by Wendy Wright
ROCHESTER, N.Y. — There is a call to the Gov. Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature to increase funding for early intervention efforts that could help infants and toddlers.
“The words that she was saying weren’t so clear to me and I kind of didn’t understand what she was saying,” said first-time mom, Qutisha Britt, who feared that her daughter, Azalya, could have been speech or developmentally delayed and reached out for help. “That wait was maybe a month or two before I could even get in before they could even evaluate her to know what was our next step after that.”
Testing showed 4-year-old Azalya is doing fine and didn’t need services, but her mom recognizes what other parents are dealing with. So Britt joined The Children’s Agenda organization and others at a news conference calling for increased funding for early childhood intervention.
“Eighty-five percent of brain development happens before age 3,” said The Children’s Agenda Chief Program Officer, Brigit Hurley.
She says far too many infants and toddlers are unable to access early intervention services in a timely manner, a time she says is critical. “This is a time when synapses are forming rapidly and connections are made that will change the course of a child’s life, particularly a child who has a developmental delay or disability.”
Now, there is a statewide coalition that includes some 95 organizations that signed a letter to the governor.
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