Alright – so, if you read my blog then you realize I am not a big fan of the current state Medicaid commissioner in Minnesota. If I were a SNL writer – I would be in heaven. Sadly, this is not a comedy show. DHS is in charge of the state’s most vulnerable population, those with a disability, the poor and the elderly. Their needs are very serious and important.
Yet, Lt Governor Tina Smith chose to appoint Ms. Piper to lead DHS even though she has zero, zilch and nada experience in human services or dealing with such vulnerable population. This appointment was politically calculated and not based on experience or background. As a result, we are seeing the effects of this. For example, autism services – things are going from bad to worse. There are so many confusions and chaos in the autism area in DHS. The people hired to lead have no idea what they are doing. They are wasting tax payers dollars and resources in almost everything they have done so far. They are giving families and providers so much wrong and false information that has real consequences for real children and real families. Yet, Piper’s administration hasn’t taken any action to correct this, nor are there consequences.
I and so many other families worked really hard in this state to get good resources and services for children with autism and their families, and it is heartbreaking to watch our hard work go down the toilet by a bunch of inexperienced, ignorant and cocky liberal elites. Ughhh.
In my humble little opinion, all that happened under Piper administration for autism is silencing, bullying and intimidating parents and advocates that disagree with them or call them out on their ignorance. This kind of behavior actually energizes me but quite frankly is useless and wrong for a state agency staff to behave such manner. About a month ago, I went to one of their trainings about autism and the services offered by DHS. I remember thinking to myself – this can’t be real. Are these people really saying so many wrong and false information. So, I decided to tell them they were telling us wrong and in-correct information. One of them Ms. Mua said to me “We need to have respect”, and I told her telling you all to stop giving us wrong information is not even in the same category as respect and silencing us is not acceptable”. Then another trainer Britania stated that since I am assigned to speak with Asst Commissioner Wilson I should direct all of my questions to her. I told her that it is irrelevant who I am assigned to because she needed to give the right information and not be defensive.
To make matters sweeter – I get a letter…wait for it…… from the assistant commissioner Wilson telling, no let me rephrase that ordering me to respect DHS autism staff. Well – that was it. I asked her why she would even dream of trying to silence a parent let alone me. Her response was even more shocking and disturbing… wait for it…..”I didn’t even read the letter, I just sign it after I got it from DHS ASD policy team”. I kid you not. You see this kind of BS happens when inexperienced and politically appointed personnel take charge. One thing is for sure this letter is the gift that will keep on giving. I actually framed it and taped in my front door so that I can see it when I am leaving the house and when I am coming back home to sort of give a pick me up energy like a latte.
I mean really – the idea of silencing or bullying families about autism especially when DHS ASD team is clearly stupid and out of touch is beyond imaginable. This kind of behavior is why we need to vote wisely and hold our elected officials accountable to their actions including who they appoint to important positions. I can’t wait when Tina Smith runs for a governor – how will she explain so many bias and cocky decisions including naming a complete rookie to lead the most important agency in the state.
Above words do not reflect any agency, candidate or committee.
Idil – Autism Mom & Advocate