Sunday, May 16, 2021

My son Joshua is an adult with special needs (autism). His day activity program has not been allowed to reopen nor has any such program throughout New Jersey.

Why, I wonder?

The consumers and staff have been fully vaccinated.

The state says it cannot open because Bergen County is in a “hot zone.”

Then why have all schools been permitted to service their students (even part time)?

This population languishes at home with no stimulation, no tools to provide socialization.

They need this the most as they cannot do things for themselves.

My son lies in his bed in his group home. It has been this way for a year. Many consumers are physically disabled. They are regressing due to lack of services. Their behaviors are becoming aggressive. There is no outside communication.

This is disgraceful! However, the state continues to ignore parents’ and advocates’ pleas to open up (even part time). They are oblivious to the needs of this vulnerable population.

This is blatant negligence and bias!

I urge all people to help by advocating for a population that cannot speak for itself.

Please write or call your state senator, assembly person and the governor to correct and reverse this egregious situation!

Against the well-being of those who are unable to advocate for themselves.

You might also write to Paul Arohnson, ombudsman for the disabled in New Jersey.

You may also contact the NJ Department of Health and Safety, and the Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD).

I urge you to please help this ignored population who desperately need to return to their programs, which give them air and life to breathe!

Harriet Terdiman
Woodcliff Lake