Sunday, March 22, 2009


As the mother of a special needs adult son, I was furious and offended by President Obama's insensitive quip comparing his 129 bowling score to what a special olympian might do.
You have two fully functioning arms, Mr. President. You have two fully functioning legs, Mr. President. My son does not.
You also have a fully functioning mouth, Mr. President, which you often misuse. My son was born with a tongue so large that it makes it difficult for him to form words and almost impossible to chew food. In all my years with Robert (my son), I have never heard him misuse the gift of speech that he must struggle so hard to use each day. What God did endow Robert with was a loving spirit and a kind heart. You, Mr. President, could learn much from my son. I do every day.
That you have apologized to the head of Special Olympics, Tim Schriver, is good. That you had to apologize at all speaks to your character and clearly, your lack of interaction with, and understanding of those who were not fortunate enough to be born with your physical abilities.
While your stimulus package and bloated budget call for funding roads to nowhere in West Virginia, where I was born, and four-billion dollars for community organizing groups like the scandal-scarred ACORN, I wonder how much money is in either one of those bills that would give the parents of a special needs child money for someone to come into their home and care for that child while they take a week of two of respite together. I suspect none.
And if they cannot afford a vacation in these difficult times, then cut them a check from the bloated federal bureauracy to pay for that time away. Since there is a better than 70-percent divorce rate of couples with special needs children, I cannot think of a better investment in such families than to relieve these parents of their special burdens for even a short time and allow them time to reconnect with one another. Just a thought, Mr. President, of a better investment of federal dollars and a small way to make up for your very large show of insensitivity.
A. A. Jackson
March 20, 2009

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