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Person with autism running for NJ Assembly seat (cross-post from GD)

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KamaAina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-08-09 06:12 PM
Original message
Person with autism running for NJ Assembly seat (cross-post from GD)
as a Dem! No, it's not me, silly; I have not lived in NJ for many many years and have never even been to Englewood.

http://www.politickernj.com/matt-friedman/28858/autisti...

(Christopher) Gagliardi, a 28-year-old Englewood resident, was born with infantile (sic) autism. Doctors would eventually advise his mother, Lynda Grace Monahan, to put him in a group home and medicate him with Ritalin....

Gagliardi caught the political bug at an early age, attributing it to his mother's involvement in Robert F. Kennedy's presidential campaign in the 1960's. He wanted to run for governor, but didn't meet the minimum age requirements, and his letter to the Democratic Party expressing interest in being a delegate to the Democratic National Convention was ignored. So Gagliardi figured the legislature was in need of someone who will represent the mentally and physically challenged.

"During the time in the 80's and 90's, people who had challenges were either rejected in society or not recognized for their contributions to society," he said. "But with the recent breakthroughs in civil rights with the physically and mentally challenged, I thought it would be appropriate to stand up and take responsibility."

Gagliardi graduated from Ridgefield Memorial High School in 2002, where he was student council president the first special education student to ever hold the position, he said.


The bit about the group home reminds me of a line I use when speaking on the subject: Dr. Leo Kanner, who first used the term "autism", told my mom when I was all of 4, "Mrs. KamaAina, your child is autistic. I recommend that you place him in an institution and get on with your life."

Years later, she would eventually heed the learned Dr. Kanner's advice -- but I'm not sure Yale was the sort of institution he had had in mind!
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-13-09 03:34 PM
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1. Cool! Thomas Jefferson is thought to have had Asperger's, so I'm not suprised at all by...
...autistics running for public office! I get the feeling that it was much easier in Jefferson's time, though, nerdy eccentrics weren't stigmatized back then like they are today.
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Kajsa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-14-09 10:30 AM
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2. This is great!
My son is also very interested in politics
( I wonder why?- :) )
and ran for a seat in our CM City Council
back in 2004.

He didn't win, but he did get a number of votes.

More doors are opening- this is great!

Thanks for posting this, KamaAina!

:) :hi:
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-17-09 11:20 PM
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3. Fantastic, very happy to see this!
(and Kama, I think you SHOULD run for office-you'd be great!). My teenage aspie son has been politically interested for years (gee, wonder where he got that from!) and claims that he's going to run for president in thirty years. I told him he at least has to start with a senior class office or county dogcatcher first, lol.

Just don't let FAAAS know about it or that hate group will be all over him with their propaganda bullshit.
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KamaAina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-21-09 10:32 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Aaauuuggghhhh! You said "FAAAS"!!!
:grr: :banghead: :argh: :nuke:

That conference presenter from a couple of weeks ago did send me some stuff, but I'm not in the office 'til the week after next.
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-21-09 11:53 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Ohhh, Kama, you should see the major war going on now
on Wrong Planet between the Forces of Darkness (aka the self-hating pro-FAAAS, pro-FAAAS-supporting Atwood contingent) and the anti-FAAAS, aka those of us trying to set the first groups straight. GRRRRRR doesn't even begin to cover it!
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 12:42 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. Oh god, that shit is why I haven't posted at WP for a while.
Is that loony French poster (ouinon) and the woo-woo New Zealander (le kiwi) still there? :crazy:
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lumberjack_jeff Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-20-09 06:07 PM
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7. Error: you can only recommend posts from the last 24 hours.
This is awesome.
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