Maine’s Legislature is considering L.D. 1984, a bill eliminating waiting lists for adults with disabilities to receive assistance. Our daughter is on two waiting lists.

Isabella’s developmental delays were identified early. Child Development Services arranged for preschool and physical, occupational and speech therapy. At school age, she began receiving Section 28 services to supplement her individualized education program and work on goals at home. She attended school year-round to maintain hard-learned skills. Despite gains, she still needs close supervision for safety and significant prompting for self-care.

In January 2019 we applied for Sections 21 and 29 funding, hoping that after graduation Isabella would transition into adult day programming. We explored programs, and found a suitable one. When her waiver approval letters arrived, we learned she had no funding. We heard funding might open up in summer, or fall, or after New Year’s. She’s still on the waiting lists.

At graduation, Isabella was happy but didn’t understand what it meant. She asks daily to go to school. She has more challenging behaviors now. Her limited communication now includes screaming and raging. She’s losing ground on physical and social skills.

Isabella’s family includes Mom, a homemaker and breast-cancer survivor who cleans houses; Dad, who’s undergoing treatments for a blood condition while working full time; and her brother, also on the spectrum. Isabella gets Section 28 in-home services until she turns 21 in June. When in-home support ends, Mom will have to stay home with her full time, giving up her home cleaning and impacting the family finances. We need help.

Dale and Darcy LaCourse

Biddeford


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