NATHHAN National Challenged Homeschoolers Associated Network

Christian Families Homeschooling Special Needs Children

 Home | Login | Contact Us | Resource Room

Tax Funded Infant Stimulation Programs?

By Tom and Sherry Bushnell - NATHHAN NEWS Spring 1997

   

    Sometimes simplest things in life are made complicated. What is more natural for a mother than getting her sweet babyís attention and keeping it for as long as she can. In those very first days after birth, mommies wait and wait for that eye contact with their new one. Later, mothers spend lots of time coaxing the first smiles. Later come giggles and games.

    When children are born with disabilities, the delays in any of these milestones become more obvious as the child gets older, but still, mommies are hard at it, coaxing smiles, giggles and movement. Why? Because stimulating their infant is a natural urge and ability that God gives mothers and fathers. This is such a simple concept. Fancy toys and expensive, musical, playthings may hold the attention of your child for a short while, but what holds the interest of your child the longest is your face and voice.

     Do you feel that your home is a nurturing environment? Does one-on-one contact come naturally for brothers, sisters, mom and dad? Infant stimulation in your home is already happening. Now that the above is understood, letís look at federally, tax-funded, infant stimulation.

     When a child is born and diagnosed with special needs, the hospital immediately alerts a number of people. Your stateís program for public assistance and a social worker (otherwise known as a "state program sales person") are among the first.

     A visit by a social worker\state sales person to in form you of what is available "at no charge" to you and your special needs child is usually made before check out. Be aware, that if you show disinterest in their program or "product", you may literally be bringing risk to your entire family. (If a man walked up to you on the street and offered you several thousand dollars, free of work or encumbrances, wouldnít you be suspicious?) Confusion and despair at an initial diagnosis of special needs can lead parents to eagerly grasp at the opportunity to have their "problem" taken care of so easily. There is so much more than meets the eye.

     As most government programs go, the federal funding each program receives is contingent on how many children are in their program. Social workers are encouraged by their employers (the state) to sign as many eligible children up as possible. This assures them of a job. Letís look at the situation logically. If the programís funding were stopped, which professionals would still be there, encouraging you, stimulating your infant, and admonishing you to do "what was best for your child?" Money is still the motivation, in spite of warm fuzzies. Granted, there are some very concerned and caring social workers that are sincerely wanting what is best for each family/special needs child unit. As parents, we must make all decisions with care this day in age. Who we are bringing into our home or what influence will they have on us? We must weigh the benefits of learning how to stimulate our baby from someone, versus the potential stress of an unknown party. Can infant stimulation suggestions be acquired more safely through literature, books or a private professional?

     Some families have chosen to receive help from the state and feel they have benefited. Yet so many others report that all went well until their child reached the age of two, when they were no longer eligible for the early intervention program. Then the big push for the next program or public school was made. Pulling out of the system was like committing fraud!

     Parents, who are looking toward the future and have decided that they will home educate, will save themselves the stress of extrication from their stateís hope in the funding their child will bring, by beginning at birth.