Tuesday, February 24, 2009

All kinds of irons in the fire.

Here’s what happened today. I was a-googling, and found The Alpine Autism Center in Colorado Springs. Turns out they offer IEP advocacy services. So I called them. I spent a good 45minutes on the phone with them, learning all kinds of stuff with links galore. In a nutshell, they offer an intense program, tailored to each child, based on the CARD program I’ll be sending them Dominic’s current IEP, and I believe they’ll come with us to the new IEP session to try to help us get D11 to provide ABA therapy for Dominic, OR pay for some or all of it. Couple of interesting resources she sent me to – The book educating children with Autism specifically states that a minimum of 25 hours per week needs to be spent on intense therapy – as a result of the NRC study of 2001. And the American Academy of Pediatrics put out a study recently that states that only 1 hour a week of speech therapy is completely inappropriate. So, very interesting stuff. She really emphasized that in order to get the coverage and services Dominic needs, we’re going to have to fight.

At the recommendation of the wonderful woman I spoke with, I contacted The Resource Exchange, another local organization I had not heard of prior to today, and we are being sent a packet for application. What they do, is if he qualifies, which she expected he would (we’ll fill out the application, and send it along with his current IEP, and the new IEP, which they will take before an eligibility committee that meets 2x a month for a decision) is provide us a family support coordinator to help us navigate the system and pick through the information we’re seeing. This service is free. At that point, we will ask to start the CES waiver process by being placed on the wait list. A CES waiver is a Medicaid program, that’s not income based, that provides funding for things like ABA therapy. The wait list is quite long, several years, but it funds up to $35K a year for these proven therapies.

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