When Autism News on Blogger News Network requested the candidates for the Presidential Elections – Senator Barack Obama, Senator Hillary Clinton who are going for the Democratic nomination and Senator John McCain the Presidential Candidate for the Republican Party to speak out on autism to mark the first ever United Nations World Autism Awareness Day declared by the UN General Assembly and held on Wednesday 2nd April 2008 – two of the three candidates responded by issuing statements – but these statements were not well publicised in the national and international media.
Although it was good to see plans for autism from the candidates we now urge Senators Obama, Clinton and McCain to show their committment to parents, carers, children and adults with autism and Asperger’s Syndrome by organising meetings with families with autism – on the campaign trail. There is nothing like the connection with voters – one to one connections. Autism is a serious education and health issue in the United States. According to the CDC 1 in 150 children is on autism spectrum and numbers are rising. The next President of the United States must show his or her commitment to parents, carers and people with autism by coming up with detailed and specific plans for autism.
We now need to see the candidates meeting with children and adults with autism – public perceptions are extremely important – do they really care for children and adults with disabilities? As far as we are aware the candidates have yet to have specifically organised meetings with parents, carers, children and adults with autism and Asperger’s Syndrome.
So here is the challenge to Senator Barack Obama, Senator Hillary Clinton and Senator John McCain. Will you have the courage of your convictions to speak out on autism and meet with families with autism, children and adults with autism and Asperger’s Syndrome while on the campaign trail?
We urge Democrats and Republicans to bring this to the attention of all the candidates and the those driving the individual campaigns.
The campaign organisers to Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and John McCain must organise this – not behind closed doors, not just though a statement but in the full glare of the media and in front of voters. The candidates must not forget that parents, carers and people with autism and Asperger’s Syndrome are voters too. Politicians ignore them at their peril.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the United Nations have put the issue of autism on the global stage, by declaring the historic World Autism Awareness Day. A future President of the United States going into the White House will have to take this further and come up with sweeping reforms, help and structured support and reach out to all children and adults with autism and Asperger’s Syndrome in the US. A future US President must also bring hope to the hopeless in Africa and Asia where families with autism are sinking without any help or support.We must look at the issue of poverty and autism.
It woould be tremendous if a future President invites parents, carers, children and adults with autism and Asperger’s Syndrome into the White House next year on 2nd April on World Autism Awareness Day 2009. Lets hope this becomes an annual event where the Commander-in-Chief will open the doors of the White House to children and adults with autism and Asperger’s Syndrome. You heard it first on Blogger News Network.