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Why Rain Man Died This Christmas.

Updated on September 18, 2013

A Different Kind of Christmas

With the economy in a downward spiral and most families now living in poverty on a daily basis, Christmas has taken on a new image in America. Where families would have trees, parties and gifts, our Christmas is replaced by having to attend large congregation halls, with limited to no Christmas dinner and relying on charities for presents. In many ways this Christmas is bringing out the best in people but it is unable to accommodate the 1 in 91 children with Autism in America who are forced to live in poverty each and everyday of their lives.

Children with Autism can not be expected to endure the red tape of charity. Charity is specifically outside of the child with Autism reach especially children who have medical complexities which usually require special medical interventions throughout the day.

This is not a slight to the charities and individuals preparing these events. They are attempting to help the masses and Autism awareness is so low that people are unaware of how to accommodate these children, Blame can squarely be placed at the feet of the department of health and human services who does so very little Autism awareness in this country that the majority of America associate Autism with the movie Rain Man. The movie Rain Man minimizes the social impact of this disease on the children and families of this very real epidemic in our society. But even Rain Man with his savant abilities couldn’t make it through a charity event this year.

The Neurotypical Christmas

Why Rain Man Can’t Get a Gift

Inherent to the process of receiving charity is a bureaucratic tax. Charities require a socialization and compliance tax which children with Autism can’t pay. This is especially true of holiday charity events which are well intended but socially painful for children with Autism.

And it truly is a lack of public awareness and not the charities fault. If the government would educate or require charities to serve children with Autism and special medical needs according to their ability to participate in required bureaucracy then the charities would happily accommodate. But charities are under such huge duress trying to care for the masses that are living in abject poverty they can’t address the special needs population. And charities are segregated in their service provision models. For instance Toys for Tots only provides for needy families but not specifically for children with special needs. And special needs charities specifically provide for this population but they are completely under funded even though over 10% of the children in this country are now diagnosed with Autism.

So Rain Man can’t get a present from charity because he is unable to participate in a bureaucracy by definition of his very condition limits his abilities to succeed in social situations, The key to obtaining charity is socialization which all children with Autism suffer from poor socialization skills. This limits their ability to receive any charity. And finally in order to receive charity a family must have the time and ability to access said charity. In a situation where there is an autistic child involved and the child has medical complexities a four hour event in order to obtain a gift is impossible.

So Rain Man is excluded from the American Christmas in 2011. Rain Man has been excluded from so very much including being afford the public awareness program so his society understands his condition and doesn’t write him off as someday winning the lottery but ultimately needing the institutionalization. This is the job for the Health and Human Services Secretary and the President of the United States.

Level of Anxiety Caused by Loud Noises.

Poverty and Autism

The level of Autism educational awareness drops significantly amongst the poverty. So children with Autism and their parents are constantly suffering from discrimination amongst the poor who are not educated and know absolutely nothing about Autism. Quite frankly it is not just the poor it is the entire country and even the President of the United States who I have not heard speak one word about on behalf of children with Autism in this country. And no one has any plans for funding these families so they can at least exist in a higher social order for which some humanity and understanding maybe shown to them. Families of children with Autism are being forced to live in substandard conditions in abject poverty because their government doesn’t have the courage, heart or strength to love its entire people. They can’t even be bothered to provide public education so this particular population can receive charity without having to participate in socialized events. Not that Ran Man even comes close to portraying the plight of children with Autism or their families but in the scheme that the smoke detector sounds and Rain Man has a fit depicts does provide a little insight into how exceptionally painful socialization is for children with Autism. So to require them to be social in order to obtain a charitable gift is in fact a form of cruelty and is outside of the reach of Rain Man.

Christmas with a Child with Autism

Final Note

We have been unable to obtain a gift for my son this holiday season despite all my best efforts to comply with all charitable functions. Today we sat in a gym for two hours with screening children and adults listening to a very loud sound system just trying to be social and obtain that one gift for my son. After two hours my son could bare the noise level no longer. I couldn’t take it either. It was extraordinarily loud. I notified the organizers of the charitable event and I had given them advance warning my son may not be able to fully participate in their organized activity. They were most gracious and generous.

I have mentioned before my son wishes to be President one day. I believe he wants to be Father to this country because he feels like this is a country of Fatherless people. And my son adored President Obama. He wanted to be so much like him and was certain President Obama’s heart was big enough to love all of his people especially children with Autism. As a parent I try not to say bad things about anyone in general or about people which my son admires. So I have not addressed President Obama’s policies towards children with Autism and medical complexities with my son. My son is sound enough to make his own decisions about people.

It about broke my heart to put my son through a social situation which was so painful for him only to have him walk away with nothing. When he came home he sat and read his presidents book. He studied and was even more determined to become president because my son is certain he can love all of the people in America. The question is will the people of America ever be able to love him?

Autism in America

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    • JT Walters profile image

      JT Walters 6 years ago from Florida

      Heloo OceansnSunset,

      You have impeccable taste. Yes, my son believes he can heal the divide and he studies so one day he can lead a unite country. It breaks my heart he is not embraced and loved as he is but I guess that is what drives him to lead.

      He is a beautiful [erson with a wonderful heart. I would like him to be a drummer in a rock band but he is set on being president.

      It looks ot be a very lean Christmas in deed as no charities specialize in providing gifts for children with Autism And igt is not a viable option going through the normal channels.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

      Happy Holidays.


    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 6 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      JT, thanks for sharing this information and your experience as well as your son's experiences. It was sad to hear how he just came home and looked at his presidents book. :(

      It is good for us to hear from other's point of view, into things we wouldn't otherwise know about. I wish you the best in continuing to raise such a special young man. I truly wish him the very best in his future. What a heart of gold, and a big heart he has. We need more like him in the world.

    • JT Walters profile image

      JT Walters 6 years ago from Florida

      Hello Erika80,

      We too have been unable to access services until the past few months. And my son is also nonverbal and soon to be 12. He too loves the Ipad but has a Dynavox on order.

      I pray your son will over come his communication disorder.

      When I first started writing about Autism, I had commentors write that my son and all children with Autism should be institutionalized. So of course, I am so glad to hear from other parents of children with Autism with similar views.

      It is time our political system wakes up and starts helping these children. And I will not vote for a party in power that has done nothing. I will not vote for empty promises. I will only vote for those who help our children.

      Thanks for reading sharing the article and commenting. I pray for all of our children as I am certain you do as well.

      Everyone tells us to move back to New York and I know that Florida has the funding and the capability to provide services. It should happen if the war is truly over as our funding will no longer be flushed back to defense.

      Happy Holidays as well.


    • erika80 profile image

      erika80 6 years ago from Boston Area

      This article is fabulous. Of course it also made me feel tremendous always read statistics regarding poverty w/ autistic children and access to the right care, education, etc. Its a shame that our nation has let a good portion of our children down. We can only stay involved & hope our voices combined can create real, tangible change. I live right outside Boston, and thank GOD Governer Deval Patrick signed into law, a new Autism Bill for legislation, which forces insurance companies to provide coverage for ABA, ST, OT & pretty much any other therapeutic treatment or therapy for an autistic diagnosed child, as recommended by their Doctor. This was a HUGE milestone & success for Massachusetss, and NH also signed into law a very similar bill, both being done in 2010 and took affect last year. For ME was HUGE. My son was born August 2008....when he received the autism diagnosis..we found out our insurance company strongly stated that they covered NO speech therapy of any kind. It broke my heart & I cried for months, knowing once my son turned from age 2 to age 3...the speech therapy we'd have to pay for on our own...and our son happens to be...non-verbal autistic!!! I wanted to curl up & die knowing we could not afford all the therapy he'd need. So it changed my life entirely, and will greatly change my son's life...that this law was passed right before my son turned 3. How lucky are we?? BUT..I am sad knowing that thousands upon thousands of children desperately needing speech therapy & their helpless parents,-had to go without this crucial treatment. But things will always get better over time...and I am so blessed that I live in a state that DOES place an important emphasis on the importance of accessible, affordable treatments for autistic children. Anyway...Thank you for this article...Autism is absolutely, positively an epidemic that is enormously underexposed and misunderstood throughout our country & its devastating millions of lives affected by the ignorance....every single, solitary day that goes by. The "STIGMA" is perhaps just as bad as the unawareness currently. My son is one of the most intelligent 3 yr olds, has independantly been navigating an iPad & iTouch, internet, etc, since he was less than 2 years old! But a lot of people are often surprised when they see him use if they thought his autism made him incapable of anything requiring "skill". Its heartbreaking. I can only hope when he is my age...this country acknowledges the unique talents & full potential our children hold. God Bless You...we mothers should always support each other...we all need support more tha anything. Thanks for this enlightening article...I will be sharing it with everyone I know. People are unintentionally ignorant to Autism's vastly different needs in comparison to the general public. Its a shame. Pray for growth & evolution of this!!!!! I will!!!! xoxoxo Happy Holidays

    • JT Walters profile image

      JT Walters 6 years ago from Florida


      You are the best!! Thanks for your words of support. If your buddy Barack stops by this Holiday season could you at least talk to him about it. I know he wants to help my son as my son realy believes in him.

      We could get there to address this national crisis and cure cancer, parkinson's and alheimzers all at the same time. We woud just have to pull together to do it.

      Thanks for reading my very technical hub.



    • Credence2 profile image

      Credence2 6 years ago from Florida (Space Coast)

      Jt, I checked into your article and the underlying science that we all need to understand to begin to appreciate what microbiological deficiency is involed in Autism. I hope that you and your son can continue to ride out the storm in the interim between where we are now and the effective remedy. Best wishes, Cred2

    • JT Walters profile image

      JT Walters 6 years ago from Florida

      Hi Cred2,

      As promised if you are interested.

      All My Best,


    • JT Walters profile image

      JT Walters 6 years ago from Florida


      I am just a Mom of a really special guy who happens to have Autism. I am not in a leadership position. The whole point of having leaders is for them to lead. But I do try to educate. I have to just to try and make our lives more bareable. But without the leadership of this country acknowledging this national epidemic no one believes it is really as bad as I write.

      I would never divulge this exceptionally painful existence to anyone except to educate. I just watched my Mother die a brutually horrific death and I have spared my audience those details as it will not bring my Mother back. It is to late. It is not to late for children with Autism. I have studied biochemistry on my own for the last decade so that if ever called upon I would be able to contribute and yet no research is being conducted. I am including the link between biochemistry Autims and ADHD on the next post. If you have time please read it. If it overwhelms you don't worry, it is difficult to understand in the beginning but if you push yourself hard enough you will understand it. And if you understand it without pushing're a rocket scientist. I don't have a cure but I have an very early screening device for about $11 per child. The interventions after that are relatively inexpensive and can spare the brain damage and significantly reduce the severity of Autism in society.

      So I still have my hammock priviledges?

      Thank you my friend.

      See next post for the links. I do write some very techinical articles which no one seems to read on my hubs.


    • Credence2 profile image

      Credence2 6 years ago from Florida (Space Coast)

      "I hope I haven't lost my hammock privledges? Acknowlegdement would help and it is a start towards addressing this national crisis."

      That is something that you really have to work at, perish the thought.

      I can't imagine anyone being better educated about the infliction than a parent or legal guardian of a sufferer.

    • JT Walters profile image

      JT Walters 6 years ago from Florida

      Brother Cred2,

      I hope I haven't lost my hammock privledges? Acknowlegdement would help and it is a start towards addressing this national crisis.

      Your Sister,


    • Credence2 profile image

      Credence2 6 years ago from Florida (Space Coast)

      Ok, JT, I defer to you as the expert in this area for obvious reasons.

    • JT Walters profile image

      JT Walters 6 years ago from Florida


      First I don't say anything negative to my son about anyone. He actually loved Barack Obama and I can't control that. I would never tear down his heroes.

      And I hate to admit this but George Bush had the money to address HIV in Africa.

      How much does it cost Barack Obama to speak about the epidemic in the USA that affects 1 in 91 children in America?

      Cred2, You know I like you but bailing out the auto industry in America was a really bad investment when we had the ability to change to biochemical industries in America. Autism is our biggest challenge on the horizon as it effects more Americans than any malady including Cancer and it costs more.

      How much does it cost to acknowledge 10% of the country?

      GOP has acknowledge Autism so why wouldn't Barack Obama?

      Thanks for reading and commenting.


    • Credence2 profile image

      Credence2 6 years ago from Florida (Space Coast)

      hello, JT, in my role as the devils advocate here: you said

      "Quite frankly it is not just the poor it is the entire country and even the President of the United States who I have not heard speak one word about on behalf of children with Autism in this country"

      Is it fair to expect the President to address every single malady out here today, and the number is beyond count? Yes, lets raise the level of awareness, but in the fiscal atmosphere that the GOP promotes where is the money? There is more we should be able to do to address this issue along with so many others that also need attention.

      I extend my support and sympathy and ask your son not to blame the President too much...


    • JT Walters profile image

      JT Walters 6 years ago from Florida

      Hello Goodlady,

      Yes, it is exceptionally difficult especially when the only way to access services is through socialization which by definition children with Autism have exceptionally poor socialization. So children with Autism can access services if they don't have Autism. It is completely illogical. As for Rome, if you can pay your child is rather well taken care of and included. I find that Italy is much more accepting of children then the USA.

      Thank you my good friend GoodLady. Your prayers and understanding are appreciated.

      Boun Natalie.


    • GoodLady profile image

      Penelope Hart 6 years ago from Rome, Italy

      Morning JT. I am very sorry your wonderful son (and you)and so many children who came away without a gift yesterday.

      You wrote a gut wrenching important Hub there; I had no idea it was that tough. No idea what it is like in Italy either, where I live, I am ashamed to say. My sister works with autistic children in 'Special Needs' in UK and is boggled down with red tape.

      Yours is an unfair, painful situation.

      Bless. Thanks. Praying.

    • JT Walters profile image

      JT Walters 6 years ago from Florida

      Hi Lord,

      I know there are others suffering just as much but the longer we are quite about it the worse.

      And yet my son still wants to lead and provide love to everyone in this country. I would rather him be a rock star but he wishes to lead.

      It is time children with Autism and their families are given a voice in this country.

      The best to you and your family and prayers for all of you as well.

      We need certain things immediately like;

      1) Public education

      2) Funding for our children

      3) Insurance companies be forced to provide for our children.

      4) Medical training.

      5) Educational training

      6) International research consortium on Autism.

      7) Legal funding for all primary care givers of children with Autism.

      8) Rural expert healthcare in America.

      et al.

      More awareness my friend.

      Have a good night my friend.


    • Lord De Cross profile image

      Joseph De Cross 6 years ago


      You know what? I know your pain, because on of my kids..the last one who turned nine on Infamy day, December the 7th, has some kind of PDD. Miss Olive has One son too. And you are very right; What you said is completely truth. How can we fund schools in Some other country and deny our future generation emotional and Psychological stability? The insurance issue is a mess for our kids too! We have to pay for our own Organic products and special pills, you know what we mean..!

      Hope your kid grows out of that stage..I will pray for it, and I think he will be a political alternative in the future...We will see by then.


    • JT Walters profile image

      JT Walters 6 years ago from Florida

      Thanks HSB,

      We are over due but it doesn't look like there is a break in the storm as he will not even get a gift this holiday. We can't access anything.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.


    • homesteadbound profile image

      Cindy Murdoch 6 years ago from Texas

      My heart goes out to you and your son. You have been through so much. I pray that you will find peace and comfort during this holiday season.


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