Governor Jeb Bush - There Is, and Will Be, No Help, Here

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EMail chain, circa 2003, begging for help for the children of Florida; a generic non-response was kindly provided by the Bush Administration...

Submitted: April 07, 2016

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Submitted: April 07, 2016

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Dear Sirs -

I know that you have many issues on your desk at each given moment. I hope
you have just a little time to spend in consideration of our nation's
littlest citizens. I am forwarding these letters in hope that you might
recognize the needs of children, nationwide, who have no voice of their own.
Please help them to have a future bright with promise.

Thank you,

E Pa
----- Original Message -----
From: "E Pa" <l...com
To: <jeb.bush@myflorida.com
Cc: "Susan Dickerson" <Susan_Dickerson@dcf.state.fl.us;
<tom.feeney@mail.house.gov; <bob_graham@graham.senate.gov;
<bill_nelson@nelson.senate.gov; <posey.bill.web@flsenate.gov;
<fl_governor@myflorida.com; <baxley.dennis@leg.state.fl.us;
<speakerbyrd@myfloridahouse.com; <patterson.pat@myfloridahouse.com;
<poppell.ralph@myfloridahouse.com
Sent: Wednesday, January 29, 2003 10:20 PM
Subject: Re: Please help our children and families

Dear Governor Bush,

Thank you for taking time to read my letter from January 10th. As you
surmised, I am very concerned about my child's future, and the future of
her
growing number of peers.

I did receive a kind letter from Susan Dickerson. This letter left me with
even more questions and no answers.

Susan astutely identified that it is "difficult it is to have a child with
the intensive needs of autism, asthma, allergies, AD/HD and ADD, and to
work
so hard to meet those needs." What was not said is that parents, alone, can
not possibly meet the critical needs these children have for intensive
therapies (Speech, Behavioral, Occupational, and Physical). Also not
addressed is the parents' critical need for respite from their intense and
demanding responsibilities, which often include sleepless nights and days
of
endless tantruming,
kicking, hitting, biting, shrieking (while you are simultaneously on the
phone begging for services, arguing with bill collectors, preparing,
packaging, and freezing hypoallergenic meals, performing therapeutic
interventions, caring for siblings, and packing to get into the car AGAIN
for the next therapy/specialist appointment) and never being able to let
your child out of your sight because these children have no understanding
of the consequences of their actions.

I'm certain you are well aware that the number of families waiting for
services from Developmental Disabilities is approximately 10,000 (and
growing rapidly); I think that this represents a 25 % increase above the
number currently being served. Susan says that you realize the tremendous
needs of children with disabilities. You generously "proposed $82.6 million
in new funding for state fiscal year 2003/2004 (an 8% increase?) to help
individuals on the Developmental Services waiting list." It is good to hear
that those individuals who have been eligible for services and have been
waiting the longest time will be served first; hopefully as many 30% of the
waiting individuals (who have waited up to five years) will finally get
some relief.

Meanwhile, the list is multiplying rapidly. By my estimation, there is
still a budget shortfall of at least $176.4 million to provide services to
disabled people who have IMMEDIATE NEED. Please tell me, when, where, and
how are these individuals (approximately 4,000 of whom are most likely
autistic) going to get the services they need to ensure the best success
for overcoming their conditions?

If your answer is, "sometime in the future," please understand what this
means. Not only will you diminish these children's futures, but you will
also flood the educational system; which is wholly unprepared to
effectively
educate children who cannot participate in most social situations and
traditional educational settings. This would, certainly, cause an
exponential increase in financial need for schools and overwhelming
requirement for "special education" professionals; both of which are
already in short supply.

Burgeoning school classrooms, "natural environments," will be
populated with "mainstreamed" autistic students; based on current program
plans. These classrooms will most likely fail to meet the needs of either
the "typical" or the "special" population, without many specific and costly
"supports." Teachers will undoubtedly lose productive teaching time;
given the volatile and disruptive nature of the untreated autistic child.
Alternatively, we can continue to keep dumping our autistic children into
"special education" classrooms; there they can be kept segregated from FCAT
testing classrooms (working to limited IEPs), until they are old enough to
move out of the education arena and into sheltered workshops and group homes.

Susan is right, "as a citizen of Florida and a developmental disabilities
advocate, it is important that (I) let my local legislators know how (I)
feel about placing liability caps on lawsuits toward pharmaceutical
companies and other entities." What is equally important (as any case I
might be able to file will not yield results for several years) is to let
my Government know how I feel about the decisions that are being made today,
which affect my daughter's immediate and distant future. Let me be clear:
I think today's Government is shortchanging these children's futures.

Please fund the critical needs of those who wait WITHOUT DELAY. Their
future is in your hands. And for the record, I think that the individual companies
who make little effort to ensure the safety and efficacy of the products
they sell should receive NO protection, under the law, from their own poor
practices.

Thank you for your attention in this matter,

E Pa



----- Original Message -----
From: "Susan Dickerson" <Susan_Dickerson@dcf.state.fl.us
To: <l..com
Sent: Wednesday, January 29, 2003 10:07 AM
Subject: Please help our children and families


Dear Ms. Pa:

Thank you for your January 10 e-mail to Governor Bush regarding services
for your daughter, K. Governor Bush has asked me to respond to you on
his behalf. I can imagine how difficult it is to have a child with the
intensive needs of autism, asthma, allergies, AD/HD and ADD, and to work
so hard to meet those needs.

Governor Bush realizes the tremendous needs of children with disabilities.
He has proposed $82.6 million in new funding for state fiscal year
2003/2004 to help individuals on the Developmental Services waiting list.
Those individuals who have been eligible for the waiver and have been
waiting the longest time will be served first.

As a citizen of Florida and a developmental disabilities advocate, it is
important that you let your local legislators know how you feel about
placing liability caps on lawsuits toward pharmaceutical companies and
other entities.

If the department can provide future assistance for you and your family,
please contact the Developmental Disabilities program office at (850)
488-4257.



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Thank you,
Susan Dickerson, Acting Director of
Developmental Disabilities Program, Tallahassee, Fl


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