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Illinois: Thousands of disabled kids may lose services

Aug 14, 2017, IL State Journal: State funding shortages continue to threaten autism services http://www.sj-r.com/news/20170814/state-funding-shortages-continue-to-threaten-autism-services For dozens of people in central Illinois and thousands statewide — from low-income and at-risk youth to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities — services may be disrupted yet again by state funding shortages that remain despite the passage of a state budget in July after a two-year standoff in the Capitol. … It also means that 30 children on waiting lists for therapy at those two sites won’t be served, she said. And 3,000 to 4,000 children at sites throughout the state — including Chicago, Rockford, Peoria and Charleston — may see cutoffs or reductions in therapy and other services, Hope officials said. … Because of Katherine Williams’ low income, most of Benjamin’s ABA therapy was provided at no charge. Starting this week, his therapy will cost her $50 per hour. At that price, it would be unaffordable — $750 per week and $3,250 per month — if not for the help her parents and grandparents have pledged to provide. Katherine Williams’ grandfather, Loren Keltner, 72, a retired state worker living in Sherman, said he hopes the money from him and his wife to help their great-grandson is “a short-term bridge. We can only do that for so long.”…