Burning for You

I’ve been fairly transparent on who I’m supporting for president. I guess in some people’s eyes, I’m some sort of left leaning, hippie tree hugging kind of freak.

And they’re right. 

Out of all the candidates, I agree with most of his ideas. They resonate with my idealism and my wanting my country to be the greatest place on earth. He also is the only candidate to have a platform regarding the disabled. To me, that is of the utmost importance. 

My young Jedi is autistic. He is one of the 1 in 5 Americans with a disability. I have never allowed it to stop or slow him down, but I’m not always able to micromanage his life. Now that he’s in middle school, I’m seeing that run for freedom away from helicopter mom (cue the Ride of the Valkyries from one of my favorite movies, Apocalypse Now). One day, he won’t be a kid with autism but an adult. Turning 21 means aging out of services and then what?

There are 1 in 69 people affected by autism in the United States. At this point, quite frankly, I’m not interested in the causes, because that won’t change my son’s diagnosis. I also don’t want some playboy has been stating she speaks for me. 

Because she doesn’t. Her bod helped her garner a small fortune to ensure her son got care my insurance denied because it was experimental. Her kiddo has access to unlimited physical, occupational and speech therapy whereas mine is limited to 20 visits a year. She can have private tutors and all that while my kid is in public school, with an IEP that may or may not be followed, dealing with sensory overload, bullying and all the things that living with a disability in America brings. 

I thought that the 14th amendment guaranteed equal treatment under the law, but segregation still exists for the disabled. One day my son will grow up, and it’s happening at warp speed. In the current system, if he needs additional assistance, he will wind up in a group home, on Medicare & Medicaid. This means whatever services he needs are based on government reimbursement. He may wind up in a mansion of a group home or he might wind up in an asylum of atrocities, it all depends on what the government feels is a “fair” rate. He may or may not have a job, because currently there aren’t any hard and fast legal protections. There’s the ADA, but that’s a dubious decretum. Unlike having an IEP in school, there are no legal documents that could govern his work role, duties and what to do when autistic behaviors take over.

I know that being a parent is a life long deal, but when my friends are enjoying their empty nests, I will more than likely be caring for a Jedi knight. I’m ok with that, because it’s what I signed on for. I also want him to live up to his ultimate potential and have every opportunity afforded him.

It’s preposterous to assume 1 in 69 people diagnosed with autism, and the 1 in 5 that are classified as disabled should be subject to the whims of the government. As of right now, that is the case. Most of the presidential candidates haven’t put any effort into courting the disabled vote, probably not realizing that there is opportunity there. It’s probably because they aren’t a financial stronghold…because they are dependent on the whims of the government. 

Except one candidate, who has consistently fought for the rights of those who are underprivileged and underserved. As head of the Budget Committee, he prevented the decimation of the government programs that protect the disabled. As a mom, I need to make sure my kid is protected both financially as well as his civil rights.

That’s real hope & change.

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