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Respite facilities are sorely needed

Amherst, Williamsville, Cheektowaga and nearly every community within Erie County, but not the Town of Tonawanda? I am appalled by the reactions of some citizens within my community who oppose the existence of a respite facility in their neighborhood. I think their accusations come from ignorance more than anything. Are they afraid it will bring harm to their “perfect” area? After researching the number of respite facilities in Erie County available to children, it is obvious that such a facility is needed. There are children already waiting to participate in this program, many more than what the facility will allow.

Although I am a teenager, I am aware of how difficult raising a child with a disability could be. Parents could easily become physically and mentally exhausted from providing constant care to their child. Every parent needs a break every now and then. In most cases, asking a neighbor to watch your child would be easy enough. However, children with special needs often require more skilled or trained professionals to take care of them.

I live in a residential area within the Town of Tonawanda that not only has a group home for developmentally challenged adults, but a home day care as well. I am not aware of any incidences from their existence of more than 10 years. I wouldn’t even classify their traffic a nuisance. These residents on Dixon Drive should be grateful that their families are not affected by any type of disability. They lack compassion for the families that could benefit from this respite facility. I feel they are setting a poor example to their own children for their bias.

Please, just have respect for everyone. We are all human beings.

Kevin Weigel

Town of Tonawanda