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Seattle Times letters to the editor

February 27, 2014 at 7:03 AM

Developmental disabilities: Expand existing state resources

Amy Crawley, of Kirkland, holds son Rowan, 8, when he becomes too rowdy while playing. Rowan has severe autism, requiring almost constant care. The family has been on a waiting list for almost seven years to receive state services. (BETTINA HANSEN / The Seattle Times).

In response to the The Seattle Times’ article “Thousands of families left out of state funding to help with developmental disabilities,” [Local News, Feb. 24] I would like to suggest consideration of expanding the use of our state-established Residential Habilitation Centers, which have the therapies in place plus available residential facilities. They could be utilized to serve families of autistic children and other developmentally disabled persons needing services.

I am the uncle of an autistic girl and have an understanding of the demands that this situation places on parents.

Instead of trashing the state’s most experienced establishments (institutions), changes in intake and program could make use of valuable technologies, provide respite care, outpatient treatment or residential care as needed. The RHCs, historically, have provided needed care and services to which the article refers, and it would be cost effective to better utilize these services.

I think that the RHCs have maintained high standards and are prepared to offer a partial solution to this very serious need. Age limits for service need to be removed.

It seems shortsighted to put so much effort in re-inventing wheels when we already have a highly efficient system in place that could serve many of the cases referred to in the article.

Doug Pinkley, Kirkland

Comments | More in Disabilities | Topics: developmental disabilities, Doug Pinkley, residential habilitation centers

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