Politics is a tough subject in general, but I think The Donald’s victory hit hard for families who include someone with a disability. Like, really, really hard.
I’ve seen posts on Facebook that include statements like:
“What I am is a mother who doesn’t want to see anyone’s child mistreated, including her own. And I wake up today not knowing if that’s even possible anymore when I see people happily supporting a man who openly mocks and makes fun of people like my son who don’t fit society’s definition of ‘normal.'” AW
I’ve broken into spontaneous tears this entire day (in private and in public) after the election results. I will probably continue to do so for the next few days as I mourn what I never thought possible.
But is The Donald really so bad?
Maybe you voted for Trump because you hate Hillary. If that’s the case, I congratulate you on your candidate winning the election.
Here are a few reasons that families who love someone with a disability might not support The Donald:
or when The Donald mocks a disabled man
or even when someone writes I’m a disabled American. Trump’s policies will be a disaster for people like me.
What do we want for our future?
OK, we can understand why our world might get very, very difficult in the months and years ahead, but right now, in this moment, I’m choosing to hold onto hope that if we continue to actively put love, hope, kindness, power (not force), education, and acceptance into our world (because that is already what we’re doing), we’ll be more likely to create the unity we dream of rather than the division that we didn’t know was there, the division that is so strong and clear.
And do you know what is worth remembering? We parents have a seemingly infinite amount of power, tenacity, strength, stamina, resources, and we get stuff done for our kids. It’s just what we do and we do it often. And we don’t ask questions until we get it done.
Our children, our families, our communities, our cities, our countries, our one world need unity.
We want and need acceptance of our differences . . . and to champion each other for who we are!
We want and need tolerance.
We want and need rules and regulations we agree on to keep us safe, orderly, peaceful, and free.
We want and need proper help and support for our friends who are mentally ill, hungry, young, old, educated, men, women, minorities, uneducated, poor, lonely, rich, addicted . . . for all of us.
What can I do right now to help myself, my family, and my community?
First, remember to breathe (please know I don’t feel like I’m doing this well enough just yet). Seriously, take a loving, gentle two-minute pause right now to just breathe deeply.
Speak Nicely to Yourself and Others
Remember That You’re OK in This Moment
Yes, the candidate we never thought could win has won. It’s surprising and it’s completely OK.
Listen to others and yourself right now. Answers to the next best steps are everywhere!
Even if, and especially when, you lose your shit. You’re going to be tired and someone is going to say the wrong thing and hopefully you will just walk away, but sometimes you won’t walk away. Sometimes you’re going to need to stand for something, if only that the feelings are just too much. Thank you for feeling all the feels. <3
Connect with autism communities and donate two hours a week to helping someone.
Support Your People
Donate money to a Kickstarter campaign (search “autism”). Volunteer your time to local autism organizations. Spend more intentional time with your own children and family!
Exercise as a family and I’ll almost guarantee your mental health and well-being will improve drastically.
Do Your Power Pose
Try to do this for two minutes anytime you need strength. It can improve the entire situation for you and everyone.
We’re going to keep going to school. We’re going to eat pizza on Friday. We’re going to have a question before bed each night.
Our lives will continue on. I feel that what we must do if we want to keep the safety, benefits, resources, and optimal lives we’ve created is listen, evaluate, take the next right action, and then keep going.
Talk about what kind of world you want to live in. When we speak what we want, it’s more likely we’ll get it.
I want to live in a world where we are different and we champion each other. I want to live in a world where we feel equal and capable. I want to live in a world where love is the focus.
We are living in a time of change. We have the power to seize the greatness that is humanity, but we must do it together.
I’d love to hear about the world you want to live in. Let me know below in the comments or give me a shout over on Facebook!