My name is Annette Berkers and I am a single mom with two boys aged four and 15. My youngest son Gregory has Down Syndrome but functions at a relatively high level. He is a wonderful, funny, loving little boy but requires a lot of attention and one on one to learn his fine and gross motor skills and to develop his speech. His father is involved and supportive. We are in our mid 40’s and when Gregory becomes an adult we will be close to retirement and will need supports for him at that time. I receive Assistance for Children with Severe Disabilities but only for one on one support and am capped at a $ amount per month. I work two jobs, days and evenings and have another son that needs me also. I have been denied Special Services at Home two times now for no apparent reason known to me. I am not even on a waiting list for this service. Gregory is only entering Senior Kindergarten and I am sure at his completion of Secondary School he will require more services and funding and I am not sure they will be there for him at that time in his life and that scares me. My dream and his father’s is that he will be able to live on his own with minimal supports but the funding also needs to be there for him to accomplish this as we are aging parents. We need the group homes for those who pursue that route and we need local offices to help us get what we need. We really need the funding for our children to be able to live the most normal as possible life they can achieve.
February 16, 2010