I’ll admit it. I’m not the most politically aware, and I’m certainly not the most politically active. But when I feel strongly about something, well, I just can’t help it. And right now, my biggest issue with Sarah Palin (who I actually accidentally called “Sarah Plain” as in Sarah Plain and Tall, the other night *yikes*) is the fact that she has a newborn child at home (don’t even get me started on the fact that she’s not leaving him at home or backstage where it’s quieter so he can sleep). And not just any newborn, but a newborn child with special needs.
A little background on me…I spent three years in my former, pre-blogger, post-teaching life working with children and adults with disabilities. In particular, most of my clients were in residental facilities (many of which no longer had any parental or familial involvment). While I don’t know the challenges of raising a child with disabilities firsthand, I do know the challenge of teaching a child with disabilities as well as working with parents and caregivers to help them work with their clients and children. In fact, I was the person that was consulted for training and behavioral therapy and modification as well as treatment.
It’s hard work. Really hard work. The kind of work that doesn’t go away. I mean, everything you do, every plan you make, every single decision involves and revolves around that individual, that family member with special needs. There’s no escaping it. There’s no avoiding it (short of putting that individual in a residential facility of sorts). And from what I understand working closely with parents, it’s even more invasive, more pervasive when it comes to raising that newborn with special needs – especially when it comes to language and communication skills.
I’m sorry, but I just don’t think this is the right time for Sarah Palin to run for VP. Let this child grow and develop before taking on such an all emcompasing task as oh, running as the second in charge of the US. Try again in a few years maybe. But now is not the time. Something will have to give in her life (and the fact that there’s yet another new baby on the way makes that household even more insane – has nothing to do with family values, I’m talking strictly about the actual family dynamics of the household since I’m assuming the teenage daughter will still live at home with her newborn and her parents for a few more years).
I have not raised a family member with special needs. I am not a mom (outside of being a loving mom to my pets). But I am someone that has direct experience and has had direct influence in the treatment and behaviors of individuals with special needs. I know quite a bit about this subject. But if you want to hear from someone with real experience, both as a mom to not one, but two children with special needs, as well as a career woman, then check out Penelope Trunk’s thoughts on this issue. It might help to put a little perspective on the issue.
Now back to my regularly scheduled blog about random and mundane thoughts and activities and well, nothing that’s regularly scheduled at all…