‘What did I do to my child?’: As program for kids with disabilities suffers funding shortage, parent

August 31, 2018, Mississippi Today, Larrison Campbell- Julie Foster felt cautiously optimistic when she answered the phone last November and heard her daughter’s early intervention coordinator on the other end. The Fosters had moved from Chicago to DeSoto County the month before, and while the change was hectic - even by long distance move standards - she loved her new job, a relief since it had brought them down here. Her daughter’s transition from Illinois’s early intervention program to one in Mississippi had progressed smoothly, at least at first. Aliyah has multiple developmental delays and qualifies for a range of therapies through a provision of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. This federal program guarantees a variety of therapies to all children under age three who qualify. In Illinois, this meant weekly sessions with a special instructor plus speech, physical, occupational and feeding therapy - a total of 25 therapy hours every month.

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