< My Thoughts > LOOK for RESOURCES in your area through personal contact or by searching online. My search was… "Autism Resources & Services near me." Here is what came up (in alphabetical order) …
- Autism Diagnosis Specialists
- Autism Support Groups
- Colleges and Hospitals with Autism programs
- Community Autism Programs
- Community Autism Service Providers
- Easter Seals Autism Program & Phone list
- Parent’s Guide to Autism
- Physicians specializing in Autism
- Respite Care for Autism
- Schools with Autism Programs
- Therapists Specializing in Autism
< My Thoughts > You may want to check all of your INSURANCE for evidence of coverage, also your spouse’s benefits, & limitations; deductible, co-pay, co-insurance, and network of providers available to you. This is in addition to checking on what is possibly free from your city, state, county, and government services.
- Drug coverage
- Urgent care
- Primary care
- Lab Services
- Medical Equipment
- Home Health Care
Siri, K. & Lyons, T. (2014) tell us to also remember once your child has an official diagnosis they are entitled to Medicaid, which has some pros and cons. Your child can qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), but this and the Medicaid benefits will only go so far. If either parent is a veteran, there may be VA benefits or services available. Check online for biomedical treatment options covered by TRICARE (Military entity). Also check on Supplements, Respite Care and other programs like STOMP and Autism Salutes (also military).
Keep track of medical expenses for tax season and know the name of the “Commissioner of Insurance” for your state, should you get the runaround from your insurance plan. You are most likely entitled to Medicaid and a Handicapped Parking sticker for easier access to buildings providing services for your child. The DMV has paperwork to be filled out by your physician.
< My Thoughts > “…tax season…”
Check with your tax preparer, before Tax Season! Even if you hold a fulltime job elsewhere, you still may qualify as a ‘paid’ caregiver as the parent or grandparent of a Veteran’s disabled child. Yes, autism is considered a disability, as hurtful as that may sound.
Check all insurance policies of both parents. Which one will provide your child with more coverage? This may also help you decide which parent may have to reduce or rearrange their work schedule to meet the needs of your child’s many appointments and therapies.
While there is some help from the government (for medical bills), most notably Medicaid, there is not nearly enough. Your child may qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), but this and Medicaid benefits will only go so far. You will likely dip, if not drain, savings… especially if you pursue alternative therapies. Remember that insurance is a business – your provider wants to take in more money than it pays out. This is definitely an area in which the squeaky wheel gets the grease.
Parker (2017) suggests that Medicare is pushing payments based on clinical outcomes. He reminds readers that it takes a village of doctors, counselors, therapists, medical professionals, specialists, and agency administrators, and of course parents to create a ‘best possible life’ for those with autism.