Despite public “awareness” on autism, nothing really has changed. In schools autistic people sit in different classrooms from their neurotypical peers, apart from the mainstream of the school, turning them into outcasts, because typical public school classrooms are not equipped to teach them, despite it being perfectly possible, which in turn, damages their chances of reaching their full potential rather than only being able to be a UPS driver, while their neurotypical peers go off to exciting careers of their own. The “cost” of autism cannot be used to justify the status quo. According to Time Magazine’s 100 New Scientific Discoveries asthma, cancer, lead poisoning, and developmentally disabilities combined account for only 2.8% of our national health care budget meaning autism accounts for only a fraction of that cost. The fact is, discrimination is unconstitutional, and does not fit a legal exception to this rule. But you, unless you have autism yourself, are maybe wondering, ‘What does this have to do with me?’ Valid question.
The fact is, only educated people vote. Education affects voting because it teaches people about the issues in our country. Without a universally relevant and equally accessible public education system, democracy is compromised. Of course you may be thinking, it doesn’t affect me. I mean it’s not like the price of gas is going up. Ok, good point. But what does cause the price of gas to go up? The Arab Spring, right? And what is the Arab Spring about? Ding, ding: democracy! And what country is looked to by the rest of the world to model democracy? Well, us.
The Economist ranks countries according to four levels of democracy: Full democracy (That’s us), flawed democracy (India, Mexico), hybrid regimes (Venezuela, Kenya), and authoritarian regime (China, Russia, North Korea, Myanmar, etc.,). South Africa, currently a flawed democracy, still experiences huge setbacks, even after three decades of the apartheid being over. Miners protests, much like the Arab Spring protests, have caused inflation to rise significantly. South Africa modeled much of their post-Apartheid democracy after ours just like they modeled their Apartheid after our segregation. Whenever there is a patterned inconsistency in democracy, there seems to be in varying degrees, large amounts of social unrest. Whenever the Arab World seems to suffer this, oil prices tend to go up. You might want to consider how we integrate autistics and other people with cognitive differences if you want to go to your job or see a long-distance partner.