Sequester cuts hurt children with disabilities, too

I would like to applaud the wonderful op-ed by Alan Guttman regarding Head Start and the sequester budget cuts ("What can't be measured," March 6). It is so important that people understand the critical role of Head Start in educating our children. This key program is responsible for the success of so many. Few realize just how much early learning factors into a child's ability to succeed in later academics. You have done our community a service by highlighting this.

For all of the great things I could say about the article, I found one thing wanting. Nowhere did it mention Head Start's lesser known twin, the Early Intervention Program. Early Intervention is more specialized to serve children with moderate to severe disabilities. The key difference between them is that full range of highly specialized support staff, such as physical and occupational therapists. I have worked at two different Early Intervention programs in Baltimore County, one of which was for children with moderate to severe physical disabilities.

I agree that Head Start is a critical program, and Mr. Guttman was right to highlight it. At the same time, I would ask The Sun to remind its readers of our young children who have needs beyond what traditional Head Start can offer. Their futures are on the chopping block as well because of these foolish sequestration cuts. Our children with special needs are no less deserving of our best than any other children.

Timothy Mills, Catonsville

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