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?