To whom it may concern,
My name is Brandi Dalhover. I am a single mother to a six year old little girl who has autism. Her name is Isla Jude. I work at St. Elizabeth Healthcare watching cardiac monitors. When I separated from Isla’s father three years ago, I had to withdraw from nursing school to work full time bc Isla’s need for routine and structure is so great and I was losing my home and transportation. I am still working full time. Her father pays child support and carries insurance on her.
The insurance my daughter is covered by through her father only pays for a third of the speech therapy she needs every year and even less of the occupational therapy she needs. Isla has been turned away for group and behavioral therapy by private insurance and even Medicaid. I constantly struggle to get her therapy paid for bc it is so expensive it’s simply unattainable. I’m trying to get her disability, waivers, but it all takes time. Her doctors, therapists, and social workers have all tried repeatedly to make it so she consistently gets what she needs.
So due to the factors I mentioned above, there are times when the therapy Isla gets at her public elementary school is the ONLY therapy she gets. She needs therapy in her classroom environment and she also needs private therapy. She sees a developmental pediatrician every year who has deemed this necessary for Isla to live a full life, one where she has been given the skills to reach her individual potential.
I believe my daughter has a right to these things. We did not ask for autism, but we accept it and embrace her needs. Please consider Betsy DeVos’ lack of understanding of how important this is for some children as serious and concerning as I do. I feel her ideology threatens my daughter’s well being.
Brandi Dalhover, Erlanger KY
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