Monday, March 30, 2009

My Letter to the "big dogs".. about budget/funding cuts.

Crystal Peek

March 30, 2009

To whom it may concern,

My name is Crystal I am a mother to three wonderful children. My oldest daughter Alana, age 7 has Autism and Turner Syndrome. We get a lot of support and beneficial information from the Parent to Parent program which is why I am writing to you today so I can explain on my behalf and others as well, how important Parent to Parent programs are the best way I can since the worth of this program is beyond words. They can not survive without funding, if that funding is lost many families including mine are losing an invaluable resource for our family and especially for our children. We do understand that there is budget cuts that need to be made but we also believe there is other programs not as vital and/or other options that can be utilized such as a state tax to resolve these issues. The special needs community is already facing budget cuts in other areas. Most likely my daughter will no longer be provided incontinence products through Medicaid. The school system including special education is taking cuts. Medicaid Personal Care may be facing cuts as well. How many cuts does it take before a better solution is found? We are already 39th in the country for our disAbility services and will only get worse. Cutting funding for our community surely isn’t the right answer.

I attend monthly support group meetings through Parent to Parent that I truthfully count as an intense therapy session, without those meetings I don’t know where I would be right now. I surely would be seeing a counselor at the very least. Without being able to afford medical insurance the only way I would be able to do that would be with the states dollars. The meetings not only help me but they also allow me to help other parents, who without parent to parent would probably never even know I existed. The networking that happens through parent to parent is like a second family to all involved, it is something that we need. It is not a want, it is a requirement we need in order to keep going some days.

I have also learned a great deal from speakers that present through Parent to Parent programs. I have learned about resources I can utilize to better our family and our child’s life. I have learned about countless treatment options for me daughter.

The activities that are sponsored through Parent to Parent such as the end of the year Special Connections Carnival are some of the only times my daughter can participate in an activity with peers, without stares and judgments and she can actually enjoy it. Her public school holds a carnival as well but she is unable to participate for many obvious reasons such as long lines, bigger more aggressive children, stares, other parents wondering why my child is shoving through the line and touching people in inappropriate places, over crowded, loud noises and most of all the safety of my daughter. All issues that are overcome or at least understood when we attend an activity through Parent to Parent. The program gets my daughter out of the house, without it the activities and places we go would be very limited. Even more so then they are now.

The Sibshop program through Parent to Parent gives my other children a chance to connect with friends that will know and understand them more then their friends from school. In the future they can invite those friends over and not have them stare and wonder why their sibling is licking the drywall. Maybe even turning them off as friends, friendship is hard for siblings of special needs children which is why this program is vital. Not only for friendship building but it is also vital because, most children with special needs siblings feel some sort of isolation and neglect. The reason being a lot of attention and activities revolve around the child with special needs. My typical daughter gets dragged along to therapies and doctor visits. I cannot take my typical daughter to the movie theatre because her sister will not stay in her seat. She doesn’t get all the same opportunities that her peers get and the Sibshop is an activity she gets to do alone. Her sister is not there, therefore she is the focus even if it’s only for an hour.




Crystal Peek


Domestically Disabled Girl said...

thank you, thank you , thank you! I wish so many more parents had the heart and drive to write such wonderful letters. They truly make a difference. I have written my my leg. as well, but it means so much more coming from a concerned parent.
You did a fantastic job on that, and again, thank you from all educators and program directors!

Kristine said...

That is a GREAT letter.

Parent Reviewers