Dear Mr. President:
I received a form letter from Vice President Joe Biden recently — one of those mass emails one gets but rarely reads. I read that if I were to make a donation of $5, my name will be thrown into a hat for a chance to have dinner with you. Alone.
I imagined what I would say to you, Mr. President, if I had the opportunity to have dinner with you. And of course I knew what the answer was without hesitation. I would speak with you about the rising number of children diagnosed with autism. In 20 years there has been a 600-percent increase in diagnosed cases of autism. I would direct you to the countless news stories regarding the rampant abuse of those same children and adults living in group homes and institutions. I would ask you to help set up communities where individuals with autism were treated with respect and would have more control over how they lived, allowing them to pursue their interests and encouraging them to follow their dreams.
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