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Candidates on Autism: They're Having Their Say; What's Your Opinion?

By January 26, 2008

As Super Tuesday draws nearer, it seemed to me to be time to look more closely at what candidates have to say about autism. Interestingly, the three top Democrats all have honest-to-goodness autism "platforms" - while the Republicans seem to have sidestepped the issue. This is not to suggest that Dems care more about people with disabilities, but the issue does seem to be more prominent on the Democratic radar.

Here's what the candidates have to say so far:

The American Association of People with Disabilities has created a 2008 Presidential Election Action Center, which includes not only links to individual candidates' statements on autism and disabilities, but also a very helpful side-by-side comparison of candidates' responses to specific questions posed by the organization. None of the Republican candidates responded to AAPD's survey; only McCain participated in a November 2 Candidates Forum on Disability.

Some of the more prominent autism bloggers have already addressed the issues and analyzed candidates' platforms, and you may find their opinions interesting.

Michael Goldberg of the Autism Bulletin seems to favor Clinton.

Kristina Chew of AutismVox analyses the various options, and dozens of comments by readers may help you sort through your opinions.

Personally, I tend to believe that a platform on autism is only a platform - and that, whatever a candidate may say today, outside forces will play a huge role in formulating any plan. Furthermore, it seems to be the case that states - rather than the federal government - have a huge impact on the quantity and quality of services available to individuals and families living with autism.

All three of the top Democratic candidates give credible answers to questions posed by the AAPD, including questions about providing individuals with disabilities a voice in government; providing employment opportunities; building educational programs; and more. All seem to have plans to further research in search of treatments and potential cures for autism, too. Whether they will have the ability to implement even a tiny fraction of their plans, however, is really the point.

So... which candidate can actually win an election and move the nation (and states) toward a set of policies that provide for, educate, train and empower people with autism? Have your say!

January 26, 2008 at 6:07 pm
(1) Kassiane says:

I already know the answer, Im seeing if you do.

Which candidate(s) have anything planned for autistic adults? Or, for that matter, acknowledge that we get past middle school aged?

January 27, 2008 at 2:36 am
(2) Roberta Mann says:

I believe that any politician will take any hot topic of the moment and say whatever he/she believes the majority of the populace wants to hear in order to remain in office/be elected. No candidate will say anything that won’t take years to implement and go through so many changes that their plan will be unrecognizable from what they’re currently presenting.

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(6) hectorchavezu says:

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