Donald Trump talked about Autism in a February 14th meeting between him, Secretary of Education Betsey DeVos, and Washington D.C. principal. He acted concerned about autistic kids, wondering if autism has increased. However, the policies he is supporting would harm autistic people (and people who have other disabilities) to such a degree that any alleged concern he has about autistic people should be dismissed as crocodile tears.

Donald Trump and health care for autistic people

Whether you're in the "cure autism" camp or "accept it as a natural difference" camp, one thing has to be admitted: The Affordable Care Act was a godsend.

Autism, like just about every other Disability, was considered a pre-existing condition. Meaning that it was almost impossible for autistic people to get insurance on the private market. The best that their family could hope for was Medicaid or that the state high-risk pool would accept them. Trouble was, high-risk pools had notoriously long waiting lists and covered very little at too high a price. Unfortunately, if Donald Trump's website is any indication, he's intent on throwing out the pre-existing condition mandate in favor of failed high-risk pools.

To make things worse, he wants to end Federal matching for Medicaid and turn the program over to the states. As I've previously discussed, this is a terrible idea.

Not only would it stop autistic people from getting health care, it would throw them out of services such as job training. Even if a cure for autism were somehow developed (and I'm not saying it could or should be), Donald Trump's plan would put it out of reach of a lot of people.

Donald Trump and education for autistic people

Betsey DeVos may have walked back her comments about the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, but the fact is the comments were made. Her comment, that states should be allowed to decide if they educate disabled kids, does not bode well for autistic kids. Most people don't realize it but before the Federal government got involved, states, even progressive ones, simply chose not to educate the disabled.

Odds are that given the choice, states would revert back to doing that.

Charter schools and private schools, which both Betsey DeVos and Donald Trump support have also been bad for the disabled. In many states, said schools are allowed to pick and choose which kids they serve. Often, they choose not to serve the disabled to save money and inflate their test scores when they are allowed.

Donald Trump's policies simply don't bode well if your child has autism.