Sally Buckner: Neighbors in need

November 13, 2012 

Neighbors in need

Having read the Nov. 4 article “Special needs, but no special help,” my heart goes out to Heather and Jason Jolley and their two autistic daughters. I well remember the difficult road our family traveled 50 years ago when there were even fewer services for our autistic daughter.

Because of Division TEACCH, government funding and the Autism Society of North Carolina, now there are school programs for autistic children as well as group homes for autistic adults. But as the Jolleys’ story proves, there are insufficient in-home services for parents struggling to meet their children’s behavioral and educational needs. They and other families are physically exhausted and emotionally shattered by the severe demands.

Furthermore, thousands of North Carolina adults with developmental disabilities are now threatened with losing funds for their group homes.

Fortunately, the Legislative Oversight Committee, recognizes the severity of the situation and is working for a solution. But, as usual, money is in short supply. For years, funding for services for our neighbors with mental, emotional and behavioral problems has languished. It’s too easy for those not personally involved to turn heads and zip wallets. Accepting responsibility to help the vulnerable is not only compassionate; in the long run it will strengthen our entire society.

Sally Buckner


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