Malloy’s social services cuts have devastating consequences

FI-Letter-to-the-EditorTo the Editor

 

Editor’s note: The following was a letter addressed to Gov. Dannel Malloy and is being reprinted here with the author’s permission.

 

Dear Governor Malloy,

I wonder how you are planning to restore the Department of Developmental Services funds that have been drastically cut. Due to these cuts the most vulnerable people of the state have lost their vital therapy support programs. They are the ones who cannot speak and whose parents are burnt out and aging. They are the ones still living at home who lost their hope to be placed in supported housing while their parents are still alive, leaving the parents worried to death what will happen to their adult disabled children when they are no longer around.

Governor Malloy, you have met our adult daughter when we applied for training at Roses for Autism, for which we are still waiting. She is among those who, without her parents, would be vegetating in the place where she, being profoundly autistic, receives room and board. She was just learning to spread butter on her sandwich, hang up her coat on a hanger and brush her teeth on the sides and back when her OT (life skills) program was canceled.

Her speech/communication program was cut years ago even though we pleaded that she had been abused at least twice that we know of. She could not speak and thus needed to learn to communicate to be safe. Then her alternative learning programs, vital sensory integration and her music-based autism treatment were also eliminated, leaving her to scream on end when she is anxious, frightened or upset.

We do as much as we can to fill the gap but most parents do not have the funds and the strength to do this decade after decade.

Case workers whose role it was to ensure individuals received their programs from school or care provider have been practically eliminated, leaving one or two for hundreds of cases.

We were shocked were we when we found out that $30 million had been slashed from the DDS budget and that our daughter — like hundreds of others — lost one vital service after another.

We look forward to your response.

 

Brita Darany von Regensburg
Greenwich

The author is president of Friends of Autistic People.

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