12 November 2010

Missouri residents: read.

If you live in Missouri OR if you are just plain kind and find this cause worth fighting for, please write your legislator.

Personally, I cannot imagine if Betsy had not had early childhood intervention {she received it from 5 months-3 years}.  These littles depend so greatly upon it.  It is the most crucial intervention they will receive in their lifetimes {those first 3 years}.  


image via 'The Technical Writing Company'

Infants and toddlers with disabilities (birth-2) and their families receive early intervention services under Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).  Children and youth, ages 3-21 receive special education and related services under Part B of IDEA.   Special Education for Kindergarten – 12thgrade is mandatory under IDEA.   Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Education are voluntary under IDEA, but Missouri enacted legislation in 1990 to make it mandatory.   This past year, several states, including Missouri, have considered making these programs voluntary in order to cut costs. 

In the upcoming session, the Mo. State legislature will be reviewing options to reduce state expenditures for Fiscal Year 2012.     If the state leadership considers a withdrawal from the current statutory requirement that all eligible 3 and 4 years old children  receive special education, it must be made by a statutory change.   We know that such legislation would have a devastating effect on children, so we are urging families to contact their legislators to ask their support in insuring that Early Childhood Special Education does not get cut in an effort to balance the state’s budget.  

How can you help?   Please consider writing a letter to your senator or state representative.   Never underestimate the power of your voice!    Legislators need to hear from their constituents; and we want them to hear this message from many individuals!    A sample letter is attached to simplify the process,  but it is important to add your personalized message to the letter; especially if your child is currently (or recently) receiving early childhood special education (see paragraph 3 of the letter).    Including a photograph of your child is even better!  

Who is your legislator?   Here is a link to finding one’s legislator.  You search by home zip code.       

No legislation has been filed at this time, but we will be watching closely as bills are pre-filed in early December.   


  1. We're in Missouri (temporarily at least because we're military), but my two youngest children DO receive special education. We'll be writing!

    Thanks for posting this!


  2. I can't get your link to work. Will you repost it for me? Thanks!

  3. Oh I feel lucky that we had early intervention in CA. My son started at 19 months through three. I can't believe in our county they cut the early program for all but severly disabled. I feel so lucky to have had my son get the early services that he did. I'm pretty sure that he would not be a typical mainstreamed 8 year old without the intense early intervention. I got lucky and had a small window of "money spending" through our county program and I had home visits 3 times per week!!! From three different therapists/educators. Unheard of in today's climate. My best friend pays almost $1,000/mo in private speech therapy. She's lucky she can afford it. Love your blog!


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