Kids Are Off-Limits, And That Includes Barron Trump [VIDEO]
Kids Are Off-Limits, And That Includes Barron Trump [VIDEO]
November 29, 2016
The rule is that the minor children of political figures are always off-limits. That applied to the Obama girls, and it now applies to Barron Trump.
The problem is that on the internet, EVERYONE is a medical/mental health/psychology expert. If you want proof of that, just look up how many anti-vaccination groups exist on Facebook, where everyone’s confirmation bias is reinforced by an echo chamber with no medical credentials at all.
So one guy on YouTube made a video, after seeing people comment about Barron Trump’s behavior, that collected all the “evidence” that Barron may be on the autism spectrum. (UPDATE 3:30 PM EST: the video in question has now been removed by the user, presumably because of the legal threat detailed below.)
Which then got tweeted out by someone who has NO love for Donald Trump whatsoever – Rosie O’Donnell.
Rosie has since deleted the tweet after getting an enormous pushback from decent human beings on Twitter and elsewhere, but the insinuation was officially now in the mainstream.
And now Melania Trump has had enough.
Melania Trump has hired a famous lawyer who is now threatening a lawsuit over a video suggesting her 10-year-old son, Barron, is autistic, and the letter calls out Rosie O’Donnell as a bully.
According to the letter, obtained by TMZ, the YouTube video falsely insinuates Barron is autistic. The letter, and our sources familiar with the situation, say Barron absolutely is not autistic.
Even the creator of the YouTube video is shocked, according to the Daily Caller.
The YouTube user who made the video — James Hunter — told Gossip Cop he was “scared” after hearing about the lawsuit threat.
“The only reason I made the video is because I saw how much social media was bullying Barron Trump, and I wanted it to stop,” Hunter told the publication. “I’d be really sad if I’ve made the situation worse, but I never could’ve imagined that the video would get so much press.”
“I was just sending it privately to people who were bullying him to explain to them that Barron might be autistic, and that’s it isn’t OK to bully him for it, because I know what it’s like to be bullied for being autistic. But then Rosie O’Donnell shared it and it blew up.”
“I have a lot of respect for Melania Trump. I believe she’s a very smart and I’ll think she’ll be a great First Lady.”
Part of what James Hunter is saying is a crock, because his video was not “private.” It was a public video on YouTube. It’s one of the first things you see on YouTube if you search “Barron Trump autism.” Hunter publicly posted it – and I know, because I found it before Rosie O’Donnell tweeted it – and he meant it to be out there. He simply didn’t anticipate the reaction that Rosie would get in tweeting it.
I think Melania Trump bringing in a lawyer is probably the smartest thing to do, because it does give a real punch to back her statement that Barron is not on the spectrum. But others had already started to speak out about the flimsy basis for the internet’s speculation.
And now, my own personal commentary, as the mother of two boys on the autism spectrum – one of whom is only slightly older than Barron Trump.
I spend a lot of time around autistic kids. I know what autism looks like for my own sons. There is a reason that there is a saying: “If you meet one child with autism, you have met one child with autism.” Autism spectrum disorder is worn differently by each child with the diagnosis. There are some commonalities, which do allow for trained clinicians to begin diagnosing, but an actual autism diagnosis requires both a trained clinician AND significant input from the parent or guardian, in order to get a full and comprehensive picture of who the child is, and how they relate to the world around them.
I have never met Barron Trump. None of the people on the internet speculating about him have ever met him, either. He could be an extremely introverted 10 year old, on top of being in the spotlight, being on stage for his father’s presidential campaign, and up very late at night for conventions and victory speeches. That does not mean he is on the autism spectrum. I do think some of his behaviors in the public eye have been odd. But odd does NOT equal autism spectrum, no matter how much Hollywood has pushed that meme with certain characters in recent years. Maybe Sheldon Cooper is just a massive jerk.
And if I was going to compare my oldest son to Barron Trump… well, my son would have gone nuts the second the balloons fell from the ceiling at the convention. He would have literally thrown himself into the moment, dancing and yelling, probably smacking balloons all over the stage, and then grabbing some to bat at his younger brother. And don’t get me started on what happens when he knows a video camera is trained on him. But that’s what HIS autism looks like. My youngest, who is in preschool, is emerging verbally, but is extremely reserved in a crowd, preferring me to hold him at all times (and when I can’t, he will climb on my back. I call him my koala bear). My youngest would have taken one balloon at the convention, and then not let me put him down until we were off the stage. Because that’s what HIS autism looks like.
When I first learned that this rumor was flying around the internet, I commented to my husband and others, “If they had a diagnosis, and Barron was in any kind of therapy, do you honestly think that every single provider, or person related to a provider, would be able to keep it quiet? HIPAA be damned – can you imagine how much someone would PAY for that kind of juicy scoop?” When you have an autistic child, you have an entire network around you of teachers, doctors, therapists, and specialists. There is simply no way that a child of Donald Trump’s would be able to get the proper amount of help completely under the radar, no matter how many laws or non-disclosure agreements there are.
Let Barron Trump be a kid. And let him finish his school year with his friends and his teachers without speculation or scorn. His life and his health, both mental and physical, is his parents’ business and no one else’s.
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