Elizabeth Reedy, a Boise youngster, told lawmakers, “I am 14 years old. I am a person with autism. … I want to go to junior high. I want to go to college. I want to have a job … and a cat named Adam. … I want to pay taxes and help people.” Elizabeth said last summer she interviewed for a volunteer job at the veterans' hospital, and she got the job and served people food and did other tasks. “I like to help other people,” she said. The youngster said to grow up and live on her own, “I need … time skills, learning skills.” Her aides help her with those things, she said.
Elizabeth's mom, Phoebe Smith, told lawmakers, “With supports I believe she will be able to have a job and live independently. … A person like Elizabeth who is high-functioning can become a taxpayer or a tax consumer.” She told lawmakers, “Please choose to fund developmental disability services for both children and adults.”
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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