A better idea

by Peggy on November 2, 2010

Sometimes we look askance at parents who put their baby’s name on a waiting list for a prestigious preschool before they are even born.

As if the path to adult success is really that narrow.

Yet, if your child is born with a lifelong condition that will affect their ability to care for themselves, such as Down’s syndrome or autism, parents are encouraged to “guess” what services they might need later in life and put them on a waiting list for services. Those lists, in Texas, are DECADES long.

And recently, Texas created pilot projects for MORE waiting lists for services.

The whole thing is a farce.

Last weekend, at the Njoy Foundation conference, Resources for Parents, I learned about a statewide group that is trying to change the model for Texas. With a bad budget year, they have a mighty, uphill battle.

But it’s got to happen. Last year, 53 people died in state institutions of preventable causes, including one person at the Lubbock facility who was suffocated while being restrained. Of course, nearly every one knows about the notorious “fight clubs” organized by some of the staff at the Corpus Christi facility because one of them recorded the fights on a cellphone.

The Department of Justice has been monitoring Texas facilities for rampant civil rights violations.

To learn more about this group that’s promoting inclusive communities — which means the money follows the client rather than the other way around — visit their website: www.communitynowfreedom.com.

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