Please reconsider altering funding that benefits recipients of Early Intervention--or any other programming that aides individuals who are struggling with disabilities or who are at risk of struggling with them (including respite and home-based support).
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EI is critically important to children suffering from a wide variety of problems (or who indicate signs of being at risk of suffering from these issues). In some cases, recipients enter programming with a low percentage of obvious delay but are ultimately diagnosed with issues ranging from autism to cerebral palsy before exiting EI. Either way, studies have indicated that, the earlier a child receives help, the better they do down the road (which ultimately saves our state and national governments money). In fact, Governor Rauner, your own campaign literature cites the following--P.9: “It's a losing proposition to expect any individual school to help a student catch up when the child starts off behind before kindergarten even starts. . . . High-quality early intervention and childhood education programs result in increased school readiness and improved high school graduation and college attendance rates, and are much more effective in addressing long-term student performance than when children are already in school.”
As for respite care and home-based support, they are invaluable resources that sustain families experiencing some of the most intense stress of their lives. These programs enable them to forge ahead on what is often a difficult, long journey.
Rather than axing funding given to those who inherently find it more difficult to stand up for themselves, please reevaluate, reconsider, and give these children--and their families--the future they deserve.
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