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Autism Intervention: The Role Of Parents and Families

Therapy Must Continue At Home

Many autism interventions take place outside of the home, at a therapist’s office or school. There are home-based therapies, such as “Floortime” that can be extended to the home; all family members can get involved in simply playing with and engaging a child on his or her level.

Families of autistic children can extend speech, occupational, and physical therapies to the home setting.

Therapists can give advice and instruction to family members to help them engage children in therapy outside of the therapist’s office.

Simple things such as helping a child to recognize words can happen anywhere: encouraging a child to name a color, pointing out an interesting tree, encouraging a child to say “hello” can all be extensions of more formal therapy.

Educate Yourself

Parents’ education about autism and involvement with other parents can help them understand their child’s interventions. Parents can participate in – or just listen to – parent support groups that will help educate them on different therapy techniques to try at home.

Learning about the best and most recent therapies can help parents to become a better advocate for their child. Getting involved in a community can not only educate parents but empower them as well.

Maintain Routine

Keeping the family routine and structure may be difficult when a child first enters intervention. Appointments can take up a lot of time and put a strain on siblings’ activities.

Keeping an established routine, though, can help the effectiveness of intervention by providing the child a solid place from which to start.

Communicate

Parents should ask as many questions as they need about interventions to be sure they understand how they work and what the goal of each therapy is.

Keeping open communication between parent and therapist or other treating professional is crucial to helping a child receive the most effective intervention.

For more on how autism affects families, see Your Family and Autism.

Health Insurance Coverage and Autism Treatment: What You Need To Know!

When you suspect your child has a developmental delay, you do a great deal of research on the topic. If you’ve received a diagnosis, you then do even more research on treatment and interventions.

At some point, you will face the reality that payment for these services is a factor, so obtaining assistance in reviewing your insurance policy may become a reality for you.

Private Insurance

Find out if your child’s pediatrician can help you obtain referrals, and then check with your insurance company to determine how these referrals are handled. Is there a list of preferred providers you must use?

Do you have a case manager assigned to your child’s care? Is there supplementary health insurance available for children with disabilities?

Call your insurance company to make sure you have the most current information on your coverage, and call again to find out who the case manager (the person who will oversee your child’s care) is and how best to contact him or her.

Other Assistance

Find out if Medicaid covers any of the services your child may receive, or if your child qualifies for Early Intervention services (no-cost or low-cost treatment services mandated by Congress).

Investigate your state’s assistance programs, often offered through the Division of Medical Assistance or Department of Health and Human Services.

When you’re faced with a diagnosis of autism and the care that follows, the last thing you want to face is wondering how the services your child needs will be covered.

Just as you’ve educated yourself about so many aspects of autism, you should educate yourself about your health insurance coverage as well.

More information available at the sites below.

Autism Insurance Options

Health Insurance Marketplaces and Autism