April is Autism Awareness Month and a perfect time to support state funding for The Autism Program of Illinois (TAP), which has been removed from state spending here in Illinois.
TAP funding ended last July, forcing difficult decisions to lay off staff, reduce services and even shut down several facilities around the state. Good news has been hard to find, but we have an opportunity now to make a difference.
Several bills are being debated now at the Capitol, which would provide millions of dollars in long-overdue funding for TAP and other social service programs.
Our elected leaders at the Capitol continue to bicker over this issue, and its future is uncertain. But one thing is clear: pressure matters and this is our time to apply pressure. They need to know why it’s so important that to support funding autism services for the thousands of families who have been left behind during this impasse. The longer we go without funding, and the longer the TAP program is discontinued, the more damage will be done that cannot be repaired. We need a solution, and we need it now.
Call and email your legislators and the governor today and every day, and tell everyone you know to do the same.
Tell your elected officials to approve these bills and stand with the children and families throughout Illinois who desperately need our help.
Clint Paul, President & CEO, Hope Institute for Children and Families, Springfield