12 July, 2009

Taking Action: Autism Corps

Because having a special needs kid and a toddler and a husband and searching for a new school for Jake .... and SUMMER just isn't enough, Squid and I have decided to take on this little thing: We have created a petition asking Michelle Obama to meet with us, to discuss creating an Autism Corps based on the Teach for America Model.

There are not enough trained professionals to serve all of the families who are affected by autism, and when we can find help, it is often out of reach financially.. because let's face it, if you add "bridal" or "special needs" in front of anything it costs at least twice as much. There are adults with autism who just need a little help, and there are single-parent families with three autistic children in three places on the spectrum who would certainly benefit from even a few hours of respite or therapy. An Autism Corps could allow parents a break or help an adult with autism live more independently. I know this doesn't address the entire special-needs community, but it's a start. Let's start somewhere.

We welcome feedback from all families affected by autism, and from autistics themselves. How could the Autism Corps make a difference in your life? You can comment below, or even better leave a comment next to your signature on the petition.

Petition excerpts:

"We would like to propose that Michelle Obama meet with Shannon Des Roches Rosa and Jennifer Byde Myers, two parents representing two very different autism families' perspectives, to discuss creating an Autism Corps or other measure that will address one of the most pressing needs of families affected by autism: one-to-one in-home support.

"We would like to discuss taking those three factors and combining them into a nationwide organization dedicated to training volunteers to aid kids and adults with autism: an Autism Corps, based on the Teach For America urgent action model, to provide autism families in need with between four and fourteen hours of weekly care."

Please forward this post to anyone who might be interested.

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