Writing a letter or email to your legislators can seem overwhelming! We've include an example that Sheri wrote, telling her family's story and the impact IEIBT has made for them. Tell your story. Have YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS write their legislators and tell them about the importance of covering autism.
My name is Sheri Radoux, I live in Blaine, MN and I have 3 kids. All three are on the Autism Spectrum. Zach is age 5 and Ethan & Emma are age 4. Emma and Zachary have been receiving IEIBT since Jan 2011 and July 2011 respectively. Ethan is just starting therapy as of Jan 2012.
My daughter Emma used to spend hours a day in full-on meltdown mode. She was a "runner", which is a common term in the autism community; she would sprint away from me any chance she got and if given the opportunity she would run out of the house and down the street with no regard for her own safety. She could not use utensils and daily put dangerous inelibles in her mouth. She liked to fecal smear and would occasionally bite herself and bang her head on the floor. Today, she is a happy little girl, who still tantrums but no more than a normal 4 year old girl. She is no longer a "runner" and I can take her into public places without fearing for her safety. She can eat with utensils and is learning to drink from a cup. She hardly every puts anything in her mouth she is not supposed to and has not touched her own poop in months. She still has a long road ahead of her but she is literally a different little girl. She is happy and affectionate to me and my husband as well as her therapists and PCAs. She is beautiful and we have high hopes of her attaining the ability to go to school with normal kids in a normal school and have a normal life.
My eldest son Zachary, could not hold a pencil to write or color. He could not dress himself. He did not play at all with other kids and when he started preschool last December he just stood against the wall not willing or able to join in. He would eat lunch with his peers at the table, but would turn his back to them with his plate on his lap. He would not participate in circle time and would shut-down or meltdown any time a task was challenging (which was several times a day). Today, Zach can write all his letters legibly and can draw pictures with people in them. He is active in the classroom and participates in circle time, eats lunch happily with his peers and has developed friendships with other kids his age. He seldom has those "bad days" anymore. We are confident that with continued therapy Zach will have the opportunity to be a typical kid.
Emma's twin brother Ethan does not understand personal boundaries and crowds people and would happily walk away with a stranger or open a door and let someone in the house. He has no regard for is personal safety in relation to other people and objects has a lot a sensory seeking behaviors such as twirling/spinning, jumping off high places and wedging himself in between objects. He has unexpected and unexplained emotional outbursts. He can be aggressive towards peers and animals and has trouble communicating verbally at times. I cannot wait to let you know how he is next year after receiving therapy.
Any loss of coverage and treatment will be harmful to my children, they will regress and lose what skills they have gained; they will be a lifelong drain on the system instead of active contributors to it. Please help me help my kids; this therapy is saving my kids, my marriage and my life. Thank you for your time.