Remember that saying from the 1970s -- that the personal is political?
As the parent of an autistic 20-year-old son, I know what my own family is struggling with. The need for employment. Housing. Health care. Insurance. Long-term community-based services and supports. Education. Transportation. Research. Improving the quality of life for autistic children and adults is my top priority.
I'm not telling you who to vote for. I'm not telling you who I'm voting for. Because this is a bipartisan issue. We need politicians who will lead, not follow. Politicians who will actually develop and co-sponsor bills, not ones who just show up for photo ops during an election year. They need to know just how urgent these issues are to the autism community. They need to understand that funding our families' futures isn't discretionary; it's a necessity.
On Friday, Sept. 28, both the Obama and Romney campaigns will address the nation's disability issues, including autism, at an election forum between 12:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. EST. (You can watch the webcast by registering here.)
It's up to our whole community to remind our politicians that our voices count. We need programs, not just promises. We need to know how our politicians intend to make a difference for the autism community.
Because my 1 in 88 can't wait. He needs a plan, and he needs it now.
For more information on what you can do to get involved, please visit Autism Votes.