Thursday, June 4, 2009

Save state services!

Like most states, California is in a huge budget crisis. Governor Schwarzenegger has recently proposed cutting Early Start and other in-home services for developmentally disabled children by half a billion dollars! I don't usually get all riled up and political, but in this case I am. I just emailed all the assembly people in the state I could find email addresses for the letter below. If you live in California, please consider doing the same. Make your voice heard and save Early Start!

Dear Assembly Member,

I am writing to ask you to please fight for our state's Early Start program. We live in Oakland, CA and our 19-month old son, Drake, has Cerebral Palsy.

He has been receiving in-home services through RCEB since he was 3 months old. He gets physical therapy and speech therapy once per week. We feel these services have made a huge difference in his short life. At 17 months, he started crawling. His doctors didn't believe he would crawl until well after his second birthday, if at all. He also now says the words "Hi", "Bye" and "apple" and has learned to sign the words "eat","more" and "drink". His speech therapist taught him these signs.

Having to work full-time to support our family, having these services in-home makes all the difference. I don't know that Drake would be able to receive these services if my husband or I had to bring him to and from each appointment. Plus, the home is such a comfortable, familiar environment for Drake -- it's where babies are meant to be!

Drake loves his therapists, too. They have become like family to our family. Please don't take away his services or the positive people in his life. Fight to keep Early Start and in-home services for developmentally disabled children! It's really important to have these services available to children before age 3. Their brains are still plastic and can re-map motor pathways that have been damaged.

Thanks for listening and considering our plea.


Katy said...

Let me add that money spent in Early Intervention will save the state money down the line. They could pay now to get these kids up to speed or they can pay later when they've seriously disabled adults.

Hopeful Mother said...

Just curious, do you get PT from both CCS and Early Start?