"I fight for Jake and Toni Wimmer of Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Jake works on a loading dock, coaches Little League, and raises money for the mentally and physically disabled. Toni is a schoolteacher, working toward her master's degree. They have two sons; the youngest, Luke, has been diagnosed with autism. Their lives should matter to the people they elect to office. They matter to me. And they matter to you."
When I was watching Obama's acceptance speech last week, I was dying to hear the word "Autism", but I didn't.
Fortunately we are clearly on the radar of McCain.
I have heard that Obama is speaking in new Jersey tomorrow and autism families will be attending, hoping to get commitments from him.
Let's take it to both these men and find out what they will do for our children. Let's get firm commitments from them.
1. Obama's comments on the autism epidemic. From a rally held on April 21, 2008.
"We've seen just a skyrocketing autism rate. Some people are suspicious that it's connected to the vaccines. This person included. The science right now is inconclusive, but we have to research it." --Barack Obama, Pennsylvania Rally, April 21, 2008.
"My goal is to fully fund special education," Obama replied, starting off on a dissertation about funding for such children. He noted some statistics about how much the fed government pays for such educational funding.
Then he started talking about "early screening" for children, more medical testing to identify children who will have these special needs. Then Obama turned to autism, saying, "That's s an area where our basic investment, our basic research has to increase. There are huge opportunities for us to figure out" how diseases occur, calling for more funding for research into the causes and potential cures for autism and other disease.
"We've seen just a skyrocketing autism rate. Some people are suspicious that it's connected to the vaccines. This person included. [Points to someone in the audience.] The science right now is inconclusive, but we have to research it. We can't afford to junk our vaccine system, we have to figure out what's happening. If we keep on seeing the increases in the rate we're seeing, we're never going to have enough money" to take care of these children.
Quoted from http://onegoodmove.org/1gm/1gmarchive/2008/04/dr_obama_and_dr.html - Ignoring the pro-vaccine slant of the blog, the comments from Obama are encouraging.
2. McCain Opposed Increasing Benefits For Special Needs Children, Housing for Disabled
McCain Voted Against Increasing Benefits For Children With Special Needs In The Social Security Act.
In 1997, McCain voted to table an amendment that would revise the Social Security Act to include additional benefits for children with special needs, including physical, speech and language therapy, and mental health services. The motion to table passed 57-43. [S 947, Vote #128, 6/25/97]
McCain Opposed a Measure to Create a New Program for Home and Community-Based Long-Term Care.
McCain voted against an amendment that would have created a new program to provide States with funds for home and community-based long-term care services for people with disabilities. [Vote #533, Motion Rejected 45-54, 104th Congress, 1st Session, 10/27/95]
Just because Obama didn't speak the word Autism in one speech (I bet he had a lot to cover in a short time) and just because McCain knows a family with an autistic son (and mentions it, fishing for votes from teachers, working middle class, disabled, handicapped, and autism communities all in one statement) doesn't correlate to what will be done or not done while either is in office. Oh, and I missed that statement targeted higher education too (the mom is getting her masters...that family has a lot going on, props to them!) That statement sure covers a lot of voter bases.
Just because McCain mentioned the word doesn't convince me either way. Republican parties know how to say the right things to get votes. Not that I don't think the others do it too, they're just not as good at it. ;)
From what I've read, Obama has made specific statements about what needs to be done whereas McCain/Palin care about the Autism community. Awe shucks ;)
There are a lot of issues that would improve our general lives and the country and I will be focusing on that when I vote. As our lives are easier, better...our ability to do everything we need to for our boys will be easier...it would seem. I don't think either one of these goofs are going to be able to put anything significant in place to really make a difference in our lives with autism, besides hopefully to unveil the truth (which most of us already know), but I hope I'm wrong. Hope to hear more...thanks Ginger :)
Here is a link to Obama's autism plan:
I hope that helps.
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