Published: Sep 07, 2012 1:57 PM EDT

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) - A federal lawsuit claims roughly 3,500 disabled Florida children are at risk for being pushed into adult nursing homes because the state is slashing medical services to keep them at home with their families.
    
The lawsuit mirrors a letter sent by federal officials to Attorney General Pam Bondi alleging Florida is violating the Americans with Disabilities Act by unnecessarily warehousing roughly 250 children with disabilities and even babies in nursing homes, often for years.
    
After visiting children in six nursing homes, investigators noted the children are not exposed to social, educational and recreational activities that are critical to child development.
    
According to a detailed letter sent Tuesday by U.S. Department of Justice officials, Florida is infringing on their civil rights by segregating and isolating them.
    
Bondi's office deferred comment Friday.

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