April 6, 2016

Thank you for reading and receiving this,
I have attached a edited version of testimony I gave at a RHC/Respite hearing this year.
Although my 32 year old son still lives at home, he uses the Respite program offered by the Yakima Valley School.
The Yakima Valley School provides complete care for our sons and daughters who are medically fragile with high level acuity. I understand cost is the exploited factor, although peace of mind knowing adequately trained, competent staff and a safe environment is priceless. Cost is nearly the same for a child like mine in the community or a state facility.

Thanks for your time,

John, Sonja & Mark Mahaney

Attached document:

Respected Legislator, I ask that you support E2SSB 5243 and E2SSB 6564.

I am a proud parent of 2 son, Devon 27 who served our nation in Iraq for 6 years as an Army Scout. Devon’s older brother Mark, who's 32 years old and reason for my attendance today.

Mark was born at 28 weeks gestation resulting in profound complications leading to abilities less than the norm. Mark has multiple health complications Cerebral Palsy, Seizure Disorder, Spastic Quadriplegia, High Tone, Non Verbal, Tub Feeding, Liquid Medications 5 different times throughout the day. Mark is like a 2-3 year old with a full set of teeth and a very powerful jaw.

E2SSB 5243

For the last 8+ years our sons and daughters have been victims of fewer services, cut after cut.

This places parents in higher demand of respite services. I receive phone calls daily from parents all over the state complaining about respite services. The Developmental Disabilities Administration is telling parents Yakima Valley School is no longer accepting respite clients, and to seek community based respite. When I asked where to look I was told “There are none yet, but there being developed.”

When my son Mark needs hospitalization his level of care is so extreme he's placed in the Pediatrics Unit. His care acuity requires very close monitoring with a skilled staff. This is the level of safe secure care Yakima Valley School offers with RN's on site 24 hours a day.

I agree Yakima Valley School is not appropriate for all clients and parents needing respite. For me, and countless others we depend on those practiced in higher acuity of care in a safe secure competent environment. Please support the needs of our sons and daughters.

I plead with the members of this committee not to dismantle a proven system hundreds of parents need and is so essential keeping our sons and daughters living at home. Again, the RHC setting may not be the appropriate setting for all, although it does serve a vital service for our sons and daughters as well as giving parents much deserved (break) respite.

Continue Respite Services at Yakima Valley School, Support E2SSB 5243

We Thank You For Your Time,

John and Mark Mahaney