Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Autism Advocacy and the Fierce Urgency of Now

I am not running for this office to fulfill any long-held plans or because I believe it is somehow owed to me. I never expected to be here, and I always knew the journey would be improbable. I’ve never been on one that wasn’t.

I am running because of what Dr. King called “the fierce urgency of now.” I am running because I do believe there’s such a thing as being too late. And that hour is almost here.

Barack Obama, quoted in Rolling Stone magazine , 11/03/07

Barack Obama appears to be an inspirational leader of the type not often seen in politics. But he has also borrowed from the great Martin Luther King one of the best phrases of his campaign "the fierce urgency of now". It is a point understood by parents advocating for effective early intervention for their autistic children, for a real education for their autistic children, and for decent residential care and life opportunities for those same children as they grow up and their parents grow old.

Time will not wait. And time will not be gentle if we wait. We must always seize the moment. Act now with urgency or nothing will get done and our autistic children will be the ones who suffer from our procrastination; or worse from our sweet surrender and failure to act at all.

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