Since the post-Oprah spin got its own post, I think it's only right to give equal time today's episode of The View, which was a rebroadcast of a one-hour show devoted to autism that originally aired in January.
I posted my thoughts following the original broadcast of The View in a conversation with Kristen in the comments section of another post. You can follow the whole conversation here, but I've cut-and-pasted my thoughts into this post for your convenience:
First of all, I have to say that Toni Braxton is amazing for being on the show just four months after her son's diagnosis. She was getting a lot of information all at once, which is overwhelming for anyone, but to get it in front of a national audience must have been that much more difficult.
Overall, I think they made an effort to be balanced and tried to fit a broad range of experience in a very short amount of time. Of course, my preference would be that they highlight things like RDI and SCERTS, since that's where I hang my hat, instead of just ABA. There was some wording that made me cringe, but all in all I think they showed a range of perspectives.
The thing that was most difficult for me personally was that for some of the segments the parents had their children with them, but they talked about them with the hosts as if they weren't sitting there. For me, it felt a little intrusive, and I kept wondering what the kids thought about what they were hearing. There was one set of parents at the end who talked to the hosts while their daughter was backstage, then invited her out at the end to give the hosts presents she had made for them. That felt a lot more comfortable to me.
Then, in a later comment, I added:
Did you get the sense that Rosie has a personal connection to autism in some way? She didn't say so, but she seemed very knowledgeable and very familiar with the "lingo." She made reference to having read some of the books they mentioned, which made me remember that a long time ago she had Paul Collins's book Not Even Wrong: Adventures in Autism listed as a recommendation on her blog.
I don't know - I just got the sense that it went beyond "celebrity charity" for her. (She also seemed to be the driving force behind the one-hour special, since the other hosts only appeared briefly.)
So, if you saw The View, either today or back in January, what are your thoughts?