My autistic daughter turned daughter-with-autism turned back to autistic daughter will be 24 this year. She lives in her own apartment that is monitored by staff 24 hours a day. She does get out and about but she should be at some sort of structured workshop everyday. But she has been unable to find a day support who can motivate her enough to wake up and get on a van or sometimes a car or sometimes a cab which may or may not show up in the same 2 hour time period. (We can all imagine how much stress this causes a person with routine based OCD to react—regular old people would be furious with the type of transportation issues many disabled folks face everyday). She takes advantage of her entitlements including a section 8 housing voucher, TANF, SSI, and Medicaid. She lives a totally subsidized life for which I will feel indebted to this country for the rest of my life.
She is extremely lucky to have the services she does have which I have managed against all odds to get in two different states. Although these are Federally based programs, every state has different rules which makes each state’s application process different. And these benefits are non transferable from state to state. They are costly which is why cities like Norfolk, VA just want to get rid of poor people by any means necessary. Plus the poor and disabled don’t provide a downtown with good eye candy.
No one likes to see homeless people laying in doorways.
We have no issue offering tax abatements for new businesses because they will provide employment for the people of a city. Happens all of the time. I believe that the dozens of folks who make a living working with my daughter to keep her safe and integrated into the community are just as important as WalMart or an Amazon Distribution center and guess what? The people who work for my daughter pay income taxes. The landlord who owns the apartment building that my daughter lives in pays property taxes which fund the schools and services for all of the people of my community.
When I decided to have kids, I made a decision to attempt to raise people who would be contributing members in a society. I believe in utility. Human Capital, so to speak. My disabled kid started very lengthy, hard, expensive therapies to attempt to get her developmentally up to speed. And, her composite IQ did raise from 50 to the mid 60’s which was tremendous progress.
It wasn’t enough.
Most parents with autistic children simply want to die knowing that their kids are taken care of…not set up…not college graduates…just looked after. Babysat. For the rest of their lives. And if all stays as it is with Medicaid and other entitlement benefits I will die satisfied that I tried as hard as I could and that someone will ensure my kid has something to eat for the rest of her life. Honesty, the folks who care for my daughter right now are outstanding. They are in my heart constantly.
As for the rest of the people around me, I’m not so sure if they care. Do you want an Amazon distribution center more than a place for poor (and you can always include disabled when you say poor) people to live? Don’t answer now. I just don’t want to know.