Monday, January 3, 2011

Go to THE Decision Maker

This has been a long month of stretching. I keep thinking about a lesson HE taught me during the rough IEP days. An IEP is an Individual Education Plan for special needs children in the public school system. Parents will agree when I say that Intensively Exhausting Plan would be a more appropriate description. The meetings are often stressful and emotionally draining.

Almost since Ryan entered school, the team wanted to remove occupational and speech therapy services. They felt they weren’t seeing enough improvements to justify their time. Thankfully, time has shown that theory to be invalid. He is making great progress. However, because the meetings were often heated and drawn out, I had always been fearful that I would fail him by losing his services. One late night all of that changed.

I was reading the law and came across the “stay put” clause. It said that if there was an item that the team wanted to change and the parent disagreed that it must stay in place until the parents had exhausted the dispute process. I jumped up from the computer, danced around while Wes and Emily looked on in bewilderment.

Just minutes into my “stay put” rap, God dealt with me. Instantly I felt ashamed that I had never jumped up once over promises I had found in God’s Word. In fact, I seemed to find more comfort in the protections of the law than I did His Word.

Now our battle has moved from education to Medicaid. Our state, South Carolina, has opted to balance the budget by dramatically reducing therapy services that our children desperately need while spending money to start a new "stop smoking" campaign. With the budget changing mid-year, children, like Ryan, who have gone over the new limit will be forced to go without physical, occupational, and speech therapy services for five months.

I find myself anxious about getting Governor-elect Haley to see the irreparable damage that could come from such a decision. I’m running speeches through my head constantly. “Physical therapy keeps him from losing the movement that he has, movement that prevents the look of depression in his eyes, movement that allows him to sit up straight and see his world rather than curling into an isolated lonely position. Speech therapy strengthens muscles, muscles that keep him from aspirating and developing pneumonia.”

After a rough conversation with a very disinterested Luke Rankin and a rude “gentleman” online, I was an emotional wreck. I now realize that I’m putting more confidence in our “decision makers” than I am in The Decision Maker. His Word says that it will never return void. His Word says no weapon formed against our children shall prosper. His Word says, God has plans for our children, plans to bring them a hope and a future. His Word says that all things work together for those who love Him and are called according to His purposes. The laws may change but my God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. My favorite this week:

Psalm 41:1

Blessed are those who have regard for the weak;
The Lord delivers them in times of trouble.

If you want to help give our children a voice, please join us on Facebook by searching “SC Medicaid Crisis – Help Our Children.” And above all, please go to The Decision Maker on behalf of our children. God Bless!!!!

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