I would like to tell you about my experience with the Licking County Board of Developmental Disabilities and why I strongly support its 1-mill renewal levy.

To the editor:

Voters head to the polls March 6 for the primary election. I would like to tell you about my experience with the Licking County Board of Developmental Disabilities and why I strongly support its 1-mill renewal levy.

I heard about the board's early intervention program, Help Me Grow (HMG), in 2007. I just had my first son and a nurse visited my home to check on him. He was delivered by C-section and was in the neonatal intensive care unit for four days. Before leaving the hospital, my husband and I were told to watch for seizures.

The nurse told us about HMG and how workers would come to our home to monitor our son's developmental progress. Our son had no problems and went off the program at 6 months old.

Soon after, our second son was born and we noticed he clenched his left fist a lot. He would drag it alongside his body while crawling. We thought he would eventually start using it. One night though, he went into a seizure and stayed in the hospital for 10 days.

We found out he has epilepsy and cerebral palsy caused by a stroke he had during my pregnancy. That was a very difficult time for us. Our entire family prayed and supported us. I contacted the HMG program, and my family again received early intervention services from the Licking County Board of Developmental Disabilities.

My son's specialist visited about once a month. She brought information and helped us get in touch with programs that would help pay for some of the things he needed. He wears a hand and leg brace. He's going on his third leg brace from growing and his left leg is half an inch shorter than his right leg.

HMG was with him until his third birthday and then helped me enroll him in preschool. They even went with me to the school.

When the program ended, it was a sad time. We had all become close. We were then put in touch with another service coordinator and she will be with my son for many years.

If the levy passes, property owners will not see any difference in their property tax bill because it is a renewal.

My son has gone from holding his left hand in a fist all the time to opening it 70 percent of the day. He is now using it as a helper hand.

We have seen great things come out of this program and it needs to stay around for children and adults with disabilities and all the future children born with one. A disability can strike any family.

Angela Fleshman
Johnstown

Levy helps both children and parents

To the editor:

The Licking County Board of Developmental Disabilities has many components: various services for children, adult services, service coordination and family support.

The mission of the board is to help people with developmental disabilities discover, pursue and achieve what is important to them as individuals.

As parents of two individuals who utilize these services, we cannot express enough the importance of each and every one of them. If it were not for these services, our eldest daughter would not be out living on her own, having the ability to work in the community and being an independent, productive individual. For our youngest daughter, these services have assisted her with developing daily living skills, a sheltered workshop and personal satisfaction.

We cannot say enough about this program and the ways it has supported both children and parents. Please support the renewal levy with a yes vote on March 6.

Jim and Nancy Dumbauld
Newark