If you can identify with those statements, then I can confidently ask for your vote to support the upcoming levy for the Huron County Board of Developmental Disabilities (HCBDD)/Christie Lane on Nov. 6.
My name is Monica Powers and I’m a licensed physical therapist. For the past six years I’ve worked with little ones in need of my services through Help Me Grow Home Visiting and Early Intervention, two of the many programs and services that operate under the Huron County Board of DD. I can personally attest to the fact these programs make responsible and effective use of tax dollars to have a positive impact on the lives of children and their families.
The Help Me Grow Home Visiting program offers in-home visits to share age-appropriate child development information with parents and gives ideas for activities that promote healthy social, emotional and physical development for children up to the age of 3. The home visitors conduct screenings to identify any areas of concern in the baby’s development (although the child does not need to have a developmental delay for the family to qualify for this program). Early detection and appropriate referrals for needed services address any developmental concerns at an early age, with the goal of reducing or even eliminating delays before the child reaches school age.
Early Intervention services are provided to parents of infants and toddlers with disabilities. Families receive home visits from their service coordinator who helps them to identify and access the services they need. In-home visits are also made by developmental specialists, speech pathologists and occupational and physical therapists, all of whom coach the family on strategies to help their child reach developmental milestones. The program also helps enrolled families to transition into the local school system once the child reaches the age of 3 as a continuum of care to support the special needs of the child under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
Early detection and intervention potentially saves the community future tax dollars by identifying and addressing the needs of children early in life — needs that could grow greater and more expensive to address over time. It follows that familiar adage: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
To learn more about the Help Me Grow Home Visiting and Early Intervention programs for children 3 and under, call their offices at the Huron County Board of DD at 419-663-4769. If you’d like information about services for older children or adults with disabilities, you can call the Huron County Board of DD at 419-668-8840. They offer services throughout the lifespan for the people they support.
Please go to the polls and vote to support the levy for the Huron County Board of Developmental Disabilities/Christie Lane on Nov. 6. Not only does your vote count, but it will matter in the lives of those who need help but cannot ask for it. Vote for the little ones who can’t vote for themselves. Be their voice. Be their advocate. Be the heart of Huron County and show your love and support as you always have in the past. If I have pulled at your heartstrings and provided food for thought then I have accomplished my goal. From the top of my head to the bottom of my heart I thank you for your yes vote.
Monica Powers, of Norwalk, is a licensed physical therapist.