My Son Is Not My Cause… But…

16 03 2008

We’re heading to Maryland for Spring Break– close to DC and are going to do some touristy things like the Smithsonian’s Natural History Museum and a few of the monuments. My inclination is to skip high security places like the Capitol because I don’t want J to be uncomfortable and then have it all go down hill from there but–

The politicians running for the Presidency aren’t talking about Autism. Congress isn’t doing anything substantive to help folks dealing with Autism. Maybe a fit in their hallowed halls would do them some good… “Hello! This is life. This is J’s life– what are you going to do to help him? What are you going to do about the 1 in 150 who will be adults with Autism in the next 10-20 years? Face this– it’s real!”

But, J is a child. He isn’t a cause. He isn’t a show and tell prop. He is my son.

How many parents have taken their children to the Capitol– or the gates of the White House (they don’t offer tours anymore) and asked for help for their children and for the thousands of others who also live with Autism? I wonder if it was worth it for them? I wonder if their children’s discomfort mattered or if they were so caught up in their cause that they didn’t notice…

It’s not worth it to me… sorry. It’s just not worth making my child suffer to make a point that I’m sure many others have already tried to make… And, frankly, there hasn’t been enough impact on our elected politicians. 

Isn’t it amazing that the campaign trail isn’t bustling with talk of Autism? If the statistics are true you’d think they would court the vote of families touched by Autism…. 1 in 150. That’s a lot of voters… parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, teachers, neighbors, friends, classmates and– don’t forget the many who have Autism and are of voting age!

Forgive me– I’m on a bit of a rant.  I just don’t understand how Autism hasn’t been a topic in any of the Presidential debates… Clinton, Obama and McCain should think of the 1 in 150– even if all they want is to be elected.

I’m not myopic– Economy, Environment and Education matter– a lot. Iraq matters. Healthcare matters.  But, in all honesty– they all mater to me from the perspective of my son who has Autism. 

Economy: We need to be able to provide for him and ensure that he will be ok when we are a memory.
Environment: He needs to have a good quality of life– food, water, fuel… beauty.  
Education: He needs to receive a quality education so that he is employable, well rounded, and even has the knowledge for intellegent conversation.
Iraq: it must end before a draft is imposed and he turns 18. It needs to end so that there is money in our coffers for infrastructure, assistance if he needs it… It needs to end.
Healthcare: it is out of control. Even for those of us who pay for coverage– deductibles, how many therapy sessions are covered (never enough), emergencies (the lip, the elbow…) and it needs to be available to him if he isn’t able to sustain a job with benefits…

Selfish as it may sound– politics, government, issues pertaining to health, lifestyle and safety only matter to me in so far as they affect my son.

I guess it all goes back to  my concerns about his ability to sustain a good life when I’m gone. Do all parents–those with Autistic children or “neurotypicals” (Whatever that is– Can anybody show me “Normal”?!)– worry about this stuff? Did my parents worry that I wouldn’t make it?

Well, J is not my cause. He is my son.  Maybe we’ll start with our County Commissioners…

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2 responses

16 03 2008
igetpersonal

I hope the candidates will address Autism under the health care topic.

Check out my compilation of the “Remaining Four Candidates on Autism”. I did a lot of searching to compile it and the three who are still standing do have a lot to say… it’s pretty vague and writen in Politico as opposed to English but, they did have someone write it so hopefully they read it before publication. I really don’t believe much of what I’ve read from these folks but we’ll see. At least we have their aide’s plans in writting!

16 03 2008
Deborah

There is one politican who does NOT believe that vaccines (the cause of my son’s autism) should be mandated by the federal government. What that means is no CDC making recommendations or mandates for the vaccine schedule.

That man’s name? Google Ron Paul and get to know a TRUE constructionist.

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