Why is the ribbon there?
I got a robo call from Bob Ballinger’s campaign yesterday with a recording of his son asking me to vote for his old man. It reminded me that I wanted to blog about him and his connection to Autism. During the last election Bob visited my home along with some other candidate. I saw the Autism ribbon on his literature and inquired about it. It turned out that he and I both have sons on the spectrum. He said he was an advocate for children with special needs, was a member of the Howard County Autism Society and wanted to be on the school board so he can ensure that kids with Autism have a voice. MY MAN!!! I voted for him based on that alone. I won’t make that mistake again.
This election I took a few moments to peruse his website and reviewed the Howard County League Of Women Voters summary of his stand on the issues. I saw nothing about a plan to stop bullying students with special needs through peer education or some other strategy. No mention of more training for regular education teachers who have special needs children in their classrooms. Nothing about accountability to ensure that IEPs are followed to the letter. Absent of a plan to recruit more behavior specialists, school psychologists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, etc. to support special needs children in Ho. Co. and relieve the heavy case load that these professionals currently carry. Totally void of visions for a future public school in Howard County for Autistic children so the school system can stop paying thousands of dollars to local private institutions to teach our youth (I read that one was supposed to be coming. Was Bob involved in that conversation?). Not even an endorsement from the Howard County Autism Society themselves. Again, why is the ribbon there?
Well listen. I’m a fair woman. This is not hate blog at all as I am sure he’s a nice man (he certainly seemed nice on my front porch years ago). And I will admit that I don’t know every single thing about Bob’s history with Autism advocacy. For all I know he could be a huge advocate and have made many strides on behalf of our sons. But Bob…this is an election. You gotta pull out the big guns. If you’ve done some wonderful stuff in the name of Autism SAY IT. Earn the right to use that symbol in your campaign. I’m not bullying you Bob, I’m challenging you. I ask that if Bob is reading this blog or any of his supporters, educate me about what he has done for Autism. More importantly tell me what he’s planning to do, if anything, on behalf our my precious baby boy who is an Autism Superstar and needs the school system to recognize that fact. Earn my support. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.