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October 15, 2008




Thank you for putting into words what many of us, I am sure, have been feeling. I cringed when I heard Trig used as a defense of an anti-abortion stance--sort of a look at me, how good I am that I didn't abort my defective baby kind of thing. In her first speech as a candidate, when she touted herself as an advocate for those with special needs, I remember thinking, does she know that the DC Public Schools--who would be responsible for her son's education--are two years behind in completing evaluations of students with special needs?

I am happy that she enjoys her son's specialness--his vulnerability as she put it. We all have. But we also have been there with an infant and realize how different your child's special vulnerability is when they are an adolescent and the other parents just want him to go away, so that the other children, their children, the children who really want to learn, can get their education.

A Parent of a Kid w/autism in WA

I heartily disagree with you on most of what you have written, but primarily these three points:

1) That voucher will weaken public schools
2) Your assertion that Palin and McCain is "using" a child (Trig) or special needs children in general for political purposes
3) That Obama has a better track record of support of special needs kids and the disability community and thus is worthy of endorsement to that end.

I doubt you will post my comment, which is why I am not taking the trouble to elaborate on and defend my disagreement with what you've written. If you would like your views to subject to some scrutiny and debate, however, let me know, and I'll give you my reasons for disagreeing with you.

Incidentally, I've been reading your blog for a while, and this is the first time I have to heartily disagree with you FWIW.

Sped Mom/Advocate in WA
COPAA Member since 2000

Ed. Sorry you think so little of my willingness to encourage lively debate.


I wholeheartedly agree with you. I have found the fact that McCain, after calling the Community Choice Act too costly, and not supporting the Expanding the Promise to Individuals with Autism Act of 2007, would suddenly care about my autistic daughter.

All the McCain supporters who use the "she didn't abort him" rhetoric. As if one deserves a medal for not murdering a baby just because they are different.

Are all republicans in this much favor of eugenics?

I threw my slipper at the TV when McCain dropped the A bomb last night.

How dare he use the struggles my child faces daily as a platform to gain votes by deception?!?!

I spent an entire 10 minutes enamored with McCain/Palin when she was introduced, because of Trig. For a fleeting moment I had such hope.

That hope quickly vanished when I began researching just what each candidate has done for those with special needs.

Daunna Minnich

Pandering for votes seems to be as natural among politicians as the instinct among voters to melt inside and coo at the sight of a baby. I wonder who will melt and coo when they encounter Trig two decades from now, as he joins the ranks of adults with disabilities, who outnumber children with disabilities by 9 to 1?

How interesting that Baby Trig's Down Syndrome would spawn enthusiasm in John McCain for autism research. Learning how to prevent any kind of disability sounds good to me but I don't know how to reconcile McCain's call for autism research with his across-the-board spending freeze.

Given a choice between research to prevent autism and support for individuals already living with autism (or any other disability for that matter), I'd go for the latter. To that end, I want to know what the candidates propose to actually do to make it possible for individuals with disabilities to live meaningful and productive lives. Here's a long, but great article from a disability activist that details the candidates' stands on education, health care (including mental health), medicare, employment, and civil rights as these issues relate to the disabled population:



I recently worked on a new magazine for parents of children with special needs in the Chicago area. In the 2 1/2 years I've worked on it, I've had the privilege to talk with many parents and advocates. I didn't think they would be fooled by the McCain/Palin campaign's sudden 'support' for special needs and disabilities or that they would believe in Sarah Palin's newfound expertise on autism. The parents I have met advocate tirelessly for their children and know how to do their own research and go beyond just believing what they are told. They have had to. Every time I see that baby held up to the glare of hot lights and loud crowds, I wonder " Why isn't he at home?" or at least back in the hotel room. I really feel that Sarah Palin has put this campaign ahead of her own son's well-being, and I cannot respect her for that. Her record on special needs is not impressive by any standards and nor is Senator McCain's. I and other marketing people believe that the campaign has deliberately chosen to portray Trig as 'autistic' - allowing them to repeat a media buzzword over and over, hoping that just SAYING the word will convince parents that they really care about their kids' well being. But I don't believe it and I don't think parents of kids with special needs do either.

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