John Travolta finally admits Jett had autism

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by MidwestMom, Oct 2, 2009.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Scientologists deny that autism exists, but he knew. I do not know what the Travolta's did or didn't do for Jett, but perhaps he would have gotten more help if his disorder had been recognized. Then, again, maybe they did what all of us with spectrum kids do and we just never knew about it.

    RIP Jett
  2. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Our kids on the spectrum definitely change our perception and understanding of ourselves and our expectations of our first born child. It is very humbling to acknowledge to yourself that you were wrong in your assumptions but it is also very freeing. I wish he could have been free of the burden that carrying secrets causes much earlier in Jett's life. He would have enjoyed his life and his son's life much sooner.
    Regardless, he was a good father to his son and loved him. If he did not want his son to be a public spectacle and a victim of pity, I can't fault him for that.
    Lying unfortunately causes a downward spiral. It would have been easier to say "my children are none of anyone's business and are off limits to the public". Which is true.
  3. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Totally agree with- Fran.
    It must have been profoundly difficult for him and his family...this is a given and it is appropriate to be empathetic.
    One wishes that celebrities while in a state of confusion, could simply say that they wish their family business to be a private matter and keep it at that. It certainly is their right to do this.
    In other cases, they might be more open and use the opportunity to help others.
    I do believe keeping secrets....not being honest with ourselves (in particular) and with others, is not a healthy way of living.
    It is a horrible loss for their family...perhaps there are lessons to be picked up here.
    Lasted edited by : Oct 2, 2009
  4. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I don't agree with the man's religious beliefs, I don't think he's that talented as an actor...........but I do respect him for being a good and loving parent. I think Jett's parents did their best for him with what they knew to do, like any of us would have done. They have suffered a huge loss.......personally, I think the public needs to leave them alone and let them heal in peace.
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    You bring up a great point. Because JT is a big celebrity, Jett's tragic death is in the is all over the news again.

    I have no doubt he loved his son dearly. He tried to save his life. It's too bad that the tabloids don't make a habit of leaving the innocent victims (children) out of their newspapers. In truth, nobody needed to know about Jett and his disabilities.

    I think it's just sad.
  6. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Sadly what's all over the news is that they thought it was so shameful that they hid it for 16 years. They speculate that he may take a backlash from his church. Somehow, I think that if they continue to tithe and take more "classes" and "tests", his church will forgive him.
  7. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I don't know the whole story. I do know that Jett's parents loved him and did what they thought was best for him, just like we all do.

    Did they make mistakes? Undoubtedly. Did their religious beliefs factor in? Undoubtedly. Did they try new things when old ones didn't work? Undoubtedly. Do they grieve and wish they could trade places with him? Undoubtedly.

    Each one of us uses whatever religious beliefs we have as part of the framework of our lives. Even if we don't have a specific affiliation or we believe in something less common in our country than Christianity. They are doing the best they can.

    I hope and pray that whatever their beliefs, they can cling to each other and whatever beliefs comfort them and the rest of their family. It is a tragedy when a young person dies.
  8. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    It seems to me that the bottom line is that he died from a seizure/head injury and not autism.

    However, I'm glad that he finally admitted it. Think of all the other scientologist who aren't getting their children the proper help because of this belief. Now that he's admitted it, perhaps other scientologists will follow suit and get their children the proper help they need.
  9. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I tend to think that they won't. I wonder if they might even be shunned, which would be shameful. Time will tell, though.
  10. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    I have to think there's another way to think of it besides a "lie". I've run into plenty of people online whose children sound very much like they have Autism from the descriptions they give or from a medical diagnosis, who choose to call it something else because they truly don't believe their child has Autism. (maybe hyperlexia, or gifted and quirky, etc). When pushed into a situation when it's really necessary--such as getting the child insurance coverage or school services--those same parents will on paper go along with the Autism diagnosis just to jump through the hoops and get the kid what they need.
  11. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I'm not sure if the Travolta family fits into this category or not - but I have seen in some people, a conflict build up between their professed beliefs and what life throws at them.

    Example - a girl I knew, a strict churchgoing morally upright 18 year old, whose best friend fell pregnant. The morally upright girl was utterly against abortion, utterly against extramarital sex. But as she listened to her friend she had to cope with a conflict - say what she believed (that her friend had been far too free with her body and that she shouldn't even THINK about termination), or shut up and be supportive. And the pregnant girl herself - also morally upright and churchgoing, even more so was she caught in a moral conflict. What to do? All the arguments to justify her earlier indoctrinated opinions now seemed trite and couldn't fully be held any more. She felt like a ship with a broken anchor chain.

    Friendships can so easily founder. We have to make choices and be prepared to compromise on ourstrongly held beleifs, which life thorws us questions we never thought we would have to answer.

    It happens all the time, to all sorts of people from all sorts of backgrounds. If it happens to someone in the public eye we all wonder - how do they balance what for them must be a moral conundrum?

    The answer is simple. You either cope, or you don't. To cope, you have to compromise on your previously-held beleifs. You have to begin looking at the fine print and perhaps go about rewriting your own mental health contract. Because whatever choices you find yourself having to make - you have to be able to live with them. And when it involves someone you love very much, you are far more likely to quietly compromise, than to continue with any previous hardline policy.

    I remember that wonderful line I'm sure you will have seen either on a t-shirt, a bumber sticker or a fridge magnet - "Teenagers of the world - leave home now, while you still know everything."

    Because we are most at our black-and-whitest stages of thinking when we are in our teens. The only exceptions are those people who never, ever compromised. They are the ones whose moral stand is a reflection of the codes from the days of their childhood. The phrase "living in the Dark Ages" comes to mind. In my experience, such people are rare. I had sometimes met people who I thought were in that category, only to later see them change their behaviour in order to keep doors open in areas where previously they would have slammed them shut.

    The best compromises are made through love. When you love someone, you are more likely to compromise for them. I think it makes the world a much better place.

  12. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I saw that in a cover story not 4 hrs ago. ;)
    I didn't read it--just saw the headline.
    I agree that the Travoltas loved their son.
    I also agree that there was a huge conflict between their religious beliefs and what life threw at them, as Marg pointed out.
    Nobody ever said life was fair.
  13. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    P.S. I also agree with-the author of the article, on this point:

    Wow! it took his son's untimely death for him to admit that Jett had Autism. He never admitted it when the kid was alive. However, it was a brave move, though a little late and we're sure he'll recieve some backlash from the Scientology community for it.
  14. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    It would be very sad for anyone to give them a backlash - how small-minded is it, for a self-interest group to put their own premises above human compassion?

    I wish all religious viewpoints in the world could be more generously-spirited than that. But in my youth I myself was just as small-minded. I hope I know better now.