Yo soy La Lay

adventures in family, faith, and Down syndrome

Advocacy #30: An open letter

on October 30, 2015

In case you want to advocate on behalf of Tessa or other people that benefit from EI, here is an open letter you can use to contact your representatives who should know how important this is:

Dear                     ,

I am writing on behalf of my daughter Tessa, a two year old with Down syndrome who receives Early Intervention Services (EI) with the help of the state of Illinois.  I only write to implore to think about what a mistake it would be to reduce the services of EI for any child.  While I could go on and on about the personal gains it has provided for my daughter and the incredible positive impact it has had on my family, I urge you to look at this from an objective perspective.

E.I. saves our state money in the long run.  For every dollar spent to fund EI it would cost seven more dollars of funding to not fund EI For instance, let’s say a child with a disability is provided EI at an early age.  Because of this exposure to necessary therapies and the child’s parents learning about how to help their child, they are able to gain vital skills necessary to succeed in life.  When they are eligible for the school system, they won’t need nearly as much support, if any, because of the growth they made and the steps they took while enrolled in the EI program.  Now, if you take this same child and don’t provide any services and don’t teach parents how to really help their child, you are going to spend an excessive amount trying to make up for lost time.  So how does it make sense to spend seven dollars in the future when we could just spend one now?

Now is the time to have foresight for our state and for EI We all know the state is a financial mess and to do nothing is unacceptable.  All I am asking of you is not to try to solve financial problem by doing something that makes so little sense.  Put aside that this is a human rights issue and focus on the return on your investment.  The cost benefit analysis of diminishing EI doesn’t add up.  It’s using a bucket to save a sinking ship instead of reinforcing the hull.

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