sjoneshayes's comment history

sjoneshayes said...

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 adult.

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.

Respectfully,

July 27, 2011 at 6:57 p.m.
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