Wednesday, 09 September 2009
Dear Mr. President,
As I think back to the hope I felt watching your inauguration, tears steam down my face. I had this fallacy that you were going to make an extraordinary difference in our community. I know that it has only been 9 months, but on this issue time is of the essence!
I reflect how we cheered, danced and cried as we witnessed history in the making; and now I sit depleted of hope, almost enraged that you continue to ignore the autism community. On September 2, 2009 I saw a great message on a friend’s Facebook wall,
“…thinks that no one should die because they cannot afford health care, and no one should go broke because they get sick. If you agree, please post this as your status for the rest of the day.”
Of course, I reposted it and was amiably pleased to see the message infiltrated through my Facebook network within hours. Then the next day, I was even more amazed to see your response to this posting,
“Barack Obama Encouraged to see this going around today: "No one should die because they cannot afford health care, and no one should go broke because they get sick. If you agree, please post this as your status for the rest of the day."”
But, here is the thing… I am amazed not so much that you (or your PR people) were actually watching what we post… but, more so, that you are watching what we post and what that means about you. Let me explain, you are listening and that means that you have been seeing the outcry of requests from the autism community to meet with you, Michelle, or both… and yet, you continue to not respond. We haven’t even received as much as a “no thank you” in response to this personal invitation.
YET, you responded to a general posting infiltrating the virtual world exactly one week before the requested meet-up with Angela Warner, military mom and autism advocate representing many. Your non-action speaks louder than words, Mr. President.
I am aware you will make an education public address to the youth of America on Tuesday afternoon… please understand that 1 out of 150 (some say 60 now) of these children are inflicted with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). They have communication barriers, cognitive and developmental delays, and sensory deficits… I am certain the majority will not be able to comprehend what they are listening to over the public audio system.
When my daughters’ schools announced that they would be allowing the address to be piped through the classrooms, my initial response was to question how effective this was going to be. Apparently, you are more optimistic than I. I know that my five year old along with the other children experiencing ASD will not comprehend a word you say. In fact, she may have broken thoughts of why the teachers are being intrusive on her set routine to make her listen to this abstract voice that she cannot decipher.
It would probably do you, the voters, the parents, and our children better to meet with the parents on the front line; not only about autism, but education, health care, and the false idealization of no child left behind.
It does take a village, Mr. President, but the village needs elders with integrity that are willing to listen to what the villagers are saying. So, I ask, "Will you listen to what we are saying? Will you meet with Angela Warner Today? Will you help us address this epidemic among our youth? Will you reinstall hope in a community that feels left behind?"
Thank you for your action!
Mother, Wife & Autism Advocate