When I discovered early in my pregnancy that my baby would be born with an extra chromosome, the diagnosis of Down syndrome frightened me so much that I dared not discuss my pregnancy for many months. All I could seem to muster was a calling out to God to prepare my heart for what was ahead. My prayers were answered beyond my shallow understanding of what true joy could be. Yes, raising a child with special needs is a unique challenge, and there’s still fear about my son Trig’s future because of health and social challenges; and certainly some days are much more difficult than if I had a “normal” child.
I know I'm biased, so I'm going to step back and let someone else make the point. When Sarah was running for Vice President, over 3 years ago, her sister Heather gave an interview to Autism One Radio. Heather's son, Karcher, was 13 at that time. Karcher has Autism. Below is a comment about what Heather said. About what she said about Sarah Palin, her sister. This is from a blog "advocating for children and adults with disabilities - Special Needs Truth :
Heather Bruce, Palin's Sis, Speaks
"She [Sarah] wants to help. She wants to help so badly, but she has a lot to learn, and she knows it. She’s fresh into this, being an advocate for autism, for Down syndrome. People expect her to know everything about everything. [She has said] We need to sit down Heather, tell me what your needs are, what do you wish you could see, what do you think would help the state. And that was just the time she was the governor."
So after Sarah has been an aunt to a child with autism for 13 years and governor for nearly two, the best endorsement her sister can give her is "she has a lot to learn, and she knows it"? Interestingly, she also gives credit to the Democratic candidates for also raising the issue of autism during the campaign. How strongly does she support her sister's candidacy? I can't tell after listening to this nearly hour-long interview.