Wednesday, January 21, 2009

State Capital

With the economy lately everyone is trying to make budget cuts here and there. I received an email yesterday talking about the budget cuts and that the Health and Human Services Appropriations Committee (HHS) was thinking of cutting 100% of the autism resources across the state. This would mean cutting Nathan’s preschool that he attends now. So last night I was calling people and telling them about this and asking them to please contact their legislatures to support the autism preschool fund. After calling them myself and emailing them and many others, I was able to get a group (with help from another parent) of the parents of some of the children from Giant Steps (Nathan’s preschool) about going up to the meeting at the State Capital that would take place tomorrow to have our voices heard.

So we were there about a half hour before the meeting and were interviewed by the news media (I was not personally interviewed but another woman with a child with autism talked) and then we signed our names to be able to speak to the HHS committee. I traded my spot with someone else and was at the bottom of the 4 page list to speak. At the meeting there were other people there from different organizations that were facing budget cuts as well but the majority were parents and teachers of children with autism. There were approximately 80 people there and about 60 of them were for autism cause. I was rather nervous talking to them but did tell them about Brandon and Nathan and the progress that they had made and how many of the parents were helping in fundraisers to help Giant Steps and that we were doing all that we could to help as well.

As of now the autism preschools will not be getting a budget cut, but it may change when the Legislatures meet later to finalize the budget cuts. So the parents will be up there yet again to make our voices heard.

I was reflecting on the ride home how far my children have come and how far I have come. When Brandon was first diagnosed with Autism I never would have thought that I would someday be at the State Capital speaking to Senators and Representatives about autism. I never would have thought that I could help organize a fundraiser that brought in thousands of dollars. I never thought I would have a voice loud enough to make other people listen to me, but I do. I have realized that I can do a lot more than I what I was doing and that I am good at it what I am now doing. I am a good leader when the time arises and I am a great supporter. I am also smarter than I first thought I was. I know that everything happens for a reason. I know I was given Brandon and Nathan for a reason and I know that I was blessed with them to help me become a better person.

1 comment:

Lopez Life said...

Good job!!! I am proud of you!