Happy Friday, chil’ren!
Let’s jump right on in, shall we?
The fact that the Palin family has a child with special needs (her son has Down syndrome) has sorta-sparked a national discussion on the needs of children with special needs.
Longtime readers know that my older brother is autistic…’cause, Gawd willing, special needs children grow up to be adults with special needs…and I’ve written about the ups and downs of co-guardianship and dealing with the system.
Supporters of Gov. Palin like to use her choice to knowingly have a child with Down syndrome as some sort of example of how it can be done. I’m the youngest in my family and I’ve never known a day without autism…the Palin family is just getting started, trust a bitch.
Special needs are needs, for the love of all that is logical. My brother is 38 years old and my parents struggled to pay for private school, therapy, special camps and treatments followed by assessments followed by treatments followed by meds that weren't covered by insurance and so forth and so on. Now that he is grown he is vulnerable to funding cuts that have taken away dental coverage and supported employment programs.
The fat was trimmed long ago...but The Man hasn't put the scalpel down.
The lifetime costs of caring for a person with autism are estimated to be around $5 million dollars and only some of that shit is covered.
When a family has a loved one with special needs everything changes. Personal time…vacations…daily rituals...everything changes and a lot of shit is taken off the table. I recently wrote about the lack of funding and support for programs that benefit people with special needs at RHRealityCheck because we need more than rhetoric…we need leadership, programs and the motherfucking funding to put them to work.
There are some great programs out there…at the state level and at the federal level…that would really help out, but too many have been underfunded or eliminated. Families need respite, financial assistance for therapy and special education…we need government to value our families too.
And now, with the economic crisis sure to impact what the next President will be able to do, we need our needs to be a priority...on the must-do list and off the cut first list.
Senator Obama has a plan...it ain't perfect, but it is a plan that we the people can work to make happen.
Mayhap a bitch should get Joe the Plumber to ask where the fuck it is?