Autism an issue in presidential campaign

Autism is turning out to be an issue in the upcoming presidential campaign. Last weekend, presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton announced an autism plan that calls for significant resources in both research and services for people living with autism. Easter Seals helped shape some of the legislation that Clinton incorporated in her plan, and her policy experts came to Easter Seals for guidance.

Here’s what Easter Seals President and CEO Jim Williams said about Clinton’s plan:

“Senator Clinton’s proposal is a comprehensive plan that will help children and adults living with autism and their families today and in the future. It’s not enough to support research aimed at finding the cause and cure for Autism Spectrum Disorders. We must also increase the availability of services to help meet the needs of people with autism today.”

The autism plan proposed by John Edwards reflects Easter Seals’ priorities of access to services people need now. The same is true of the autism plan proposed by Barack Obama.

I searched the Web sites of four of the top Republican candidates — McCain, Giuliani, Thompson and Romney — and couldn’t find a mention of an autism plan. Hopefully, all of the presidential candidates will have a plan in the near future.

If your candidate of choice doesn’t have an autism plan yet, ask them to develop one.


 

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  1. Patricia Wright Says:

    Michael – thank you for your comment.
    It is troubling to hear about parents struggling to find proper supports for their children. It is stories like yours that has resulted in autism rising to the forefront of something as visible as a presidential campaign. Families are in-need of services and supports. Individuals with autism require a unique service array to ensure that they have the opporutunity to learn and develop to the highest potential.
    Many families report that they have received excellent support and information from other families. I encourage you to contact a parent support group or advocacy organization in your area. The Autism Society of America has a portion of their website that is dedicated to assisting people to locate their local support group (http://209.200.89.252/search_site/chapter_map.cfm). You may be able to gather information from families who have had success in finding the supports that they need for their children in your local area.
    Transportation is considered a related service for special education. The National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities( http://www.nichcy.org/pubs/newsdig/nd16txt.htm) provides an excellent resource for how transportation is related to education. You may be able to discuss this need for transporation at an Individualized Education Program (IEP) meeting. You can also request an IEP meeting as a parent.
    Florida also has a statewide system of support for individuals with autism: Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD) (http://card-usf.fmhi.usf.edu/). CARD has been active in Florida for many years and again, may provide you with information and support.
    Thank you again for your comment.


  2. MICHAEL FABRY Says:

    HELLO EASTER SEALS IM A SINGLE FATHER WITH A DISABILITY FROM A AUTO ACCIDENT,I HAVE A 10 YEAR OLD SON WHO HAS AUTISM.WE MOVED TO TAMPA FL. FOR A NEW AUTISM CHARTER SCHOOL CALLED FLORIDA AUTISM CENTER OF EXCELLENCE.IT STARTED OUT GREAT AND JOEY WAS MAKING GOOD PROGRESS.THEN F.A.C.E. DECIDED THAT THEY WOULD NO LONGER PROVIDE TRANSPORTATION TO SCHOOL FOR JOEY.I TRIED EVERY THING TO ARRANGE FOR SOME WAY TO GET JOEY TO SCHOOL.I TRIED PLEADING WITH THERE DIRECTOR PRESTON STEEL TO PLEASE HELP.HE REFERED US TO PUBLIC BUSES WITCH DON’T RUN TO HIS SCHOOL.AT THIS POINT HE IS NOT RESPONDING TO CALLS OR EMAIL AND DID NOT ATTEND A MEETING WITH HARTLINE BUSING AS PROMISED TO TRY AND WORK OUT A PLAN WITH THEM.I HAVE PUT JOEY IN TO REGULAR SCHOOL AND GIVEN UP FOR NOW ON FACE.MY SON NEEDS MORE THAN THE REGULAR PUBLIC SCHOOL CAN GIVE ,I NEED HELP.WE DO NOT KNOW ANY ONE IN TAMPA AND HAVE NO CAR.I HAVE WRITTEN EASTER SEALS AND SIGNED UP HERE IN TAMPA,BUT I’VE ONLY RECIVED EMAILS ASKING ME TO DONATE TO HELP WITH OTHERS WITH AUTISM.WE ARE ON DISABILITY WITH S.S. A FIXED INCOME WE ARE JUST BARELY GETTING BY.CAN YOU HELP MY SON.
    MICHAEL FABRY


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