and got him to recovery. So, you know, please speak a little bit about treatment. Because so many moms I know are sitting there right now going --

KING: We have to take a break in a minute. What's the basic treatment? KARTZINEL: There's not a basic treatment. After we get back from the break, we'll see where the problems are. Do we have problems with moving our bowels? Are we failure to thrive? Not gaining any weight? Are we up all night on screaming? Are we biting, are we kicking, are we tantruming all over the place? Are we obsessive? Are we compulsive? These are the things I have to take a history of.

KING: By the way Jenny McCarthy has written a commentary for our Website. And so far close to 2 million people have checked it out. If you would like to read it just go to and you'll find it. It is there right now.

Just ahead, Jenny and Robin joined by a pediatrician who is an expert in the field of autism as we continue. Don't go away.


KING: We're back. By the way, for the record, the American Academy of Pediatricians told us in a statement that they're working with the CDC and groups like Autism Speaks to identify the best evidence-based knowledge and recommendations. As they work to unravel the mysteries of autism. Do you know about Autism Speaks?



KING: Do you like it?

MCCARTHY: I represent TACA NOW. They're more of the biomedical treatment.

ROBINSON PEETE: But I'm friendly with Suzanne Wright and Katie Wright, and I applaud what they've done. They've rallied to Congress.

KING: Do you have any objection to the child being called autistic?

ROBINSON PEETE: I do personally.

KING: What would you rather?

ROBINSON PEETE: I would prefer the child having autism. I got that from my son. He has autism. He is not autistic. So that's my personal view that I feel like, autism, the child has autism, autism doesn't have the child.

KING: Jenny, how do you feel?

MCCARTHY: You know, I've been so, like focused on my biomedical treatment of Evan, I haven't even considered it. Until Holly had said something, and I went, ooh! She's right. And I'm trying my best to --

ROBINSON PEETE: You know what? Someone had to school me about that. But I got a little bit of flack about that recently. Someone said, Holly, are you African-American or are you black? This is not about pc, this is not about the parents, this is about my child at school. Labels at school are very powerful. He's in the 4th grade. When I go down to school and start telling the kids in his class and the parents, guess what, my kid, he does have autism, but don't be scared of it. Talk to him. Redirect him. Focus him. And you'll see he's a great kid. You have to advocate for these children. We're their only voice. Some of them aren't even verbal.

KING: What's all those papers?

MCCARTHY: This was in the past 24 hours, e-mails that were sent to me from mothers, each one of them individually, you can see, of children who recovered and got incredibly much more healthy than they were through biomedical treatment. So this is just in 24 hours of how much better these kids got.

KING: Doctor, give me a good working definition of autism.

KARTZINEL: From a parent's point of view, autism is the sudden loss or deteriorating loss of eye contact, social skills, communicative skills, they become very repetitive in their play, they become what we call stereotypic, or common word is stimming, where they'll flap. They get mesmerized by things that spin, by things that turn, by things that open and close.

KING: Is it a virus?

KARTZINEL: No, it's not a virus, but a virus can be a component of their illness. When you think of what can cause the brain to go in this fashion, viruses certainly are a possibility. Bacteria are.

MCCARTHY: A lot of those things that he's talking about are on the road to recovery. Anti-virals, anti-fungales are helping these kids tremendously.

KING: Why more boys than girls?

KARTZINEL: They're still trying to work it out. They are thinking that testosterone might make us more susceptible to the effects of the environmental toxins, where estrogen is more protective.

KING: We have an e-mail from Susan in Chicago. Is autism as prevalent in other countries as it is in the United States?

KARTZINEL: The other countries aren't doing a very good job tracking it. The best one obviously would be England. And it is just as prevalent there, if not more than it is in the United States.

KING: How about in Asia?

KARTZINEL: We don't know. But they keep asking for help out there because they've got millions of children with autism and they're desperately seeking help.

KING: Are you doing this kind of a mission, Jenny? MCCARTHY: You know, it would have been a lot easier to never tell anyone my son had autism, considering he's in a typical school and no one would have ever known. That would have been a lot easier. So the fact that I came out put him on the cover and exposed him to all of this. Was it worth it? Hell yes. For all those little kids that are going to feel better because of Evan's story? You're damn right I would do it again.

ROBINSON PEETE: We took a lot of flack as well from a lot of people. You know, you're making him the poster child. Why drag him out like this. I remember some years back when Dan Marino, his family talked about their son had autism. Before any of these conversations. And I was so lifted and buoyed by that. And I think it's really powerful that we take away the silence, the shame and stigma from this and start moving forward to better ourselves.

MCCARTHY: And bring hope, hope, and hope.

KING: Now he's a star.

MCCARTY: And he's cute.

KING: More with Jenny, Holly and the doctor and some of your questions when we come back. As we go to break another famous autism mom singer Tony Braxton and some of the thoughts she shared on this show earlier this year.


TONY BRAXTON: You want the best for your kid and you don't know what to do sometimes. When I heard his story in school, it made me so excited. Because I think of my little boy. He's in a special education program and I think of the road to recovery. When you have kids, you just -- I want the best for him. So when I heard the story, it was so uplifting for me, so I thank you for that so much.


KING: We're going to get to some of your calls. But let's first check in with Anderson Cooper, he will host "AC 360" at the top of the hour. Anderson..

ANDERSON COOPER, HOST, "AC 360:" Hey Larry. In "360," a real mystery at sea. Six people embarked on a journey to the Bahamas, and went missing. Two men are found, they tell an incredible story about pirates. But there's something about them that makes investigators awfully suspicious. We will have the story.

Plus, I sat face to face with former president Bill Clinton. And watch him get angry, it is a side of him that is rarely seen. Wait until you hear what's got him going tonight.

And a disturbing report about prescription drugs, it could be in your medicine cabinet right now. Why so many of these drugs have not been approved by the FDA. We're keeping them honest. Also new details about what investigators call a nightmare scenario. A terrorist with nothing more than a computer keyboard can plunge the nation into darkness and economic depression. A startling report only on "360."

KING: Wow, that's "AC 360" with Anderson Cooper, 10:00 Eastern, 7:00 Pacific.

By the way Doctor Jerry Kartzinel, his entire practice is devoted to autism with patients from all over the world. Let's take some calls. Queen Creek, Arizona, hello.

CALLER: Hi. Yes, this question is for Jenny.

KING: Yeah?

CALLER: You said if you had another child you would not vaccinate again. But legally I thought in the U.S. you had to vaccinate them before they went to kindergarten?

MCCARTHY: It depends on which state. But there are -- are you more aware of the -- I don't want to give people --

KING: States where you don't have to vaccinate?

MCCARTHY: There are states where you can get out of the vaccinations.

KARTZINEL: I do believe religious beliefs, philosophical beliefs and medical beliefs.

KING: Is that any state?


MCCARTHY: Certain states.

KING: To Whitefish, Montana, hello.

CALLER: Yes. Holly, I'm wondering if you vaccinated your younger children.

ROBINSON PEETE: I had a very different schedule. I made a different schedule for myself. I'm not going to wait for the CDC to come out with the schedule. I -- there were certain vaccines that I felt I wanted to wait on. There's a toxic tipping point for some of these children. And there's a substance of the population who have a problem, you know, mobilizing and excreting some of the bad that's in the shots.

You know, it's great. I am not against vaccines; I want to go on record saying that. I just think that there are some children who are not able to kick out the ugly part. And I think we need to explore who those kids are, for instance, my child, was a preemie. And a recent study was just done saying there is no link. But preemies weren't even part of that study. That's what I want to start moving toward. KING: We have an e-mail from Monique in New York. What do you think about putting an autistic child on medicine like Ritalin or Telex?

KARTZINEL: I think we have to look at the underlying problems, why they can't focus and concentrate before we consider those medications. They can certainly be helpful in the right situation. If the child is full of stool, just constipated, of course he's going to have abdominal pain; he's not going to be able to sit in class. If the child is drinking a ton of juice, eating a lot of candy, drinking a lot of dairy products like milk and they're allergic to it, of course they're not going to have good focus and concentration. So it may not be necessary.

KING: What was the number one problem, Jenny, your kid had?

MCCARTHY: Yeast. There is a huge percentage of children in the community that have this problem with their kids. And are really unaware of it. What do you think is the percentage of kids, by the way, who have --

KARTZINEL: This will come from the children who have repeated ear infections and they get repeated antibiotics. Nobody looks to see what's wrong with the immune system. They just keep treating it. If you treat the human being enough with antibiotics, you're going to develop yeast.

KING: And the problem your little boy had?

ROBINSON PEETE: The problem he had was just focusing, eye contact. He did have some abdominal problems and issues. But the biggest thing was socially, he just couldn't communicate, couldn't talk.

MCCARTHY: A lot of people, by the way, don't realize there's a gut connection with autism. They think it's just in the head. And if you have so many moms, most of these kids have digestive problems. I'm sure you weren't even aware of that. That's why he keeps talking about stool. That's all we share is poop stories in the community. What color was it? What did it look like? Because we're watching things, detox, watching these kids have gut infections. It's a huge part.

KARTZINEL: In fact, when you go to endoscope, they'll put the kid to sleep and advance the camera up into the intestines and colon. It has to be treated. Reflux disease, you can see that.

MCCARTHY: A lot of information, huh, Larry?

KING: We'll be back -- I consider myself lucky.

MCCARTHY: Oh, yeah.

KING: We'll be back with our remaining moments. Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) KING: Jason is medically diagnosed as highly functioning autistic. He's also loved by his teammates and fellow students. That's why they came to the game with his face on signs. And when he entered the game, they went crazy.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE U.S: The story of a young man who found his touch on the basketball court, which in turn touched the hearts of citizens, all across the country.

KING: Phenomenal. What did he have, 18 three-pointers?

ROBINSON PEETE: More than that. That piece of video that went all over you tube, it single handedly shifted the world, like Jenny just said, it was an amazing moment. For my son, he replays it over and over and over again saying, looks what he did. See, we could do that.

KING: Is he in college now?

ROBINSON PEETE: No, he's in high school. Or I think he might have graduated from high school. He's working at a bakery. He wrote a book. You know, he's working with magic Johnson. The kid is awesome. And he is a true -- he's just a true hero. A true hero.

KING: What are the rewards you get out of your profession, doctor?

KARTZINEL: Making these kids better. There's nothing like having a mom call you back and saying he's mainstreamed. He's in a regular school now. He's lost the diagnosis of autism. The doctors are questioning whether he even had autism. Well, he had the kind of autism that goes away by itself. And that's fabulous.

KING: Jenny, it's not a question, we have a comment and a photo we'd like to share. They're from Johanna in Toledo, Ohio, who submitted them via our iask website on king. There's the photo. Here's what she says. My son Gabriel was diagnosed with autism, May 6th, 2006, after countless hours of therapy, loads of debt, and altered diet and a whole lot of love, he's doing well. He's a preschooler, recovered or nearly there. Please keep sharing, Jenny. Your audience is vast.

MCCARTHY: Wow. I haven't cried on this whole press tour. Thank you very much who sent that in. Because it's true. The audience is listening. And I'm happy to be there to share it with them.

KING: You certainly get the feeling that you're -- your purpose is coming through?

MCCARTHY: Without a doubt. Yes. This is it. You know, it doesn't end here. Like I said, you're going to see me over and over again, pushing.

KING: Do you have a website?

MCCARTHY: Also, you can check out pictures of kids recovered.

ROBINSON PEETE: Also go to Because my husband speaks to a lot of fathers who are dealing with this. It's a whole sort of untold story about men who have to deal with their boys.

KING: Tacanow.

MCCARTHY: And I would just -- The book I wrote is just not for families with children with autism. It's really a message that I want every mom, grandma, dad, to read, because it's so important. It's Lorenzo's oil. It's what every mom's going through. It offers hope and faith and a lot of love.

KING: That's really nice. You've been very impressive here, Jenny.

MCCARTHY: Thanks, Larry. And you're even cuter in person.

KING: Eat your heart out, Jim. Jenny McCarthy, Holly Robinson Peete and Dr. Jerry Kartzinel. Thank you all very much.

By the way you can head to our Website, and you can read Jenny's special commentary on autism. Or download our current podcast. And don't forget to check us out for all upcoming guests, at And right now, to New York, Anderson Cooper and "AC 360." Anderson.