Dear loyal reader,
It's nearly 3:00 in the morning. I have been neglecting a paper that I really need to write because my heart is just not in it. The truth is that since May 20th, 2008 my heart has been broken. I never would have thought over a year later I would still be crying in the still of the night when no one is around and I am left to my thoughts, but here I am. In saying that, I hope none of you would imagine for a second that I love Avi any less than I did May 19th; nothing could be further from the truth. I love my sons with everything my heart has to offer which makes it all the more difficult to understand how others could devalue either of them in any way.
My dreams for children are untainted, undimmed by any diagnosis. No parent should have to suffer the deflating and discouraging "worst case scenario" speech, much less expect that for their child. No society should look at any portion of itself and say without blush, "These deserve less." My sons deserve all the rights and happiness of any! Yet day after day parents of children with autism face the brutally unfair reality that they cannot afford everything their child needs to be well and whole. An appeal to their insurance company will quickly deflate them further as they learn that the system is set against them. Then comes the inevitable and cruel debate: what can we afford to provide, what can we afford not to. It is injustice on its most basic level.
This is where my call for help comes in. I cannot sit idly by any longer. I cannot look at my son or others and feel just when I have done nothing to bring about change. I have decided to undertake whatever action is in my power, whatever influence I have to bring justice and equality to my son and the millions who are similarly afflicted. 1 in 58 boys will be diagnosed with autism. I realize that the parents of the other 57 the problem seems distant and perhaps even unimportant, but I am no longer one of the other 57.
What I am asking each of you (I understand the minuteness of this group, but I believe in the power of even the small) is to undertake, with me, a campaign. I would like to urge to action senators, congressmen, governors, presidents and other elected officials. I would like to urge parents of "typical" and "non-typical" children alike to stand up together and unite for what is right.
I am so grateful for the help, the support and the assistance we have been lucky enough to recieve. I feel privilged that Avi is getting help on so many levels. Not everyone is so lucky. I can imagine the heart break of the parents who must decide to forgo their child's treatment due to the great financial burden placed upon them. I can imagine it because this heart break has been my own. I cannot fully enjoy the blessings given to me knowing that there are others who must wait. I hope to give voice to the voiceless and to lend my voice to those already crying out for equality. Please join us.
I thank you in advance for your help. I thank you for the support that surely every reader of this message has given me. Sometimes I think it takes a village to raise a dad, and if you think of the word raise as to lift up or to support, it truly does.