Thinkers want to take ACTION! So here is our chance!!! Safeminds and EBCALA have joined with retiring Congressman and Thinking autism Grandfather Rep. Dan Burton (R-IN) in securing a hearing on autism with the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on Thursday, November 29th at 2:00 pm. It is very important that we all contact our
Representatives and request their attendance at this VERY IMPORTANT meeting and attend if we can. Here is what you need to do:
1. First read this announcement from Safeminds and EBCALA about the meeting here. Use the links contained therein to determine, in particular, if your Representative is on the committee and to find your Rep in general. You need to know whether your Rep is on the committee or not. There are several action items you can act on in this link that are not listed in this post. Check it out.
2. Optional but helpful: Find out how many kids with autism are being served in your local schools by calling the Special Education Department in your district and even other districts that your Rep serves. We all know all governmental issues are driven by money; your Rep needs to understand the economic impact of autism in his/her district.
3. Read this article here wherein the new head of the American Academy of Pediatrics calls autism an “epidemic.” This word is important and our Reps need to understand that mainstream medicine is more than concerned, and something needs to happen NOW.
4. Find other parents in your district and tell them what’s going on. Help them with what to say to your Representative. Organize a meeting with your Rep and bring all the parents you can! Remember that this is not a partisan issue, nor is it a meeting about causation or treatment, so even if a local parent does not share the same views on autism as you do, they still need to participate in this ACTION ALERT. The more requests for attendance Reps get from their constituents, the more likely they are to attend.
5. Call/fax/email, whatever you can do. Of course, a staffer will answer the phone. Explain why you are calling, ask if their office has a health staffer you can speak to, and ask what it will take to talk to the Rep personally. If you can manage a face-to-face meeting, make an appointment with their scheduler to meet the Rep in person when he or she is home for Thanksgiving. The Rep may even agree to a Skype meeting! Don’t be afraid to take your child/children with you.
6. If your Representative is newly elected and hasn’t been sworn in, still find him or her and explain what is going on. New Reps may not be in DC for the meeting, but it’s the perfect time for you to start a dialog. New Reps are often the best listeners. They need to understand that autism is a big issue and that you will be in touch with them about it consistently in the future.
7. Get to the meeting if you can. Let us know in the comments here or on our Facebook page (link) if you are going!
8. Take pictures of all interactions with your Rep and at the meeting if you attend! Send them to us!
And REMEMBER: Representatives depend on their Constituency to be elected! They work for you! Don’t be afraid to communicate with them, you are their BOSS! And effective bosses communicate clearly, respectfully and meaningfully! Let’s do this! We may not have this chance again for a long time!
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