Once again, Jess has graciously handed over the mic so that I can do some shouting. Well, not actually shouting or ranting this time, but rather to thank Jess and all of you for your support over this last year. So much has happened.
We held a Congressional briefing in January to educate people on what our families are living. Jess and I sat at the table with White House administration to discuss what our military families with autism need. In May, we passed federal legislation in the House. In June, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand requested a Senate hearing on the medical necessity of ABA.
But there is much more we can do than just hope someone else takes us to the finish line.
Head on over to Huffington Post and learn why the Department of Defense (DoD) continues to deny our military kids the treatments they need. Jeremy Hilton (2012 Military Spouse of the Year, Navy veteran, and father to a beautiful little girl with autism) wrote the article with me and we think everyone affected by autism needs to be on board.
Because we are advocating for the first national legislation to make ABA available to those who need it. It’s a beautiful thing called ‘precedence’. This will literally open the door for EVERYONE.
And you know what? Our military families sacrifice so much for the good of this country, I think we can return a little bit of the favor by taking action on this issue.
Please. Go ahead and leave a comment over at Huffington Post in support of the Senate passing this legislation. Tell the DoD it’s not ok to keep denying what our bravest families need and deserve.
You can also sign the petition at Change.org – every signature is sent to every Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. They literally hold our children’s futures in their hands. SHOW CONGRESS it’s not ok to deny our children what they need.
Show our brave military families that you honor them and their sacrifices.
(Mrs. Sergeant Major)
Ed Note: Yesterday I wrote about Brooke’s letter to a fellow day camper at her Extended School Year (ESY) program. One of you left the following comment -
I’m usually immune to your wily ways of making mammas cry, but this one got me! To see the progress that Brooke has made because of consistent individualized education and committed, engaged teachers/staff, not to mention the love and understanding of her awesome sister Katie, is pushing my emotional buttons today. I just learned that my school system has decided to fire 170 SpEd teachers, just one month shy of the start of school–after already adding even more furlough days, increasing teacher/staff costs for insurance, increasing class sizes in both general and special ed, and firing 300 parapros. How do our elected officials think our children make the progress that they make? Do they have any clue how committed these teachers, parapros, and therapists are to our children? Do they think our children will continue to reach their potential with less attention? I just wanted to say a quick “Wow, great job Brooke!” Now I have to get back to the hard work of fighting the school district for the rights of our kiddos.
She’s absolutely right. The astounding progress that Brooke has made over the years would never have been possible without the incredible team of professionals dedicated to guiding her. The cuts that Suzanne mentions above are happening in school districts around the country. Our children will have less and less access to the services they need through the educational system. So what do we do? We turn to private providers – OTs, SLPs and ABA therapists. Nearly everything that we’ve taught Brooke over the years has been done within the framework of ABA. It ain’t perfect and it certainly isn’t a panacea, but we’ve found incredible success in its methods of breaking the world down into tiny, digestible building blocks, then piling them into the towers you see today.
Suzanne had to “get back to the hard work of fighting the school district for the rights of our kiddos.” God bless her. Each and every fight for services benefits all of us. But please, as we fight for our kids and what they need, let’s not forget that they are ALL our kids. That the children of those who fight for our country need someone fighting for them too. This doesn’t take a lot of your time. It doesn’t take money. You don’t even have to stand up. Please, just click over to Huff Po and leave a supportive comment on Rachel and Jeremy’s post, then head to Change.org and sign the petition, Then share it all and ask your friends to do the same. It’s easy. A hell of a lot easier than waking up on the front lines in Afghanistan every day thinking about not only your own survival, but your kid’s chance at a life.
Thank you, friends.
Ed other note: While I would never dream of picking a fight with Rachel (cause she’d totally kick my ass and her husband’s ya know, like a sniper) I can’t let this go. In her post she said, ‘we think everyone affected by autism needs to be on board,’ and well, I kinda think that we’re ALL affected by autism – and I don’t mean just all of US here reading Diary, I mean like EVERYBODY.
You see, if one in eighty-eight are on the autism spectrum (and those numbers are thought to be very conservative) and every one of those one in at-the-very-least-eighty-eight have, for argument sake, two parents, four grandparents, a sibling or two, some cousins, a bunch of aunts and uncles and family friends and mom’s college roommate who’s totally like an aunt and the guy down the street that they’ve always called Uncle Joe and … well, add to all those people everybody who we might have left out because even the people who don’t think they are directly connected to a person on the spectrum are still part of this society that will either have to care for them or can help to support them so that they will reap the benefits of their participation in said society and Jesus this has become the worst paragraph in the history of the world but I trust that you see where I’m going with this? I’m gonna go with EVERYBODY needs to be involved. Love you, Rach. Don’t hurt me.
Now what are y’all still doing here? Go click, comment and share!