This is my Masterpiece

This is my Masterpiece

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Save Services for Thousands of Kids

A week ago we were one of the thousands of families that got a letter letting us know the State of California is going to be canceling our services. To do this, lawmakers, without public input, amended a law on July 28th so they could take away services from people with developmental disabilities in a letter 5 days later. Further, they redefined the services as social and recreational rather than therapeutic which made these services seem frivolous. At the same time they delivered this blow to all the families served, not one pink slip was handed out... yeah you read that right... though none of the families will receive services they are still defined as clients so that money continues to provide jobs. Where but in government can you serve zero customers but still be guaranteed a job?

Gavin works with weights building strength, increases vestibular balance, proprioception, crossing the mid line, prepositional concepts, right and left, colors, alphabet, numbers, following directions, building confidence and self esteem while increasing physical and cognitive function. In the first photo he is working with weights to increase core strength. In the second photo he is counting. In the third photo he is doing a move called "baseball" and following this move he stands on the horse. Now I don't know about you but I don't know too many people that stand on a horse.

The handsome men you see with Gavin are his big brothers who have been volunteering every week for about six years.

Last night a reporter asked me what is so special about Equestrian Therapy... how is it different from other activities. My answer came without hesitation... for an hour a week Gavin doesn't have a disability.

Please help families like ours keep these services.


Monique said...

Sorry to hear that Gavin is losing his therapy. Is there anything John Q. Public can do to stop the law makers from doing this? How can I help?

SuzeBeeBlog said...

I hope Gavin won't lose his services because we are going to fight!

How can John Q help people like Gavin keep services? First it would be to understand that this is being done this way for one reason, because they can. People like Gavin are invisible and they are forgotten. Right now their services are being cut to protect jobs. Our state lawmakers would rather cut services to people with disabilities that are invisible to John Q then raise the unemployment rate which would make the news. The sad truth is the services we cut now -- services that help children be independent adults -- will cost us billions when these children become the adults.

Everyone understands that cuts must be made -- but make those cuts by an equal percentage across the field.

John Q can help by writing letters to their state politicians. John Q can help by creating inclusive opportunities in all environments including education, employment, recreation, and community.