POSITION STATEMENT for Parents
United New York Early Intervention Providers and Parents As Partners
Recent regulatory and legislative changes have taken affect that impact the New York State Early Intervention program, which includes, but is not limited to changes in the way children qualify for services, the implementation of para-professionals, a push toward “center-based” vs. “home-based” services, a cut in pay to the professionals in the NYS Early Intervention program and every year there are proposals for parents to pay for their child’s educational services.
AS PARENTS of children with disabilities, we recognize the benefits of in-home Early Intervention services, provided by teachers and therapists who hold the highest degrees possible in each of their respective professions.
AS PARENTS we expect high quality, intensive therapy services, combined with innovative teaching styles from each of these experts.
AS PARENTS we expect that to the maximum extent appropriate, services are to be provided in natural environments. Natural environments, broadly speaking, are where our children live, learn, and play.
AS PARENTS, we want the OPTION of choosing whether or not our children receive services in the home, or at a center.
AS PARENTS, we feel that the fiscal responsibility for such services should be placed on state, county, federal, and private sectors because we are already burdened with additional expenses due to having children with disabilities.
While we recognize the state is in fiscal crisis, we believe that our children’s therapies and education should NOT be provided by paraprofessionals who do not have the full training, or expertise to provide services to our children.
We are also concerned that if home based services are NOT supported, the number of agencies and individuals providing the in-home services will be significantly decreased. These in-home services are important for us to provide carryover to our children when therapists are not there. And it’s not what the therapist does while in our homes, it’s what WE learn to do for our children through the rest of the day. We want home-based services to be supported.
Our children are our future whether they are my children, yours, or our neighbors’. This change will not only effect the children but their families and, in essence, the future of our state since our "human resources" will be compromised.
We are asking our legislators to seek alternatives to this dismantling of Early Intervention -- however, they are not listening and not even responding. We are seeking changes that do not impact programs that affect the children with developmental disabilities and their families.