We've Moved!

Grace's Blog has moved to: http://www.hooverspad.com

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

NBC Heroes Artwork Auction for Epilepsy

Want to own cool collector’s artwork and original signed drawings from one of television’s biggest hits? At the same time, do you want to support epilepsy awareness and research? Now you can; a special auction of Heroes artwork will benefit the Epilepsy Foundation.


Monday, March 26, 2007

Parents of Day Care for Exceptional Children Day at State Capital

DES MOINES, Iowa - With service cuts looming in the near future and with no solid legislative solution in the works the Parents of Day Care for Exceptional Children are taking matters into their own hands. Tuesday, April 10 at 9am parents and their children along with friends, family and past daycare families will gather at the state capital to ask for the legislature’s support in working towards a solution that will not result in any mental health funding cuts.

Currently the Senate is planning to provide an additional $11.7M in funding to counties for MH/DD services. Unfortunately this does not solve the funding shortfall as the counties need $16M - $19M in additional funding on top of the pre-appropriated growth of $4M to prevent service cuts.

If you would like more information on the day at the capital please contact us through the comments in the lower right corner of this post.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

3 Trips to the Doctor & not for Grace

Well this week we have been to the doctor three time just not for Grace. I went in to get a shot for allergies on Monday while at the same time Joy was at her doctor only to find out that she has pink eye. Today I went back to my doctor and what do you know I have pick eye too, just not as bad as Joy had it (well at least for the time being).

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Key Facts About Funding Shortage

Here are some facts that you may want to use in your communications with your elected senator or representative:

Disability services are funded through State funds and county property taxes.

County property taxes are frozen at the 1996 and the state is responsible for funding cost increases. The state agreed to make up any increase in costs in exchange for allowing the tax freeze on disability services.

Over the past several years, the State has under funded adult mental health and mental retardation services.

About 67% of people receiving disability live in counties with financial difficulties.

Polk County faces a $6.5 million revenue shortage.

As many as 900 Polk County citizens with disabilities could experience service reductions or no longer be eligible for disability services.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Please write your State Senator and Representative

Don't worry about making your email or letter to your state senator or representative lengthy for full of facts and details. Just by you asking what they intentions, thoughts, interests are with the mental health disparity or lack of funding for mental health services that the state is facing in the coming year will be enough to put it on their radar screen, and the more blips they get the more likely they will act on it!

Grace Needs Your Help

We have been busy through February and haven't posted anything here in a while. Grace is doing well and making some great gains thanks impart to the time she is spending at Daycare for Exceptional Children. They specialized staff members, adaptive equipment (that we could never afford), and lots love thats helping Grace catch up developmentally and physically.

Daycare for Exceptional Children is in danger of closing due to a lack of funding available through Polk County's Mental Health Services. This lack of funding will include cuts to Meals on Wheels, Prison Mental Health Services, Job Coaching for persons with disabilities and many others come July 1.

Unfortunately no one is really working towards a solution. We need you to contact your local state senator and representative and ask them to restore mental health funding statewide. This is not just a Polk County issue it will effect all counties, some more harsh and quicker than others.

For more information please see the Polk County Funding Crisis Page.

Here is the text from a letter we already sent to all of Iowa's Senators and Representatives, feel free to reference Grace or ourselves in your communication:

We are writing on behalf of a little girl we’ve only known for a little over a year – our daughter. When Grace was diagnosed with a rare form of Epilepsy at 4½ months we were devastated. Now eight months later we are beginning to find order and resources to help Grace.

In addition to Grace’s intractable Epilepsy she has severe acid reflux, hypo-thyroidism, a G-tube for feeding, and has been diagnosed as mentally retarded with an two to four month level of development at one year of age.

Daycare for Exceptional Children is pivotal for our child. Grace has been there only a few months, but already she has made great strides under their care. We are very afraid about the potential of Daycare for Exceptional Children closing July 1.

Without Polk County funding to assist in paying for daycare we would not be able to afford these services. We ask that you do what you can to restore the funding to counties that the legislature in the past cut (18 million) due to a lack of funds statewide. Or if it is possible to remove/raise the cap counties can tax their residents to pay for services like Daycare for Exceptional Children.

If funding is not restored we, like many other families, will no longer be able to afford to send our child to Daycare for Exceptional Children, which will result in its closing. The specialized care provided at Daycare for Exceptional Children costs $9 per hour (partially paid for by the family and Polk County) which is less than what other providers charge.
Our other options are:
- to hire a licensed nurse to supervise feeding and medications in addition to paying for daycare services though another provider
- one of us leave our job in order to stay home with Grace to care for her needs which will result in us having to sell our home and move into an apartment
- or move out of the state that we have both been born, raised, educated, and lived most of our adult life in order to find the level of care that Grace needs.

None of these options are what we want for Grace, as we truly believe that the equipment, socialization, and activities provided by daycare are the best. We want the best.

If we can answer any questions or provide you with further information please let us know.

Kevin and Joy Harris

Thursday, March 01, 2007