School district’s Early Childhood program ‘not a baby-sitting service’

As the mother of a beautiful daughter with autism, I feel compelled to reply to Kate Martin’s letter to the editor in the May 8 issue.

While I understand her frustrations over the state of the Mehlville School District, she clearly has no concept of the importance of the district’s Early Childhood program. If she is fortunate, it is because she does not have a child or grandchild with a disability.

The Early Childhood program is not a baby-sitting service. Any student attending the Early Childhood program who does not have a disability pays out of pocket to attend. Services are provided by the district only to those children who have any one of a large number of disabilities.

These services are paramount to the future success of these children and their ability to function in the world that all of us share.

For children like my daughter, early intervention is a must if they are to do the things that Ms. Martin takes for granted.

I invite Ms. Martin to visit the John Cary Early Childhood Center to see that her hard-earned tax money does make a difference in these young lives. Maybe she would like to attend my daughter’s preschool “graduation” and see dozens of parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles with tears in their eyes as they see what achievements these children have fought so hard to achieve.

Lisa Crawford