I’m so thankful for school programs for autistic kids!

We aren’t made of money, of course, but we do want the best treatment for autism that is out there, if we can, searching out resources to make that happen.  This has been some of the motivation behind us moving from Washington to Idaho.  With Joshua now qualifying for the Katie Beckett Waiver, which Idaho offered (and Washington having no clue regarding this waiver- I asked),  he now qualifies for  Medicaid because of his disability.  We are now, finally able to access additional treatment  from one of the  autism treatment centers in the area, Syringa Family Partnership, which offer IBI (Intensive Behavioral Intervention) and Developmental Therapy,  considered  scientifically effective treatments for autistic children like Joshua.  I also found out that we now have access to a Family Case Coordinator to help us with any of Joshua’s treatment needs.  This is something I’m still learning about, but I am so grateful to have someone walk me through learning this new system we are in and how to get the most that we can out of what is now offered to Joshua through the Katie Beckett.  An added benefit, too, is because he now gets Medicaid, we also don’t need to worry about co-pays or having enough sessions available through our insurance for him to get the amount of speech, occupational or physical therapy that he needs.  We also don’t have to worry about providers taking Medicaid or not, as they all do when it comes to his therapies.  For a one income family on a tight budget, that is the “Golden Ticket”!  We are now developing quite the treatment team in Idaho, both in the community and in the school system, all who have the goal of seeing Joshua recover to the best he is capable of.

While we have been waiting for Joshua to be qualified for IBI services, we have been incredibly fortunate that in our school district, there is an elementary school that has developed a school program for autistic kids and Joshua is now receiving some quality treatment as this program also offers IBI services,  as well as physical, occupational and speech therapy, in addition to the special educational instruction at Joshua’s own pace.  We had his IEP on Wednesday, October 24th, and it was quite the experience as the team had taken such care re-evaluating him, while also getting to know the delightful child that he is.  The meeting consisted of the psychologist, special education teacher, general education teacher, physical therapist, principal, occupational therapist, speech therapist and myself.  Joshua qualified in all areas, showing profound delays.  The positive side is that they can see he’s a bright, hard working and joyful boy.  If I didn’t have such hope in what we are all trying to do to help him, I’d have a lot to be concerned about.  What is such a blessing for him is at school, he is getting one on one attention with an IBI therapist working with him through out the day with his school work and treatment needs.  He has Ann, working with him in the morning, and Paula with the afternoon shift.  With the treatment now getting set up for him after school, he will be getting even more while he is home.  I am expecting to see a lot of growth in this boy and am so thankful for this opportunity.

Joshua with the two special education teachers at his school.

What is really neat, too, is we recently discovered that the program he is really want him to be there, in  that they aren’t germ phobic.  Joshua came down with a cold, and I kept him home one day just because his cough and congestion sounded bad.  He was acting normal, of course, and resistant as always to learning how to cover his mouth when he coughs, but the school isn’t phased by this.  They want him there and working his program to encourage consistency and development.  Only if he’s throwing up, feverish or lethargic, should he stay home.  This definitely works for me, as I’m frequently second guessing myself, but whether he has a cold or not, he still needs to learn how to function in the world, like the rest of us.  I’m so grateful for this specialized autism program he is in that truly cares about him and working with him on all the areas he needs to grow in.  We have been blessed by all the special education developmental programs he has been a part of along the way and we are now in a position to take what he’s learning to the next level.  As Paula described him:  “He’s such a sponge and just on the verge of showing us what he can do.”  Joshua told me himself, mimicking Sid the Science Kid as I was picking him up after school today for his speech therapy:  “Let’s roll!”

"Let's Roll!"

This entry was posted on Wednesday, November 7th, 2012 at 8:36 pm and is filed under Autism Resources, Autism Treatment, General Autism Info. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


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