Friday, January 05, 2007

Advocacy letter - health provision for children with special needs

Alfie in his Autumn ensemble.

Here's a letter from November 2006 adapted from a template that members of the Nova Scotia Down Syndrome Society sent to the local minister responsible for community services:

Dear Minister Streatch
I am the parent of a child with Down Syndrome and would like to express my sincere thanks for the services which are available to us as a family in Halifax. These services will help to ensure that our little son, Alfie, will be able to be the person he deserves to be - able to communicate and contribute and be a vital part of our community. However, I am deeply concerned that our children are not all receiving the level of care and attention they need from the Nova Scotia government.

Some families are waiting up to 3 years for access to services like Early Intervention, Speech-Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy - the services that are crucial in helping our children reach their full potential and become contributing members of society.

Our son is just three months old and we really hope that he will be able to get the support he needs with speech and communication as soon as possible. If Alfie has to wait until he is 3 years old, the crucial learning period will have passed and the cost of helping him retrospectively, and supporting him at such a late date, will be so much greater. Unfortunately, physiotherapy and speech therapy cost so much once time has passed - if you can get in early you save thousands as well as much heartache for children and their loved ones.

I am interested to know how the Government of Nova Scotia will be addressing these issues. I believe that it is in the interests of our community as a whole to ensure that equal opportunities are provided for our children with disabilities. They do not deserve to be left on the low priority list.

Thank you so much for your attention to my concerns. I look forward to a quick resolution of these issues and again thank you for the services that are already being provided - I know these will make such a difference to my son's life.



Michelle said...

Your Alfie is so darn cute! what a darling picture that is!

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