Susan's Blog

Friday, October 31, 2008


Sorry, sometimes politics must trump all, especially when our kids’ needs are at stake. I don’t usually do this, but it is my blog, after all! I urge you all to vote for Barack Obama for President. If for nothing else, think of what he intends to do for the disabled. This came my way and I was just so excited to see it that I have to post it! All emphasized bits were done by me, including the “yay”s.

As President, Barack will begin by creating a new White House post:
Assistant to the President for Disability Policy. He will press
Congress to pass the CLASS Act and the Community Choice Act to help
Americans with disabilities to choose to live independently in the
community and to help them pay for the direct care workers, assistive
technology and other tools that make independent, community-based living
possible. (YAY!!!!) For our children, Barack will continue his fight for full
funding of IDEA so that students with disabilities are assured of a free
appropriate public education. Barack agrees that funding IDEA at less
than half its authorized level is a disgrace, but he also understands
that merely wringing more money out of Congress is not enough. His
Secretary of Education will fully implement and enforce IDEA. Local
school districts’ foot-dragging and resistance to IDEA, denying teachers
what they need to serve kids with disabilities in the most inclusive
possible setting, will no longer be tolerated. (YAY!!!)

It’s easy for me to say that my friend Barack will do these things, but
this isn’t just friendship talking. I know he will do the right thing,
for two reasons. First, there is his record: As an Illinois state
senator Barack Obama sponsored legislation that created an autism
spectrum diagnosis program, designed to implement evidence-based best
practices. Barack worked with Illinois families to build the Easter
Seals academic programs that prepare students for independent living.
Moreover, Barack helped pass Illinois’ mental health parity law as a
State Senator. Barack understands that we need universal screening,
education and early intervention strategies for all children, but
especially children with disabilities. That’s why he intends to provide
$10 billion per year in funding for developmental programs serving
children between birth and age five. Barack has long supported the
Family and Medical Leave Act; as President, he will expand it and help
the states create paid leave systems to ease the tough choices that are
faced every day by working families providing support to a disabled

That sounds like a good use of tax dollars to me. Where else might the money come from? Oh yeah, I hear Obama will end the war, which apparently costs us billions per month… so maybe we actually would not even need much of a tax increase!


Hey, ya don’t have to sell me! I think after McCains screw up saying Palin (blach!) is an expert in Autism, any special needs parent has a responsibiltiy to vote for Obama! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and hopefully it will lead some people to vote for him!

I have to say, if McCain gets elected, I personally will be extremely let down, as will a lot of people.

Look forward to seeing what sort of replies you’ll get on this one Susan!

— added by Bonnie on Friday, October 31, 2008 at 9:07 am

I’m glad you posted this, Susan. Just today someone commented when I said that I was an Obama supporter that they thought I’d support McCain/Palin since she has a Down’s syndrome baby. As if by virtue of her having that baby that is all it will take for the White House to make the right decisions for our special kids! I have researched the issues, watched every debate, even got to go to a speech given by Michelle Obama. I am voting with my head, but also, and just as importantly, with my heart.

— added by Laura on Friday, October 31, 2008 at 2:36 pm

I’ve already voted for him. I just hope Ohio counts it.

— added by Someone Said on Friday, October 31, 2008 at 3:30 pm

“I think after McCains screw up saying Palin (blach!) is an expert in Autism, any special needs parent has a responsibiltiy to vote for Obama!”

as an autistic adult, and someone that doesn’t believe in big government, i disagree with this statement, and i think obama is exactly the wrong choice. i know some auties cannot work and need assistance, but i don’t want another welfare program where autistics that can work are more dependent on government and less happy than if they were not dependent on government and rely on themselves more. the best way to earn respect, i think, is to work for it, instead of waiting for a government program to give things to you. i say this because i don’t want the next generation of special needs kids becoming government dependents and/or wards of the state.

— added by Anonymous on Friday, October 31, 2008 at 5:53 pm


I suppose when a parent is new to the dxes for their child, online autism is what they look to. Every parent wants to believe that their child will be be an ‘online autistic.’

As your child grows up, you grow up. You go to events like special olympics and you meet the them who will never be an ‘online autistic’.

And for this group, and yes the parents are more savy today on education rights, but they are also realists, and recognize that ‘eduational’ is a small percentage of the lifespan years, and the the first D in PDD, they understand fully.

They are yours and my peers, the parents who have left the internet and live in ‘real life’.

They don’t trip over themselves when an online autistic posts words of wisdom to the newbie ears.

I did read your book. I know your son isn’t living at home. One of the many autistic individuals who are in placement.

I read other books like William Christophers who fame and fortune still didn’t keep his son safe in placement.

About the worst thing I could do is vote for Obama.

I want to keep ‘inheritance taxes’ down. I think it is more important when our childrens grandparents pass on, that money–most of the money go into a trust fund for quality of life!

That’s how we help the many individuals that are not online and will never be online.

We secure their futures by putting money in their names.

I think you must remember something right now–many parents of children who are the same age as your child, are thinking of their kids future.

And their kids are as important as yours is.

You and I both know, that the internet is for the newbie parent, and real life is for the parents that have gone around the block for many years and want the best for their children after 21!

— added by Anonymous on Saturday, November 1, 2008 at 8:39 am

With all due respect to the above poster, there are some kids I know that cannot “work for” respect, as they are not only autistic but also severely cognitively delayed as well, plus have medical complications. These kids need safety nets for when they grow up. I worked at a residential treatment center for severely/profoundly mentally/physically disabled children and adults when I was in college. The treatment they received there was excellent, but there were only so many slots there, and it made me shudder to think of those still out there, in nursing homes and institutions, just idling the time away getting substandard care. One of my closest autism mom friends has a child who will require lifetime care. Although my child will not, I have to think about people like her when I vote. I understand your views, as I am married to card carrying Libertarian. I am normally very Libertarian in my views as well, however, this time I voted for Obama. I feel it was the right thing to do.

I must confess I’m starting to get worried as the election draws nearer. I am just holding my breath that he wins.

— added by ASDmomNC on Saturday, November 1, 2008 at 9:09 am

You better believe I will be voting for Obama, and I hope to be first in line and I live in the most hard core right wing, conservative place you can live in. As a toddler, my autistic son began receiving speech therapy, occupational therapy and physical therapy and was placed in a special needs preschool, all picked up by the taxpayers because our health insurance company basically told us to get lost when informed we had an autistic child. Because of “big government” my son made so much progress (he did not speak until he was 5) that in the first grade, he was able to be mainstreamed into a public school with “regular kids” doing “regular schoolwork.” Now he is in the fourth grade and is in part time special ed classes with an aide he shares with another child, (also picked up by the taxpayers) but the progress he has made is nothing short of outstanding. Would all you “big government” haters prefer that he be institutionalized his entire life? Then, he can REALLY be a drain on the taxpayers. My son’s dream is to go to trade school, and one day complete the heating/air conditioning repair program and as he says “fix broken air conditioners.” This is EXACTLY what government programs were designed for, people. My son will one day be a working, taxpaying adult, because he received the help he needed as a child (and insurance refused to pay for). I don’t feel that government “owed” me this, but this was money well spent, and today feel nothing but gratitude toward the taxpayers, because it will enable my son to have a life that I can promise you he would not otherwise have had.

— added by Sharon L. on Saturday, November 1, 2008 at 11:12 am

Sharon L., that was the lightbulb moment for me, when I realized that because of all those awful big government entitlement programs, my son was getting therapies and help that we couldn’t afford otherwise. Because of those horrid bleeding heart liberals who no doubt pushed for programs like the very ones we use, my son has a fighting chance to be a productive citizen.

When I shared this epiphany with my husband, he barked at me that the programs weren’t free, that they were paid for by taxpayers. I replied, “WE are taxpayers!! WE paid for it, too, damn it!”

So yeah, that was my moment right there.

— added by ASDmomNC on Saturday, November 1, 2008 at 7:48 pm

As a Canadian I find it sad and frightening how American’s say “I don’t want a welfare state”. “I wouldn’t help those people”. “Health care for all is horrible and wrong”.

I wouldn’t ever, ever, ever, ever want to live in your world.

Susan, may you get your wish, and may he put those programs in place quickly. From one who knows and has those supports, they are necessary.

S. – who’s excited b/c Registered Disability Supports Plans have finally been passed (2yrs in the making) and I can start putting money in after Xmas and the gov’t will match it $ for $ until my child is 59yrs old. To spend on my child… any way I wish after he turns 21.

Oh and it was the RIGHT side (Conservatives) that put it in here… all parties believe in social programming.

— added by farmwifetwo on Sunday, November 2, 2008 at 7:53 am

groan- you’re right, it’s your blog- I’ll be glad when this election is over and I don’t have to listen to everyone’s opinions on the candidates.

— added by Anonymous on Sunday, November 2, 2008 at 3:42 pm

anon @ 8:39 –

I am truly sorry that you’ve adopted a fatalistic approach to special needs parenting and also feel compelled to repeat Gov. Palin’s misleading information regarding Obama’s tax policy.

The internet will continue to help and enrich the lives individuals with autism over their full lifespan. It is not for “newbies” only. It is a tool for advocacy to enact legislation like the Community Choice and CLASS Acts that help disabled adults (which McCain opposes). It is a tool for sharing information to promote safety and stop abuse at places like the Rothenberg Center and other congregate care nightmares. It’s a tool for science, medicine, and education. While some, like my son, are highly unlikely to becoming capable of self advocacy using the internet, it will still help him in many, many ways.

As you may know, a special needs trust (SNT) is designed to keep assets out of the name of disabled adults so they can qualify for the bedrock SSI programs that support most disabled individuals. Putting money in their names, as you advocate, is opposed by every special needs attorney of every political persuasion I’ve ever met.
Do your child a favor and avoid making a really bad mistake: seek out a qualified advisor and set up a SNT. If you wrongly let your parents put assets in your child’s name, not only will you child be disqualified from federal financial support, they will lose access to programs.

Obama has not proposed to raise taxes on SNT’s. You may want to remind your candidate of that fact and read the linked discussion on this issue.

— added by Dadvocate on Tuesday, November 4, 2008 at 2:10 pm

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