One of the things I have most admired about Age of Autism is its political neutrality over the years. I know that Autism crosses every boundary. I have met and become friends with rich and poor, every ethnicity, every profession and people with every political persuasion.
The blog today is a biographical because I feel I need to convey my unusual perspective. I also find myself at a crossroad of life. I believed. I hoped. I dreamed. So I am going to delve into the thing we are not suppose to talk about at the supper table when we have guests over, Politics.
Honestly I am just a really mixed up and confused individual. I am proud of the fact that I was on the #TCOT (Top Conservatives on Twitter) List top 150. At the same time I was working very hard for President Obama's administration to pass the Affordable Care Act. I even got a certificate and personal letter thanking me for my efforts. Both of these are incredible since I was born in Australia to British parents, lived in Canada, raised in Iowa and still have a British passport.
I now reside just outside a small village downstate Illinois. I often tweet about #RealFarmers and the fact the view as far as the eye can see out my front windows is bean and cornfields. This area is as Conservative Bible belt White as any in the Nation. Picture Mayberry Rural Fire District complete with Andy, Opie and Aunt Bee. If I were to have a second perseveration, beyond the study of Autism, I enjoy politics. By all measures, outwardly I appear to be a conservative, non denominational Christian business owner insisting on individual responsibility accountability and smaller Government.
Now this is where the story gets a little convoluted. I am not sure about the facts my Father was a story teller and embellished for dramatic purposes. This is what i was told and heard told many times over and over. My Father was born into a upper middle class family and actually attended private school with Royalty in the UK. He was born in Swanage at the Southern end of the country and spoke with a rather sophisticated accent from the south. My mother was from the rougher side of the tracks. Cockney true London accent. Her family was bombed out of their house during WWII and the Children farmed out to the North. My Grandfather invented a machine that made the fuel lines for planes and towards the end of the war had to keep it running all the time. It blew up and injured my Grandfather quite severely. Enough, that it caused my Father to be apprenticed to the local foundry. This is how he crossed paths with my mother.
My Mum was beaten by the Nuns. She was called evil and unclean. She was very smart and received a scholarship to school but it only paid for books and tuition not dress and demeanor so she was bullied by many. It paved her life long yearning for education. As you can imagine these two were shell shocked and in many respects emotionally damaged goods. By the time I was 21, I had attended and been truly involved in 22 different religious denominations. My parents always said money is easy to pack. That is how they got started on their trip around the world. England to Australia with a two year old Daughter. Australia to Canada with two children. Canada to Iowa and then retirement back in the UK. Quite the adventure. My sister ended up in Tokyo, Japan. So other than Tanner, I have no blood relatives in the United States.
Finally we get to my crossroads. When I was approached by the Obama Administration to work on the Affordable Care Act I was told Autism services would be included controlled and enforced at the Federal Level. In just the last six months, it was moved back to the struggling States dooming the chances of fruition of the promises. Also I believed President Obama in his Pre first term campaign when he said he would appoint a national coordinator to oversee the various needs of the community dealing with Autism. We had visions of a cabinet level Autism Czar. This also did not happen. Throw in the fact, I have been on a roller coaster ride with the economy, losing day jobs and stressing the family, I guess I too am shell shocked.
I take responsibility for my actions. I am accountable. My experience the last decade dealing with Autism though has opened my eyes to many we walk past. Good hearts, hard working individuals with some really bad luck. Then I step back and ask really, Bad luck? Maybe it is a system that is flawed? Upside down in many respects. I have read that maybe prisons should be forced to make up deficits with box tops and Bake sales instead of Schools. Maybe we should treat our returning Military families with more dignity and respect. Maybe we should hold up a mirror to greedy corporations whose thirst for money is out of control. In what respect is a corporation Human? The vigor we pursue the separation of Church and State should be applied to the infiltration of corporate influence on our Government.
I will step down off my soap box now. I have come out with the fact that I am a foreigner in a land of immigrants. I can't vote. I can't hold office. Many say I should keep my mouth shut. I believe in the possibility of World Citizenship. I will however keep fighting for our kids. My party? The Canary Party. Join U.S.
Tim Welsh, is one of the most active and influential Parent Advocates for Autism. Avid Speaker, blogger, and Twitter (@TannersDad). Tim works to build unity within the Autism community, Gain Insurance coverage reform, End Restraint & Seclusion, Advocate for services, prevent wandering and much more. Tim & his wife Cheri have one son Tanner (16).
“I have a son he has autism, but, I also have dream. I dare dream of a world where profound regressive autism is not only treatable, but is also preventable”