Dreams of A Young Man with Autism

Dreams of a Young Man

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Dreams of A Young Man with Autism

As in all my previous articles, I have disclosed I have a non verbal child with Autism. I have tried to keep the majority of his life off of Hubpages because I believe he is entitled to privacy but I want everyone reading this to know he has dreams, hopes and ambitions just like anyone else in the world. He is perhaps the most disenfranchised person in the world. Well all of the children with Autism are disenfranchised. You can’t get a politician to openly speak about the autism epidemic going on in this country or how to address it. Autism is shoved in the closest like it is the 1950(s) and segregation and discrimination against children with Autism is openly practiced throughout America. Even worse it reminds of the 1980(s) when my GodFather had AIDS and everyone in government ignored this national health crisis. People with Autism is being shunned just like people with AIDS were in the 1980(s).

Remember Government Ignoring AIDS Victims; How Similiar It is For Children with Autism and Their Families

2007

We travel to Ohio. Obama’s Aunt stays in Ohio. We know people who know people but we have never all met. Alex watched some of the war coverage in the beginning but I soon shut it off because I thought it was racist. I thought America was going down the wrong road with racism and while America could take itself down that road, my son wasn’t along for the trip. As a matter of fact my son has been taught the opposite. He has been taught not to dislike anyone based on the color of their skin or their religious beliefs. After 9/11 we hung out with Arabs who would be considered suspicious by our government but I never let my son worry because I knew we were safe. So my son who has Autism has been hanging out with every race on the planet since 9/11 and he gets along just fine. He used to watched George Bush but he knew that George Bush had over reacted to 9/11. Bush had alienated a lot of good people in the world. And if George Bush didn’t like the Arabs, a child with autism didn’t have a chance to be embraced. I tried to tell my son George Bush was well intend but George Bush never did come through for children with autism so my son was right.

I should mention we are all Republican but Florida Republicans are different then other Republicans. We are more focused on National Security, the Economy and Foreign Relations than most Republicans and we carry the skills to be successful at it.

So when Barack Obama came on to the scene, a black man who was an outsider, my son thought it was his time to be embraced. He was certain Barack knew what it felt like to be isolated and alone and not loved by his country. He thought for certain Barack would embrace all the children with Autism.

We have a complicated communication system which I will not go into here but I will explain one of the first things my son explained to me, “Damn, I am not black.”. I told my son that was ridiculous as black men 50 years ago would have given anything to be white. But my son’s obsession with Barrack Obama took a life of its own. My son would troll the channels just waiting to hear Barrack speak. And the next thing my son said was, “A black president is not going to let segregation continue.”. My Mother had cancer and I was hiding my son’s obsession with Barrack Obama from her as she use to run the junior Republican Club. I have tried not to explain the difference in political ideology to my child as I believe politics is for those who are old enough to vote.

As a treat I take my son to the book store and I let him buy I book. It can be any book of his choosing. I pray it is an inexpensive one. During his obsession with Barrack Obama I had to buy him a book on Barrack Obama and read it to him behind my Mother’s back. I hid it from her. He would read it too but I would have to explain and screen the material as I went.

I quite literally remembering my son shoving me out the room and closing the door because I was speaking when Barrack was speaking on TV. I yelled through the door, “You know you are Republican! Everyone in your family for the last 200 years has been Republican except one and she was practically an outcast.”. She actually worked for FDR. My son’s basic response was Barrack, the new Black president, has come to liberate the oppressed and raise them up. I yelled back through the door, “No he isn’t. It is only a sales line.”. And my son answered me, “Shh!!" And he retorted angrily, ". And you said "The Price is Right" is always fixed so the Marine wins.”.

My son had such hopes of being included over the past several years. But instead he got to watch his grandmother die a slow painful agonizing death from Cancer without Hospice. We all wanted to believe things can change and we all want them to but we can’t buy every sales pitch every politician puts out there. No one has yet been able to address Autism in DC. That seems like a really simple thing to do. There is a Czar for everything. Why not one for Autism as well?

I can’t tell you how excited my son was Barrack Obama became president and how much he worshiped him. He believed in him. He hung on his every word and had so much faith in President Obama that he would help him. It was exciting for me to see my son engaged in politics but it wouldn’t have been the party I would have chosen him to associate with. But given I am trying to save all of that for when he is older and allow him free will so I can't really complain.

My son no longer hangs on Barrack Obama’s every word. He has given up hope that he will make any substantive change in his life. I don’t know if he will ever meet Barrack Obama or if he would be excited because he used to be pretty obsessed with him. I don’t think I will every have to worry about that. Perhaps now my son can switch back to being the Republican as he was always intended to be but I doubt he will believe a politician again. I think even my 11 year old son with autism is hard pressed to believe change is possible any longer.

A Boy’s Dream to Be President 2011

Like many children my son has now developed the dream of becoming president. And he has the attitude that it is a mostly a front man position anyways. My son is certain he wants to be the first person with Autism to be President. I don’t shoot down his dream as I just can’t do it to him. It is a bold beautiful dream and he sincerely wants to end oppression of other human beings and included everyone in society. So when he tells me this I try to come up with ideas of how having Autism could be beneficial as President.

Here is the list:

You don’t speak so:

a) Debates are out.

b) No interruptions of prime time TV for an address.

c) No declarations of war or peace.

d) No gaffs or being caught on microphone accidentally.

e) If forced to communicate use augmentative communication and get the right answers from one of your really smart advisors.

Another Youngman With Autism Who Loves His Country

In Summary

I do think it would be a shame for my son to go another year without being embraced by his country. But I do recognize that this country has been disenfranchising more and more people every single day in the name of wealth for the few. I just hope that my son’s pure boyhood dream doesn’t die in the leadership of Barrack Obama who he believed in so much he would shut me out of the room and ignore me. Because even young man who has autism has dreams of one day being president and those dreams should be encouraged and not neglected to die.

Government Can Shut Down But My Son With Autism Will Still Go To DC!

Update

As I write this two years later my son's obsession with his president is not completely gone. He still adores President Obama and in two weeks we will be in DC despite the fact it is shut down. We have been informed my son will not be able to meet the President. Given DC is shut down, home and collecting paychecks we are going on faith.

Too bad my son listened to the entire State of the Union speech and sat up all night listening to the political commentary.

Fortunately, where his country does not have love for the young man with autism, the young disenfranchised man still has love for his country, president and the leaders of his nation. My son has started to notice girls so I hope he switches obsessions from politics to girls. As his Mother, I think I can only handle one obsessions at a time.

Where the country fails, my son who happens to have autism will arrive in DC with all the optimism and patriotism for his country. Sad he is not embraced by his country. They could learn a lot from him.


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Comments 15 comments

cathylynn99 profile image

cathylynn99 5 years ago from northeastern US

i am on the autism spectrum. i am horrible at politics, even office politics. i would never consider running for office of any kind. i, like your son, like obama and campaigned for him by registering voters. i would never try to convince someone face to face to vote a certain way. i will say that democrats are more likely to fund the social programs that might benefit your son. here in PA, there is a special government autism waiver program. i don't see autism as being swept under the rug. it gets more attention than other brain disorders these days.


PETER LUMETTA profile image

PETER LUMETTA 5 years ago from KENAI, ALAKSA

What a wonderful article, Thanks for sharing your son with me, he is a smart and beautiful child, if only his dreams could be heard.

Peter


JT Walters profile image

JT Walters 5 years ago from Florida Author

HI Peter,

If only I we could live in a world that encouraged young men to fulfil thier dreams.. Thank you for reading.

JT


JT Walters profile image

JT Walters 5 years ago from Florida Author

Hi cathylynn99,

We don't live in PA and isn't PA the state that had the mentally challenged adults chained to the floor which were forced to have incest?

We have a waiver in Florida also in which 19,000 children wait and my son is still waiting and the Govenor Rock Scott is getting sued along with DCF and the Florida Department of Health.

Can you tell me when one politicain ran on a national plan to help people with Autism. What is the national educational plan? What is the biochemical explanation? I have offered you a better explanation then anything current published.

Just because being President isn't your dream doesn't mean my son isn't entitled to have a shot at his dream. I personally would prefer he would be a rock star but he wants to be president. I have to support my son in his dreams no matter what even when his own country doesn't.

Thanks for reading, commenting and providing feedback.

JT


justateacher profile image

justateacher 5 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

It's not just children with Autism that have suffered and still suffer...it's all children with special needs....One of these days these wonderful children will be treated with the respect they deserve from the government...the person who promises to help these children and actually follow through with those promises will get my vote!


JT Walters profile image

JT Walters 5 years ago from Florida Author

Hi justateacher,

Thanks for the kind comments and I couldn't agree more with you but I will be highly skeptical of anyone who claims to want to help these children and then doesn't. Sarah Palin abandoned this pledge when she went after her own political career. I want someone who has spent their life dedicated to serving the special needs population and that can actually help them. It absolutely kills me that special needs children are not embraced in American society. They are being failed so shamefully and badly.

But my son wants to be their first president and lead them all out of darkness.

He was so cute the other day he helped a boy with down's syndrome put the groceries on the conveyer belt inorder so when they were loaded in the grocery bags nothing gets squashed. My son is so generous by nature.

Thanks for reading, commenting and providing feedback.

JT


cathylynn99 profile image

cathylynn99 5 years ago from northeastern US

my dream was to be a doctor. after 12 years strugling as a primary care doctor, the hospital politics caused me to crash and burn. if someone had told me to go into a specialty where i'd have to deal with people less, i'd probably still be practicing today. a word to the wise is sufficient.

the national plan i know about for all those with brain disorders is the New Freedom Initiative, started under bush 2. it's a brainchild of the recovery movement and promotes the least restrictive treatment and offering choices and hope. it has filtered down to my county and the system is gradually changing. i serve on the county committee that helps implement this change. i have advocated for better benefits, health insurance parity, inclusion of mental health service participants to serve on mental health organization boards, and for the criminal justice system to treat ill people appropriately. i participate in the county plan, which helps the county get funding from the state each year. if you feel under-represented, get involved. my committee accepts family members. in fact, we have on the committee a mother whose son has autism. perhaps there is a similar committee in your county. it's easier to gripe than to work for realistic change.


justateacher profile image

justateacher 5 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

When your son does become President the world will be a better place...


JT Walters profile image

JT Walters 5 years ago from Florida Author

Hi cathylynn99,

You assume I haven't worked? PA is not FL. I will look into the New Freedom Initative but I personally have a letter guaranting my son funding by JEB and my son has been on a wait list for a long time so until you are sitting in Florida you don't really understand. PA has much better services then Florida. The Bushes have buried the disabled in America especially the children who fell under "No Child Left Behind". Have you read my biochemical explanation of Autism? As a primary care phsycian you should have an appreciation as to exactly how much work I have done in research on the etiology of Autism aand ADHD.

Just to be clear Autism is not a mental health issue. It is a metabolic issue and it is improper to treat a person who has a metabolic disorder with mental health. Just as it was antiquated when they use to treat mental health patients with insulin. It is rather inhumane.

I doubt your autism is what caused you difficulty it is all your false assumptions. I was working on my PhD before I had my son. I almost finished it in under a year. And I spend a great deal of time explaining medicine to specialty doctors who don't know rare disorders so please before you make anymore assumptions about me.

And as a person with Autism you should encourage my son to fulfill all of his dream. You claim to have hit the Autism glass cleaning wouldn't you have liked the ability to be able to clear it as an Autistic person? And why would you not want my son or any other child to be able to fulfill their dreams?

I respect your work but don't assume I am not working just as hard if not harder then you everyday of my life and that my situation in Florida is the same as your up in PA. Two different states and two very different realities.

I sorry for your difficulties in your work. But you can't judge me or shut my son's dreams down and tell me to snap into a line of a system that is failing children with Autism all over this nation.

As for practice medicine if you are a good enough doctor you could always treat disabled and medically fragile children. I can assure you no hopsital would care about your politics then because you would be in such high demand no one would care about politics.

All My Best,

JT


JT Walters profile image

JT Walters 5 years ago from Florida Author

Hi justateacher,

The world will be a better place because of people like you who allow him to achieve his dream!!! Thank you so much. You are so kind and generous.

JT


JT Walters profile image

JT Walters 5 years ago from Florida Author

Cathylynn99,

I have definitive proof the Bushes were against assistive technology when I was asking for it in 2001 and I have definitive proof they were also against early intervention. I actually have a legal finding against them for segregating my child with Autism in Florida completed by the Inspector General.

You can take all the credit you want but I have been in the trenches for a very long time pulling for my son while everyone joins social committees and achieves little to nothing.

New Freedom Iniative was passed in 2007 some 7 years after I advocated for my child and by then my Mother had Cancer. And NFI doesn't provide inclusion.

My son's dream are very important to me and I think he should have equal opportunity to fulfill them and I am sorry you do not.

JT


cathylynn99 profile image

cathylynn99 5 years ago from northeastern US

community integration (inclusion) is one of the main tenets of NFI.


JT Walters profile image

JT Walters 5 years ago from Florida Author

cathylynn99,

Community Intergration is not inclusion in the classroom. There are still classrooms filled with austistic children in segregated schools. And when I try and look this up when I read what I can google on NFI it always refers me to mental health which autism is not a mental illness.

And explain to me why JEB would segregate my autistic son if they were serious about NFI? Why would the Inspector General of the State of Florida have to find against JEB and Florida for that matter if they were all so pro inclusion as you say?

They did "No Child Left Behind" and sure enough those children were left behind so just because they write a law doesn't mean it has funding. No Child Left Behind Specifically discriminated against Special Needs children.

All these children need equal access to the same if not better education and in the community I live in children with Autism are sent to a lock down facility or a mental health school. No thanks. It is not the same here and the Bushes have seen to it.

I would be the first person to stand up for your rights as a person with Autism why can't you stand up for my son's rights? Does he not feel, love or dream just like everyone else? Those dreams are there for him for a reason and you should be encouraging him and praising me for advocating for him not preaching law which is non-existent in the state of Florida. Have you not checked to see Rick Scott has 19,000 children with severe disabilities on a wait list some of which many have been on for more then five years and others who couldn't even get the paperwork. The funding for those devices and the therapists comes directly from the money provided on the Waiver. What part of 19,000 children who are disabled who can't get services in the state of Florida or any inclusion fulfills the NFI? How have the Bushes helped Florida? How has any politicians helped disabled people in Florida? How has Barack Obama helped children stuck without funding on these waivers?

Right. No politician has and so little advocacy groups aren't really doing anything and unfunded laws are unenforceable. But good to know the mental health crowd gets to be included but the autistic children don't. Segregation and discrimination is a live and well in the USA and attention is not what my son needs he needs goods and services.

In the state of Florida disabled chldren in Foster homes/orphanages aren't getting services. And really in your state disalbed people chained to the floor.

Come on you were a doctor you have to know better then what your are writing.

Laws without funding mean abslutely nothing and segregtion still continues because there is no law requiring it to end nor funding to end it as well.

And finally I don't know the person who is physically handicapped has to stayin the special ed classroom with the severely emtional disabled student who has self abusive behaviors and the autistic person who is exeptional sensitive has to witness the brawl that ensues because those classrooms are under satffed and under funded and not because of lack of effort ont he teacher's part who usually has 24 special needs children in a classroom all day by her/ himself. I know I have been that teacher. Varying exceptionalities classrooms are a nightmare for children with Autism.

All My Best,

JT


Max Havlick profile image

Max Havlick 5 years ago from Villa Park, Illinois

JT, your idea of an autistic president is, of course, quixotic at best, but it does eloquently make your point that our society vastly undervalues and under-serves many small groups of potentially valuable people it considers outside its mainstream. For you to speak for them is ennobling and empowering both for you and for them.

To further your cause, you might consider editing this passionate essay and the attendant repartee into a separate, publishable booklet.


JT Walters profile image

JT Walters 5 years ago from Florida Author

HI MAx,

Not my idea but my son's who does have autism. I would prefer he be a rock star but he is in love with the ofice of the presidency.

This is not a fictional article.

I have been writing in word and cutting and pasting in after editing but I still don't catch everything. Thank you I will go back through it again.

JT

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