Monday, June 30, 2014
Honoring Freedom Won
As Isaac's mama, I am more than grateful for the freedoms that we celebrate as a country on Independence Day. I am so very grateful for them because as Isaac's mama, I have often had to employ them.
It started just after his diagnosis. Isaac's autism is so very classic that there ought to be a picture of the boy right beside the DSM definition of autism. Still, the state questioned the validity of his diagnosis when we first applied for some aid for the mounting medical and therapeutic expenses associated with his care. It could have been that an official state document questioning Isaac's need would have permanently impeded his ability to get therapy. It could have been that the state could have denied any application and chosen not to provide for any of its citizens with significant special health care needs. My husband and I were privileged to be able to appeal the state's initial decision and confirm that Isaac's autism was and is a real need.
I am so very grateful for all the brave people who gave their lives so that we could appeal the government and win care for our son.
Over the years, the public schools have sometimes disagreed with us as Isaac's parents as to the meaning of the term "Free and Appropriate Public Education". We have from time to time butted heads over the inner workings of Isaac's Individual Education Plans. Please understand me when I say that a root canal is probably more pleasant than the Donald Trump style board meeting with your child's future at stake....but I am exceptionally grateful for the ability given me by the sacrifice of so many to appeal the government entity (that is what a public school is) for the sake of my son. I am able to sit in those meetings as an equal member and discuss the educational needs of my son. My chosen field of study has been education and child development ...but even if it was not....I am by law guaranteed a seat at the table as an expert on my child. If the team as a whole comes to an impasse and cannot agree on an educational plan, I as Isaac's parent, have the right to appeal the decisions of the government. Because of the sacrifice of so many, I have the right to come to my government and say "No". That is profound.
No government official or agency may enter my property without my consent unless they have a warrant signed by a judge who has been presented some evidence that there may be some misdoings being committed here. No government official or agency may take my property, my freedom or my children because they do not care for me personally. I have the right to disagree with my government and not automatically give up my liberty. How stinkin' amazing is that? I can sit here at my kitchen table and tap and type away at my keyboard. I can publish my opinions without fear. I can raise my children to whatever ideology I see fit. I may read, speak and worship as I see fit. I am able to exercise these basic freedoms because they have been preserved by the blood of those who also held them dear.
I honor the sacrifices made in the most fitting way I can imagine. I honor the gift of freedom by exercising it.