Requirements Reduce Amount Of Children Helped

AUSTIN (AP) – The number of young children helped through an intervention program has dropped 17 percent because of more rigid eligibility requirements launched last summer.

Officials who oversee state-funded Early Childhood Intervention told the Austin American-Statesman they have gone from serving 30,000 children a month to 25,000.

Many of the kids have problems such as autism, cerebral palsy or complications from premature birth.

Parents, many of whom are low income, have been forced to seek services for their children with private providers, such as speech or physical therapists. But some of those specialists don’t take Medicaid, and families are struggling.

Early Childhood Intervention is a state and federally funded program administered through local nonprofits and other organizations and serves children up to age 3.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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  • Cathy Lemlyn

    The severe cuts to the ECI programs have resulted in less money to operate ECI and fewer children in need qualifying. These children with help may be kept out of the public school special education program. ECI programs are reaching the brink of implosion. Why is it our government provides the least help to the most vulnerable population?

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