The State of the Illinois Budget?
If you haven't done so already-- please call/fax/email/mail (all) Governor Pat Quinn's office to make our voices heard to protect our challenged loved ones & their support systems.
Governor's contact information:
Phone 217.782.0244 or 217.782.6830
Office of the Governor
James R. Thompson Center
100 W. Randolph, 16-100
Chicago, IL 60601
HERE'S MY CORRESPONDENCE.........................................................................
June 6, 2011
Dear Governor Quinn,
I am absolutely sickened by the thought process behind the eminent decision to eliminate all Illinois DHS Respite programs, downsizing home based programs (that allow families to keep their children out of institutions) & other vital DHS programs.
I am mother to 4 young children in 4 years, all autistic-- having regressed after the pregnancy with our 4th child. Our eldest child has Down syndrome as well. All 4 children have profound medical & support needs. We have no nearby family to help us. We did not choose this life for our children. God chose for us to be parents to these amazing 4 gems; we cannot raise them alone without these vital services. All of children have intensive care needs between medical, supervision & self care. Our eldest daughter recently has been completely immobile in a body cast & still requires 100% assistance for care.
It's taken us 2 years to finally get any assistance in state respite, even with such immense needs & now we may be back to ground zero.
My husband & I are responsible taxpaying citizens whom want to raise our children in our home, with our values, not give them over to state institutions. We need help desperately to provide for all their daily needs, through the very programs that are to be eliminated.
I do not understand why our state leadership would target our most vulnerable population (those with special needs) -- by cutting the lifeline of services to support them, in order to rectify our state budget. If this decision goes through, more families will end up losing their children & the state will be responsible for much more costly upkeep of its disabled citizens in state institutions. Our disabled children have great promise of being PRODUCTIVE & CONTRIBUTING citizens, when raised in their loving family homes, with the early intervention & intense support we parents must provide.
It would be incredibly IRRESPONSIBLE decision (financially & ethically) for Illinois leadership to make a decision NOW that would only grow our State’s financial problems infinitely in the future, as the needs & care requirements would absolutely grow for this population having these services removed.
The idea of these program cuts are both heartbreaking & in my opinion, a shameful reflection of the values present in our Illinois leadership. God help us all if this decision somehow makes it through now; as I understand, this bill has cleared both the house & senate now & resides on YOUR DESK, Governor Quinn.
I IMPLORE YOU, to get some perspective on this MATTER. Read our family’s blog entries (search medical, help, respite, etc) & you will begin to gain some hefty perspective of *what it requires* to parent a child with these extraordinary needs. www.detourautism.blogspot.com You will also understand quickly how the divorce rate amongst our population is above between 80-90%, which further bogs down our judicial systems, etc, etc. The financial repercussions for our state, ripple out much further than the direct point of care for our challenged & disabled citizens.
HELP US KEEP OUR FAMILIES TOGETHER!
If you personally, ever come to be in my shoes, as a parent/ family member to/or disabled yourself (special needs aren’t occurring just at birth—people become disabled EVERYDAY)—
what would you feel, knowing our very closest country’s leadership simply turned their back on those people truly most vulnerable & defenseless?
Mom to: Bella 7 (DS & Autism), Roo 5(Autism), S-bear 5(Autism) & SJ 3(Autism)