• Mon, Feb 4 2008

Super Tuesday Tomorrow: The Candidates’ Views on Autism

With Super Tuesday coming up tomorrow, here are the Democrat candidates’ positions on autism:

Hillary Rodham Clinton’s autism plan calls for $700 million in funding for autism research and education; here’s the details.

Barack Obama talks about autism in his plan to empower Americans with Disabilities; an overview of the full plan (PDF file).

I have not found (and please let me know if you have!) autism plans on the websites of the other candidates. The Daily Iowan has published a letter from the mother of an autistic child in which she talks about John McCain. Mike Huckabee attended a haircutting fundraiser for autism in New Hampshire and a search of Mitt Romney’s website turned up “no results.”

Autism Bulletin also has an analysis of the candidates’ views on autism, as does John J. Pitney, Jr., on the Britannica Blog.

Obama’s gaining on Clinton here in New Jersey…….

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  • http://www.pittsfordpass.org Mekei

    While the candidates’ stand on autism is interesting, I am more concerned about where they are with education and services for individuals with disabilities. I want to know which candidate will fully fund IDEA! I know HC and BO have said they will work toward that, but it is the 50-50 Congress who will have to do it first.

    Republicans, for the most part, have sided against GWB for reauthorization of NCLB. Democrats, except Ted Kennedy, fought against it, well, because they’re Democrats and the teachers’ unions are lobbying for many changes.

    Meanwhile, GWB recently vetoed a bill to increase funding of IDEA.

    My hopes are not high.

  • Leila

    Republicans don’t care about anyone other than the big corporations, period. Either Democrat candidate is great in my opinion, both on the Education and Healthcare fronts.

  • http://www.autismvox.com Kristina Chew, PhD

    Neither McCain, nor Romney, nor Huckabee mention IDEA or special ed.

    John Edwards, fwiw, did mention special ed and funding it, but not IDEA.

  • Chuck

    There has never been a democrat controlled congress, republican controlled congress, democratic president, or republican president that has ever fully funded IDEA. It is truly a bipartisan issue. Both parties are equally responsible or both parties are equally to blame.

  • http://crimsonthought.blogspot.com/ Cliff

    It doesn’t follow, though, that one group could be more preferential to funding IDEA than another, and it’s hard to talk about such things in such absolutes (don’t get me wrong, I’d absolutely love to see it happen, but I am, at some level, a cynic).


  • Regan

    I haven’t decided on who my preferred candidate is, and since we aren’t a primary state, it comes down to the party nomination.
    I think a candidate who is willing to submit budgets to fully fund IDEA would be interesting, but I suspect that after that it is going to come down to a messy battle in the Congress, with continuing resolutions, etc. with a dependency on majority. How does/would money address the various procedural and protections problems with the IDEA reauthorization and state interpretation?
    I would be interested to see if in the idealized situation where IDEA was fully funded, how that extra money would translate into improvements in direct services and supports to students. Are there any reports out there?

  • http://www.pittsfordpass.org Mekei

    Chuck wrote: There has never been a democrat controlled congress, republican controlled congress, democratic president, or republican president that has ever fully funded IDEA. It is truly a bipartisan issue. Both parties are equally responsible or both parties are equally to blame.

    I agree. This is what drives me to the middle. I’d love to *swing* one way, but am finding that having a child 1) with autism and 2) that requires special education services has me politically stalled.

    Education is not at the top of this election, except to bat around NCLB (zzzzzzz).

    I don’t have a bad thing to say about either party or the candidates, but when it comes to IDEA/special ed funding, there’s nothing positive to find at all.

  • Ohio Mom

    Like everyone else here, I’m disappointed that IDEA has never been fully and properly funded.

    But I think we also have to consider the social service safety net for adults — most of our kids are not going to be fully independent as adults. They are going to be adults a lot longer than they are going to be children, and that period of time most likely extends past the point any of us are going to alive and kicking.

    So, for me, the question is, which party has the better track record for supporting the social service safety net, and the answer, without a doubt, is the Democrats. Democrats enacted Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

    Democrats fought the privatization of Social Security (if all the abled workers’ SS contributions went into their own private accounts, and not into the general pool, where would the money for the SS payments I’m counting on to support my kid come from?).

    Repubicans, on the other hand, are quite clear that they don’t believe government should have much of a role in helping those who can’t fend for themselves. They’d like private charity to do that. Well, if private charity had the means to do that, they’d already be doing more than they are, and none of us here would ever have a worry about what’s going to happen to our kids once we’re gone.

  • http://www.thomaspages.org/bloggg/index.php?/site/the_candidates_on/ Moi ;)

    Click on my link. I compared them in re: education, and also in re: autism (a different post – this was before Edwards & Kucinich dropped out.

    Obama says a lot of nice things as far as disabilities in general are concerned, and he has a lot of good ideas, but does not mention autism specifically on his website at all. And he wants to KEEP NCLB.

    Hillary, while you may not like how she has been steered by other people, is the only one who has money ALREADY allocated. $700 million is a LOT more than anyone has EVER put forth toward autism. And she includes adults and education.

    AND she’s getting rid of NCLB. She’s getting my vote. Of course, PA never matters in the scheme of things.

  • http://www.thomaspages.org/bloggg/index.php?/site/the_candidates_on/ Moi ;)

    FYI I gave you two links – the one on my name, and the one in the post!! :D

  • http://enemiesofthelibrary.blogspot.com Justthisguy

    Oh, to get a little off-topic, here’s something about the candidates themselves, not their views on autism, by a woman with the delightfully-autistic internet handle, “Bad Cat Robot.”

    Please see:http://snarkpatrol.blogspot.com/2008/02/cod-liver-oil-election.html

    I think it’s funny, and scary, too.

  • Lenora

    Okay, I have a short personal story about Obama. My husband and I met him four years ago at a downstate Illinois fundraiser. He was running for the US senate. We asked him one very specific question about special education funding in Illinois. Obama’s answer was immediate, thoughtful and informed. For a while we watched him do the same with questions all over the map from farmers, retirees, teachers and downright cranks. Over and over he was respectful and thoughtful, and I never heard anything that sounded like a sound bite. He gave me goosebumps.

  • http://www.autismvox.com Kristina Chew, PhD

    Thank you, Moi! Though autism is my “main issue,” I’ve more and more been thinking in terms of disabilities in general, and what adults with developmental disabilities might need (thanks very much for the points about Social Security, Ohio Mom—-providing for my son’s needs in the part of his life that I will not be here for is something I think about every single day, and try to prepare us all for). Great story, Lenora—-justthisguy, always glad for some snark!

  • http://enemiesofthelibrary.blogspot.com Justthisguy

    Yeah, Lenora, he made you feel all tingly. Did he make logical sense to you? I think the guy grew up in non-American cultures, Indonesia and Hawaii, and his mental furniture is very unlike what’s in the heads of those of us descended from the guys who founded the country.

    I would vote for Kristina in a New York Microsecond, over anyone who’s running becaause she has a classical education, and probably has read and understands the Constitution.

    Good Lord! This is an autism-oriented blog! Why should we go along with mass popular enthusiasms?

    (Please see that famous book, “The Madness of Crowds.”)

    I get very amazed, and very annoyed, when I see auties, and autie sympathizers, vote for socialists. Socialists historically want to do away with inconvenient weird people.

    Yes, Hitler was a socialist, and so was Mussolini, and so is Hillary, and Obama

  • http://enemiesofthelibrary.blogspot.com Justthisguy

    Sorry about that, Ma’am. I got WAY off-topic with my last comment which didn’t publicly show up.

  • http://enemiesofthelibrary.blogspot.com Justthisguy

    Whoops, it *did* show up, right after I said it hadn’t!

    Sometimes I think I should stop the late-night drunken Internet political blathering, but, hey, everyone else is doing it!


  • http://www.autismvox.com Kristina Chew, PhD

    flattery is much appreciated!

  • http://crimsonthought.blogspot.com/ Cliff

    Contrary to jutthisguy’s opinion, I think the liberal view of the nurturant model of government (as it stems from family terms) bodes well for autistics, many of whom distinctly benefit from the values concerning societal commitment as opposed to self-gain (where individuals who may not have as many skills are fought against). Indeed, it does consistently seem to be liberals who do fund programs like IDEA in general (though, sure, they haven’t, but the only place where we see anything of a disabilities platform is, surprise, on the Democrat side, and health care isn’t an unrelated issue at all, is it?). Of course, I could never claim to be half as nationalistic or patriotic as Justthisguy says, so of course it wouldn’t bother me that he lived abroad (I’ll even admit to thinking, “What’s wrong with Hawaii? It’s part of the United States.”)

    And, I should suppose to mention, Hitler and Mussolini were on the far right in ideology, not the far left. Just a note of observance.

  • http://crimsonthought.blogspot.com/ Cliff

    Oh, but I would vote for Kristina any day. That would just be too cool (the introspective intelligence seen here is desperately needed in politics on all levels, from my experience in such circumstances).


  • Regan

    Just something that was submitted to the Senate April 2007, was read twice and then has been sitting in committee since.

    If you take a look, check out the co-sponsor list.
    IDEA Full Funding Act (Introduced in Senate)
    S 1159 IS
    To amend part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act to provide full Federal funding of such part.

  • http://www.thomaspages.org/bloggg Moi

    I met Hillary today. What an amazing woman. I thanked her for her autism plan, and told her I had a 15 yo autistic son. We talked about how as kids get older, they are basically abandoned by the system. So – Then I asked her if she was going to create an Autism Task Force, and her face LIT UP and she emphatically said YES! She also said she wanted to make sure that more services are provided all around.

    So there you go.

    I will have this all on video to prove it, as soon as a friend gives me the DVD she took.

  • http://www.autismvox.com Kristina Chew, PhD

    thanks for these updates—-NJ Senator Menendez is listed too.

  • http://enemiesofthelibrary.blogspot.com Justthisguy

    Cliff, Hitler and Mussolini were most definitely on the Left. They were into collectivism, and against individualism, big time!

    I’ll admit that individualism and libertarianism, taken to extremes, would end up with, as Jerry Pournelle wrote, “human meat sold in the market.”

    Extreme individualism horrifies me as much as extreme collectivism. I think we’re trending too much in the latter direction, these days.

    Oh, and I count limited-liability corporations as extremes of collectivism.

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