Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Opinion: Finding Funding Is Critical

Guest column from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch by Wendy Sullivan, the president of Life Skills. For more than 30 years, she has advocated for adults with developmental disabilities. She serves on St. Louis' Office of the Disabled Advisory Council.

ST. LOUIS, Mo. -- Cody is a smart and caring 19-year-old man with severe autism, chronic migraine headaches and seizures. Because Cody cannot communicate orally, he can make his needs known only through action. Sometimes out of frustration, he acts violently toward those around him.
Life Skills was able to place Cody in a home in the community with around-the-clock staff. It is essential that the staff is specially trained to manage Cody's behavior and medical needs. Without the recent restoration of the 1.9 percent state funding cut for services for people with developmental disabilities, it is doubtful that Life Skills could continue to provide the training needed for the staff working with Cody.

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