Alright – so, they say all good things must come to an end. I have decided to retire after the 2023 MN legislative session ended in May. I have been advocating since 2007 – 15 years, under three Minnesota governors, three U.S presidents, countless state commissioners, countless federal agency heads and kazilian legislators. I am tired and old. When I started, I could not even say the word autism out loud. I felt ashamed and guilty. I never heard of it, never knew anyone with it and never seen another autism parent. Now, I think, breath and live autism everyday, all day with pleasure, with no reservation and no hesitation. I have been able to speak about autism in Minn Capitol, Congress, the White House and at the United Nations. I’ve had heck of a journey, and will cherish every moment and everyone that I met along the way.
I will write a blog to thank those who have supported our efforts as well as those who have been an obstacle at a later time. For now, I will say to myself goodbye and take a long overdue break Ms. Idil.
Thanks to all my fellow Somali Autism Parents; you are me, and I am you:)!
What will I do next? Relax, get off every policy list-serve, every elected official list-serve, and never bother (ok harass) any state/federal legislator or agency.
August 2023 – Amended as there is confusion – I have retired being a community and autism policy advocate. That is when around this time, I would be working (ok begging or harrasing) with legislators and state/federal agency folks about potential policy changes/additions/deletions. I am and will always be an autism mom. I am also a provider and I intend to always speak for my son, myself and the agency I work at.
Additionally, if there is any minority person who thinks DHS one day decided to be fair and create EIDBI or any equity policies, please come out of living under a rock. Will the real slim shady please stand up and I have no desire to fall for divide and conquer or deal with house negroes. Sorry, I am too old, too smart and too tired for that.
Idil – Somali Autism Mom & Retired Advocate (5.31.23)