by Isabel Garcia
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Tuesday morning, parents educators, specialists and advocates from communities across the state, including Rochester, will travel to Albany to fight for funding for early intervention services.
These are federally mandated supports, where children have a right to get access to these services within 30-days, however families are having to wait upwards of 12-months to get connected. Early Intervention services provide support for infants and toddlers with developmental delays and disabilities, such as speech, physical and occupational therapists.
“Their developmental milestones are expanding so much in this crucial age range, from 0 – 3 and I just feel like he’s just loosing out and we just feel kind of stuck as parents, too, because we know other people are in the same boat and — a lot of people — we’ve tried, you know different ways to ask for services but there’s just not enough service providers in Early Intervention,” says Lynn Mordenga, sitting alongside her husband Mike.
“But we found out that the wait list or, what they call as the overcapacity list, was super long and we just were not ready that he would be waiting so long for services. He did get a phsycial therapist but that was after 6 months and we’re still waiting for him to get a speech therapist and it’s been now closer to a year,” Lynn Mordenga explains.
And the backlog continues to pile-up, even now impacting getting access to an evaluation.
“We also have some children who are experiencing long wait times to receive evaluations or cant’ receive evaluations so then they can’t even be told, like yes or no you need these services to then be able to get them. So that’s another issue we’re seeing as well,” explains Brittany Read, Advocacy Coordinator at The Children’s Agenda.
The Children’s Agenda advocates for effective policies and drives evidenced-based solutions for the health, education and success of children. We are especially committed to children who are vulnerable because of poverty, racism, health inequities and trauma.