Autism and the 2020 Election
For me, it’s hard NOT to think about the upcoming election… it’s today!
However, this is a blog about autism.
So, can I connect the two?
How am I feeling about the election?
I have disliked the current administration and I want them voted out.
I don’t want to get too far into that so I can to try to keep this blog somewhat on point (autism-related).
How does my son feel about the election?
First, he’s three months shy of being able to vote.
It bums him out. He likes politics and wants to be able to participate in elections. He’ll be adult then. It’s important to a lot of kids his age. (Which is good to see!).
What else about my son and the upcoming election?
He was in middle school in 2016 and he didn’t pay too much attention to politics until his history teacher assigned the class to watch the three presidential debates.
He said he liked watching the debates and from that point forward became interested in politics.
Back then, he said he was supporting (the non-voting way) the Democrats.
What about this time around?
Again, he had to watch the two presidential debates and the one vice presidential debate (kind of a no-brainer assignment from his U.S. Government AP class).
As stated above, he was bummed he couldn’t vote yet.
He understood the importance of this election.
He also understood the stance made by his parents.
With that in mind, I asked him a question.
What was the question?
If you could vote in this election, who would get your vote for president?
My son… did not answer.
I was a bit confused and repeated the question.
He still remained silent.
Now, this is silence was coming from a kid who loves to discuss politics.
I should have understood (and respected) his no-answer.
But, I didn’t.
I asked, “Would you vote for the republican?”
Was there context to this follow-up question?
Yes, because in the past my son had said he was a republican.
So, I was very curious.
He responded, “I haven’t decided yet.”
I made one deal with him… I wanted to ask him again on election day. Just like if he was going to vote for real.
The take-away on this?
My son is almost a legal adult.
He enjoys discussing politics and loves history.
Of course, he has a right to his own political view(s) and, of course, even his parents have to respect his own choices. We do.
For me, however, it’s personal.
There is one issue that is close to my heart and has to do with my child.
Special Needs Education.
Specifically, the appointment of a completely unqualified person in the federal government to lead this nation in the Department of Education.
That is the topic I have chosen to discuss with my son that concerns me most as a voter. It has to do with my child. My special needs child.
(We also discuss other topics, but I chose to focus on this one as the election got closer to us).
Because the education of all children matter.
The education of my child has been a special education. There’s no other way to put it.
Without getting into it too much, I have a firm belief that the current administration doesn’t care about special needs education. They want to privatize education, which means leave behind millions of children, especially special needs children.
I have followed this closely over the last four years.
My almost adult son likes politics. He’s building his own political views.
And, that’s okay.
When he finally told me how he’d vote if he could, he did say he doesn’t support the current administration.
We’ll talk more about issues that he believes in.
His politically-minded parents believe in debate.
We feel we’re steering our child into becoming a thoughtful, community-minded adult.
I’m not sure how well I connected politics and autism, because my son is like many, many seventeen-year-olds these days. They are aware of the issues. It’s so awesome that they have opinions and are active in our political system.
Which means, autism doesn’t quite play a role in this topic. Except that my son will be affected by the continuation of this administration (IMHO).
Which, I guess, connects.
Oh, one more thing…
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