Susan's Blog

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

George W, J-Mac, Rousseau, and Me

Yesterday the President visited Jason MacElwain, the Greece, NY high schooler on the autism spectrum who shot 20 points in a matter of minutes after being allowed to play for the first time all season. My friend Andrew sent me this article from Rochester, NY, and my first response was that it was a very nice interchange. I felt good for them both, and I am no Republican. I am happy for J-Mac to have the honor of a meeting with a President, and I think what Bush said to him “You can call me ‘George W'” was sweet and appropriate.

My second response, however, was to think of the President’s low approval ratings (37%) which will probably go up a little bit now. Ah, politics!

So now it is my turn to go political. My third response is, let’s hope that this new awareness that the President has for a child with a disability grows and he begins to think about funding public education, rather than making the harsh cuts to education that his budget recommends, the worst in the history of the Federal Department of Education, so that others have the same kind of opportunity to give life their best shot, as J-Mac has gotten. After all, in all its years of existence, the IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) has never once been fully funded, while school systems nationwide struggle to do the right thing by their kids, and then all students suffer for lack of proper funding. Having been on a School Board, I know firsthand what cuts to Title 1, etc., can do in terms of denying struggling kids the supports to succeed. I know how schools sweat to piece together budgets that accommodate all kids. And I am sick to death of nothing but cuts everywhere I look! And being the parent of a kid on the autism spectrum, I also know firsthand how difficult it is to get my child the basic skills he will need to survive in this world.

I wish that the United States would set an example for the rest of the world by demonstrating its committment to take care of its most vulnerable populations. Whatever happened to the Social Contract, which this country was based upon?


I agree with the above mentioned, I am hoping more advances will be made for children with disabilities. I am concerned over the huge amount of media coverage that comes from this kid- without a simultaneous but breif infobit about autism, the signs and symptoms and possibly more about J-macs life to this point…But lets be honest no one wants to hear of the trials and tribulations they want the made for tv movie glory. Honestly – I think of your book…The reason I think it was the best book ever written about autism is that It presents autism in the way that it should be presented;inconsistant,terrifying and family disturbing. I have come to the conclusion that your critics just dont get it and they dont want to hear the truth…I wonder if Jmac talked about all that he had to go through as a kid, all his family went through if people would tune into that? How would they see jmac if he were a headbanger or if he was eye stimming during the interview…Well I should go blog myself cause I guess this upsets me more than it should.

— added by Kristen on Wednesday, March 15, 2006 at 8:19 am

What aspect of the “social contract” are you referring to?

— added by kristina on Wednesday, March 15, 2006 at 10:17 am

Thanks, Kristen!
Kristina – I am referring to the gist of the Social Contract, which is all about how the citizens together give their representative government power to rule but in return, that government must truly embody the best interests of the citizens. Our elected officials are supposed to represent us, not run roughshod over us.

— added by Susan Senator on Wednesday, March 15, 2006 at 12:03 pm

Disconcerting and disheartening.

I don’t know how you appeal in the US to your politicians. Parents have to do so much advocating — are you pooling your resources to this end?

— added by Estee Klar-Wolfond on Wednesday, March 15, 2006 at 2:00 pm

So the sovereign is not in concert with the general will?

— added by kristina on Wednesday, March 15, 2006 at 4:56 pm

My thoughts exactly…I had written a similar, but much briefer commentary on my own blog yesterday. It’s all about the ratings…

— added by Susan on Thursday, March 16, 2006 at 12:31 am

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