On the first day of kindergarten this fall, some families had more worries than others.
That's because their new kindergartener has an undiagnosed disability. On the first day of school their pride and joy is already behind all the other children.
It's a sad reality for too many parents. Every year, we fail to identify 1.45 million children under the age of 5 who have a disability or are at risk for a developmental delay.
With Easter Seals in their lives, kids get the early treatment and therapy they need to start school on par with their peers, succeed and achieve their dreams. But today, it's harder than ever for families to access care, and essential programs to treat young children with disabilities are chronically underfunded and in danger of being scaled back even further in 2011.
Tell President Obama: Include $100 million in increased funding for early disability diagnosis and treatment of young children in your FY12 budget request.
disability or are at risk for developmental delay that put them behind their peers.
Programs that diagnose and treat these young children as early as possible help kids succeed
in school alongside their peers. However, these early intervention programs are chronically
underfunded, and with the languishing economy, are in further jeopardy of being cut.
That is why I am asking you to increase by $100 million the Part C early intervention program of
the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act in the FY12 budget.
We know that investing $1 in early diagnosis and treatment now will save $7 in future care costs.
Help all children – no matter their background or special needs – realize their dreams. There is
no better investment than in the future of our youngest and most vulnerable children.