Autism Activists Advocates in Action 


Autism Activists Advocates in Action

March 2013


Here you can see Stephen and I in Albany, New York back in March 2013. Albany is the New York State capital. Seat of New York State Government! Heads of agencies, clients/consumers and their families made the bus ride up to Albany on a very rainy day!

That day we made a stand. Every time a legislator/representative would come out our representative made our presence know. No we did not get to meet with Gov. Cuomo that day but there is strength in numbers. We could not be ignored!!


The Young Man in the red coat read a heart rending letter he had written pleading with the legislators not to cut the budget. He said he wanted to be useful. He wanted to work. He did not want to sit in front of a TV all day! The lady in blue was so taken with his letter she made copies and to it back to the other legislators in Albany.

Stephen advocating in Albany, New York March 2013



Super Siblings! Power Autism Activist Advocates in Albany ~~ March 2013


Protesting, Marching and Demonstrating March 2013 in front of Governor Cuomo’s New York City office!!  1500 Strong!  We are the 6%!


Me at the Paid Family Leave Rally January 2016!!  I carried a photo of Stephen in my pocket to give me strength. I was personally invited to attend the rally by the Governor’s Office. Speakers included Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Vice President Joe Biden both lost relatives to cancer in 2015.  Gov. Cuomo read the New York Times article about Stephen and me.


Result: New York State will have Paid Family Leave starting Jan. 2018!!  Apathy does nothing. We must engage with our government.

Action gets results! Faith Without Works is dead!



James 2:14-26

New King James Version (NKJV)

Faith Without Works Is Dead

14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your[a] works, and I will show you my faith by my[b]works. 19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! 20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?[c] 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? 23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”[d] And he was called the friend of God. 24 You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.

25 Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?

26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

More Calls for Stephen ~~ Start a Conversation



More Calls for Stephen


Start a Conversation and Get Involved!!


Get Involved!!  Apathy gets you no where!!

 More Calls!  ♡ More emails! 

Write to or call Governor Andrew Cuomo office:

Governor of New York State NYS State Capitol Building

Albany, NY , 12224

(518) 474-8390


Start a conversation. Get Involved! Make known and Voice your concerns over budget cuts, layoffs and the elimination of programs and services for our most vulnerable populations, those with Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities.

Call Kathleen Hochul, Lieutenant Governor of New York to voice your concerns regarding cutbacks in funding to programs that help Autism/Developmentally Disabled Adults in New York. I am very concerned for the health and welfare of my brother Stephen who has Autism.

Start a Conversation. Get Involved! Help me restore the programs and services that were cut from my brother Stephen’s Group Home Residence and Day Treatment Program. Stand up for New York State Citizens with Developmental/Intellectual Disabilities!! Fight for the Rights of people with Autism!

















Share Your World – 2016 Week 14


With your answers, please remember we are in the SYW world and which may not always match our reality.

What makes you laugh the most? 

Madea. My cat Sylvester.  Human behavior in general.

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If you could hire someone to help you, would it be with cleaning, cooking, or yard work?

Doing the laundry, cleaning and cooking. I leave the yard work to my room-mate.

What was your favorite food when you were a child?

Fried Chicken! Also chocolate. Still love chocolate. I consider Dark Chocolate one of the Major Food Groups that gives us Happiness!  LOL!!

List at least five favorite flowers or plants.

  1. Roses
  2. Tulips
  3. Daisy
  4. Lilies
  5. Daffodils
  6. Climbing Ivy
  7. Evergreen bushes


Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? 

Celebrated my Japanese girlfriend’s birthday by going to the Buddhist Temple with her. All she wanted was for us to be together on her special day. Happy for her. She was smiling.  God is present everywhere whether it be a Christian Church or a Buddhist Temple.

Got good news from my lawyer on a personal matter which will be resolved in the beginning of May while I’m on vacation! Yesss!!

Grateful for the passage of Paid Family Leave for citizens of New York State. The Law goes into effect Jan. 2018.  A little late for me and Stephen since I plan to retire spring 2018 but I’m happy for all New Yorkers who will benefit from this wonderful Law!!  Hooray!!  Thank you Gov. Andrew Cuomo!!


Looking forward to next weekend!
















Paid Family Leave Coming to New York

FMLA_Paid Rally

Victory for New Yorkers!!

Paid Family Leave will become law January 2018.  This is wonderful news for all New Yorkers!  As many of my long-time Followers/Subscribers well know I’ve been fighting to receive FMLA so that I may care for my brother Stephen who has Autism.  Please see and read the New York Times Article.   Also click on the Search category FMLA or Family Leave to see and read my previous blog posts on this subject.

The New York Times did an article on my brother Stephen and me. Please take time to read this eye opening article of our lives. Thank you.


Here is a synopsis from the Action Network.

The NYS Senate just voted to pass the strongest paid family leave bill in the country and we expect the Assembly to do the same this afternoon.

The passage of 12 weeks of paid family leave is a momentous victory for New York’s families. New York now leads the nation in ensuring that working families have access to this essential and long-overdue benefit.

New York’s families will now have access to 12 weeks of job protected paid family leavecovering all private sector workers, at a 2/3rds weekly wage benefit level.  In addition, public sector unions will be able to opt their members into this program.  


I’m sure many of you are wondering how does this affect Stephen and me.  Well to be truthful since it becomes a Law in Jan. 2018 not a whole lot because I will be retiring spring 2018.  No more begging and pleading for time scraps and leftovers. My time as a step-child from a Charles Dickens novel will officially be over.  I will no longer have to choose between keeping my job and caring for my brother Stephen.  Hallelujah!!

However with that being said, as an Activist particularly in my case as an Elder Activist and Autism Advocate the battle is not just for Stephen and myself but for future generations. My time in the wicked workforce is gradually coming to an end. I’m really looking forward to retirement and getting back control of my life as opposed to now where my employer has the control.  Anyway the point is when we fight to change laws or get new laws enacted it may not have the impact in our lives that we wish but we do it to alleviate the suffering of other families and our community.

I remember a long time ago when I was much younger my Aunt Helen Garcia recounting the racism, bigotry and prejudice she encountered trying to get a job in New York. Yes New York!  In the 1940s New York was only a few steps ahead of the South in terms its treatment of Black Americans.  My Aunt Helen cried because my generation, the Baby Boomers was the first generation to benefit from the Civil Rights Movement.  As I recall the stories of Jim Crow Dayton, Ohio from my mother, grandmother and Aunts I absorbed those stories and realized the opportunities available to me that their generation never had.

Now as I make a rapid approach to my 60th year on this earth I’m still out here as a walking wounded warrior but I’m holding out the baton to the next generations.

Millenials are you ready to carry the torch?

I stand on the shoulder of one of the Mothers of the Civil Rights Movement Fannie Lou Hamer.

Millenials are you ready to pick up your swords. Have you put on the Full Armor of God in the fight for Disability Rights?  Autism Rights? Caregiver Rights? Human Rights?

Along with your human genius you have the genius of technology. Young People please use those innovations for more than just selfies and sexting.  There is a war going on. We need all hands on deck.  Like our grandparents and parents before us one day I will pass from time into eternity.  As one Watchman goes to receive their heavenly reward another must take up their post. To paraphrase the prophet Nehemiah, “I’m doing a Great Work for God and cannot come down from the wall.”    Nehemiah 6

Ephesians 6:10-18 New King James Version (NKJV)

The Whole Armor of God

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age,[a] against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—













Share Your World – 2016 Week 9


Have you done something you truly want to do today?

Slept until 7:30 am. Trying to coordinate my schedule so I can do more Autism Activism. For example there is a rally on Friday March 11th in front of the Gov. Cuomo New York City office for the Gov. to increase funding to agencies which serve people with developmental disabilities. Gov. Cuomo has proposed increasing the minimum wage to $15 but unless he increases funding to agencies how will these organizations afford to pay their workers. This presents a dilemma for me as my brother Stephen lives in a Group Home and relies on his Direct Care workers for assistance with his daily needs. Now if one can make more money working at Mickey D’s why would you stay helping disabled people? Therefore this may cause agencies/organizations to lose workers thereby affecting my brother Stephen and others like him in a negative manner.

My problem is that my vacation ends March 7th.  I return to work March 8th and it is highly unlikely I can get March 11th as a day off.  Sigh…….

Here is the backstory of my battle and if you do a Blog search using the terms Stephen Vincent Palmer, Paid Family Leave, Stephen Palmer or FMLA you can see what I’ve been going through over the past eight years. Sadly the laws in the United States nor the attitudes of employers have kept up with average citizens (especially those like me in low wage/low level) who must care for a disabled loved one. There is great stigma against those with intellectually or developmental disabilities and their caregivers. What should be a legal/moral right turns into a battle where companies force workers to choose between having a job that pays your bills or losing your job because your disabled family member needs you.  I walk a delicately balanced tightrope with No safety net beneath me.  This weighs on my mind 24/7/365.  However I place my faith in God to deliver not only me and Stephen but all who fight for this just cause.  Like the song says, “I will Praise you in all that I do. In the good times and bad. Whether happy or sad. Because Praise is what I do.”

The New York Times did an article on my brother Stephen and me. Please take time to read this eye opening article of our lives. Thank you.

What can you help the world with?

Autism Activism. Being an Independent Advocate for people with Developmental Disabilities.  If my job grants me FMLA I will be in a better position for Autism Activism.  Also when Paid Family Leave comes to pass for the New York State I will be able to increase my Autism Activism/Advocacy.

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If life was ‘just a bowl of cherries’… which fruit other than a cherry would you be..?

Maybe an apple. I like the expression being “The Apple of someone’s Eye.” Also New York is known as The Big Apple and has many apple orchards in upstate New York. Otherwise I’d be a pineapple because they grow in nice warm sunny climes

Quotes List: At least three of your favorite quotes?

Philippians 4:13 New King James Version (NKJV)

13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

2 Timothy 1:7 New King James Version (NKJV)

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

Isaiah 54:17 New King James Version (NKJV)

17 No weapon formed against you shall prosper,
And every tongue which rises against you in judgment
You shall condemn.
This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord,
And their righteousness is from Me,”
Says the Lord.

Fred Hammond – No Weapon


Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

My Vacation. Had a great Birthday on Feb. 27th. Still on vacation. Looking forward to spending time with my brother Stephen next weekend March 5th & 6th.

Praise Is What I Do – William Murphy

Grateful – Hezekiah Walker