Commentary on the Presidential Debate – Round 1

So I’m sitting here listening to the first presidential debate between Romney and Obama and  all I can think about is  ”These two men with their different views and philosophies don’t care in the least bit about my son and the lives of special needs children and their families!”

Let me first say….these are my views.  These are my thoughts and opinions and I’m not trying to be political or whatever s0…my blog, my thoughts, my opinions…but I would like to hear you thoughts as well.

I’d like to think that I am fairly up-to-date when it comes to politics.  I support local and state politicians on both sides of the isle.  When it comes to some issues I have stronger leanings to one side or another…but when it comes to my son, the autism community and their best interests…makes no difference Red or Blue as long as they are DOING SOMETHING!

And herein lies the problem.  

At the end of the day…very little if anything is being done to help the 1 in 88 children born today on the autism spectrum by the government.

Yeah, yeah…they say they have programs and this healthcare plan is really going to help and Medicaid will be there for the children if they qualify and blaaa blaaa blaa.

Do you realize that autism is one of the least funded disabilities out there?  I’m not saying we don’t continue to research and attempt to find cures for cancer, AIDS, diabetes, Downs, CP and so many other issues that afflict our children….but 1 in 88 children?  I didn’t stay in a Holiday Inn last night and I’m no scientist, but I have to think that there isn’t another ailment out there that affects 1 in 88 children born in each and every day that gets so little funding.

And so what do we do about this?  I’m not talking about throwing money at a cure for autism…my child has autism now, he needs education, training, assistance and will need a J-O-B in the next 10-15 years.

What’s the government doing about that?  What about the education system?  What about Obamacare and Medicaid?  What about the long term affect that 1 in 88 (and rapidly increasing) will have on our society?  Our productivity as a nation?  Our tax burden?

We don’t need another debate.  We don’t need another Congress locked in stalemate over the Pork they are trying to sneak into each and every bill presented so that various members of Congress can go to their constituency and tell them what a great job they are doing for their people…while siphoning money from others.

It’s a helpless feeling as a father, a tax payer, an active member of my community in local government commissions and committees…to see the need, the real need of so many children…and to see they are getting very little attention, training, education, help.

Another debate?  Another 4 years of whatever…please make it stop!

So what are the solutions?

We’ve got to get active.  Parents out there with children with autism…you have to get off your duff and get involved in local and state government.  The Internet is a powerful tool…use it for more than status updates and funny photos.

Find your representatives…find their emails, phone numbers, mailing addresses.

TAKE 5 MINUTES A WEEK TO WRITE A LETTER TO YOUR MEMBER OF CONGRESS!

Tell them about your situation.  NO, they’re not going to read it. Are you kidding…but someone might and if you write a letter a week…52 letters might at least make someone in their office go…”hmm, maybe we should pay attention.”

I doubt it but if everyone started writing a letter a week…now that would be something.

Tell your representatives your displeasure (or satisfaction) with the services your child is getting.  Maybe your state has a great educational programing and training for children on the spectrum…maybe there are things you’re happy about.

I know my state representative, Senator Wendy Davis (D-Fort Worth) and I know how she is trying to pay attention to the needs of the autism community.  She has been active and engaging and I can’t tell you how appreciative we are as a family that she has taken the time to listen to our story, to pay attention to us, to ask us how she can help.

Can she do it on her own?  Of course not.  She is one of many in the Texas Legislature.  But it only takes a spark.

I’m not holding my breath that much will be done.  In the end, once again it comes  down to party lines and all that fun stuff…and the losers are the children we’re trying to help.

But parents…get active.  Get involved.  Learn your city council members, know the school board, learn about the programs in your city for special needs children.  Learn what the school system in your city provides.

Unfortunately there is never going to be enough money.  There are never going to be enough teachers.  1 in 88 might be diagnosed but I guarantee you that 1 in 88 ARE NOT getting the attention they so desperately need.

Tell your elected official what you want…no they can’t do everything, but it’s better than not saying anything isn’t it?  Talk about vouchers…ohhhhh that icky word to many on one side of the isle.

I don’t care what you call it…MY SON HAS NO PLACE TO ATTEND SCHOOL AFTER THE AGE OF 12 THAT WILL BENEFIT HIM!

Think that bothers me?  Darn right it bothers me.  The public school system in our city isn’t going to meet his needs.  There could be schools but why am I paying a portion of my annual property taxes (unfortunately no state income tax in Texas)…to go to the public school system…for which I get ABSOLUTELY ZERO BENEFIT!

Wouldn’t you like to see a voucher (call it whatever you want) program in place that will allow you to send your child to a learning environment that is going to directly meet their needs?

Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a school or center that actually taught children on the spectrum to use their skills?  I don’t know if my son will attend college or not…and that’s okay.  If he is going to be something and have a job, I want him to do it to the best of his ability and to the glory of God.  BUT he has to learn that skill…where’s he going to learn it?

The government is not the only answer.  We don’t need bigger and bigger government.  We DO NEED legitimate programs that are sponsored by government funds to establish avenues for our children to learn, grow and become contributing members (tax paying) of society.

IF NOT…do we want to go there???

It only takes a spark…

To read more blogs from Seth and TheFowler4Group, check out their Website (www.lookatmyeyes.com) and while you’re there, buy a copy of their book, “Look At My Eyes”.  Or find them on YouTube.  To contact TheFowler4 Group email: info@thefowler4group.com…oh and they just released their book in SPANISH as well…buy it now!

Seth/Melanie Fowler on Twitter
Seth/Melanie Fowler
Authored, Look at my Eyes, a parent's perspective re: navigating autism-early intervention, insurance, treatments, a paradigm of a family & child with autism
Seth/Melanie Fowler

Seth/Melanie Fowler

Authored, Look at my Eyes, a parent's perspective re: navigating autism-early intervention, insurance, treatments, a paradigm of a family & child with autism

0 thoughts on “Commentary on the Presidential Debate – Round 1

  • October 7, 2012 at 8:10 am
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    The title of this blog is misleading.  And of the two obama if memory serves, was the only one to talk about the effects of their policies on children with special needs.

  • October 6, 2012 at 11:59 pm
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    No promises are kept. No charity is shown. No acts are committed. And no candidates are held accountable for their lies until one or the other is elected. Welcome to the U.S Presidential campaign 2012. Φ 

  • October 6, 2012 at 7:59 pm
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    School choice is just another gimmick, to get parents to support de-funding public schools.  Private schools are not even obligated by the IDEA, so it’s really beyond me how you can think that vouchers are the answer.  Yes, even though public schools are bound by it, they still violate IDEA.  This is a combination of attitudes and a lack of funding that cooperate to make non-compliance inevitable; vouchers will make this worse.  Fully fund the public schools, and institute a campaign of RESPECT, TRUST, and EQUAL ACCESS TO SERVICES and to the EQUAL PROTECTION of the law.  It’s time to stop handing out statistics and asking for donations and passing it off as awareness. 

  • October 5, 2012 at 2:18 pm
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    The Public school here is far better than private. I heard horror stories of the private schools and Autism. The Law that protects People with disabilities doesn’t protect them in private school. It would be a civil case if anything bad happens. Why i have mine in Public school. Plus I am so for Universal Health care like in Canada. My sister is amazed on how many programs there are for her Aspie. Plus they get special assistance for their son like school meals and counseling. Canada has it right. We need that here.

  • October 5, 2012 at 10:44 am
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    As a special education teacher and the mother of a child on the spectrum I’m totally in agreement with you that we ALL as a society need to recognize the dire need for more to be done for the ever-growing numbers of children with autism and their families. However, I get soooo frustrated by comments such as yours that we don’t need bigger and bigger government, we just need government-funded programs. What do you think government is!! Most of the money in our federal budget goes to government-funded programs so please be careful about asking the government for money on the one hand while criticizing the very idea of government on the other. This kind of attitude is part of what makes people reject funding for autism research and education as just a faceless part of the anti-government mantra. We need funding for programs and we need it now!

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