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Kids Miss Out on Developmental Care During Shutdown

Local therapy clinics had to discontinue offering early intervention services Tuesday, as the federally funded program went into shutdown mode.
"We are losing time, and this is only going to clog an already slow system," says Erin Oliver, co-owner at Thera-Play Pediatric in Fayetteville.

For a few kiddos at Thera-Play, the pause button has been pushed.

"We canceled services for all of our children that receive early-intervention services today (Tuesday)."

A delay in developmental care for those who might need it the most.

"Speech, occupational, physical therapy," Oliver says.

She says an E-mail Monday evening confirmed that federally funded EI services, which are available for parents of children ages birth to age 3, would come to a screeching halt in the event of a government shutdown.

"Early intervention is crucial for kids to get caught up before they go to kindergarten," Oliver says.

Alternative finance options include using private insurance, or medicaid.

Options not everyone can afford or qualify for.

So, in the meantime...

"We watch and wait," Oliver says.

As a battle in Washington is hurting some, who aren't even in the fight.

"The kids I thought about today were the kids that were pending a referral into therapy that are sitting on someone's desk just waiting," Oliver says.

"It's just unfortunate."
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