SafeMinds Reminds: IACC Budget Meeting Wed., Sept. 10
Is Autism Speaks' Geri Dawson a Blithering Idiot?

I'm Not a One Issue Voter. Not Even For Autism.

OpinionKim Stagliano

Boy, the posts and the comments about the candidates have been flying fast and furious here at Age of Autism. I'd thought I'd steer clear of commentary, but that's sort of what I do, isn't it? So here I am, putting my opinion out there for you to, er, enjoy.  I could say this in two sentences: I'm not a one issue voter.  Not even this time around. Of course, it's far more fun to expound.

I'm worried about the cost of heating my home this winter and that my parents' budget payment for oil has doubled since last year while their income has been eaten alive by overall inflation. I wonder will Mark and I ever be able to afford anything close to the house we had to sell 3 three years ago when autism and unemployment joined forces and almost bankrupted us. I wonder if healthcare will ever include my kids for real so that I can get speech and OT and PT and biomedical treatments for them. We pay $12,000 out of pocket for insurance premiums and get precious little in return. The current autism insurance legislation in my homestate of CT does a big fat nothing for my kids. My husband's company is self-insured, which makes them exempt from having to include autism coverage.

I worry about current and future wars and terrorism and saber rattling. I worry that the tall guy in the cave is laughing at us while women in Pakistan (our ally!) are buried alive for protesting their arranged marriages. During which time we're spending billions in the general vicinity, but haven't found that cave. Or made life better for those women.

I worry about the familiar chill emanating from halfway around the world in a country that reminds me of tall fur hats and vodka. I think about Supreme Court justices retiring and what that might mean for my three daughters who, as women with autism, might face sexual assault and unplanned pregnancy. (That thought makes me want to gulp a glass of vodka.)

I lament that my little brother, who has had a faithful partner for over sixteen years and is an honest, law abiding, tax paying citizen of America, has no legal rights for his loving relationship and is considered a second (or worse) class citizen by many.  I also worry about having a government that even considers mandating health care choices for me and my family. And that includes vaccination mandates, which I am against. Then I worry about what having a leader who wants to teach creationism in public schools means for our education system.

I worry that some Americans actually think that voting for a woman whose birth canal is as busy as the Panama Canal automatically means she'll advocate for every child in America. I worry that having a child with a clear cut genetic difference for which there is prenatal testing is so different from having a vaccine injured child that the two worlds will never approach science in the same way. I worry that we'll drill for a whopping ten barrels of oil in a pristine state instead of making national sacrifices and cutting back and then putting American ingenuity to work on solutions to our energy needs.  We have 3% of the world's oil reserves and yet we use over 25% of the world's oil. (T. Boone Pickens says so.) Even if you can't count back millions of years into evolution, you should be able to see that the math of drilling in Alaska is false campaign promise of energy security.

My God, how am I not popping Paxil like Certs? I worry a lot!

I'm definitely not a one issue voter. That said, I am looking for the candidate who tells me (s)he will look at all possible causes of autism, including our vaccination program, even if that means a shift in our public health policy, because my kids are as important as the proverbial herd. And who will help me treat my kids' autism right now. But that candidate might only exist in my dreams. So I'll have to vote for the candidate who meets the other urgent requirements on my list.   

I have to have enough financial security to tend to my own flock - I need a strong economy for that. And I want to know who will help me take care of my girls throughout their lifetimes. I'm not looking for a government handout - but the reality of autism is that few parents, if any, will be able to finance the care many of our children will need and still support themselves in some sort of retirement.  I think taking care of disabled Americans is as important as bailing out Bear Stearns, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. (And maybe Lehman later this week from what I'm hearing.) 

I'm worried that foreclosures among senior citizens, once our most financially conservative and sound demographic, are up 125% this year as they struggle with stagnant income, anemic interest rates and skyrocketing costs of living.

Senator McCain or Obama, Senator Biden or Governor Palin, can you ease a mother's mind that when I die, my children will not be left to the mercy to a patchwork system that doesn't know what to do or make of people with autism? My kids don't HAVE bootstraps.  Autism has robbed them of the ability to care for themselves. (Dammit, now I need a Paxil and a tissue.)

Even worse, now I've got this horrible song running through my head. And I'm afraid no such thing exists.

Kim Stagliano is Managing Editor of Age of Autism. She doesn't actually take Paxil, although coffee and chocolate are daily requirements for sanity.



That's the same shtick they pulled on Huckabee during the primaries when the polling numbers showed his popularity overtaking Obama. Especially considering that it's coming from NYT, I'd reserve judgment til some corroborating evidence is found (other than the say-so of people who didn't like her to begin with & have an ax to grind).

Take the ex-brother-in-law story, for example. The guy was abusive & violent and was making death threats (he tasered his 11yo for pete's sake). How often do you hear about that in connection with the hyped up accusations?


More about Gov. Palin --

Regardless of who I may vote for, I too say thank you so much Kelli Ann for reaching out to the candidates, and for everything else you do to represent our interests in Washinton.

Kelli Ann Davis

"Thank you, Kelli Ann, for reaching out and speaking with Governor Palin."


It was totally by the seat of my pants and last minute -- but doesn't it always work out that way?? A local mom documented our efforts and we're going to write a story and submit it to Age of Autism once she gets the video converted to You Tube.

When I saw Sarah Palin's acceptance speech last week, I told myself, "I need to connect with her" and 9 days later, I did -- along with First Dude!

BTW: He is just as good looking (actually better looking) in person as he is on TV ;-)

Hey, is there such a thing as the *hot* vote?


Okay, if this proves to be true, this is the most despicable thing yet. This man cares nothing about anyone but himself -


Just to clarify - I am not a fan of Rush who I consider an insufferable egotist or Air America which I am unfamiliar with. Mike Huckabee comes the closest to where I am politically. (And no, despite the media attempts to pigeon hole him, I am most definitely not an evangelical either)

However, I am a definite believer that our country desperately needs what he calls "vertical politics" to get out of this stupid, vicious cycle of party politics that accomplishes virtually nothing of any usefulness.

We watch the same greedy power struggles repeated ad nauseum. We watch people's reputations get shredded by twisted truths & outright lies to the point that we frequently can't get decent people to run for office because they have no desire to endure the viciousness.

Disagreements cannot be respectful & handled with reasoned discourse - no, if you disagree with our views, then it must be because you are the most heinous possible label we can dream up to slap on you.

And we wonder why we are in this current political morass. I think it's safe to say that we are simply reaping what's been sown.


Okay, Kim, apparently you're seeing something worthwhile & productive in this that I'm not. I'll be curious to see what this *healthy* political dialogue accomplishes for our kids.
It was so tempting to respond more in kind to your insults, but instead I will simply explain that sometimes when the obvious or idiotic gets pointed out to us, it's because we have said something that clearly overlooked the obvious.

Let me spell it out a little differently since the obvious left you examining my reasoning processes instead of yours. I have a 13yr old daughter who has a very rebellious spirit (in addition to most likely being ADHD & is overly impulsive). I cannot begin to tell you how much it thrills me to hear someone who apparently has no clue assert that the fact that my daughter chronically lies to & steals from me is my deficient parenting skills & failure to teach her moral values.

You are using the same cruel judgment on Gov. Palin that you would probably *strenuously object* to having used on you in relation to your child's problems.

Have you never made impulsive choices that you regretted afterward? Did you never rebel against your parents as a teenager? Do you blame your parents for any bad choices or mistakes you made?

My mother raised me with higher than average standards & was a good person - not a perfect mother, but definitely decent & tried the best she could. I certainly don't fault her for my own rebellion as a teen - it was not a poor or lack of moral formation that was at fault.

It was the siren call of the culture that I jumped into with enthusiasm. I was one of those pig-headed kids that preferred to learn from my own mistakes than sage advice or other's experiences. Thank goodness, I've survived to repent of my stupidity without too many scars to show for it.

Please stick to honestly assessing Gov. Palin for her politics - which is pretty obviously the ulterior motive in your personal assault - & stop judging her as a mother when you do not have sufficient access to that information to be able to do so.

It's so hypocritical to hear lefties decry the invasion of the private lives of Democrats - as if one can be dishonest in one's private life but be trustworthy on the job - while claiming that the private lives *of the children* of Republicans are fair game.

Or I suppose we could continue in this vein & start discussing the judgment & character of a politician who has an affair with a woman while his wife is possibly dying from cancer. Or a politician who has multiple affairs on his wife including even in the Oval Office (actually that applies to several Democrats come to think of it).


I'm not too excited about Governor Palin's proclamation of National Infant Immunization Week. I haven't checked on all fifty of them, but I'd be willing to bet almost every governor did the same. I'd also be willing to bet they barely read what was put in front of them before signing off on it. Kind of like when they proclaim National Autism Awareness Month, but then nothing really changes or gets done, except that this is far more dangerous. They ALL need to be educated. Thank you, Kelli Ann, for reaching out and speaking with Governor Palin.


Kelli - Sorry about the misspelling. I knew about the "i"...just typing quickly and not paying attention.

I agree that Autism needs to be on every candidate's radar. I also know that both Obama and Biden have responded to A-CHAMP's questions regarding our children's situations, but as of this moment, I have heard of no response from either McCain or Palin. I find that disturbing. I will be honest here and tell you I have never voted for a Republican for president, but I have voted Republican in local elections.

I dismiss Sarah Palin for long list of reasons, and will not support her just because she has a special needs child. (Which is what started this whole back and forth to begin janedoe's comment...first one posted).

Grace....I have never said something like this on AOA....but your comment was the most idiotic, try-to-get-her-angry comment I have ever seen here. Congratulations. You got me angry. (so maybe it wasn't so idiotic, if that was goal) Of course I have children. And one of them is on the Autistic spectrum. What the hell do you think I am doing on AOA? If I didn't have a kid with Autism, I'd probably be reading great novels instead of Autism blogs.


Good morning, Grace. My sister isn't faring so well outside of Houston. It's a mess down there.

I'm still going to disagree with you on our content - of course we're not a monolithic political group - you can go to Rush's site or Air America for that. There isn't a newspaper or blog in the world where I agree with every single word written. We offer news and opinion at A of A - and you can always skip any pieces that set your hair on fire.




Would you ever consider voting for a Republican or a conservative? If not, then you have revealed that you are indeed a single issue voter.

I also have to believe that you don't have any children of your own to assert that you can judge a woman's mothering skills on her children's mistakes. The same mother who produced JFK & RFK also produced Teddy...


Yes, we were in harm's way from the hurricane, but thankfully, we were spared anything overly major. This is the first I've been able to get online since. I appreciate the offer of concern.

I just got done watching one of the news conferences in Houston. *Some* of the news reporters were jumping all over apparent "issues" that had come up to delay relief deliveries by perhaps a few hours.

I found it interesting how most of the representatives of the various levels of govt. refused to take the bait. They said that now was the time to take care of people as quickly as possible - we can sit back & critique those efforts later.

Interesting that the 2 people there who could not resist getting some jabs in & do some finger pointing were both Democrats. To accomplish what? Like we have time for bickering when people need help now. There will be time enough to look at those issues & how they could have been avoided when the urgency has passed. There's a lesson in there that I believe applies here.

Looking over the comments on this is prima facie evidence of why you should not encourage the use of autism as a political football. People should come before partisanship & our kids need help NO MATTER WHO WINS THE ELECTION.

I think it's a pretty safe guess that NONE of your readers is a one issue voter. (OTOH, clearly some here are DailyKos fans - the Michael Savage equivalent of the left) Yes, we are fortunate to be in a country with freedom of speech & I am thankful for that, esp. knowing that many died that we might have this privilege. But I follow this column for help, info & support - not to be ticked off, offended & caricatured vicariously -- or are only progressive liberals & potential converts welcome here?

P.S. blueheron, I refer you to this article at WaPo -
Even if you prefer to believe that Palin didn't know what the Bush Doctrine is (which I find highly unlikely since even a nobody like me had some idea), clearly Gibson did not either. Charlie Gibson, nice try, but you are no Tim Russert...

Kelli Ann Davis

Actually Diane, I haven't decided who I'm voting for yet; the point is that autism needs to be on every candidate's radar and it seems like you're willing to *dismiss* a major VP candidate based on her party affiliation and you're using her daughter's decision to try and do it.

BTW: My name is with an "i"


Jeff - thanks for making that clear. Appreciated.


So, I understanding that you ARE a one issue voter? If so, therein lies our difference.

Kelli Ann Davis

"If you go back and read some of the earlier comments on this post you will see that this started because I believe that Sarah Palin - well -- just go back and read if you care to. I'm done with the moose hunter with lipstick."


First, I have read all the comments on this thread and am well aware of the points you've made and I don't agree with your assertion that you *know* that Sarah Palin failed in teaching her children values -- plain and simple.

Second, I'm not "done with the moose hunter with lipstick" since *SHE* may be the next VP of the United States -- statistically speaking the odds are 50% -- and the White House is an important part of this equation for the next 4 (maybe 8) years. Therefore, I will continue to reach out to her *REGARDLESS OF HER POLITICAL AFFILIATION* for the simple fact that she *may be* the WH connection for our kids.

Third, I spoke to both her and Todd last night regarding our issue and now the connection's been made. But according to you I should have just what?? Not attempted to make the connection because she's a "moose hunter who wears lipstick" and she isn't a democrat?

Sorry, but I'm not willing to cut my odds of success in making a WH connection by 50% because I'm hyper-focused on political affiliation.

Bottom Line: Autism is NOT a party issue -- it's a national issue and I absolutely refuse to slam the door to any person who has a shot at occupying the White House.

Kelli Ann Davis
DC Political Liaison for Generation Rescue

Jeff Ransom


Infant Immunization Week
Sarah Palin, Governor

WHEREAS, every day, nearly 12,000 babies are born in the United States. Every year in Alaska approximately 10,000 babies are born.

WHEREAS, every year, thousands of children become ill and suffer needlessly from diseases that could have been prevented by timely childhood immunizations.

WHEREAS, these new citizens need on-time immunizations to protect them against 14 vaccine-preventable diseases before age 2.

WHEREAS, infants are especially vulnerable to infectious diseases and complications that these diseases can cause.

WHEREAS, immunization is the single best way for children to be protected from vaccine-preventable diseases.

WHEREAS, National Infant Immunization Week is an annual observance to highlight the importance of protecting infants from vaccine-preventable diseases.

WHEREAS, the United States will join those in the Western Hemisphere and Europe to celebrate Vaccination Week in the Americas and European Immunization Week to make the importance of infant immunization an international event.

WHEREAS, parents are encouraged to talk to their healthcare provider to ensure that their infant is up-to-date on immunizations.

WHEREAS, healthcare providers play a critical role in educating parents about the importance of immunization and ensuring that infants are fully immunized.

WHEREAS, the success of vaccination has led to the near elimination of some previously common and life-threatening diseases. Most parents, grandparents, and even healthcare providers have never seen the devastation caused by vaccine-preventable diseases such as polio or measles. However, these diseases still exist in the world. Vaccination is necessary to keep outbreaks of preventable diseases from occurring.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Sarah Palin, Governor of the state of Alaska, do hereby proclaim April 19-26, 2008, as:

Infant Immunization Week

in Alaska, and encourage all parents to recognize the importance of this week.


Diane---I am sure each and every one of us here has failed to follow or agree with every single thing taught to us by our mothers. Does that mean our mothers failed all of us? I think that's rather insulting to mothers. I agree with Kelli Ann that this was Bristol's choice. I may have other issues with Sarah Palin, but Bristol's pregnancy isn't one of them.


Kelli Ann -- I have seen many, many religious families (where I live) teach their children the joy of religion. Their children grow up and keep religion active in their lives. That is how I know that. When a parent teaches their child to appreciate the beauty of something, whether it be religion, abstinence, sunsets - whatever - and the child grows up to respect the things taught, the teaching was done effectively. This is not about choices, Bristol's or anyone else's, its about teaching and learning. If you go back and read some of the earlier comments on this post you will see that this started because I believe that Sarah Palin - well -- just go back and read if you care to. I'm done with the moose hunter with lipstick.

Kelli Ann Davis

"The values of this belief were not taught."


How the heck could you possibly know that??

The girl is an *INDIVIDUAL* with her own free choice. Her mom could have taught her *values* until she was "blue in the face" and still, Bristol can choose to do whatever she wants.

Bottom Line: It was *Bristol's* decision whether to have sex before marriage and the only thing we *KNOW* for sure is she decided to exercise this choice. Period.


Check out their voting records folks. I was recently informed also that every past, present, and future U.S. President is related to Queen Elizabeth - to include McCain and Obama. Why did our ancestors escape from England? Freedom! It is worth looking into. I was also recently informed that President Bush has NEVER vaccinated his own children and has been quoted on the record that he would never take a flu vaccine. Another thing worth checking out. Call me a conspiracy nut, but I find it all too convenient that the only candidates that make it to the end are the ones who receive the most campaign funds from Big Pharma!!


I have a severe/profoundly disabled son, So when I heard that we could have the possibility of a Vice President with a disabled child, I was ecstatic! But then I started doing my homework and this is what I found.

Also for the mercury groups, Please do your homework on John McCain and Peabody Coal(The largest coal mining in our country) Also check out Palin and copper mining.

Sarah Palin Slashed Special Needs Education by 62%
For those of you who seem so enamored with Gov. Sarah Palin, it might be worth noting that she oversees the budget for the Department of Education and Early Development Special Schools in Alaska.
These funds provide supplementary educational services to students with severe disabling conditions and the Alaska Challenge Youth Academy. The resident school where the child would normally be placed does not have the resources to provide an adequate educational program. Without the supplementary services the child's needs would not be met by the local school district in most cases.
The following programs are included within this component:
Special Education Service Agency (SESA)
The Annual budget for 2007, which preceded Gov. Palin was $8,265,300.
The Annual budget for 2008, enacted by Gov. Palin is $3,156,000.
The Annual budget for 2009, enacted by Gov. Palin is $3,156,000.
This is a cut in special needs services to children in Alaska of 5,109,300 , or 62%.
So, as the Alaska State Budget description states, "Without the supplementary services the child's needs would not be met by the local school district in most cases."
Did 62% of all of the special needs children in Alaska stop having needs once Gov. Palin took office?
Before we get so excited about Gov. Palin bring her "Reformer" agenda to Washington, perhaps we should get to know a little more about what exactly that means to our children, and the opportunities that she would "Reform".


Kelli Ann wrote: Gimme a break. Her daughter is on the brink of adulthood and unless her parents plan on forcing her to wear a chastity belt and holding the key, she obviously has a free choice.

To Kelli Ann and others who agree with this statement I say this: Teaching to abstain from sexual relations prior to marriage is just that. It does not matter that the girl is on the brink of adulthood. The values of this belief were not taught.

I don't want Sarah Palin teaching my kids anything.


Let's remember those who serve us in the military too and their efforts to receive autistic benefits and therapy for their children.

McCain has my vote for this one.


Regarding Senator Obama, I just want to say that I don't think we should jump to conclusions based on one impromptu comment. I'm not even sure whether he understood the question, or whether we understood his reply.

One can be for vaccines but not be for taking away individual choice (just like someone can work to prevent unplanned pregnancies, be against abortion, but support the right of individuals to choose).

I don't think any of the candidates have proven a commitment to our cause. I believe the best we can do is keep trying to educate them.

When A-Champ sent a questionnaire to the presidential candidate about autism, Sen. Obama and Sen. Biden responded, but Sen. McCain did not. They have now sent the questionnaire to Gov. Palin -- we shall see whether she responds.

Read Sen. Obama's response here:


Thought Sarah Palin handled her first interview as VP well.
Let's remember Obama has himself only served 173 days in the Senate and has not governed a State.
Palin's democratic counterpart is known for his verbal gaffs, like asking a colleague in a wheel chair to stand and be recognized.
I found the whole interview condescending.
She handled it well.
Unless she back pedals on Special needs I'm voting McCain Palin.
She has a track record of reform.
Multiplied Special Needs funds 3 fold in her state.
Has a nephew with Autism.
A son in the military.
Is running with a candidate that has clearly said Thimerosal is implicated in Autism.
Afraid of Polio
Against vaccine choice
Pro-national health care
Was personally handed a copy of Autism Yesterday by the Handley's and had a staffer with a diagnosed child.
Yet not even a disclaimer on the Polio statement.


I've long been against socalized medicine for a variety of reasons, but you have to wonder if the government were responsible for the cost of their damage, perhaps they'd take a closer look at the damage they do. Maybe that's the real reason why Sweden banned thimersol in 1991 and why most European countries have banned many dangerous chemicals we continue to use here. Not out of love for people or the environment, but to protect their own budgets.
If you're picking up the tab for chronic health problems, it is your best interest to take a closer look at the environment. I've given up thinking government or industry can be good on their own, but maybe we can trick them into it.


A mom running for president is adamantly anti-choice even in the case of rape or incest, claims to adhere to right-wing Christian family values, says she loves her baby with DS, and claims to be an advocate for kids with disabilities. She is against sex-ed in school and thinks we should only teach abstinence. Are her family's issues irrelevant and personal? Is the National Enquirer a reliable source? You decide:

Should we judge a candidate's mothering skills? Should we judge a female candidate for running for office when she has 5 children with a range of issues needing a parent's attention? Are we treating Gov. Palin differently because she is a woman? Honestly, I judge her negatively based on these issues. I don't know how she would be able to take on the job of the presidency (which would be a real possibility were she and Sen. McCain elected) without neglecting her children. The presidency is not just any job. It requires full focus.

When I saw her arrive home to Alaska, give her daughters and baby son little pecks and a pat on the head, give a speech with her usual radiant smile on the eve of her son's departure to Iraq, she strikes me as cold-hearted.

And I'm not even going to go into her political beliefs, knowledge and experience, which of course are even bigger issues and worthy of debate, in some other venue.


"For those who think that Palin didn't understand Charlie Gibson's "Bush Doctrine" question when she asked him to clarify what he meant - I suggest you look it up at Wikipedia & compare it to Charlie's condescending assistance. She knew what he was asking better than he did & was making sure that he explained specifically what aspects he wanted her to affirm or reject."

Of course! Palin couldn't even begin to answer the question of whether she agrees with the Bush Doctrine because she's so deep within the neoconservative debate over its true meaning that she had to narrow the parameters of the question to even begin to formulate her answer.

Sarah Palin, hyper-intellectual!


Good morning, Grace. My piece expressed my personal concerns for my family and my country. If you've never read, "What's the Matter with Kansas" I suggest you do. It details how the Republican Party has convinced middle and lower middle class Americans to vote against their own welfare for carefully crafted social issues.

I'm glad we can disagree. That's the American way. I hope you're not in harms way from the hurricane.




And just in time to follow up my other post comes an interesting snippet just found online - Palin certainly has more cred on national security than Obama (not hard to do) & more discretion than Biden who only takes one foot out of his mouth to put the other one in...

Subject: Important info re: Palin's Nat. Secur. Cred

Just picked up some little known info on Palin's National Security Credentials. Some have shrugged off her position as Commander of the Alaskan National Guard but see this:
"Alaska is the first line of defense in our missile interceptor defense system. The 49th Missile Defense Battalion of the Alaska National Guard is the unit that protects the entire nation from ballistic missile attacks. It's on permanent active duty, unlike other Guard units.

As governor of Alaska, Palin is briefed on highly classified military issues,homeland security, and counterterrorism. Her exposure to classified material may rival even Biden's.

She's also the commander in chief of the Alaska State Defense Force (ASDF), a federally recognized militia incorporated into Homeland Security's counterterrorism plans.

Palin is privy to military and intelligence secrets that are vital to the entire country's defense. Given Alaska's proximity to Russia, she may have security clearances we don't even know about.

According to the Washington Post, she first met with McCain in February, but nobody ever found out. This is a woman used to keeping secrets.

She can be entrusted with our national security, because she already is."

George Faught
State Representative, OK House District 14

P.S. For those who think that Palin didn't understand Charlie Gibson's "Bush Doctrine" question when she asked him to clarify what he meant - I suggest you look it up at Wikipedia & compare it to Charlie's condescending assistance. She knew what he was asking better than he did & was making sure that he explained specifically what aspects he wanted her to affirm or reject.


It frustrates me beyond belief when people use autism to push their political agenda. Turn this into another left/ right football & I guarantee you we'll get even less done than is happening now. Autism knows no political boundaries & has worsened under both Democrat & Republican presidents. The fact is that the government is a major part of the problem so many of us are not holding our breath for government to be the solution.

I have to tell you that I am starting to find it tiring to get indirectly backhanded by you. You already managed to hit me & those I love with your attempted swipe at Savage's listening audience that was apparently aimed at all southern conservatives who you apparently blame for his existence - even though the vast majority consider him about on a level with DailyKos -- refuges for the irrational fringe.

I am also a mom of 5 beautiful children (+1 in heaven) - 1 with Tourettes & NVLD, 2 with ADHD & 1 PDD-NOS & all with allergies of some sort - please let me know what traffic load you find acceptable for my uterus and which ones I should return.

Personally, I have no trouble believing that a woman who sees every child as a gift from God - especially her beautiful baby with Down's who she told friends & family was not to be an object of their pity, but a source of great joy - is going to be a better advocate for disabled children than someone who believes that we should affirm the choice of women who believe that disabled children should not even be allowed to live.

I am highly doubtful that a candidate who has been caught in multiple acts of dishonesty and has been part of the Chicago political good ol' boys fraternity dutifully lining his pockets & portfolio is going to give us any kind of change that we the people will find particularly helpful for our children. And the audacity of criticizing the experience of a woman who has more executive experience than both men on the ticket put together is unreal.

All this typical politispeak from the candidate who has been promising government as unusual, but freaked out when the Republican ticket actually did opt for shaking up the status quo. And what do the Obamaphiles do? Scream for Gov. Palin to take her shoes off & get back in the kitchen where she belongs (well, where they would prefer her anyway). Holler that she lacks experience & judgment to stand up to the big, scary guys, whereas Obama is a fresh breeze that will miraculously clean the stink out of D.C. Or the one that kills me - she is good with a teleprompter but has no substance. I'd say that's the pot calling the kettle black, but then I'd surely be accused of racism based on my voting registration.

Thanks for another kick in the gut! We can now turn on each other instead of working together in common cause. Divided our kids will continue to fall thru the cracks...


Thanks for articulating what so many of us are feeling, Kim. I've got a kid with cerebral palsy and a kid with autism. Our health insurance doesn't pay for much, and we pay for 100% of all their therapy and mental health services, and 20% of all the EEG's, orthopedic surgeries, epilepsy meds, MRI's, to the tune of over $20,000 per year in out of pocket costs to us. So this is an important one issue, but NOT the only issue.

Please remember, those of you who think Sarah Palin is so great, that you'll be electing McCain. The same McCain who said we'd be in Iraq for "100 years", the guy who repeatedly skipped out on voting for the energy bills before Congress, the same McCain that can't remember how many houses he owns (8) and who has regular, documented temper tantrums.

But wait, there's more! Their campaign's grotesque, perverse accusation and lie that Obama only wrote one piece of legislation which mandated sex ed in Kindergarten. The bill actually was about giving kids of all ages tools (at their level) to recognize a sexual predator and get away. I personally would like my kids to know how to avoid sexual predators, how about you?

Palin would like rapists, even rapists of children, to father babies that those raped children have to carry to term. She would like mothers who will die in labor to also carry their babies to term.

Palin's speech was full of distortions and blatant lies, about Obama, and about her own "accomplishments" including the famed support of the Bridge to Nowhere, and her "deep" (2 years only) involvement in PTA.

If you think Alaskans like Palin, try asking the Native community. She is reviled by non white, non Christians in Alaska.

And ... she is the one claiming that her mothering is part of the "experience" that qualifies her to be President. So what is that experience? Recently, five months ago to be exact, her water broke and she GOT ON A PLANE and flew from Texas to Alaska. Not only is it illegal to fly on a commercial airplane while in labor, it's cruel endangerment to the child-to-be. Is this the kind of "mothering" you want for our kids, not to mention our country? She has NO IDEA what it's like to have a special needs kid when her kid is only 5 months old. She's no expert, and she's no advocate.

Under her governorship, spending on education in Alaska remained flat, in spite of the state's booming oil industry revenue filling its coffers. She raised it $100 per student. Big whoop.

And, just tonight on ABC she talked about how "Perhaps so" we'd go to war against Russia. She knows all about Russia because, "They’re our next door neighbors and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska..."

People, WAKE UP!!!

Ah, I feel better now, thank you.

Cherry Sperlin Misra

Kim has made an excellent point in pointing out that the economy matters a great deal. Every economist knows today that the U.S. is on the brink of a precipitous decline. The Chinese, for one, can pull the carpet out from under us at any time they please. Right now, they dont please, but who can say about the future. Without money, no one will be helping you with autistic kids. With the economy in disarray, the only way a US president can get reelected for a second term, is to start a war and remind everyone that they have to be patriotic. We have had a president for 8 years who has antagonized the entire world.Now we need someone very very smart ,who will take advice from experienced foreign affairs personnel and our best economists.We are no longer the boss of the whole world. We are still an important player, but not the boss. We need some new ways of thinking or we and our children are in for some very tough times.
Re forced vaccinations I heard recently about the Canadian approach - Its short, simple and I think it could resonate: You cannot mandate vaccines because vaccination is a medical procedure and you cannot force anyone into a medical procedure. Would that not be one of the great medical commandments?


For those that believe universal health care will lead to forced vaccination. You never know - but that hasn't happened in Canada. People there are pretty much just as free to make decisions for themselves as they are here. In fact, the documented cases of harassment or refusal to treat seem to be much more frequent here. I was recently denied care because I refused to get a mammogram; a different procedure, but still an issue of freedom of choice. Yes, right here in the wonderful privatized system of the USA.

Jeff Ransom

From someone who loves your posts very, very, very much. And someone who is very much a independent voter.

One less thing for you to worry about, from Factcheck.


Palin has not pushed for teaching creationism in Alaska's schools. She has said that students should be allowed to "debate both sides" of the evolution question, but she also said creationism "doesn't have to be part of the curriculum."

Also, you did not say this but, it is out there. From
Palin did not cut funding for special needs education in Alaska by 62 percent. She didn’t cut it at all. In fact, she tripled per-pupil funding over just three years.


Diane, no massive disagreement just on a few of these mothering posts.
Yes, what's with the ghastly colors and strange hair dos this election year. As if there wasn't enough drama eh?

FYI, I caught a shot of Sarah Palin's nephew with Autism in Newsweek.
He was cradled in Mom's arms did not appear to be high functioning, but who knows.
If she is like my sister (we are closer than pantyhose 2 sizes small), Sarah got blow by blow details every moment past regression.

I know it will take more than a VP in the know. It will take a Congress, a Senate and a reformed HHS/CDC that prioritize children over industry.
I'm hoping for either change or reform, yesterday.

Kelli Ann Davis

"If she can't teach her own daughter about one of the issues she firmly stands behind, then why would anyone believe she can take care of anyone else's child?"


Ever heard of the saying, "You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink?"

Gimme a break. Her daughter is on the brink of adulthood and unless her parents plan on forcing her to wear a chastity belt and holding the key, she obviously has a free choice.

That *doesn't* mean her mom failed in *teaching her* values. All it means is she chose to go a different path.

Diane (again)

Pamela --- She operates on family values but goes back to work three days after the birth of her (?) baby. (let's not go into that one at this time) So, for that reason, her role as a mother is fair game.

As for her ability to perform the job. Puleeeze. She has so little experience that women in this country should be appalled at John McCain for choosing her. She is a ploy to get votes for him. Its unfortunate (and kinda amazing) that women do not see this. She did a masterful performance presenting a speech that someone else wrote. Period. I don't see anything worthy of my vote.

And by the way, it was Cindy McCain's style choices that were being referred to, not Sarah Palin's.

Good night. I have to get up early for work.



Mothering is certainly different that fathering but it isn't relevant to being vice president or president. Again, it is none of our buisness what kind of mother she is.

To question her in this way is to question the mothering of every working mom. I am not a working Mom. I gave us a dream career when I became a Mom but we should be judging her on her ability to perform the job she is applying for not her abilities as a Mom.
My opinions of her as a mother and her style choices are not relevant.


I don't think that Senator Obama is going to make any good change's to help in aiding to the vaccine reform, by his comment's he sound's like he might go in the opposite direction by mandating vaccine's even further for scare of Polio and other disease's like he commented on. The fact is Obama is going to be the change the Autism community was hoping for! So, think twice before you select his name on the ballot.


Karen--- why are her dresses always so damm BRIGHT? Those greens, those blues...the horror! (And I didn't know you disagreed with my so often in the past, but that's ok...different strokes...)

Pamela - I think the obsessive talk about Sarah Palin is due to the fact that she shook up this election. If John McCain had picked Mitt Romney or some other white guy, the interest would not be the same. He couldn't even get people to his appearances before she came into play.

As for the mothering thing: Mothers are different than fathers. (Don't get me husband is an amazing father and our kids are so lucky to have him.) But mothering is just different than fathering. If you disagree with me, you can join the ranks. :-)


Hillary, if there's one thing a biomed autism Mom knows, it's that we're very much on our own. Of course no candidate can fulfill my caviar wishes and champagne dreams. We all have to prioritize our lists and choose the candidate who meets enough to allow us to sleep at night. Some issues are deal breakers though, as many here are telling us.

I love America and will remain a proud American regardless of who wins and what happens. I'll keep my passport,(which I got in 1986, not 2007) tucked away. ;)


I'm not really sure why there is so much talk about Sarah Palin here. She may have a child with Down's but we have no idea what her understanding is of Autism or her position on vaccination.

None of us know enough about her mothering to have a relevant opinion and as one journalis said, "outside of abusing her children, it's none of our business what kind of mother she is." She is applying for a job. In no other situation would a man or women need to prove good parents to be offered a job and I have never heard a male politician evaluated on his abilities as a father.

Either you agree with her ideologies as a conservative or you don't. The rest is irrelevant. Just vote your ideaology. In this election that should make your decision quite easy.


Neither candidate could (nor will a candidate ever exist who could) take care of all of the problems that you are worried about. Although my worries are different from yours and certainly not as stressful, I have worries too. And I understand to some extent what you are going through. When I was in my twenties, my severely handicapped older sister was raped by a caretaker and left with an STD. I thank God she did not get pregnant. (And yet I somehow remain in favor of Life.) I feel your worry. I know at least one part of what you are thinking.

Here is what I think about when similar worries get to me...and don't get me wrong, I'm as patriotic as the next mom. But if I put myself in your shoes, if I think about what it must be like to live your life, with worries as deep and as broad as yours, it makes me think that you don't need a new president, you need a new country. Like Sweden. Or Denmark. Or the Netherlands. Or someplace else where the government sees it as their purpose to care for every need of every person in the country. That will never happen in America, no matter who is the President or the Vice President. In our country, the solution is local. Small groups of people banding together to take care of one another. That's what we need to work for, hope for, pray for. I don't know how it will happen, all I know is that if we rely on our government to provide the help we need, we will be sorely disappointed.


You say "I want to HEAR OBAMA SAY "I'll will fight to make all AAP recommended vaccines mandatory and I will end ALL exemptions" before I jump ship." But isn't it the CDC that really makes the recommendations and the AAP just follows suit? And doesn't the President appoint the Director of Health and Human Services who then hires the head of the CDC? We need a new CDC director who will immediately work to correct the current out-of-control vaccination schedule! Based on his comment, I really don't think Obama is going to do this. It may even get worse.


Well I totally agree with you for once Diane. It was a big mistake to hand Trig off to Cindy.
I don't think I would let Cindy McCain hold my baby either!
Bad idea.
What the hell would I do if he threw up on her
$300,000 Oscar de la Renta dress!!!!


Jane--- Apologies for not replying sooner. I am a working mother as well.

First of all, I'm not so sure how many happy constituents she has. I've read a lot of commentary from unhappy Alaskans the last few days.

How is she a maverick? By putting a jet on ebay? By comparing herself to a pitbull? By refusing money for a bridge? Sorry, but I don't see it.

The statement about it being an "honor" is pretty standard for the religious who are against abortion. What do you expect them to say: "Shit, this is not what I wanted?" (I will add here that I believe that having my daughter diagnosed with Autism has made me a better mother, but its certainly not an honor.)

Yes. I am implying that Sarah Palin doesn't know how to take care of Kim's kids. Her own daughter is unmarried and pregnant. Certainly not an unusual event and nothing to be ashamed of, but the woman is all about teaching abstinence. If she can't teach her own daughter about one of the issues she firmly stands behind, then why would anyone believe she can take care of anyone else's child?

Additionally, the baby appears to being passed around. For anyone else reading my comment, I very much understand how older siblings help with younger ones, but even Cindy McCain was holding that baby at the RNC. And a woman who works the kind of hours that is required whether being an executive or a vp, simply cannot give the time children need.


I know this is a huge issue - trust me! I want to HEAR OBAMA SAY "I'll will fight to make all AAP recommended vaccines mandatory and I will end ALL exemptions" before I jump ship. People may stay home in protest - but I don't know how the vaccine issue alone changes a voter from Obama to McCain, unless there were other gray area issues as well and this is simply a tipping issue.

I think this conversation we're all having is fantastic, by the way. You, our readers, are the best.


K Fuller Yuba City

Kim you said
"Even worse, now I've got this horrible song running through my head. And I'm afraid no such thing exists."

You have the song in your head to remind you that -You- are the hero for your kids. We parents of children affected by Autism...Are the hero's...
If our children are in a fire,or accident or fall in a lake, someone would jump in and save them. Not so much with Autism.
No matter who is elected, no matter what they say they will do, it will still take parents paying attention on this issue. We need to try to make an overall best choice for president and continue to be a thorn in their side for our issue.


I'm not a "one issue" voter either, normally. This is one hell of an issue though. It basically means that with Obama, based on that statement, we might possibly lose the freedom of choice when it comes to vaccines. Whether one believes vaccines have anything to do with their child's autism, or not, it's a slippery slope that many do not want to start on.

It's more than that though. The fact that he answered so quickly is what bothers me. Secondly, he cited polio. The polio vax has never really been a concern to this community. So I have to look at it as this man just gave an opinion on something that is very important to me, without understanding any of the facts. Practially off the cuff. That's scary. I'm not even going to get into the fact that McCain has come out against big pharm FAR more than any other Democratic candidate, something I've just come to realize.

Considering the issues that AOA has chosen to advocate for, I'm surprised that you are belittling this concern in this way. This is "the" concern for many in this community. Much like how a lot of the fundies have chosen to make abortion their sole deciding factor. That matters to them more than anything, as does this issue to me.

I will make concessions just about everywhere else. This is not one of those things I'm willing to bend on. If Obama's feeling is that we should not have a choice when it comes to vaccination, then I still HAVE a choice when it comes to my new president.

Based on this one issue, that would be John S. McCain.



The biggest worry is that song going through your head. That's 5:43 I'll never get back.

L. Stuiber

I starting having my doubts about Obama after reading this excerpt from “The Danger of Excessive Vaccination During Brain Development: The Case for a Link to Autism Spectrum Disorders by Russell L. Blaylock, M.D.

“While a number of people and even physicians, think they desire a universal health care system (a euphemism for socialized medicine), here is something to consider. The government will use access to health care as a way to mandate vaccinations for all Americans. Those who refuse any of the mandated vaccines will be denied access to health care, meaning you will not be able to see a doctor or enter a hospital or clinic.

All federal programs will have completion of vaccine mandates as a requirement. This could be linked to social security, food stamps, housing subsidy programs and other such federal programs. Remember, they use such tactics now for access to schools and daycare centers. One may even have to prove that they have had all their required vaccinations before they can use public transportation, such as busses, trains and airplanes.”

So much for freedom.


BRAVO and pass the Kleenex!


Has anyone heard back from Obama or any of his staffers about all of the posts here??
I guess what bothers me the most about Obama's comment on selective vaccination and worries about polio coming back is the LEVEL of his implicit ignorance on this hugely important topic. It was so dissapointing to me. I was about to put an Obama sticker on my car and now I am truly unsure if I will show up at the polls.

Angela Warner

My bad... I forgot to include war in my 1. in my previous post. Obviously that is a huge concern to pretty much everyone.

Not enough coffee, sidetracked by my four children (because I had a Panama Canal in my body for seven years LOL) getting them ready for school etc...

Bush screwed up, and someone else has to clean up his mess. Which "Thing 1 and Thing 2" will it be? (and I mean no disrespect towards any of our candidates when I say that)

Yep... the War...


On the Palins - screen name reference...
Sarah Palin only brought Bristol's pregnancy front and center, after the Daily KOS brought up the incredulous notion that Trig was her(Bristol's)baby.
Personally, if I was informed that my baby has some sort of birth defect I would do the best I could to keep the pregnancy low key until I got a grip on what lie ahead.
Having friends who have received a dx of Down's while pregnant and witnessing the devastation of a "dx: of less than perfect child" I totally understand her rational to deliver at a local hospital away from the scrutinizing of the press.
The KOS concocted a John Edward's like sting operation that miserably failed and brought Bristol's pregnancy to the surface.

2 points for "gutsy honesty" for mother and daughter, which is more than I can say for the likes of Bill Clinton (I did not have sex with that woman)and John Edwards.
Bristol's pregnancy was not worn as a badge of honor, Trig covered her belly the day of she was announced the VP pick.
Shame on the press for exploiting it.
Kudos to Obama and the reporters who took the high road on this topic.

As a conservative it is a little ironic to hear Democrats pound a working mother.
It is also a little weird to see Elizabeth Edwards and Hilary Clinton stand by their men, covering up their womanizing indiscretions. Does this not pull up a few planks in the democratic feminist agenda.

I have great appreciation for transparency,
it is not a flaw to be human.
Here is a fantastic article by Camille Paglia a liberal atheist in Salon.
For someone who does not share my core value set I couldn't agree with her more.

"Conservative though she may be, I felt that Palin represented an explosion of a brand new style of muscular American feminism.
At her startling debut on that day, she was combining male and female qualities in ways that I have never seen before. And she was somehow able to seem simultaneously reassuringly traditional and gung-ho futurist.
In terms of redefining the persona for female authority and leadership, Palin has made the biggest step forward in feminism since Madonna channeled the dominatrix persona of high-glam Marlene Dietrich and rammed pro-sex, pro-beauty feminism down the throats of the prissy, victim-mongering, philistine feminist establishment.

In the U.S., the ultimate glass ceiling has been fiendishly complicated for women by the unique peculiarity that our president must also serve as commander in chief of the armed forces. Women have risen to the top in other countries by securing the leadership of their parties and then being routinely promoted to prime minister when that party won at the polls. But a woman candidate for president of the U.S. must show a potential capacity for military affairs and decision-making. Our president also symbolically represents the entire history of the nation -- a half-mystical role often filled elsewhere by a revered if politically powerless monarch.

The gun-toting Sarah Palin is like Annie Oakley, a brash ambassador from America's pioneer past. She immediately reminded me of the frontier women of the Western states, which first granted women the right to vote after the Civil War -- long before the federal amendment guaranteeing universal woman suffrage was passed in 1919. Frontier women faced the same harsh challenges and had to tackle the same chores as men did -- which is why men could regard them as equals, unlike the genteel, corseted ladies of the Eastern seaboard, which fought granting women the vote right to the bitter end."

Hum... sounds like the Mom to special needs to me.
Some people crumble when challenged, some nurse their special needs baby in the governor's office. They own up to their child's teen pregnancy.

Unless you want to dissect the private lives of members of both parties.
Bristol's pregnancy should not be (press) fodder.


Even if you are a one issue voter I think our one issue is a lot bigger than just our one issue, if that makes any sense. It took a whole climate in Washington to make this happen. It took a whole way of doing business to make this happen. We have to look to how that might change (and that could be debated). The same bought people at the head of the FDA and CDC won't change it no matter who is President.
And, if I was a one issue voter (and I agree with Kim on not being) one thing keeps bothering me. It seemed McCain one had his eyes opened to the real cause of autism and a lot of people are excited about that. But if so, why now the silence. Isn't that worse than not having had your eyes opened yet? We were all in that camp once, but we would never dream of turning back now that we have been educated. It seems to me that McCain knew (or suspected) but apparently it isn't worth mentioning during an election.
Of course, I admit I'm biased. I am a technically a "big pharma" donor for Obama. So that shows the limitation of that stat.


I don't think we can conclude that not being for selective vaccinations means forced vaccination. I'd like to ask Obama if he means he thinks doctors should make recommendations for patients - which is what we have now -and many of us change the vaccination schedule for our kids or eschew it altogether. I did not hear, "I will force every American to fully vaccinate their children." Again, I'd sure like to ask him to clarify. And I do think he's "educable." Which is encouraging.

Terri Lewis

I'm not a one issue voter either.

As I wrote two days ago, I think Obama's willingness to force people to vaccinate makes him unfit to run this country.

It shows a mindset I hadn't seen before, and while I'm still with Obama on many important issues (economic, environmental), his vaccine stance is truly scary.

I'm also disappointed that he isn't responding adequately to the way the McCain campaign is distracting voters from real issues, and pandering instead to get us talking about Sarah Palin.

For many, many other reasons (support of torture; support of a misguided war; ignorance, lying and corruption beyond belief; not to mention gross lack of character in his personal life) I also find McCain unfit to lead the country.

I am beyond worrying for our country; I think our leaders (Bush administration) have already crossed lines that make us a people who are only nominally free in a number of ways.

It's not a question of maintaining our freedoms; it's a question of reclaiming them.

Terri Lewis

L Land

As a remember Sarah Palin's speech at the convention she was very much attacking the Democrats. But for some reason it is not ok to attack or even question her - I see this in the "press" every day.
I can't vote for someone I know so little about. As strange as this may sound I think I would rather vote for someone that is not going to address autism than someone that is going to address it in what I consider the wrong way.

On the Palins

"I worry that some Americans actually think that voting for a woman whose birth canal is as busy as the Panama Canal automatically means she'll advocate for every child in America."

I agree with you on that, Kim.

However, how can one presume she will know how to make appropriate decisions for your kids when she lacks the ability to make them for her own. I am talking about the decision to announce her daughter's pregnancy to the whole wide world and parading her on stage for everyone to see and make judgments on. What kind of mother would do this to her teenage daughter? I am guessing the lure of Vice Presidency was more than the honor of her daughter's reputation. Has anybody stopped to even think of what Bristol Palin went through, or how she might have felt? I think that young woman showed more class and looked far more dignified than her mother. And no, I don't think Sarah Palin's mothering skills had anything to do with that.


To add to the Sarah Palin comments-


Jim, my husband is one of five kids. He and I would have had at least four children ourselves had autism not changed that plan for us. I'm not knocking having a large family. I'm saying that it's not a viable criteria running for the second highest office in the land. No one cares how many kids the men have do they?

I'll grant you that my writing style has punch though. Perhaps more than you're comfortable with. I understand.

Thanks for commenting. KIM


Your comment about Palin's choice of having many kids was vulgar and very offensive.

You should be a little bit more respectful of those who choose to have large families and stop making vulgar disgusting comments about their birth canal.


KarenAtlanta, I am also terrified about forced vaccinations. Take a moment to fully explore the website for Healthy People 2010 and Healthy People 2020. Then, look up the New Freedom Health Commission. How's that for some scary doublespeak? Universal, government managed healthcare may end up being the biggest nightmare for all of us. Yes, there are many other issues to worry about.... Way too many issues...


“Many children with Down syndrome have health complications beyond the usual childhood illnesses… [they] have a higher incidence of infection, respiratory, vision and hearing problems as well as thyroid and other medical conditions”.

I wonder if this puts children with Down Syndrome at higher risk for Primary Immunodeficiency? If so, babies with Downs Syndrome could be at higher risk for vaccine failure/ severe adverse reactions. Could this possibly be why there is such a high rate of autism among those with Down's Syndrome?

I have always wondered why they are at a higher risk for developing autism. It will be interesting to see how little Trig is vaccinated, and how he responds.

For all of the same reasons mentioned, I am very much on the fence, which is a first, as I come from a long line of Democrats who I may very well piss off this year.


No worries! I'm happy to respond to any of our readers. We need to have an open debate. The stakes are too high to pussy foot around, don't you agree? Thanks.



Kim, my Sarah Palin "mothering" response was directed at Diane who stated "Damn, she doesn't even take care of her own".
I apologize if you thought I directed it to your commentary. I should have directed the post to Diane, who would have no way of judging Sarah Palin's mothering techniques from one month of media coverage.


Governor Palin's mothering skills mean nothing to me compared to her skills for being President of the United States. That said, when the main product benefit being touted by the advertiser (the campaign) is indeed her role as a mother, it becomes reasonable to take a hard look at it. If she's going to use her family and the campaign is going to use her family, I'm going to see how and why for myself. And probaby have an opinion on it and write about it. After all, that's my career.


Right on, Kim.


It is really off base judging Sarah Palin's mothering ability. When my 4 kids were small they went everywhere the family went in either a sling or back back.
We hiked, camped, went to summer concerts.
Mothers should be the ones to "choose" what their kids can or can't tolerate.
I worked through 3 of my pregnancies on a stressful commodities trading floor, often walking to the on site child care center to nurse.
This is 2008.
Moms juggle work and kids.

Like Sarah Palin I have an older daughter, when our youngest came unexpectedly she ran circles around me mothering this baby.
People who don't have a lot of kids of varying ages sometimes don't understand how older kids in families pitch in.
It is distasteful to see Sarah's mothering "choices" bashed. Isn't that what we have endured back to Kanner.

Let's stick to issues, not the politics of personal destruction. Glad to see some columnists calling time here.
Sarah Palin coping with a Down's dx and managing her career encourages me. The fact that she has Autism in the family is a plus.
The fact that McCain an old school politician chose her is amazing.
But... the fact that she tripled Alaska's special need educational budget speaks louder than any gray haired stodgy out of touch politician in my book.

Sarah Palin swung my vote to McCain-Palin.
Admittedly, it was all Trig's fault.

Fielding J. Hurst

No matter who you vote for, vote FOR someone and not AGAINST the other guy. This mindset is exactly what the Republicrats love!


Kim, it was hard to read this post without a box of Kleenex. I found my voting issues as a conservative shrouded in the same concerns.
All roads leading to Autism.

Energy platforms:
Will we have more of less coal burning power plants belching toxins.
Will I have to pay my $300 dollar compounding bill and gas that is $5.00 a gallon if we don't drill.

Abortion platforms:
Will the same people who condone partial birth, scissor snipping, late term abortion one day sink to something worse.
What will happen if the sanctity of life issue erodes to a Terry Shriavo like status. Will our rights at parents be canceled out for the greater economic good?

Admittedly this is one issue I deviate on from my conservative brethren. After dropping our $950 BCBS policy that covered virtually nothing with Autism we coast uninsured.
I want to pipe dream that national coverage is possible, but am terrified it might be dependent on forced vaccines.

All in all, whether liberal or conservative everyday issues are clouded by Autism.
Interesting that when in DC this June we had both Republican's and Democrats working side by side and no blood.
From across the pond, "Your issues are my issues too."
No matter who wins we will have to battle the same old deep pocketed Pharmaceutical lobbyists and and their quasi expert doctors.
So let's make this election year count and attend some events, protest on lawns, shake some hands and work together.


Jane, here's one reason: From the LA Times blog on Mark Blaxill's piece a comment from a doctor:

My wife and I wrote down few thoughts after watching Ms Palin speech last night:

5 month old baby belongs neither in the audience nor on stage, surrounded by loud screaming and flashing lights, at a gathering of thousands.

Trig Palin was born with Down syndrome. According to NADS (National Association for Down Syndrome) “Many children with Down syndrome have health complications beyond the usual childhood illnesses… [they] have a higher incidence of infection, respiratory, vision and hearing problems as well as thyroid and other medical conditions”.

Perhaps Trig Palin suffers from none of these ailments, but any infant’s high susceptibility to infection might be reason enough for the parents to avoid subjecting him to large crowds. Would it not have been wiser if baby Trig made his appearance in the convention hall via satellite from a hotel room in care of a family member or a baby-sitter?

Trig Palin is obviously a very quiet child. He does not scream or struggle the way other infants his age might have done. Down Syndrome genotype affects a toddler’s response threshold and intensity (1). Because of a muted response to stimuli, infants with Down syndrome can appear less volatile and fearful than other babies, and often exhibit less anxiety upon being separated from their mothers (1). Baby Trig's inability to express the level of discomfort and anxiety he is experiencing seems to have made him an ideal political prop for his parents.

Governor Palin would like us to entrust her with the welfare of all the children in this country. Yet in caring for her own baby, she showed an alarming lack of judgment.

Dr. Pavel Osten and Julia Kuhl

(1) Children with Down Syndrome: A Developmental Perspective; Edited by Dante Cicchetti & Marjorie Beeghly; Cambridge University Press



I give you so much credit for putting it all out there.

Like janedoe I really don't know how you do autism x's 3. I know there are a lot of you amazing parents out there.

Yes Kim, you do worry a lot and with good reason. We all have generally the same worries as you. Mostly, what is going to happen to our kids when we die. Of course all the other issues are important too. But, does anyone think one candidate is going to solve all those problems the way they want them to?

I made a promise to myself and to my son that this election I would vote for the candidate that I thought would more likely do something about the autism epidemic. This is the issue for me. The candidate that would stop the madness.Someone that I think might actually do something and not just provide lip service. For 8 years (and in autism time that's a lot) we have had a do-nothing- jerk in the White House who hasn't given our kids an ounce of attention.

I am a one issue voter. I can't vote for someone knowing they aren't open minded to what we know happened to our kids.Someone who at least is willing to talk the talk. Because at this point they are all just promises. That's what politicinans do. They all give rhetoric. But I have to vote for the person I believe will do the most for our kids. Does that person exist? We shall see.

Love the song. Reminds me of my younger days when I didn't have to worry about who the next president was going to be.


I'm not implying, i'm SAYING IT. So far, she's been a mayor for two terms and a governor for less than two years with a very, very happy and satisfied set of constituents.

All the while being a wife, mother, businesswoman and let's not forget, a maverick.

What i especially like about her is when she found out her fifth child had special needs, she considered it an "honor" to be given such a responsibility.

Why, are you implying that Sarah doesn't know how to take care of Kim's kids?


Janedoe: Are you implying that Sarah Palin knows how to care for Kim's kids? I certainly hope you think that one through. Damm, she doesn't even take care of her own!




Dear Ms. Stagliano,

i simply cannot imagine the daily challenges you face every day caring for those who can't care for themselves.

however, may i make a suggestion? you mentioned towards your closing statement that you are concerned for your children's welfare after you pass away. why not leave them with someone who knows exactly how to care for them, since she herself, to a certain degree, is going through the same challenges you do every day of her life?

there is absolutely nothing wrong with being a single issue voter.

as long as that single issue is the one that truly counts.

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