From: Gerard Stephen Doyle
To: Howard Stephenson, Steve Eliason, Mike Kennedy, Stuart Adams, Lyle Hillyard, Jani Iwamoto, Aaron Osmond, Daniel Thatcher, surguhart, Joel Briscoe, LaVar Christensen, Bruce Cutler, Becky Edwards, Justin Fawson, Francis Gibson, Brad Last, David Lifferth, Marie Poulson, Kraig Powell,
Subject: Carson Smith Special Needs Scholarship funding
Date: Wed Feb 11 06:04:20 MST 2015
Dear Honorable Committee Members, I write to ask that you expand the Carson Smith Special Needs Scholarship. As you know, the incidence of autism spectrum disorders continues to grow; ours is one of many Utah families affected by autism. In so many ways, we have benefitted from the funding extended by the scholarship to the Northern Utah Autism Program, or NUAP. NUAP has been a pivotal component to the progress our twin daughters have made since they were diagnosed by Early Intervention. They receive educational and therapeutic modalities specific to their condition, and we as a family have become part of a community of families impacted by autism spectrum disorders. Our hope is that our girls will be able to continue the steps begun at NUAP. More importantly, we recognize the profound impact this condition portends for families unable, due to funding and other access limitations, to receive the services of programs like NUAP. Beyond the social and economic ramifications of under-treated autism we understand firsthand the very real, very devastating meaning that "the spectrum" has for many families. Our sincerest hope is that as few families as possible are left unable to access the help and more crucially the hope and community like what we have gained through NUAP. In the spirit of this hope we strongly urge you to increase the funding appropriation of the Carson Smith Scholarship by $975,000 to cover the 130 children statewide on the waiting list in urgent need of autism services. Thank you for your time and efforts on behalf of this program. Sincerely, Gerard Doyle (on behalf of Piper, Ruby, Raegan and Gus Doyle)