Yesterday Hillary Clinton’s campaign launched what sounded like a compassionate plan for increased autism screening and health insurance coverage for medical establishment-sanctioned autism services.
Sounds so warm and fuzzy, right? Autism Speaks rejoiced. Almost makes one forget this not-so-compassionate tweet 11 months ago:
Just kidding. We’d never forget that tweet, Hillary.
Hillary says she’s going to call for the first-ever study of the prevalence of adults with autism. Awesome news all around, right?
Wait, what? Why exactly would we pay for this? Is this a veiled attempt to discredit the fact that we’re in a mothereffin’ epidemic of autism in this country? To try to prove that the skyrocketing, terrifying autism rates are solely the result of better diagnosis? Will Hillary show once and for all that we’ve always had these rates of autism, but “back then” parents just gave their kids up to an institution?
Let me save you about a billion dollars, Hill, and send you over to Dr. Joe Pivan, who has made it his life’s work to find the “missing generation” of elderly autistics. He spent three years looking for institutionalized adults with autism over the age of 50 and finally found 19 of them. 19. In three years. Compare this to the 130,000 children diagnosed with autism each year in the US and tell me if your idea to prove that there is no epidemic sounds like a good use of taxpayer money. Hint: it’s not.
But here’s what would be! The first ever comprehensive study of the health and incidence of autism and autoimmune disease of vaccinated vs. non-vaccinated children. In fact, you can just join Representative Bill Posey’s bandwagon and send all of that cash to the Vaccine Safety Study Act that’s been in limbo for, like, ever.
Hillary also said that she’s concerned that “People with autism are unemployed at a much higher rate” and wants to create a work program to close that “employment gap.”
Hillary. Seriously. Wake the hell up. It’s not an employment gap. It’s a human rights gap. It’s a greater good gap. It’s a head-in-the-ground gap. It’s a government coverup gap. Where did you learn about autistics? The quirky kid on Parenthood who lives on ice cream and Skittles and won the race to be class president?
While I don’t doubt that there are high-functioning autistics who are looking for work and not getting hired, if you are of the belief that
Asperger’s belongs on the spectrum then Silicon Valley is full of the highest functioning autistics gainfully employed as computer programmers and mathematicians.
Reality is that a large segment of autistic people cannot and will not ever be able to hold a job because they are critically ill. Their bowels, which house the vast majority of our immune systems, are wrecked in dozens of ways. 25% of autistics are completely non-verbal even after years of intervention. Estimates say that up to 38% have epilepsy. The parents of autistic kids that I know are far more worried about their kids living to the age of 18, especially with the 100% increased chance of death by drowning after escaping the house, than they are about their kids getting a good job after high school.
The truth is that a major segment of today’s severely ill autistic kids, teens and young adults are never, ever going to be able to ask for Skittles in exchange for performing everyday chores. They’re never going to win a race to be class president, and they sure aren’t losing sleep over this so-called employment gap.
While kids with autism need services provided free of charge– services that far exceed what a traditional doctor is going to recommend– you’ve done the lower-functioning children in the autism community a major disservice, Hillary, by failing to dedicate one single word of yesterday’s announcement to studies and changes in policy that will result in the prevention of autism. I’m thinking you have a serious misimpression of the total picture of what it means to have autism, or else you’re trying to whitewash this issue into one solely based on support and acceptance, and that pisses me off.
Tweet Hillary Clinton here.