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by Abigail Van Buren

Father in Law's Fish Story Reveals His True Character

DEAR ABBY: My 8-year-old nephew was diagnosed with autism at the age of 3. He has made amazing progress with therapy and has advanced so he is practically functioning at his age level.

Our entire family has teamed up and joined a charity that raises money for autism. We have devoted our time and energy to this important cause. My sister (my nephew's mother) refuses to get involved! She says she is "too busy."

We all work and have other activities, yet we still make time to devote to this cause. She doesn't work and has no other responsibilities outside her family that prohibit her from participating. She says raising money isn't something she likes to do.

I don't have much time for it either, but our family MAKES the time because this cause is important to us. It makes me furious that she won't help raise money for her own child's disorder. How can I talk to her about this without seeming confrontational? -- RAISING MONEY IN FLORIDA

DEAR RAISING MONEY: I urge you to refrain from doing so. For heaven's sake, your sister is the mother of a child who is working hard to overcome a disorder. She has a full-time job -- one that lasts 24 hours a day, seven days a week. She is not malingering, so stop judging her.