Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Voting and Bil

What better day than Election Day to talk about voting and people with autism.

Bil voted for the first time...let's see, it was two years ago, for President. (keep in mind that he is in his 50's). My mother in law has very definite political views and, when she isn't watching the food network, has a network on famous for its political programming. So that is what Bil is exposed to on a daily basis.  Sometimes I am not sure what he is cognitively capable of (he does have a below "normal" IQ, but IQ tests don't test everything) but I can tell you he has picked up on this political programming.  He has definite political views - he, of course, does not discuss anything.  But, in the middle of a totally unrelated conversation he may blurt out something about the President-just as he might blurt out something about the weather or about his other main interest, the NY Mets.  And then, that's it.  If you try to engage him, it's almost impossible.

I don't know who came up with the idea, if it was Bil or if his Medicaid Service Coordinator who urged him to vote but vote he did.  In a way I'm surprised my mother in law never took him to vote but perhaps she assumed that if he didn't ask, it was because he wasn't interested.  At any rate, his MSC was very proud of Bil having voted.

I don't know if he voted today, but will be curious to find out.

The other recent political "interest" I've seen him show was back in July when Bil, my mother in law, my spouse and my sister in law all stayed in a hotel room to attend a wedding.  Around 8 or 8:30 Bil became slightly agitated, seems we didn't have a particular political show on that he enjoys.  We weren't watching any TV at the time-we had just had supper and were all enjoying each other's company.  Since we had rented a suite, knowing Bil would want privacy, we put on the TV in the living room for him and the rest of us retired to the bedroom area so he could watch TV in private.  But this may have simply been a function of Bil seeing this show on every night (I think it is on every weeknight) and, since it was a Friday, it would have been part of the routine.

I guess the moral of the story is:  if someone with autism can vote, we all can vote.  So:  get out there today and vote!

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