I am VERY concerned that the Team Center is scheduled to close August 12. I am a
mother of a child with ASD, so my concern is probably expected.
However, this closure effects every tax payer in Tennessee. You see,
my husband and I have been working with The Team Center for the last 10
years to make sure than my son grows up to be a tax payer, NOT a tax
receiver. No easy thing since currently, less than 2% of people
diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder will be able to live without
supports, even the most capable. However, because of his treatments at
TEAM, he has a real chance of being an independent adult with continued
evaluations, treatments and very carefully followed recommendations.
My son is one of MANY who have the same chance.
The Tennessee Department of Intellectual Disabilities has cut the wrong
place in the budget, plain and simple. Spending money on early
diagnosis and treatment is NEVER a mistake, it is the key to saving
money into the adult life of a person with a disability and in many
cases not even needing to spend money on the child who becomes an
In the scheme of a 1,800,000,000 cut, frankly, this $774,000 is an
investment that Tennesseans can not afford NOT to make. The Team
Center serves 2,700 people EVERY year with this funding. This works out
to be $286.66 per year per person served per year. This money will be
easily spent PER DAY for EACH of the 2,700 people who do not become
independent. If only a few of these children actually achieve
independence....well....let me not continue to state the obvious.
Yes there are doctors around....I was told by various doctors at
different times that my son was deaf, had mental retardation, had a
speech problem, had ADHD, had behavior problems....all before his 3rd
birthday. The talented experts that the Team Center has been able to
attract to the Chattanooga area AND keep is phenomenal! No one rushed
to a diagnosis. Several people saw him on several different days over
a span of a few months THEN came up with a correct diagnosis and better
yet, a treatment plan that is WORKING!
My request is simple. The withdrawal of the Team Center's funding
needs to be reversed.