I am writing this letter because I am a resident of Delaware County and my daughter currently receives services from the Delaware County Board of Developmental Disabilities.

To the Editor:

I am writing this letter because I am a resident of Delaware County and my daughter currently receives services from the Delaware County Board of Developmental Disabilities.

My daughter, Madison, is 8 months old. She was born with Down syndrome and a heart defect that would have killed her if it wasn't repaired in the first six months of life. Until Madison was born, I did not have any kind of understanding about what the DCBDD did, or what early intervention was all about.

After I returned with Madison from the hospital shortly after her birth, I was connected with Early Intervention Services. They came to my house to do an assessment within a week of calling. We started intervention fairly early because Madison had major feeding issues. We were immediately connected with an occupational therapist who has experience in helping babies with feeding issues. Madison required a temporary feeding tube for a few short weeks before she had her open heart surgery at 3 months of age. Now we are working with both occupational therapy and physical therapy.

I have seen Madison make great improvements in the short amount of time that she has been getting these therapies. There are a lot of things that many parents take for granted, but it has brought great joy to see my child being able to hold her head up about a month after surgery, start to roll over, and recently sitting on her own. A lot of this progress would not be happening at the rate it is without the help of the therapists who teach me how to work with my child to help her reach these goals.

I am urging the voters of Delaware County to please vote "yes" May 7 for Delaware County Board of Developmental Disabilities. These services are helping many other kids such as Madison, and ceasing to have them would be detrimental to her development.

Jessica Hoffman