Why so few Options?

The recent events involving the Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Teachers Union(CTU) put some things on my mind as I was left feeling extremely vulnerable within the last 72 hours. The City of Chicago and the CTU announced that they had come to an agreement at 11:55pm last night; 5 minutes before the deadline to avoid a strike. In the event of a strike Chicago Public School teachers would not have gone to work which means students would not have been able to go to school.

This is bothersome on so many levels because for one, Education is one thing that is key to having a prosperous future and therefore should not be looked upon as an option. Secondly, everyone in this country has the right to an education, so having a lapse in what we are owed seems like an infraction upon or rights. However, being faced with the possible scenario of a strike left me wondering where my child would go while I was at work? I found a short list of places that would open their doors to children that attended Chicago Public Schools and, were not able to stay at home due to parent work obligations, but on that list it was only one organization that was properly staffed to work with Special Needs children. The Chicago Park District has a Special Recreation program and staff that work with Special Needs children on a regular basis. However, though I was relieved to know that my son would have a safe place to go; it left me wondering why my options are so few.The parents of the children that are not special needs had several options as to where they could take their children while I only had one.

I am going to make it a point to talk to aldermen and any other necessary city officials to get more resources for special needs families. We should have multiple options as to where we can take our children when they are not in school. Autism, Down Syndrome and other disabilities are not new therefore resources for people touched by them should not be scarce. Please feel free to share your thoughts on this topic.

Politics and Autism

“but then it happened… I heard a little piece that was targeted specifically at me.”

The upcoming Presidential Election has once again brought the fierce exchange of insult slinging between the two candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Like many Americans, I’ve been following the Presidential Debates and watched the latest of the two which aired on Sunday, October 9th. There was the typical talk of politics and how each of the candidates felt they could do a better job than the other… but then it happened… I heard a little piece that was targeted specifically at me. Hillary Clinton stated that she has worked to make sure special needs children are give the proper resources in schools to lead meaningful lives. My brain immediately hit the refresh button for my body as I immediately became more attentive and focused on what the two candidates were saying.

Hillary Clinton was right to make note of the efforts that she has made to insure that our children have education equality and are given the same opportunities as other children to become productive members of society. NEWS FLASH everyone, WE MATTER. Every single day we take care of our special needs loved ones and our efforts are not in vain. We are preparing great people to do great things, so it is befitting that a Presidential Candidate boast about what she is doing and plans to do for us because WE MATTER. Please feel free to share your thoughts on this topic; I welcome your comments.

All Accomplishments are HUGE

Part of the excitement of the year changing is that you get to look back over the previous year and note all of your accomplishments. Over the past year I’ve watched my son aka my little autistic hero grow into a responsible preteen. He helps put the groceries away, makes his own bed and has given himself the job of being responsible for all of the lights in the house. If it sounds like I’m bragging, you’re right, I am. As parents we can’t forget to celebrate all accomplishments, as they land us another step closer to raising happy and responsible adults!