Pounding the Pavement

Last week, I had the opportunity to go to MANSEF Advocacy Day in Annapolis, the first time I’ve ever availed myself of the opportunity.

MANSEF – the Maryland Association of Nonpublic Special Education Facilities – is the umbrella group for schools like the Monster’s, private schools that take students from the public school system who need more resources than the schools themselves can provide.  (This is a key distinction that I constantly have to emphasize when I’m at various meetings.  Yes, it’s a private school… but the city schools pay the tuition to send the Monster there, and he’s still legally a city school student.)  Nonpublic special education facilities help the public education system fulfill their FAPE obligations under IDEA. Continue reading

Pushing the Agenda

Long time readers know that I’m hardly shy when it comes to politics.  I’ve had lawn signs since I’ve had a yard to put them in, and I’ve grown up with my family knowing politicians, or being involved in issues…

So we’re already into the 2016 electoral cycle, as it would seem, and I of course am already getting requests for money from campaigns. Continue reading

Light It Up, Walk It, Whatever

Today’s the annual “World Autism Awareness Day” as part of Autism Awareness Month.  As all of us parents of children with Autism know, there’s really no such thing as ‘just’ a month dedicated to it, since we’re aware of it all the time, but… let’s be honest.  “Light It Up Blue” tends to draw folks’ attention.

And every year, it turns into this whole pissing contest online about whether you support Autism Speaks or are against them.  How folks who have Autism (and are active in their own advocacy) feel versus how parents/caregivers of people with Autism feel, and this and that and this and that… who has a right to feel how about the matter…

Frankly, to me, it’s all a fairly stupid argument. Continue reading

The Romney Campaign Responds…

My wife and I had a rare afternoon out without the children – the Monster and his brother spent the afternoon and evening with their grandparents, while we went with my dad to the (awesome? incredible? “WOW!”?) Virginia Tech “at” Cincinnati football game.  I wasn’t even thinking yet about what to be writing when we got home, and found a letter from the Romney-Ryan campaign waiting.

Now, obviously, that excited me (not as much as the game, but hey).  The wife had been very realistic about what I might find when I got a response from a letter, and I agreed with her wholeheartedly, both when I’d sent the original letters, and now that a response had arrived. Continue reading

Two Paths Forward

While sitting up in the middle of the night with a teething child #2, I’ve been working on revising my letters to both campaigns, which will hit the postal service in a few hours.  I don’t know that I expect an answer from either campaign, but I would like to think that I’m not the only parent who wants clarification on the future.

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Meeting Time

This morning, while I’m sitting at work, I’m watching tweets about the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee meeting fly by on the screen.

The IACC, for those who haven’t been following, is an inter-agency committee that manages the federal government’s response to Autism in the United States.  This panel was set up under President Bush (43) as part of the Combating Autism Act of 2006, and was reauthorized under President Obama. Continue reading

IDEAs about November

Since the election season is just around the corner, and primaries are finally (mercifully) behind us, I’ve only just started considering who I intend to vote for in the upcoming general elections.  I should note that I’ve voted in every election – EVERY ONE – since I became eligible to vote in 1992, and I take seriously my responsibility to be an educated voter.

In the past, I’ve obviously considered other issues than autism – last time we voted for President, the Monster was coming up on six months old and we had no idea that something was wrong.  The last time we voted for Congress, Governor and our state legislature, he was just past two and we were just starting to grasp the concept that it could be autism (he’d just started intake with the Baltimore City Infants and Toddlers’ Program).  To be honest, autism hadn’t even entered into the realm of issues that I’d be considering positions on when I make my choices on that first Tuesday after the first Monday in November.  Over the last few days, though, I’ve been reading a couple of articles on various reputable websites and in responsible magazines that are giving me some substantial food for thought.

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