Having been in the political world for years, I have seen politics from all sides. Some of it I love, and some of it I despise. I know so much good can come from the right people taking up a cause. Many times the key to getting those who are in the political world to listen and advocate for you, is to make it personal for them. I have seen first-hand where an elected official doesn’t have a direct connection to a cause, but a staffer does. A great politician will then defer to that staffer on their knowledge,and learn from them. I know several who did or do this. I admire them greatly. Having a heart for issues that may not directly affect them, is the first step to a great elected official. It’s easy to advocate for a cause that directly affects you or your loved ones, it isn’t always so easy to have the same passion for a cause you aren’t directly affected by.
Autism, is one of those such causes. If I told you the lack of national discussion by those running for President didn’t bother me, I would be lying. I was thrilled to see Hilary Clinton lay a full and precise plan for Autism. Please note this blog is not about an endorsement of her by any means, it is an endorsement of her using her voice to focus attention on Autism. I am not here to discuss vaccinations or no vaccinations, I will leave that to others who spend all their time and effort on that issue. What I am here to “discuss” are issues that affect everyone in and out of the autism community. There are many issues I wish would be discussed at greater length, such as the unemployment rate in the autism adult community, the high depression rate, bullying, education and alternate education solutions for many. Many court systems need to be “adjusted” as well… The lack of understanding some have is frightful to say the least.I am not going to go in depth on all of these issues, in this blog. I will however; have follow up blogs discussing each of these at greater lengths.
My frustration with so many elected officials is this: they have the “bully pulpit” they can call press conferences etc… We all know many love to be in front of the cameras……this is not to say there aren’t those out there discussing Autism and its many issues that go along with it, there are. I applaud those who do, such as Michigan’s Lt Gov. Brian Calley he is a great voice for the community. He is one of them “that get it” as his daughter has Autism and I applaud him for taking his expierences and using them to help others. I wish we had more like him! I have a dear friend who was in the DC political scene at a very high level, who is now running for local office. He at present is in a position of power in education as well. He is not directly affected by Autism, but he listens to me rant and truly cares…I am praying he goes far politically because he is a great example of those who listen to others. Having several friends who are major political power players I can assure you I nonstop “discuss” with them my frustrations. I truly believe if our elected officials at all levels would “discuss” these issues more, we would see the business world do the same. Those who are elected by the people are put there to protect and promote their constituent causes. I understand better than most, how everyone has a “cause” and they can’t advocate all of them….but I also understand how many are affected by Autism. I use the example all the time, of my older three kids each have there own homes. While Peyton doesn’t live with them, those 3 homes may not have an autistic child in it…they are directly affected…I hope more politicians Follow Hilary and Lt Gov Calley’s example and actually discuss Autism and its long reaching affects.