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Terri Mauro

Parents Magazine Ignores Autism Awareness Month

By March 23, 2011

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Thanks for Nothing: So you get your April issue of Parents Magazine in the mail, and you eagerly flip through the pages looking for the coverage of Autism Awareness Month. Because, c'mon, autism is a huge topic of conversation among parents, affecting a growing number of children, and certainly meriting some coverage in a month devoted to awareness from a magazine that claims to speak to parents' interests and concerns. You look and you look and you look, and ... nothing. Not a feature. Not a column. Nothing. Does Parents not consider parents of children with autism to be an important part of its readership, or what?

That's a question many Parents readers took to the magazine's Facebook page yesterday, according to a post on the blog Try Defying Gravity. Writes blogger akbutler, "Their initial response was that they had an advertisement for a bed tent for children with autism in this issue, and they were planning two online articles. We told them that wasn't enough. In fact, that was condescending. And even more disappointing." And after further Facebook and Twitter bombardment, the magazine -- or, at least, its Facebook editor -- started to listen, inviting families of children with autism to send in their stories for use in a blog series. You can get more details about what to send and where to send it on the Try Defying Gravity post. Give 'em an earful.

Update: Learn more about the bed tent featured in the issue, created by the family of a child with autism. Also, a Washington Times post has some quotes from Parents' editor-in-chief about the April issue.

March 24, 2011 at 7:39 am
(1) Alysia says:

Thanks for sharing this Terri! This was a huge group effort and a great example of advocacy. When a few parents get together with the same message, we can make a difference. Thank you!!!

March 24, 2011 at 8:02 am
(2) Kim Stagliano says:

Hi, I’m Mom to 3 girls with autism and a national advocate and writer. There is a push in America to “normalize” autism – quell the fear that parents have and most of all, disconnect the autism/vaccination link. The CDC and many other US health agencies are indeed researching the link. The US Vaccine Court has paid out for thousands of vaccine injury cases over the span of it’s life. Parents Magazine is sponsored in large part by pharmaceutical companies and has the blessing of the AAP – American Academy of Peds. Peds are overwhelmed by anxious parents who are asking if 48+ shots before age is six truly healthy. There is a fight to tamp down parents very real concerns. By ignoring the Autism Awareness month, they are trying to avoid the ten ton elephant that follows many young parents today. Autism is a life changing and devastating diagnosis for families – Parents is showing you the level of care from professionals. There is none. They will cluck cluck and send you to school for help. Very sad. I feel for young parents today. I’ve been at this for 13+ years. Not much has changed. I’m sorry for all of dealing with the challenges of loving and caring for our amazing kids with autism – we do so very much on our own. KIM

March 24, 2011 at 8:42 am
(3) Kim Stagliano says:

If you look at Parenting Magazine, I’m told they are using April to run a one sided article about vaccination and autism – that there is no link – by the Dr. who has the patent on RotaTeq – which every baby receives. Dr. Paul Offit makes his living from vaccines – so what’s he going to say to us? “Oops?” LOL! It’s depressing. So many important topics for parents – how to help our kids thrive and move forward – and Parents ignores us and Parenting uses the opportunity to educate and support our community with pharma propaganda. I think
I need more coffee immediately. Peace, everyone. KIM

Author: All I Can Handle I’m No Mother Teresa

March 24, 2011 at 9:03 am
(4) Rachel says:

Thanks so much for sharing this and bringing the “oversight” out of the dark.

It speaks volumes of the power of one voice versus the many. The Warrior Mamas are speaking out and being heard.

I encourage EVERYONE to contact Parents Magazine and share your story with them… mailbag@parents.com.

1 in 110 in the US
1 in 88 military kids in the US

Not less… just different… and not to be ignored.


March 24, 2011 at 10:07 am
(5) Spectrummy Mummy says:

Thank you for sharing this!

This important act of raising awareness will show Parents magazine and their readers that our children are just kids too, and they deserve to be included in publications.

Please, autism parents, share YOUR story about your child.

March 24, 2011 at 11:36 am
(6) Carolyn Stevens says:

Interesting to read this. No surprise with the article though, but I really do wonder how many people believe the “no link” stories? Maybe lots as it is repeated so often?

In Europe there is currently lots of success reversing autism with homeopathy by giving vaccines back in homeopathic form, as well as using “classical” homeopathic methods. Google Tinus Smits or CEASE therapy for more information. Is this going on in the US? I am a homeopath, and on the case over here!

The statistics on autism are really interesting – significantly greater in army children, where presumably one or both parents are significantly more vaccinated prior to birth of children? Hmmmmm…..

March 24, 2011 at 11:42 am
(7) Jenny Shepherd says:

I’m floored honestly floored! I can’t wrap my brain around any reasoning what so ever that Parent’s magazine isn’t recognizing autism awareness month! I don’t care at this point about any other articles in which they write good manners etc. My child is in early intervention showing all the signs of early autism. It’s scary devastating and the waiting is the worst. It would have been so nice to have heard other parent’s stories…When I get the magazine it’s going right in the recycle bin unopened! I’m done with ignorace especially when it comes to children!

March 24, 2011 at 6:45 pm
(8) Kristine says:

I didn’t comment to Parents facebook page because I’ll be honest- I canceled my subscription years ago. The pharma ads drove me away, but also their “advice” about getting your pre-baby abs back or $200 diaper bags suddenly didn’t apply when I was faced with a regressed chronically ill child who never even came close to meeting developmental milestones. Potty training your six year old? Finding a good speech therapist? Affording all the therapy? (Hint: skipping the daily latte is not enough) What to do when you are kicked off the airplane, out of preschool, out of church, out of the library, out of your pediatrician’s? What to do when you have to quit your job because no daycare will take your child? These are the things I’d like to hear about. A BED TENT????? Lolololol. Seriously, I cannot stop laughing. 1. My six year old is still in a baby crib. 2. No bed tent, unless it’s made from steel bars, is going to stop an autistic child from destroying it, if they are motivated to go.
Sometimes I’m pretty sure people don’t have the first clue about autism until they learn the hard way.

March 24, 2011 at 11:03 pm
(9) RSB says:

As the owner of, “The bed tent”, our company, Ready, Set, Bloom, LLC. would like to state that we were contacted by Parent’s Magazine in January to do an article on our Nickel Bed Tent for Special Needs children…we were excited because we thought this was due to Autism Awareness Month and felt very special to be part of it…as we are parent’s of a child with Autism.

I will also add that our bed tent was also featured right here by Terri (Thanks again, Terri!) To see someone write, “BED TENT????? Lolololol. Seriously, I cannot stop laughing…” about a bed tent that actually works? Hmm, don’t knock it until you try it.

The Nickel works great for our 7 year old Autistic son, whom we designed the tent for. Our goal is and always has been, to provide special needs children and parents of special needs children, a safer night’s sleep.

Just our two cents…

Thank you!

March 25, 2011 at 12:51 am
(10) Curtis Maybin says:

I think they just made a very big mistake. This is the kind of stuff that goes viral and explodes. take a look at these numbers just pubilshed and let me know how they can ignore Autism Month.

It is estimated that, during 2011, 6,594,000 prevalent cases of autism spectrum disorders will exist in the seven major markets (the US, Japan, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK). The largest number of cases will be in the US (2,613,000), with Japan having the next largest number of cases (1,411,000)

thanks for sharing

Curtis Maybin

March 25, 2011 at 1:47 am
(11) kristine says:

You are right. I apologize for knocking your bed tent without having the details or trying it. It seems to be an affordable, nice option for some kids. We have gone through, not joking 8 crib tents in an effort to keep our son safe at night. I just don’t think a tent is going to keep some of these kiddos in. But I appreciate you keeping the price affordable!

You have to admit, it’s nonsense for that Parents FB editor to say “we have a feature blurb of a bed tent and 2 online articles” and expect that that is somehow “awareness” for the number one health issue facing kids in this generation. They just do not want to bother.

March 25, 2011 at 9:17 am
(12) Rachel says:


Many of us were so disheartened by the lack of coverage… it is surely understood that you and your company would be, too, especially if you were expecting an “article”.

And therein lies the problem – Parents Magazine originally responded with just that – “…Our April issue does have an item in the Kids Health section about a bed tent for kids with autism and other special needs, and we have focused on autism-related issues several times over the past year in the magazine…”

So, RSB, please forgive those who have referred to your tent as the example of how they neglected to actually attend to Autism Awareness Month. It was Parents Mag that threw you under the bus.

I’m sure you will understand that many of us can appreciate so deeply that your tent can be a godsend to the family it works for.


March 25, 2011 at 10:27 am
(13) specialchildren says:

As RSB mentioned, the Ready Set Bloom bed tents were featured in an Enterprising Parents profile here at specialchildren.about.com/od/autismgifts/p/readysetbloom.htm. Well worth a read, whether you’re specifically interested in bed tents or in the ways that parents of children with autism find solutions and share them with others.

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