Holly & Rodney Peete Respond to 'Savage' Autism Remarks


Jul. 22 2008, Published 5:00 a.m. ET

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Football great Rodney Peete and his wife, Holly Robinson-Peete, lashed out on Monday at remarks radio host Michael Savage made about children diagnosed with Autism.

The controversial remarks originally aired July 16 on Savage's radio show, The Savage Nation, during which he called the disorder "a fraud, a racket...In 99 percent of the cases, it's a brat who hasn't been told to cut the act out...They don't have a father around to tell them 'Don't act like a moron...Act like a man. Don' t sit there crying and screaming, idiot.'"

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In a statement obtained today by OK!, Rodney and Holly (who have an Autistic son) addressed Savage's comments, saying:

"As a mother and father who have dealt with Autism for over a decade, we find it shocking that the individuals who name call and pass judgement on families like ours, have had zero experience with the disorder or its effects on a child and his/her family.

"Attacking fathers and insinuating that kids with Autism are 'brats' is irresponsible, insulting and painful to our children and furthers the backlash they face every day. In the African-American community many children go undiagnosed until the "window" of opportunity for treatment has been slammed shut. They are diagnosed on average 2-4 years later than other more affluent subsets of society. The American Academy of pediatrics recent and long overdue decision to encourage pediatricians to have every child tested for Autism by the age of two may help these children get a diagnosis and treatment, which needs to come early, hard and fast.


"For Savage to portray this important mandate negatively is malicious and misguided. We have seen our son beat the odds because he had an early diagnosis and access to treatment. We continue to work every day to help other families provide the same opportunity to their children."


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