I think that’s why this election, this result, is hitting me so hard.
I believed that, in Hillary Clinton, my family would have a true advocate in the White House.
She values and supports families like ours. Her inclusion of people with disabilities at the Democratic Convention and in her platform was not just politics. She is a true supporter of families and of those with disabilities and has been for a long time in her career.
So, I was hopeful that we could have a president who sees us, who hears us. Who “gets” us.
I knew that Clinton’s “wide-ranging autism initiative” might not have been fully realized. No campaign promise ever is.
But that she proposed such a detailed plan, recognizing the issues that personally affect my family? It gave me hope that her administration really would “make supporting individuals and families with autism a priority.”
But now, we’ve elected a man who has publicly made fun of differently-abled people, on multiple occasions. A man who gleefully insults those he deems “less than” himself (and his list appears quite long).
I already advocate for my son every day. I already fight against just this kind of ignorance and meanness so that my son can live happily, safely, and with confidence in his own self-worth.
I hoped that if she were elected, my job as his advocate might feel a bit easier…just knowing that someone in the highest office understood my son’s worth without my having to argue for it.
Now, I’ll have to work even harder to advocate for my son and others like him (not to mention as an ally for my friends in the LGBTQ community and other minority groups, for women and girls, for the environment, for peace and security around the world).
And, I’m already tired.
For the record, Clinton’s autism plan included “screening, diagnosis, treatment, services, safety and legal protections for individuals on the autism spectrum across the lifespan, steps to ensure they are treated with dignity, partnerships to help them secure employment, support for families and caregivers, and a commitment to increase research funding to deepen our understanding of autism.”