Babyfoodsteps just returned from Washington D.C.
We were there to attend the IACC meeting (Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee) to give a public comment…. But due to the government shutdown the meeting was cancelled. A few of us were unable to reschedule our trip, so we decided to make the most of our time in DC and head to Capital Hill and meet with our elected officials. We got the pleasure of joining 3 amazing women from the organization AUTISM IS MEDICAL.
We headed to Capitol Hill and had some enlightening, insightful and hopeful meetings with our elected officials including:
- Staff member from Senator Casey’s Office (PA)
- Health Policy Staff member from Senator Toomey‘s office (PA)
- Chief of Staff and Legislative Assistant from Representative Posey’s office (FL)
- Staff member and the Representative himself- Bill Foster (IL) (see pic above)
- Health Policy Staff member from Representative Buchanan (FL)
As we left our day of meetings we realized that we may have just lived the day in the life of a Lobbyist…
Lobbyist , n. someone who is employed to persuade legislators to vote for legislation that favors the lobbyist’s employer
well maybe we were more of an UN-lobbyist.
1. We were not employed by anyone to be there and we certainly weren’t being paid for our time and services that day.
2. We didn’t represent special-interest industry organization such as a pharmaceutical company or other industry sponsored organization.
3. We weren’t asking anyone to vote for legislation that would favor our employer (since we didn’t have one!) nor were we asking for money or legislation that would provide our (non-existent) employer with financial gain.
Instead we went in with the message that our nation’s children are SICK, we have an EPIDEMIC of Autism in this country, and that AUTISM is really just a symptom of an underlying MEDICAL condition, however very few children are receiving an appropriate and medically necessary work-up based on their behavioral and physical symptoms.
We took this Flyer:
click ABC of Autism flyer final for printable version.
We sat in front of each and every person and educated, shared our children’s personal journeys and gave solutions. We came with examples of how money could be SAVED if children with autism were diagnosed and treated medically. We arrived in D.C. as moms on a mission, with nearly 30 years experience dealing with children with medical issues and oh yeah, some behaviors, too, that people like to label as Autism or “autistic-like”. We left as change agents… with the knowledge that WE must BE the CHANGE we WANT to SEE.
We are not going away, our children are not going away and the climbing rates of Autism are not going away… there is much work to be done… and “We’ll be Back!”