1) Every child with a disability who is entitled by law to receive a free and appropriate public education (FAPE), receives one. This was not true when I was raising my kids. I heard stories at conferences, at advisory committees, legislative comment sessions, and on the internet. In this era of public school destruction, I fear the situation is even worse. (Federal Law mandates FAPE, but with the reduction in funding and the systematic destruction of our public schools due to corporate interference, I’m afraid FAPE is much more likely to be denied.
2) Your kids will always have a job because of their disability. The person who said this to me felt that her kids (brilliant) were at a disadvantage because they didn’t have special job protection under the law (discrimination protected status supposedly given to special classes of individuals due to race, disability, and sex). The unemployment rate of people with autism is above 50%.
3) I wish the liquid asset limit for SSI was raised. The amount for an individual is still at $2,000 and for a couple it is $3,000. This is not enough money to save to move to an apartment, or for emergencies that may come up. For us, it was not enough money to replace an engine in our van in the late 1990s. The amount has not been raised since at least 1994, when we started on SSI. One worker told me that SSI is welfare, that is why the limit is not raised. But as parents who raised two children with autism and one with learning disabilities, this asset limit left us in desperate straights more than once.
4) Every parent of a child with disabilities had a mentor, a coach, a village of helpers.
5) There was a cure for children with autism who have major impairments.
6) Employers would give high functioning adults a chance. And if the first or second person doesn’t work out, keep giving a chance to someone else until they find the one who fits.
7) Those who look down on our parenting skills would spend a day in an autism parenting immersion experience.
8) Immunizations really did cause autism. Then autism could be eradicated within a generation. Instead there are worse things which can be attributed to a lack of vaccines, such as infant death by whooping cough, death by lockjaw, heart disease caused by measles (my mother), etc. The causes of autism appear to be numerous.
9) Every person with autism would have a circle of friends. In high school, Will had the football team (who let be known that anyone who messed with him, messed with them), along with many others.
10) Every family affected by autism would have a fabulous vacation at some point in the journey.
How about you? What would be on your wish list?
I agree with most of these! Especially #4 and #9. I wish every door was automatic and that every building had a lift and ramps.
Ann Kilter said:
That is a great wish.
Joan Johnson-Freese said:
Great post Ann!
Ann Kilter said:
Thank you. Your list is funny.
Great stuff, think you have it all covered!
I wish that the point of view which embraces autism as a difference, not necessarily a disability, was more prevalent (and more realistic, which is going to take a lot of work from society as a whole). I wish that people who are angry and bitter about their ASD had come into contact with the difference-not-disability mindset *before* they became so bitter.
I wish cinemas had more autism-friendly screenings of films (but I’m glad for the ones they do have).
I wish that there were numerous community centres, all over the globe, which were arranged around a central hub, with areas coming off the hub that were suitable for solo activities, couples, small groups, etc (like a wheel, where the centre is a swimming pool and café area, and the spokes are a couple of reading rooms, a couple of video gaming rooms, a couple of rooms with games like table tennis and air hockey, a couple of quiet/meditation rooms, a few “rooms” that are more like large alcoves with just a small sofa and a few books and a radio and no windows, etc) and I wish those centres were funded by society, as a place for those with ASD and their guests, because society cares and wants autistic people to have as much fun in a group setting as other people usually do.
I wish I had the money to start a huge organization that would build these ASD-friendly centres, and staff them with a mix of “neurotypical” and ASD folks, and I wish I could eventually branch out into building communes where people with ASD would always have food and shelter and meaningful work and safety and medical care and education, free of charge.
That’s all I want, off the top of my head.
Great post. I’ve only started reading your blog recently, but I really like it here.
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