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Friday, September 21, 2018

Autistic Person Is a Statewide Candidate in Georgia

In The Politics of Autism, I write:  "Support from the general public will be an important political asset for autistic people. Another will be their sheer numbers, since a larger population of identified autistic adults will mean more autistic voters and activists"

Adam Murphy reports at WGLC-TV in Atlanta:
At State Farmer's Market in Macon, fresh fruits and vegetables aren't the only thing that's home-grown.

Born and raised in central Georgia, Fred Swann is running for statewide Commissioner of Agriculture, but it's not the only challenge he's facing.

"No challenge for someone on the autistic spectrum, no challenge it presents should hold them back from being a contributing member of society, even a politician," said Swann.

He's not only autistic, he's now the Democratic nominee for office.

"The outpouring of affection and support that I have gotten has been overwhelming," said Swann.

From his campaign website:
I was born and raised in Middle Georgia, in both Warner Robins and Macon by a single mother. For most of my childhood, she worked two, sometimes three jobs just to make ends meet to provide for our family, instilling in me the value of hard work. I spent much of my childhood with my grandparents.
After he retired, my grandfather took up farming on a side acre of land. He grew tomatoes, corn, snap peas, and other assorted crops. Today, he would be called a micro farmer. To him, he was just filling his days with productive work.
He would send his family home with bags of produce from his land. He also sold tomatoes on a roadside stand for extra money. I helped him work the land, pull weeds, really anything he needed. In exchange, I learned valuable lessons about hard work and developed a strong appreciation for our farmers. As a person with autism, I never forgot how therapeutic that work was for me.
Swann discusses autism at about 6:50 in this video: