Apr 20, 2012 2 Share

I Am Mad as Hell


Ax on chopping block cutting paper with "Disability Living Allowance."
iStockphoto

Now that Cody is finally receiving more hours for his Day Hab program, the politicians are once again talking about cutting funds to state aid. When will they realize that cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid do more harm than good? More importantly, do they even care?

Cody waited for six years to be off the waiting list to receive services and now is he in danger of losing the services that he has finally been given?

It makes me extremely angry when help is taken from those who truly need it. Yet, our government can spend millions upon millions of dollars on needless and mindless things.

In recent years renovations have been done to federal buildings that have been vacant for years and there are no plans to occupy or lease the space. A six-figure grant was given to a college professor to jam with famous musicians. Another six-figure grant was awarded to a man who created a joke machine. A costume company received a grant to create better Halloween costumes. We bail out banks which are run by immoral and incompetent executives who took that money and paid themselves huge bonuses for doing a horrible job. We bail out the auto industry while those executives took a private jet to the hearings where they were being questioned as to how they spent the money. And scientists who want to explore the velocity at which penguins poop received another $700,000.

Our politicians frequently use government-owned helicopters and airplanes to attend personal functions, such as the governor who used the state helicopter to attend his son’s little league game. At Christmas this year, there were over 100 Christmas trees in the White House. President Obama’s inaugural party was the most expensive yet, tallying in the millions of dollars. Congressmen often take lavish vacations on the taxpayers’ dime.  And the list goes on and on.

Meanwhile individuals who have autism in the state of Missouri and many other states struggle to find help. Special Education programs in schools are grossly ill-equipped to provide the kind of speech therapy and early interventions that are crucial to one’s success when a diagnosis of ASD is present. If an individual with autism has limited vocabulary or is nonverbal, they are herded through the system like cattle. Cody was awarded a high school diploma but at one time he was not even eligible for coverage that paid for any kind of treatment that was related to his diagnosis. Thank God that has changed!

For six years, while he waited for services Cody stayed at home with his grandmother who was unable to provide him with the kind of socialization skills he needed so desperately to learn. While during his high school years he had reached a plateau in his progression toward becoming self-sufficient, after high school he was for all intents and purposes on his own except for being provided with meals and a watchful eye with a telephone to call Bill or myself at work if there was a problem. Can we say regression? And there are so many people just like him who have suffered or are suffering the same dilemma.

Bill and I are fortunate enough to have jobs to provide necessities for our son. So I don’t mean to complain about our household financial situation. But we could not afford to pay out of our pockets for the necessary services Cody now receives which we all waited for, for so long. And now Congress is once again talking of cutting social services for those who need them the most! How long will this go on?

It is common when injustices like this arise, for people to say, “You have to speak up.” Well I’m speaking up in a very public way.

All of the concerns I have mentioned in my column today will be put into a letter and forwarded to my congressman, my governor, my senators, and yes … the White House. I’m only one person and so is my son. But if we can inspire more people to do the same, and some of those people inspire more people to do the same, it won’t be long before our legislators are hearing an earful from a whole lot of people who are tired of their loved ones being pushed aside because they have a diagnosis on the autism spectrum. This has to stop!



Comment Options

Thank You So Much

It's really nationwide I think. I don't really know of any of the states who have any good policies in place to support funding for programs for those on the spectrum. And thank you so much for your feedback and nice compliment!

Anonymous

AMEN!

Things are not much better in New Hampshire.   I'm curious how other states are doing.  Keep up the good work.  I love reading your articles.