A reader writes:
Your reader is right: Sometimes people-in-the-spotlight are able to bring attention to a misunderstood or relatively unknown issue, in a way that raises awareness and helps families who are struggling with such issue. Tipper Gore helped to diminish the stigma associated with mental illness by talking about the personal story of her mother, Michael J. Fox courageously shows the face of Parkinson's disease, as did Betty Ford with alcohol dependency, etc. So I'm sure that some people are helped by seeing Trig on stage "so openly, proudly and even normally apart of someone's life."
But outside of parading Trig around so "proudly," what has Palin done to advance the issue, or educate others on the issue, in the way Gore, Fox, Ford and others have done?
So far as I can tell, she's only given one speech on the issue, in October 2008, during the campaign. It was a pretty good speech. Palin advocated for extending the funding and scope of the federal program, IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act), and utilizing the NIH to get parents better information on how to care for a special needs child from birth onwards.
Unfortunately, she hasn't followed through on those campaign promises, not as Governor, not as a political or celebrity figure who wields enormous influence. If I were a mother of a special needs child, I might find this frustrating---I would want Palin to use her stage to do more than simply illuminate Trig. Just sayin.