Alice Reilly 0

Safe & Sensible Transport Special Needs Children

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Putnam County has recently announced that they no longer wish to provide bus transportation, as it does currently, to those special needs children attending therapeutic programming. They have given the parents who rely on the safe transport of their children less than two weeks to respond to this change that is scheduled to begin July 7, 2008. Please join us and sign this petition letting Putnam County know that the suggested alternative methods of transport offered put our special needs children at risk and are therefore unacceptable. It is unconscienable to target those who are weakest and in most need of the county's support. As parents of children with special needs we know just how difficult even the most routine and simple situations can be for our children. Now the county is suggesting that children throughout Putnam be bussed to a Carmel central location where they will then be redirected to a second bus that will ultimately bring them to their therapeutic program. Please consider that these children are not more than 5 years of age and even more importantly they are challenged - some are physically disabled, autistic, social/emotional/behavioral disorders, sensory integration disorder,etc... Anyone who has or has experience with special needs children is painfully aware of just how extraordinarily demanding a task their care and management can present. Most of these children have great difficulty making transitions and rely heavily on routine and security to maintain their self-control. We believe that the re-routing of such children at an alternate location using 'color coding' by staff, that in all probability lack the education and training to appropriately manage and understand their special needs, is simply a recipe of disaster. The margin of error presents a potentially significant liability to the county and its taxpayers. While each one of us is feeling the economic strain of the energy crisis, Putnam County needs to find other areas to cut spending (10 cent Cold Spring Trolley, $25,000 Carmel Clock, state of the art courthouse and firehouse, etc..)

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